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April 24, 2024

Three ways to build trust and get buy-in on your advice

As a financial advisor, you have the expertise to give sound advice to your clients—but sometimes even the best advice can fall on deaf ears. Your clients may ignore, resist or delay implementing your advice, even when it is in their best interests. This can be frustrating and disappointing, leading to less job satisfaction for you and undesirable outcomes for your clients. 

Trust is the cornerstone of client–advisor relationships. When clients trust their advisors, they are more likely to heed their guidance and take necessary actions to achieve their financial goals. Here are three of the best ways to build trust and increase the likelihood that your clients will adopt your advice.

1. Understand your clients’ deeper needs and motivations

As financial advisors, fostering trusting client relationships involves moving beyond routine discussions solely focused on financial goals. Instead, explore your clients’ values, beliefs, expectations, preferences and communication styles. Remember, clients truly appreciate expertise when they sense genuine care, and by delving deeper, we demonstrate that we value them as individuals, not just as clients.

By understanding your clients’ deeper needs and motivations, you can tailor your advice to align with their unique situations and personalities. For instance, if a client is passive and makes little effort to engage with you when discussing your recommendations, consider adopting a more patient and inviting approach during interactions. You can say something like, “Some things we discuss may be new to you, so don’t hesitate to ask me to clarify or repeat myself.” This creates a safe and supportive environment in which the client feels comfortable seeking clarification or expressing thoughts and feelings.

There is an endless list of techniques to deepen your understanding of your clients, including asking open-ended questions and conducting surveys. Whichever mix you choose, know that making a proactive effort to establish a deeper connection with your clients will go a long way toward getting their buy-in.

2. Educate your clients on the benefits and risks of your advice

Educating clients plays a pivotal role in shaping their financial behavior. When clients grasp the rationale behind recommendations and understand the potential outcomes of various financial choices, they are more likely to trust and confidently implement the advice provided.

As a financial advisor, you must avoid sugar-coating risks and ensure that you are providing clear explanations. Instead of saying, “If the markets go down,” acknowledge that market fluctuations are inevitable and instead say, “When the markets go down.” This prepares clients for potential downturns, guarding against panic selling. Transparency and realistic expectations build trust and empower clients to navigate the financial landscape with confidence.

Effective methods for educating clients include providing data and evidence to support your advice, using stories or analogies to convey your points, and referring to charts, graphs or infographics for clarity. 

During the educational process, actively gauge client comprehension and acceptance. Address any resistance, clarify misconceptions and proactively handle objections.

3. Empower your clients to take ownership and action

A financial advisor can empower clients directly by establishing clear expectations, offering detailed explanations, defining realistic goals and consistently monitoring progress. Indirectly, advisors can encourage clients to answer questions like these:

  • What changes do you think will help you achieve this?
  • What specific steps and tasks will you undertake?
  • What resources and support are necessary for your success?

Strategies to empower clients include setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) goals, creating action plans, and providing feedback and coaching. Additionally, use tools such as project management software to track progress and automate decision-making with gentle nudges.

By empowering your clients to take ownership and action, you can help them feel more confident and committed to your advice. You can also increase their accountability and responsibility for their results.

As you work to cultivate trust and enhance your ability to understand, educate and empower clients to take decisive action toward their goals, remember to demonstrate genuine care for your clients’ well-being. When clients feel understood and valued, they are more likely to lower their resistance, leading to increased job satisfaction for you and better financial results for them.

To learn more about effective client development and communication techniques, reach out to your CI sales team.


For Advisor Use only.

About the Author

Bruno De Pace

Bruno De Pace

Director, Practice Management
CI Global Asset Management

Bruno is responsible for supporting advisors within CI Global Asset Management’s key channel partner network in the areas of professional development and practice management. Bruno is a skilled coach, consultant, and presenter who has worked with thousands of advisors across the country, helping them build highly successful businesses and deliver more value to their clients.