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 of the future obstacles associated with retaining that relationship.
Whether it’s my wife, my friends, my colleagues, or clients or even my yellow lab, Tucker, relationships fill my life. Sometimes, I communicate and connect well. But other times, I blow it.
When it comes to the financial industry, it’s no different: 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.
Here is a 3-pronged approach that can help solidify and build better and more profitable business relationships.
No. 1: Practice the art of conversation
There are days when I am running from one meeting to the next. I’m overwhelmed and exhausted by the end. 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 we are surrounded by. 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 really is listening to our needs.” The art of having a conversation is being present.
No. 2: Be patient
If you are anything like me, you struggle with being patient when developing relationships. There is the constant hunt for new prospects to come into the office and sign up to become clients. This fast-paced mentality can be profitable, but it does not mean you are maximizing the opportunity for long-standing relationships. Getting the most out of a relationship requires the discipline of being patient.