Financial Literacy

Growing Client Relationships No. 1 Rank: Frequent Communications

If some financial advisors have gone into hiding from their clients during the current economic crisis, they may find they are causing long-term damage to their customer relationships.

Fifty-four percent of financial advisors polled cited frequent communications as the most important factor in growing client relationships, according to Natixis Investment Managers’ 2020 Global Survey of Financial Professionals. Other top success factors included getting to know their clients on a personal basis (50%) and conducting regular financial plan reviews (41%), the study added.

Learning what people want and helping them reach their full potential is central to attracting and retaining clients at Wela Financial in Bannockburn, Illinois, according to Dennis Gorski, CLU, ChFC, founder and president.

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The Natixis survey also found 50 percent of financial professionals consider proactive communications a critical success factor. While many advisors have apparently had client interactions during the 2020 crisis, Gorski said, he encourages his team to reach out during both good and bad economic times.

“High contact at a level the client wants is important to our practice” Gorski explained. “Currently we are simply checking in and asking people how they are doing. We’re not necessarily asking about their portfolio or their financial plan – we’re just asking if have any questions and letting them know we’re here for them. They really appreciate it. I'm often just shocked at how little that happens in the industry.”

Gorski said the major lesson he shares during the current economic climate is simply, “Don’t panic.”

He added, “Some of the fundamentals have not changed and will never change. Money and risk management are always going to be there. The methodology may change: we may communicate over email and text, or get signatures digitally. But it still centers on helping people in a calm manner.”

One reason Gorski became a financial advisor was the opportunity to make a significant impact in people’s lives in an area where many need help. The combination of professional advice plus education to increase financial literary helps clients make better decisions.

DG Money 300x435“Money is the root of all goals and endeavors,” he said. “You can reach those goals better through wise money management, and education is foundational to wise money management. One of our core values is self-discovery -- meaning that the client learns and understands for themselves, and comes to those ‘aha’ moments on their own.”

Other core values include personal responsibility and financial discipline, he added. While advisors can create financial plans, clients need to follow those plans for them to work effectively.

Gaining detailed knowledge about clients’ current financial situation and goals also helps Wela Financial create plans tailored to individual needs and potential future risks.

“As people live longer, there are many risks out there,” he said. “We have sequence risk, taxation risk, longevity risk, extended care risk, and so on. There are solutions, products, and strategies that we employ in our planning to address all of those risks with our clients.

He added, “Our philosophy employs two key economic principles – interest rate power and actuarial power. When individuals build a plan around these two economic powers, they can mitigate the risks.”

For more information on Wela Financial, visit welafinancial.com

 

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