If You’re in the Relationships Business, You’re in the Communication Business
A survey last year by Hartford Funds should serve as a wake up call to any professional in the financial advisory world. If you’d say the most important benchmark to investors in evaluating their advisor relationship is investment performance, you’d be wrong:
That’s hard-to-navigate territory. When financial performance is the ultimate benchmark, success is easy to measure. But when a strong relationship is most important, what does that really mean? No objective scale for relationship satisfaction exists. If we can’t measure the success of this most important benchmark, and can hardly even define it objectively, how can a professional hope to improve performance?
The survey offers a few more revealing insights. Of the 500 investors who responded, 22% said they wanted advisors to spend more time on education about the financial planning process and their investments. Fourteen percent say they want more personalized advice, and thirteen percent want to feel that their advisors care about them as people, not just clients.
Investors desire education, personalization, and care from their advisors because they want to feel personally understood and cared for in their relationships.
Relationship-Building through Communication
Your goal is to make your clients feel secure in their relationships with you and to provide them with a well-founded sense of security, underscoring your desire to care for them personally. It means providing an emotional experience based on a “feeling” and your personal knowledge, not just numbers.
This emotional relationship all comes down to communication. Consistent, personalized communication on the platforms they prefer, like email and social media, which shows your relationships you’re always working for them. When that communication is personalized to their needs and interests, it demonstrates that you’re paying attention and considering their individual needs.
Many professionals have heeded the call to offer more of these digital touchpoints to their relationships. What they haven’t realized is how critical the emotional relationship is, and how drastically their communication can impact it. When a valued client receives an email from an advisor that features pre-written information on generic topics, the client doesn’t feel all that valued. When that same client receives weekly email updates with stories relevant to his or her portfolio and investment goals, and even their non-financial interests, he or she feels much more personally cared for and valued.
Look at it this way: if you want to do something nice for an important relationship, you take them to a nice restaurant and discuss their personal financial goals, how they relate to their life and lifestyle, and you’ll let the conversation drift to friendlier topics like travel, kids, and hobbies. You wouldn’t take that client to a fast food restaurant and talk about general market performance or generic retirement goals.
You understand the importance of providing your relationships customized solutions and experiences that make them feel valued. You spend the time and money to treat each with the personalized service and attention they deserve. That should extend to all of your interactions, including your digital communication and touchpoints.
Vestorly Personalizes Communication So Relationships Always Feel Valued
Improving your digital communication to convey the right feeling to your relationships doesn’t mean a huge investment of time or creating a full communication department. Today’s technology does it for you.
Vestorly automatically curates the right stories for your relationships using artificial intelligence, data science, and intuitive modern Web experiences. It keeps you connected with people and facilitates new conversations with real relationships. You don’t have to worry that your competitors are sharing the same emails or social posts because everything you share through Vestorly is customized to you and every recipient.
Aaron A. Leaman of Signature Financial Planning has found that the emphasis on quality content people want translates to client satisfaction and prospect interest: