The foundation of all successful relationships and the driving force behind most of our actions is trust. Trust underlies our willingness to spend our hard-earned money on goods and services, to commit our lives to another person through marriage, or to make plans and decisions based on advice given by a professional. Therefore, it’s not surprising that most people look for a financial adviser they can ‘trust’. After all, they will be entrusting their financial security (and potentially that of their children or grandchildren), plans and hopes for the future and disclosing almost all that there is to know about their finances and health. It’s a big deal!
Sadly, the lack of trust is exactly what prevents many British adults from obtaining financial advice. In fact, according to the FCA’s survey from 2020, only one in ten (10%) adults expressed confidence in the UK financial services profession, resulting in 38 million adults in the UK not receiving any formal support with their finance. This suggests that knowing who to trust is one of the major issues for clients looking for financial planning advice. While only a small percentage of this group are likely to form part of your target market, it’s worth pointing out that even if only 1% of them might be your ideal clients, that equates to 380,000 people.
So now you might be thinking, “how can I and my advisory firm ensure that clients feel safe and can trust us and our service?”
Well, here are a few ideas from my latest white paper, co-written with Brett Davidson of FP Advance, that will help you create credibility and provide social proof that all prospective clients will appreciate and find helpful when looking for a financial adviser.
1. Create a helpful information pack for anyone looking for financial advice 💡
Knowing who to work with and finding a dependable and trustworthy adviser is one of the top challenges for clients looking for financial advice. You can help them with this difficult task by making a pack called, for example, “Choosing The Right Adviser” that will provide everything they need to know in order to find the best company for their requirements. The pack could contain the following:
✅ The Insider’s Guide To Finding The Right Financial Advice – here is an Example Guide for you to see.
✅ A list of Questions to ask prospective Advisers
Feel free to adapt these templates and make them easily available on your website, via professional connections you work with, and anywhere else that you can think of! By being extremely helpful at this early stage of the client journey, you are likely to at least get shortlisted by prospective clients.
2. Make the most of Google Reviews 📝
Are you using Google reviews? Let’s face it, we all love them and use them. They’re a meaningful and powerful tool that could help your firm secure more clients.
Here are 2 things that make Google reviews better for your business!
✅ The reviews that are overwhelmingly good (one or two naysayers don’t usually do much harm)
✅ There are enough of them to prove that it wasn’t just your grandma and your spouse that left a great review.
For a smaller advice firm, we’d suggest getting more than 20 good reviews (and clearly, more is better). For larger firms with multiple advisers, you might need dozens or 100+ to give this the power you’re looking for!
Having these reviews is one way of demonstrating to prospective clients that you can be trusted.
4. Share your client’s success stories 👨👨👧👦
When doing client success stories, it is imperative to ask your client to leave their name on the testimonial. A reference without a name is almost the same as not having one. 😬 What people notice the most when reading testimonials is the calibre of each person that left a review and the fact that they were content to have their name and job title linked to your business. That is what stays with the client the longest, so please remember this when creating your own success stories page!
5. Invest in video testimonials from real clients 🎥
Alongside client success stories, we suggest including some video testimonials. If you can, you should try to get one of your previous clients to tell their own story and how they felt during their process of finding and working with you. Be sure to show their name and place of work (if possible) for maximum impact.
Providing social proof is a great way of gaining initial trust of your prospective clients.
6. Explain the different steps in your process, the timeline and the fees to show that a few steps can be taken without incurring big costs 📍
Contacting potential Advisers may be a bigger step than you think for your prospective clients. Making yourself easy to approach and demonstrating that they can take some initial steps without having to incur big costs can be very helpful. It can be as easy as offering a free initial telephone or zoom call with an Adviser (you’re probably doing this already but is it clear from your website). Here you will find further ideas on how to make your prospective clients feel more at ease and comfortable about working with you.
7. Make sure that you have a cracking website 🌐
Here are four things that, when included on your website, make it easier for prospective clients to trust you and your firm:
✅ Ensure that your website reflects the needs and requirements of your specific niche. It’s your opportunity to showcase how well you know and understand the clients you work with.
✅ Ensure that the section related to your team includes the entire team and not just the advisers. Knowing that it’s not just you and having the ability to read about the calibre of people that work for your firm and learn a bit about them will provide Joe and Josephine Public with a bit of reassurance.
✅ Include any information that adds credibility to your firm, such as awards, accredited status, and testimonials.
✅ Include the useful tips and templates discussed earlier to make their life as easy as possible.
8. Become an award-winning business 🏆
Awards alone probably won’t make or break your lead generation efforts. Although, they can be very effective if they appear to be the cherry on top of a very well-presented business or service. When comparing two companies that seem the same, except that one has an award or two in the area, clients are likely to be swayed by the ‘award -wining status’. Seems like the obvious choice. However, when a company appears to have too many awards, almost “passed down like candies”, clients may grow wary. Sometimes less is more.
Do your homework to stand out
Client trust must be earned which typically comes over time. However, knowing that ‘trust’ is an issue for many who are looking for financial advice, it’s up to you to turn this information into an opportunity for your firm. When clients feel their practical, emotional, and ethical requirements are being addressed, they are more inclined to trust you. So, spend time looking at feelings, behaviours, thoughts, and challenges your prospective clients are faced with before they even find you, to create tools and solutions that will help you stand out.
For more ideas on how to make your financial planning firm stand out in a crowding market, please head to my most recent white paper, co-written with Brett Davidson of FP Advance. We offer plenty of helpful and practical advice and ideas for financial advisers who want to stand out! If you’d like to get your own copy of our full white paper ‘Are You Like A Needle In A Haystack?’ click here: 👉 https://rie.solutions/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/White-Paper-Are-You-A-Needle-In-A-Haystack.pdf