The financial world is changing and so is the relationship between financial consultants and their clients. It’s not enough to be a take no prisoner’s financial sharp shooter. Like in a romantic relationship, communication and chemistry are key to a long term and successful financial relationship.Vanguard Group and Spectrum Group surveyed over 3,000 homes, and revealed that most clients would leave their financial consultant if they were poor communicators. This makes sense considering that most people are just now recovering from the recession, and are especially sensitive about their finances. As a result, they want to knowthat their financial consultant is transparent and competent.
Financial services experts believe that the personal information clients exchange with their consultants forms a close relationship between financial consultants and clients. Customers must disclose sensitive financial information and plan for their financial futures. This means discussing income, spending habits, personal and savings accounts, and investments.
Although a great relationship between clients and financial consultants is necessary, many clients have no idea what to look for in a financial consultant or what questions to ask. The Financial Planning Association (FPA) provides potential investors with a list of pertinent questions to ask financial consultants. Among the questions that consumers are prompted to ask are questions about education, credentials, experience, and how they will be paid for services. Investors are encouraged to drill deep into the history and business practices of potential financial consultants and companies.
A list of questions will help consumers narrow down which financial companies line up with their moral philosophies and offer the services they specifically need. But the question of chemistry is still unanswered. What does “chemistry” look like between a client and financial consultant? To establish chemistry, consumers should consider aconsultant’s fee structure, service model, and the actions and accomplishments of its people. Industry leaders liken this level of research to a marriage, where consumers must determine if they share the same core values as the financial consultant.
Now financial consultants are undergoing coaching on client services and relationships by firms that specialize in creating and maintainingclient relationships. Some financial consultant training topics include: learning how to listen, proactive messaging, taxation, and other client educational topics.
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