When people hire financial advisors, they don’t want one-size-fits-all guidance. They want sound financial advice customized to their particular interests and goals.
As a financial advisor, it is most important that you have the technical know-how to be able to achieve your clients’ goals. But if that was all people wanted, they could probably find it by spending enough time studying online. To be a truly effective advisor, you need to pair your knowledge with a custom-fit approach. You need to be able to summon the relevant information and let your client know exactly how it can improve their particular situation. This communicates that you are capable of guiding your clients towards achieving their life goals as opposed to just explaining complex financial planning and details.
It is crucial to focus your services around what your clients and potential clients care most about. Do they want to invest in real estate? Multifamily homes? Expand their business? Diversify their investment portfolio? Focus on presenting how they can attain their goals and how you can help them along that path with your unique skill set and knowledge base.
What Matters Most to Clients?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that clients care most about goal attainment. If you are an advisor with the clients’ best financial interests in mind, then you should be able to help them achieve their financial goals in the most efficient way possible. Therefore, how you are helping clients to reach their financial goals ought to be the central focus during initial meetings with prospective clients and ongoing reviews with your existing clientele.
Remember that you’re on the technical side of helping your clients attain their goals, but that might not be what your clients care most about. You may be passionate about the nuts and bolts of the financial plans you develop, but it’s not necessarily the best idea to sell an ultra-complex financial plan.
Instead, skip the overwhelming technical stuff and focus on your client’s goals at the onset. Then, help them see in a nutshell how you’ll help them reach those goals. With ongoing meetings, you can convey more specifics of the financial plan.
Emphasizing your clients’ goals, as opposed to a rote presentation of your services, will keep the client as the star of the show and emphasize that you have their best interest in mind.
How Can You Learn What Matters Most To Clients?
We’ve established the importance of focusing on your clients’ priorities, but how do you find out what those priorities are? Above all, ask pertinent questions. You might be tempted to present your services first, but if you gain an understanding of what matters most to a client then you can present your services around their goals. This will help existing and prospective clients to see you as part of their journey to success.
One approach to doing this could be to ask in-depth questions at the onset of the onboarding process. Inquire about their short-term, mid-range, and long-term goals for their finances and life path. You can then prioritize these goals in order of importance and structure your next meetings around addressing those goals.
As you show how you are addressing their goals, you can also take care of the technical details that you need to know as a financial planner to achieve the larger financial plan. Do they have the correct insurance? How much is in their emergency fund? Are the beneficiaries all in order?
Asking pertinent questions in the initial stages of meeting with a client will go far in building a professional relationship, and most importantly, an effective financial plan to shape your services around their goals.
How Can You Market Your Services Around Client Needs?
Understanding what matters to potential clients will help you to know how to market yourself as a financial advisor. While it is important to highlight on your website or your social media what you offer in terms of knowledge and services, a more effective way to grab attention is to emphasize client goals and your approaches to helping clients reach these goals.
For instance, if you have a niche market such as retirees, then you can use that demographic’s general goals to guide your marketing efforts. If you do not have a homogenous group that you market to, however, you may find it useful to focus on the goals of the top group within your clientele. They likely have similar goals that you can utilize to draw in clients with related goals.
Understanding and staying focused on what matters most to your clients sends a powerful message. It shows clients that you care about their goals and will do what is necessary to help them accomplish those goals. With you on their side, they know they’ll get where they want to go.
More than 15 years ago, I pioneered Holistic Transformational Life Coaching, which offers independent financial advisor coaching. I guide wealth managers to clarity and inspiration on the way to building the life they want. If you’d like to become a more successful financial advisor, contact me for help on your journey.