Published in Cafemutual on 15th March, 2017
According to Harvard Business Magazine, “Emotionally engaged customers are at least three times more likely to recommend your product or services.”
In fact, Rajkot-based IFA Ramkumar H Barchha believes that the relationship between the adviser and the client is like a marriage alliance, which is long term. Hence, it is necessary to build emotional connect from both sides before jumping into business, he says.
Today many investors expect IFAs to render a personal touch; this is possible only through emotional bonding. Here are a few pointers on how to build a strong relationship with your client.
Involve family members
An IFA must try to involve the entire family in financial planning. This will give him an insight into the needs and aspirations of all its members.
A Mumbai-based adviser, Suresh Sadagopan Founder, Ladder7 Financial Advisors says IFAs must try to get to know the client’s family better. “I try and meet up with my client’s family. Talking with each family member individually gives me a sense of their individual needs. Also, by staying in close contact with the family as a whole my clients treat me as a friend rather than a businessman. This improves the rapport I have with my clients,” he says.
Listen to your clients
Active listening helps you engage with your clients more effectively. Listening to customers is the best way to know what they want.
“Active listening is a rare trait. I feel by listening closely to my client, I can detect unsaid nuances. This is very helpful as at times the investor himself might not be aware of what exactly he needs. I ask them many questions to understand their goals and aspiration. When I am involved and lending an eager ear, my clients develop an inherent trust in my judgment,” believes Kapil Mehta, co-founder, Secure Now Insurance Broker.
He feels that IFAs should follow the 80-20 rule i.e. listen to client 80% of the time and ask questions in the rest 20% time during a meeting.
Stay in touch
IFA can win over a client’s trust by staying in constant touch. You can do this through face-to-face meetings and phone calls with clients. You can keep them updated on their portfolio, and give insights on the latest development that could affect their investments.
According to Suresh Sadagopan, “Some clients like to meet once a fortnight while some don’t mind if met once in month or year. Though the frequency of visits may differ, one needs to employ every means to stay in touch.”
Connect on Social Media
With the advent of social media and its increasing popularity among investors, it has become an important tool to engage with people informally.
IFAs can tap the potential of social media, either by getting active on Twitter or Facebook. This will help not just in staying in touch with existing clients but also in acquiring new clients.
Mahesh Mirpuri a Chennai based advisor believes that Facebook is the best way to connect with your clients. “Ideally, advisers should not promote their business on social media; instead, they should use such platforms to strengthen relationship with clients. An advisor can spread financial awareness by sharing posts, informative contents and educational videos and blogs on personal finance through Facebook and Twitter handles to increase visibility and engagement with clients,” he says.