How can an Adviser build credibility with potential clients?

It is very difficult for an adviser (financial, health, education…) to build credibility. In an industry where there are so many fly by night operators (the 97% of them get the 3% of us a bad name)…how does one build credibility? Well the following have worked for many of the advisers that I have met…

  1. Let the talking be done by the existing clients: Some of your clients will talk, rave, and thank you. Use them to get new clients. If you have added value to them – saved them from bad investments, done good investments for them, said blunt things about their past mistakes (they may have been hurt initially, but realized your value when they knew it was true),…they will start liking you. The best way a client can ‘like’ you is by introducing you to his doctor, golf partner, tennis coach, colleague, boss, HR head, …hey that’s the way it works.
  2. Be active in social circles: Actually help people without any return expectation. I am currently working on a project, where I am sure I have no financial gain. I am giving my time HONESTLY for a good cause. I have no clue whether it will give me ANYTHING in return, but I am associating with very nice people who GENUINELY want to give back something to society. I am sure ‘something good has to come out of something good’. Right?
  3. Be visible to your community, clients, friends – on social media, in the Press, etc. till you reach a stage when they need you more than you need them.
  4. Talk about A FEW THINGS like an expert and say ‘I do not know’ to many things. For e.g. I have passed the final exams of many institutes, trained to be a lawyer, but other than personal finance I have no ‘Expert’ knowledge. Even calculation of capital gains – with indexation – is something I would get it whetted by friends who are in practice – for a fee or free – but would never ever risk my knowledge which was sharp in 1988 when I was in tax practice. Today it is rusted, and blunt.
  5. How much so ever a client pushes do not promise magic or ‘guarantee returns’. Do not even say ‘In the past the markets have given 19% return’. Clients will anchor on such numbers. This is bordering on FRAUD. Clients do not know. Neither do you. Nor do I. Say that bluntly over and over again. In today’s market I can easily (EASILY) SHOW funds which give 29% p.a. returns. Am I saying it will happen again? NO. Am I saying it cannot happen again? NO. I would be committing a fraud if I leave such numbers in the clients mind. The truth is clients have to invest MORE for LONGER periods to achieve some goals. It is your job to show that excel works. That is all.
  6. Do not charge LOW PRICES just to attract clients. I do both fee based work and non fee based work. I never drop prices. One client had 3 phone calls got tons of work done..and then negotiated fees. I just said ‘no issues, do not pay’. Yes of course, I lost him, but hey culturally I never liked him. I have given up clients on reasons of geography, attitude, size, language, tone of voice…Just said NO. Seriously, at my age it is NOT worth saying yes to people whom I do not want to meet socially. Saying NO is a one time effort. If seeing that guy’s name on my phone increased my bile – ditching him is a better option.

Seriously all these points are from the heart….and yes of course, give STRATEGICALLY correct advice. A tactical error or poor execution can be handled, but not a strategically done mistake.

 

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One Response to “How can an Adviser build credibility with potential clients?”

  1. Stocks to buy today on April 14th, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Its very true that a professional advisor play a very important role to increase your profit from the market, great and inspiring post.

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