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Value Creation Blog

Without Trust Nothing Happens

Posted by Josh Patrick

One of the challneges that happens in every advisory relationship is how trust either shows or doesn't show.  Watch this video to find out what we think about this issue and how you can build trust with your advisors.

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Transcript:

Why is it that you might have a hard time trusting any professional you work with?  I think this is a question that we as professionals and advisors need to answer. 

I know that one of the biggest barriers I have when I start working with a new client is how to establish and keep a trusting relationship.  For me, its the key to what makes a relationship work.

Hi, Im Josh Patrick, the founding principle here at Stage 2 Planning Partners.  Lets dig in and see where trust disappears in a financial planning engagement.

First, We often send mixed messages.

Too often professionals say one thing and do another.  Or, we might make a promise that we dont keep for the long haul.  When this happens, its a sure thing that your trust level will go down.

When someone makes a promise they dont keep how do you feel?  I bet that if youre like me you start wondering if you can trust anything thats been promised. 

One of the fastest ways I know that I can kill trust is to make a promise and then miss a deadline.  This is especially true if I dont bother to let you know before the deadline has come and gone.

Sometimes we get paid for something thats different than what we offer.

This is a real problem with fee only financial planners.  In the financial planning business there are two value propositions.  The first is financial planning and the second is investment management.  Often there is a fee with investment management and little or no fee with financial planning.

I find that clients value financial planning more than they value investment management.  We sell financial planning as a way to differentiate ourselves from other advisors.  When we make the majority of our revenue from investment management there is a mismatch that happens between advisors and their clients.

This is why I offer financial planning as a separate activity from investment management.  I like to see firms like ours separate the cost for financial planning as well as the expectation that if you do a plan with us we automatically will manage your money.

Another issue is Sometimes we demean our clients.

This is a real problem in any business.  You may have overheard a statement that goes something like this, “If only the client would listen to our advice, everything would be great.”  This statement is one that shows a complete lack of respect.  When we dont respect you, you know it.  When you as a client feel that youre not respected, you lose trust in us.  Its really that simple.

Advisors often use jargon instead of speaking in English.

This is one of my pet peeves.  I hate jargon.  I know, jargon is very useful to explain what you do in short hand.  Theres a problem with using jargon…..you wont understand what Im talking about.  If you dont understand, you arent going to take our advice.  If I use jargon it often means I might not understand what Im recommending.  So, when you hear an advisor using jargon, make sure you stop them and ask for a clarification in English.  This will make sure you understand and your advisor knows what theyre talking about.

We often dont do a very good job of listening.

Probably the biggest mistake we make is not listening.  For me, listening starts with asking great questions.  If I dont do that, youre not going to feel heard.  If you dont feel heard, youre not going to trust my recommendations.  Youre not going to tell me you dont trust what Im saying you just wont take action.

I work hard at learning how to be a better listener.  I think the first step is to admit what you dont know.  As I become a better listener I find that trust between you and I increases.  Isnt that what you want to happen?

What do you think about trust and how its formed.  Why don't you leave a comment in the comment section below.

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This Josh Patrick.  Thanks for stopping by.  I appreciate you spending a few minutes with me.