Making an emotional connection with your clients and prospects is both vital to your relationships with them and to your practice.
In an industry filled with a lot of financial advisors who tend to be far more analytical and logical, truly engaging emotionally with clients poses a real struggle for many advisors.
The truth is, emotionally relating to your clients is crucial to maintaining your business.
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Strictly Business Is a Land Mine
Talking just business with clients and prospects is a potential land mine. In the busy and time-crunched world we live in, coupled with the fact that most advisors tend to be more analytical than otherwise, many financial advisors make the mistake of simply talking business with their clients in meetings. They are not taking the time to really connect with their clients and prospects emotionally. This is a huge missed opportunity and potentially dangerous territory.
Spending the proper amount of time to get to know your clients on a deeper level and learning about what makes them who they are is just as important (if not more important) as discussing their financial plans.
Clients and prospects who are emotionally connected to you are priceless to your practice. According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, emotionally connected clients are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied clients.
What does this mean? Clients who are emotionally connected to you are more important than clients who are just highly satisfied. Yes, you read that right.
In addition, research from the same study also shows that emotionally connected clients recommend you more to others, follow your advice, visit you more often, pay more attention to your communications, show less sensitivity to price and buy more of your products and services.
In short, this is everything that you hope they will do as your clients! This is the type of client every financial advisor wants to replicate. Am I right?
What Is Emotional Connection?
So, what is emotional connection anyway?
Emotional connection is moving beyond just customer satisfaction and connecting with clients on a truly emotional level. An emotional level is uncovering what the client’s core motivations are and helping to fulfill their emotional needs, which are often unexpressed and complicated for clients to even articulate. Clients are often even unaware of what their own emotional needs are because they are so hard to define.
The previously mentioned Harvard study suggests these hard-to-define needs are called emotional motivators. Emotional motivators are essentially feelings that drive client behaviors such as a sense of belonging, succeeding in life or, simply, a feeling of security.
Becoming Emotionally Connected
Becoming emotionally connected to your clients and prospects definitely takes time. An emotional connection will not transpire overnight. You have to put the effort in, as well as be sincere and genuine in your approach.
Connecting emotionally is not just starting your meetings off with a minute or two of social chit-chat and exchanging pleasantries. It isn’t just about asking your clients occasionally how the grandkids are. It is really understanding who your clients are, and not just what they have.
In every interaction with your clients, show genuine curiosity about them. While every meeting can’t all be social, be sure to devote ample time each session to uncovering more about what drives them and what core values matter most to them.
You likely have a client inventory profile for every client. Consider adding a section to input all of the personal information you uncover about your clients. Everything from their hobbies to favorite charities, foods, restaurants, favorite sports teams and their dream vacation destinations.
Capture all the important dates, like anniversaries. Be sure you know the names and ages of their children, grandchildren and pets. Take the time to know your clients’ friends as well as you know them. their friends. The more you learn about your clients and demonstrate that to them, the more connected they will feel to you.
Aside from just uncovering their likes and dislikes, also try to discover what truly motivates them to invest with you. What drives their financial plan? What is the legacy they want to leave when they are no longer here? What are their hopes and dreams for future generations? These responses are a treasure trove of ways to emotionally connect with your clients.
Emotions Trump Logic
We have established that emotionally connected clients are more valuable to your business, but we also know that when it comes to actual decision-making, the majority of clients make buying decisions based upon their emotions.
When it comes to logic versus emotion, emotion trumps logic almost every time. Clients connect emotionally first with your products and services, and then they justify those decisions with logic.
Sometimes it may feel like your role is simply to manage client emotions, and not just their money. There is certainly ample truth to this.
If they are overly emotional, as their advisor, you may need to explain what the emotional ramifications can be to an investment decision. An ideal way to bridge emotion with logic to your clients is by telling them a story, drawing an illustration or using an analogy or metaphor to explain the product or service.
The Bottom Line
Whether clients know it or not, or can even articulate it, they desire to be emotionally connected to you and to be served by financial advisors who can provide both personalized and empathic services.
Advisors must be able to relate to their clients on an emotional level, because fully emotionally connected customers are far more valuable than those who are merely highly satisfied.
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