As professionals working directly with clients, we all understand the importance of building successful client relationships. After all, these relationships are a core part of the service we deliver, whether you’re a solicitor helping a client navigate divorce or an accountant providing support to a business owner. The knowledge, expertise, and experience we share will have little impact if the client relationship isn’t nurtured.
In this digital age, creating long-lasting, friendly relationships is just as important, if not even more so.
As financial planners, this means taking the time to understand the aspirations of each client before anything else. We don’t focus on selling products, rather getting to know the challenges and goals of each of our clients that walk through our door. If we’re to remove the challenges and achieve the goals, a holistic approach is essential.
Good financial planning is much more than providing advice on which financial product to choose, it is about helping those who have sought professional support to improve their overall position. Getting their finances in order can help set them on the right path to achieve their aspirations but it needs to be in a wider context that looks beyond products.
It’s a process that allows us to add value to the lives of our clients. But it’s beneficial to us too.
Firstly, stepping back from complex, financial jargon and simply talking about what each client wants to achieve helps us build lasting relationships that are good for business. Secondly, clients rarely approach a financial planner with a product problem. Instead, they are more likely to ask:
- Can I afford to retire early?
- Will my family be secure if the worst were to happen?
- How can my investments provide an income for me to live on?
- How can we can best use our accrued wealth for the benefit of our family, be that now or in the future?
As problem solvers rather than product salesmen, we’re better positioned to answer the questions clients have about their circumstances and the role their finances play. This leads to higher levels of client satisfaction and an opportunity to add real value to their lives.
Working in partnership
From experience, clients often benefit from advice from multiple professionals. We believe that building professional relationships is key to creating effective financial strategies for our clients. This enables us to provide a seamless transfer to clients if they need further support. With a focus on building personable relationships with clients from the outset, we’re able to refer them to our established professional connections should the need arise.
A person going through a divorce, for example, will find legal advice essential, while financial planning can help them start to prepare and plan for the long term. While a business owner that’s organising personal finances may also find tax advice from an accountant invaluable. As a result, we’re keen to create effective working partnerships.
It therefore comes as no surprise that the Prudential 2018 Adviser Barometer found 57% of financial advisers are expecting an increase in leads from law firms and accountancy practices in the year ahead, reflecting the significance of these professional partnerships. In fact, accountants and solicitors are rated as the second-best source for new business, only falling behind referrals from existing clients.
Vince Smith-Hughes, Director of Specialist Business Support at Prudential, said, “Advisers pride themselves on delivering excellent service and support to existing clients and that is reflected in the fact clients remain the best source of new business.
“However, partnerships are becoming more important to help drive business and working with lawyers and accountants is clearly a good way for advisers to expand support for existing clients and attract new business. Growth in demand for advice on Inheritance Tax and retirement income taxation highlight areas where advisers are likely to be working in conjunction with other professionals.”
The Barometer highlighted the key areas that are predicted to drive the most business over the coming three years, including many where cross-industry services will be beneficial:
- Inheritance Tax protection (43%)
- Retirement income taxation (39%)
- Long-term care planning (33%)
There are many other areas where working with other professionals is key to client satisfaction too, from Lasting Power of Attorneys to pension sharing orders; as Resolution members, we’re proven experts in the legal and financial implications of separation and are experienced in working with clients and their legal advisers.
It’s why we believe in building connections with professional partners, just as much as those with our clients.
The difference Chartered makes
All four of our Financial Planners are individually Chartered, as well as our firm itself. Chartered status is the ‘gold standard’ for financial planning, demonstrating a commitment to achieving professional qualifications, continuous development, and adhering to ethical and best practices codes.
But what does this mean for relationships?
Chartered status clearly shows our dedication to offering the best possible advice, support and service to each of our clients. It means we’re able to put their minds at ease and give clients complete confidence in the advice they receive. Our Chartered status helps build trust with prospects and clients alike and is crucial to establishing effective, long-lasting working relationships.
For our professional partners, our Chartered status gives you the confidence to start working with us. For our clients, we offer you complete peace of mind as we work with you and provide bespoke and effective advice from the outset.