Building relationships can be one of the most difficult things we do as human beings. Think about all of the challenges there are in establishing a relationship. And once it’s established, you face all the future obstacles associated with retaining that relationship. Sometimes I communicate and connect well, and sometimes I just simply blow it. Whether it’s my wife or my friends, my colleagues, my clients, my yellow lab, Tucker … relationships fill my life.
When it comes to the financial industry, relationships are the foundation of your work. Clients choose to work with an advisor because they trust the advice they are receiving. The advisor had to work hard to establish that relationship. The strength of your client relationships will be what ultimately determines the success of your business.
Let’s take a look at several practices that will build better and more profitable relationships.
1. Practice the art of conversation.
There are days when I am running from one meeting to the next. And by the end, I’m overwhelmed and exhausted. When I think back on such a day, I wonder: Did I have the greatest impact I could on all of those conversations? Did I accomplish my goals, and did the other parties achieve theirs as well? I have learned that in order for me to be most effective, I have to be 100 percent focused on being present. This is a major challenge with all of the distractions and noise that surrounds us. The power of being present is underestimated. It requires great discipline and focus to truly be present in every conversation throughout the day. In order to achieve a deep level of trust with your prospects and clients, you must attend to what they are saying and what is not being said. You want your clients and prospects to say, “Wow, I feel that he/she is really listening to our needs.” The art of having a conversation is being present.