We have been discussing the importance of financial advisors connecting with Professional Advocates and Loyal Client Advocates collectively over the past few weeks. It’s important to recognize the subtle differences that exist in each process, however, and to take the appropriate measures to ensure you are working with these differences in mind when looking to your centers of influence for referrals.
In addition to handling yourself with the professionalism, thoroughness, and the expectations of partnership as you do with your Professional Advocates, try using the tactics below when working with Loyal Client Advocates. These tips apply to how you handle yourself in person and throughout all of the content you use to market to your financial advisors. All the collateral, blogs, newsletters, and communications should take the following into consideration:
Find your voice: Avoid the desire to “polish” your writing or voice to the extent that it comes across as inauthentic, or unnatural. Authenticity is hugely important, especially in an industry in which dependability is often questioned, and where even those people who are already your clients are constantly approached by other advisors promising better and more genuine service. Authenticity, in this respect, is more important than the degrees on your wall, because it can mean the difference between being heard and being overlooked or mistrusted.
Bridge the gap: When thinking about the idea of bridging the gap, I like to reference George Bernard Shaw’s quote: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it's taken place.” What I mean by this is that, in a certain respect, your expertise is both your greatest strength and your greatest barrier. It can hinder your ability to communicate with your center of influence clients because, what you may see as completely relatable can seem to clients like a foreign language. Involve someone with lesser knowledge of the financial services industry in creating your marketing content. This could even be a loyal client advocate. Have them translate the content you currently have in to their own words. See where they misinterpret the message or get confused. Rewrite this language so it is clear, and carry that throughout all your messaging.
Tell a story: Your loyal client advocates probably know you on a deeper level than many of your other clients, but do they have a clear story around which to contextualize the reasons you chose to be a financial advisor and how that affects your process and interactions with them. I recommend finding a way to tell a story around how your life or an event in your life has informed your choice of profession, and share that with your clients through a story that is memorable and relatable. This will be something they can easily remember and pass along to others in their network, who could be potential clients.
Remember, your Loyal Client Advocates are your clients first and foremost. Their financial planning and investment needs as individuals should be addressed before anything else. This is your obligation as a financial advisor and should be your motivation in every interaction. Additionally, keeping your clients happy, and their desires top of mind, will keep a steady stream of referrals coming your way.