Tuesday 04 January 2011

The lack of trust in the industry is palpable. As a result of all that has occurred in the past several years and the relentless media coverage, people are naturally more skeptical and cautious than ever before.

It is essential to realize that trust is something that requires:

  1. A focus on friend-raising versus fundraising. Getting involved, visible and engaged in the community or in the markets you are passionate about and goes a long way to position yourself as a giver versus a taker.
  2. Being able to separate who you are from what you do. If you define yourself as an advisor as opposed to an individual who advises, you are quickly seen as being there to sell, not serve.
  3. Trust is established in face-to-face meetings, not by talking but by listening and responding thoughtfully in a very personalized and humanized way. However, to be a successful listener, you must ask good questions. Questions that allow prospects and clients to talk about their fear, uncertainty and doubts. Questions that create opportunities for individuals to also share their dreams, goals and aspirations. Regardless of the answers to your various questions, their response and yours must be received and delivered in a non-judgmental way. Remember any communication that tells people they are wrong will not be received!
  4. Trust is established and maintained by appropriate responses and ongoing communication that educates and strengthens their view that you have their best interest at heart. In other words, they can trust you to follow through – not to sell but to serve. Even McDonald’s has gotten the message. The signage that for decades read “several billion burgers sold” now says “several billion served.” Starbucks is slowing down their coffee making process because they realize that people want the experience to be flawless and they are willing to wait so they can get the order they placed served correctly. Going faster wasn’t good for the customer because going too fast meant more mistakes and Starbucks’ customers trust the order will be right. After all, at an average of $5.00 per cup, a firm that gets it right and keeps the trust of their customers wins! The same is true in the financial services industry. People trust those who have their best interests at heart!

If you want a series of questions to promote interaction with clients, email me at RICHARD@RICHARDWEYLMAN.COM

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