Editor’s Note: The truth is, consumers are fearful. With a tumultuous market playing havoc with consumers’ retirement plans coupled with the gut punch of some financial institutions and individuals mishandling investors’ money, it’s easy to see why clients are scared and facing trust issues. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to calm client fears. Below are rules Strebel provides to do just that.

  • Employ the Three C’s. Be confident. Be competent. Be concise. Clients have been through the ringer, and they deserve to have their advisor provide them strong leadership in a clear, understandable way.
  • Utilize the power of research and education. Clients are looking for knowledge and a better understanding of financial markets. Advisors need to be able to put on their “teaching hats” and provide a big-picture view and show clients how that relates to their specific retirement plan. Strebel says: “I’ve found that it helps being able to give (clients) a long-term picture of markets and what has happened historically.”
  • Don’t sugarcoat the reality of what is happening. More than ever, clients want someone they can trust. They want an advisor they can ask the hard questions of and expect to get a dose of reality, even when the truth might be painful to hear. At the end of the day, your bond with your client will be that much more unbreakable.