As you’re out there prospecting, it’s easy to slip into ineffective habits and get lazy with addressing the most fundamental need your prospect has – trust!
You are a financial advisor. Never forget that when you are prospecting you are asking people to trust you with their money and their future. Of course they’ll have questions and doubts. Of course they take this seriously. This is serious business!
Being able to communicate trust and credibility is a core strength every advisor needs to build.
Does your prospect believe you’re the one that can guide them to success? Do you? If you’re a newer advisor, being able to instill that confidence in your prospect is key to getting your practice off the ground. For more seasoned advisors, being able to clearly differentiate your approach from your competitors will help them choose you.
Let’s start with newer advisors. Here are three strategies to build trust and credibility:
Lean on your company. Identify one or two rock-solid facts about your institution’s record in managing money. In particular, longevity and stability facts will help your prospect feel safe.
Lean on your team. Not prepared to answer specific questions about investments or critical illness coverage or estate planning? That’s okay. No one is an expert in everything. Instead, speak with confidence and let your prospect know that you work with top experts in that area to bring them the best advice and strategies.
Lean on your personal convictions – your ‘Why’. You may be new, but if, for instance, you got into financial planning because someone close to you suffered a devastating loss or struggled unnecessarily for years and you’re on a mission to make sure that doesn’t happen to others, say so! People will trust you because they trust your motivations.
For more seasoned advisors – as you know, it’s a competitive field! Every advisor wants to bring on more high net worth clients, and those prospects get approached on an ongoing basis. If you think saying ‘I have a unique process where we first uncover your needs…’ is actually unique, you are mistaken. Having coached over 5,000 financial professionals, I can assure you that every advisor and institution has ‘an x-step process that starts with uncovering your goals and needs…’
Here are three strategies for more seasoned advisors to quickly build trust and credibility (smart newer advisors will also take this in!):
Leverage your experience beyond just saying how many years you’ve been in the business. Instead, go for the jugular in your communications – for example, you can say: ‘I’ve been helping families build wealth and protect what they care about most for over 16 years and here’s what I know for sure…’ then share 2- 3 of the most common mistakes you’ve seen ill-advised clients make, and how you fix them. Your prospect will sit up and take notice because they want to avoid those traps!
Share your core values. For example: ‘The three core values that drive everything I do are Excellence, Transparency and Integrity.’ Then briefly describe an example of how one of them shows up daily in your work to the benefit of your clients. Be as specific as you can.
Differentiate with your service commitments. Example: ‘It’s common in this industry for an advisor to hunt down business and once they’ve gotten the sale, forget about their clients. I don’t believe in that. I provide world-class service to a select number of clients so that no matter what financial question or need comes up, they know they can call me first and we’ll sort it out.’
Whether conscious or unconscious, financial decisions touch the survival instinct in humans. The more skilled you are at communicating credibility and trust, the more your practice will thrive.
And remember… Speak from the heart. It’s good business.