Be a star when it comes to client trust
By Susan Zimmerman
Mindful Asset Programs
Your star performance will boost not only your clients' trust in you, but your trust in yourself. And that's a win-win that sustains the STAR formula of strength, truth and reliability — increasing well-being and prosperity for both you and your clients.
Do your clients trust you? Trust is one of those words that's used extensively but may mean very different things to every individual. Let's look at the primary definition of trust: "a firm belief in the strength, truth and reliability of a person." One of the best things we can do is ask ourselves with each and every meeting we have with our clients, does this person have a firm belief in my strength, truth and reliability when it comes to servicing their needs?
It's possible your brain is on overload with technical, analytical, business development or human conflict issues, making it difficult to remember the definition of trust. To remedy that, think and visualize a star. First, use STAR as an acronym to help you recall the three essential elements of trust: strength, truth and reliability.
Whether you've just stepped into your first day as a professional advisor or you're putting the final touches on your own retirement plan, you've likely experienced the importance of strength. Even the most sophisticated investors can get rattled by perpetual news coverage that uses alarming headlines to gain readership or viewership. When clients are getting weak in the knees from the many financial fears that may plague them, it's the most important time for us to model strength.
Look at these fantastic synonyms of being strong, worthy of note: healthy, robust, powerful, firm, solid, sturdy, tough and potent.
Notice none of the above words for strength include arrogance or aggression. What helps our clients gain and maintain trust in us is our ability to convey a robust confidence in our guidance for them, along with a healthy dose of empathetic listening to their fears. Always returning to a firm dialog about what makes for consistently wise choices, especially during turbulent times, helps your clients experience your strength, which builds trust.
When we deliver necessary information that helps our clients gain awareness of realistic options for them, trust builds even when reality bites. While delivering difficult news is rarely easy or pleasant, if it's conveyed respectfully and sandwiched with choices that create realistic solutions for clients, outcomes and loyalty typically rise. Your strength and truth is a model for your client, and over time, some of these traits rub off on them, making them better managers of their personal finance.
Being dependable for our clients is the special ingredient that makes the STAR recipe for trust work, like a nutritious glue that holds the relationship firmly together in a sustainable and positively growing manner. Our systems, our human resources and our timely contacts all help build on our clients' impression of our reliability for them.
One last STAR comment worthy of note when it comes to trust and the client relationship: If you visualize yourself as a star playing a leading role in your clients' lives, your energy will shine more brightly, even in tough times. Your star performance will boost not only your clients' trust in you, but your trust in yourself. And that's a win-win that sustains the STAR formula of strength, truth and reliability — increasing well-being and prosperity for both you and your clients.