Things Every Financial Advisor Needs to Know About Client Communication
As a financial advisor, your job is to manage your clients’ wealth and provide sound financial advice. Without the ability to communicate with your clients, your job can quickly become a lot more complicated.
Communication matters. With clear, timely, relevant communication, your relationship with your clients can feel pretty easy. However, without a few key client communication skills, your clients may begin to lose trust in your advice, and things can break down quickly.
You work in an industry where it’s all about quick, responsive, empathetic communication, whether that be in-person, over the phone, or by email. Improving your business communication skills will not only improve your relationship with your clients, it will help them to put their trust in you, and their money in your hands.
Here are a few tips on how to communicate as a financial advisor.
Tips on communicating with clients professionally
There are a few client communication best practices for financial advisors looking to transform the way they connect and communicate.
Eye contact and body language matter
Eye contact and body language are known as types of non-verbal communication. You may not realize it, but the way we hold ourselves in relation to others often says a lot a lot more than our words.
According to Quantified Analytics, most adults only make eye contact 30-60% of the time. As a financial advisor, upping your eye contact can help you to seem more confident, more approachable, and more friendly—all things that your clients will be looking for. Plus, it will put your clients at ease. When they’re at ease, they’ll be more likely to actually listen to what you’re saying. Would you put your future in the hands of someone who looks like they are about to have a nervous breakdown?
Body language is also a great way to make a good impression and command both respect and trust. Sit up tall, keep your chin up, use confident gestures, keep your chest open, and, of course, don’t be afraid to smile. As psychologist Amy Cuddy explains in her TEDTalk, not only will confident body language help other people trust you, it will also help you feel more confident yourself.
Become a good listener
Communicating isn’t just about speaking—it’s also about listening. Listening means more than simply giving the other person time to speak. It means taking in what they say, understanding it, and responding to it in full. This is a lot harder than it sounds. Many financial advisors fall into the trap of believing that they know what is best for their clients and offering the same advice regardless of what the client is actually saying. Instead, try to listen, take a beat, and reply a little more thoughtfully.
It’s all about storytelling
The best communicators understand that getting a point across requires storytelling. And we don’t mean spinning a tall tale. We mean giving your point a beginning, a middle, and an end. The basic principles of storytelling include making your communication action-oriented, giving everything you say a purpose, and taking your listener on a journey. Instead of using dry statistics and analysis, try incorporating real-life characters and examples. Your communication will become more vibrant, and your relationships will benefit.
Stay in touch
Communication isn’t only about the moments you’re in the room together. It’s also about maintaining an open, frequent line of communication. Stay in touch with your clients. Send them strategic, periodic emails or make less frequent phone calls to check in. Respond to their queries in a timely fashion. Treat your clients like good friends, and stay in touch. Another great way to let your clients know you’re thinking of them is through cards and gifts for special occasions, or just because, and Birthday Company makes it super easy 😉
Be personal and relevant
Finally, in order to succeed at business communication as a financial advisor, make sure you make your communication personal and relevant. Before setting up a meeting or sending off an email, look for an opportunity to ask an appropriate personal question. Then, ask yourself, “Is this email or meeting going to be relevant to my client?” By focusing on their needs, your communication will feel less forced, and everything should become smooth and easy.
Client communication is a vital part of your role. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that it’s the single most important part of finding success as a financial advisor. With clear, interesting, confident communication, you will form a strong bond with your clients based on trust and mutual understanding.
Remember to focus on both verbal and non-verbal skills. Make a good impression with good body language, then, entice your clients with a bit of storytelling. Listen to what they have to say and respond to it carefully. After meeting in person, stay in touch. Keep all of your communication personal and voila! The recipe for excellent business client communication.