In the coming months we’ll be releasing details on research we’re conducting on the advisor-client disconnect. Some of the data has come in and it’s been eye-opening to see where some good things are taking place and where there’s been a swing and a miss.

What we’re continuing to witness is a consumer base that’s fearful as well as distrustful of financial institutions. The good news is, as many of you have explained to me-you’re business is local.

While those clients make think negatively of financial systems in general, they like you, their advisor, and believe you’re doing right by them. When we talk with both advisors and consumers both sides of the equation seem happier or may pleased with the relationship when there’s been a stronger coaching and teaching component taking place. The advisors who have bought into the idea that they need to educate their clients more than “sell” to them are seeing a strong uptick in business.

From our most recent survey, we learned additional information from senior clients that we found interesting. We asked seniors: “What is the number one thing you are looking for in a financial advisor?”

  • 59 percent said trust
  • 25 percent said experience
  • Only 4 percent said they put the highest value on a variety of products.

This bodes well for the advisors who are part of the community here at LifeHealthPro. One of the respondents to the survey told me: “Look, I’ve been rocked by crazy markets for the past decade.” He alluded to the dot-com crash, the housing bubble and the 2008 market crash. He added: “I’ve already been through too much. I’ll admit it; I got greedy. I went for a quick fix more than once in my career. Now, I’m at a point where I might work five more years. I need to make these years and the money I make in these years count. I don’t have another chance to go for broke.”

What this client and others like him needs is an advisor who he trusts, who knows the safe products that will help him through choppy times. He needs someone who won’t be pushing the shiny new toy. At this point, the client wants to catch his breath and know that his money is safe.

I encourage you to leave a comment below on what you’ve done to connect with clients (and avoid an advisor-client disconnect). Or you can send me an email at dwilliams@sbmedia.com.

For more from Daniel Williams, see:

3 ways to deal with distressed clients

Wealth managers talk about the boomer demographic

The new economy