Research commissioned by Ember Television showed that building trust is the overriding marketing priority for financial planners in 2015. So how do you go about it?
Michael Kitces, an “adviser to advisers” based in Washington DC, has been discussing the issue with Regis Media, Ember’s specialist marketing division for the advisery sector. Kitces says advisers need to establish a personal rapport with prospective clients and believes video has a crucial role to play.
To me, building trust is absolutely crucial as an adviser. I mean, everything from clients are not going to be very interested in paying you for your services if they don’t trust your advice and what you’re doing. And perhaps even more importantly: clients are not actually going to take your advice and do the things that you’re suggesting to them to help them down their financial path if they don’t trust you and your advice in the first place.
So to me the entire foundation of what we do as advisers is built entirely on trust and our ability to build trust and rapport with our clients.
To me at the most basic level trust gets built by doing the things that are trustworthy and credible on an ongoing continuous basis. The more opportunities we have to demonstrate trustworthy behaviours, the more opportunities that we have to build trust.
At an even more basic level though trust gets built by human beings between human beings. We connect with other human beings. So I find a lot of advisers do a remarkable number of things that defeat their own trust building behaviour. Little things like if your firm is all about personal relationships and building trust then when I go to your website, I should see pictures of you.
To me video is crucial in trying to build trusting relationships when we’re doing it online. So when the first point of engagement for a client is not actually the first time you sit across from them, it’s the first time they get referred to you and come to your website to check you out and do their initial due diligence and they’re looking for “is this an adviser I could connect to? Is this a person I would actually like to relate to?”.
We have videos of every single adviser up on their web pages, just you know, them talking for a few minutes about financial planning and what’s important for them and why they like doing what they do with clients.
But we will literally get enquiries from clients through our website that will say things like, “I was referred to your website, took a look, checked it out, really liked it, watched all the videos, liked William’s video the best, please have him contact me.” So they’ve already chosen who their adviser is, who they want to work with and have bonded and connected with them. I have no idea who this person is, they’re a complete stranger. We haven’t even done the first step of trying to reach out to them in response but they’ve already formed the foundation of a trust relationship to us just by pictures and video because they’re actually that powerful.