Five Research-Based Ways to Build Prospect and Client Relationships

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Surveying your clients and prospects is essential, especially as we continue to confront a major shift in how we live our lives. Because of COVID, we are more addicted to digital technology, including greater smartphone usage than ever before. We are facing the fallout of Russia’s war with Ukraine, inflation, and constant market uncertainty.

But it is an amazing time to grow a business. As John F. Kennedy said, “When written in Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters. One represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.” The opportunity is that more people are questioning their relationship with their existing advisors and there are many “do-it-themselves-ers” realizing they don’t have the knowledge to manage their own finances.

Throughout our lives, certain events trigger the need for advice and other financial services, like the birth of a child, retirement or the loss of a spouse. Market turbulence is triggering a need for many, creating an opportunity for the financial advice profession. Instead of retreating, move full speed ahead.

Here are five ideas for research to implement:

1. Have one-on-one interviews with clients – Ask your clients, “What keeps you up at night?” or “What is your one biggest concern?” Listen to what they say; don’t react. Instead, ask probing question after question. It is a good active listening exercise to acknowledge what you are hearing, reaffirming that you and your clients have the same understanding of their values and goals. They will appreciate they are being heard. Learn as much as you can before starting to give advice. Take notes. If you have other clients with similar concerns, the general topics might be great for future enewsletters to send to clients and prospects, or even PR topics to pitch to with the media.