As an advisor, you garner trust by having a belief system that enhances your client’s lives and demonstrates a genuine hopefulness for your client. Trust matters today more than ever. Why? Think about what the key considerations your clients have prior to making a buying decision? At the top of most lists is trust.

What influences who they trust? While it’s a personal preference based on their experiences, one thing is certain, advisors earn trust through openness, integrity and the consistency of their actions.

When I think of the process of cultivating trust, I think of the saying, “it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” Earning trust requires diligent effort over time.

We’ve all heard that clients do business with people they like and trust. As an advisor, why not make trust your competitive advantage?

When you have a relationship of trust with your client, it enhances your ability to guide your clients to the actions that they need to take to achieve their goals. However, like it or not, clients have to be given the opportunity to come to their own feeling of trust at their own pace.

How do we define trust? It’s a firm belief or confidence in the honesty, integrity and reliability of another person. Let me offer an expanded perspective for you as an advisor:

Total

Respect

Understanding

Sincerity

Thoughtfulness

Most new clients you engage are searching for a new direction. Trust says it’s OK to follow your lead. Years ago a veteran advisor shared some great wisdom with me. He said, ” The most precious of gifts you can render to someone is trust. When I say to you, ” Mike, I trust you,” I’ve given you the warmest and deepest of gifts. When I give you my trust, that means I have a partnership with you, that I believe in you.”

Trust involves focusing on what’s important to your client.

Often, what clients want is an advisor that can feel their pain and offer a prescription to fix it. In this age of robo advisors, utilize your advantages that the trusting relationship you have earned gives you. When you ask clients questions about their history, their values and what they want to accomplish in life, you have a deeper conversation with them in 15-30 minutes than you might have with friends of 10 years. If you listen closely enough, you’ll discover everything the client really wants.

In order to position yourself for the greatest time ever to be in our business, you must focus on building trust. How do you cultivate trust?

1) Walk the walk and do what you say you will do. If you do this one thing, you will set yourself apart.

2) Always put the client’s needs first. It’s not just about the fees and the commissions. Do what’s right and the rest takes care of itself.

3) Be accessible. Clients want to have the confidence that they can reach you when they have to. Make doing business with your firm easy, desirable and appealing.

4) Keep it simple. Clients trust who and what they can understand. Make it a habit of making regular client communication easy to understand, easy to follow and hard to forget.

Now that you have earned your clients trust, help your clients make the best, most informed decisions they can! They will be glad you did.