For years, the experts in sales strategy have recommended, taught and evaluated financial advisors and agents on their ability to develop long-term relationships with clients. For many, building a long-term relationship is seen as the most important goal for an advisor to do with current and new clients. In fact, in our 2009 MDRT study among advisors who are members of that organization, some 96 percent say “building a long-term relationship” was what they felt their clients wanted.
That was then
This is now. In our new Million Dollar Round Table Generational Financial Confidence Study among financial services consumers, boomers tell us today they are less interested in a long-term relationship with an advisor than in simply getting straightforward advice. Less than two out of three boomers say a long-term relationship is important to them. On the other hand, almost 90 percent say getting “straightforward advice” would motivate them to take action on developing a financial or retirement plan.
It’s no surprise, given how overall trust in institutions has declined in recent years. Thanks to events such as Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill, the Catholic Church sex scandal, Enron, AIG and the bailouts, the public’s trust in large institutions is depleted. The sense that someone in the financial services sector really wants or needs a long-term relationship no longer feels genuine to many boomers.