How To Overcome Objections As A Financial Advisor
Running a business is not easy. It requires dedication, perseverance, and a lot of patience. Being a financial advisor is even more difficult as you are dealing with people’s hard-earned savings and guiding them to make financial decisions you are legally liable for. However, that doesn’t mean your client will always see eye to eye with you.
One of the toughest jobs for financial advisors is dealing with the objections of concerned clients. If you are approached by an unsatisfied client, emotions may run high and mean words may be said, and even rash actions may be taken. If a situation like this does arise, as a professional it is essential that you know how to maintain your composure and deal with the concern at hand to preserve the relationship with the client.
Pacifying an unhappy customer can be difficult. However, if you devise a strategy early in your career on how to deal with unhappy clients, with time and experience you may actually learn to turn your client's dissatisfaction into an opportunity to prove that you are actually capable and well-disciplined for the job.
Master the skills of regularly meaningful client communication, prioritization of tasks, and having a mindset focused on opportunities make. It is best to polish those soft skills and devise a strategy early in your career on how to deal with unsatisfied clients. Document your process and with each new experience, make sure to revisit and revise your plan of action. Following are some guidelines for you to consider when coming up with a plan of action for dealing with clients that come to you with objections.
Placate You Client and Maintain Composure
When approached with a client who has objections and might be very distressed or high-strung about a situation, your first task is to calm them down. If concerns have been raised through means other than a face-to-face meeting, immediately arrange for a meet-up. Not only might it give your client some time to calm down, but it will also allow you to assess and prepare for addressing the concern that has been addressed.
Once the client is in front of you, have them sit, perhaps offer a drink, and then very calmly ask them to share their concerns. Throughout it, your demeanor and your tone should exhibit a sense of calm. Allow them to see that you are ready to listen and address the situation with full commitment.
Some clients may have issues with their portfolio performance, others might be thinking they are not getting their money’s worth. Still, others might be going through emotional or mental crises and the problem isn’t with you or their portfolio but with life-changing events that may be happening to them, and then there are some clients who just like to complain regardless.
Whatever the reason, your first aim is to deescalate the situation and calm your client before even beginning to address their objections.
While your client is voicing their concern, do not respond immediately or start justifying yourself. Listen actively. Show that you are empathetic and acknowledge their feelings with your body language and silence verbally when the time comes. You will often find times while you maintain composure and allow your client to share their objections, they copy your calm demeanor and become easier to communicate with.
Always bear in mind that your client’s concern could be 100% justified, in such a case it is crucial you think through what your next steps should be. While listening to their objections, contemplate the root cause of the objection and create a plan to solve the issue together.
Addressing the Objections
Once your client is done talking, do not immediately respond, become defensive or provide justifications instead, ask questions. Clarify any confusion and rephrase their objections into questions to confirm you understand what it is they are actually complaining about.
The client may not be right but they are your client, and your business requires clientele in order to stay a business. It is essential you deal with the matter professionally at hand all the while maintaining your cool.
Finally, it is time to address their concerns. If the concerns are way off what was discussed or to be expected, revisit the expectations that were set through know-your-client documents and any other documents that were signed during the onboarding process. It could be that your client is under a misunderstanding and has unrealistic expectations. Perhaps they are dissatisfied with their portfolio performance and are suggesting that you made poor recommendations and should accept the responsibility of their portfolio not performing well.
In such a case, know that you may have misjudged your client's risk tolerance. Make note of where you went wrong for the future. You need to be honest and remind them that in the finance industry things do not always go as expected. All financial decisions were made after lengthy discussions and mutually agreed upon before being carried forth. All information was well researched and accurately communicated and showed documents and an activity timeline to prove your case and gracefully accept that the market and your plan didn’t work out as expected. If you missed any of these steps, reconsidering your financial planning strategies should become your new top priority.
The Next Steps
If you have succeeded in calming the situation and addressing the matter in a way that your client has not threatened to end the contract with you or change their financial advisor, it is time to figure out what your next steps will be.
Do this with your client’s full cooperation and make sure you do what is necessary for a repeat of the situation. Show your client that you are fully committed to ensuring there are problems here on forth. Come up with a plan mutually for what is needed to be done ahead and make sure to document your plan of action.
A Lesson Learned
Make each stressful client situation a learning lesson. Document it if you have to figure out what you could have done to avoid the situation or perhaps where you might have been wrong. Use this opportunity to gain further insight into your strategies and management skills and decipher where there is room for improvement.
As a financial advisor, you should know you will always have unhappy clients walk through your door at some point in your career. Do not fear them, lose confidence, or give up on such clients. Make them a learning experience and maintain your professionalism. Once time and experience make you an expert in dealing with such matters, your financial services will have a rapport that speaks of your expertise, and someone with a positive mindset who takes these stressful situations as learning experiences are bound for success in business and increasing their clientele.