In the span of my career in the financial industry, I’m amazed whenever I meet communications degree holders. Most are unaware just how valuable they are, or how easy the transition into other careers can be. Since most people tend to be surrounded by friends with similar backgrounds, it’s no surprise that most do not realise their unique advantages,
One of the key essential skills of a Financial Planner is good communication. A great deal of what a Financial Planner does in his or her work, finds its roots in communication, and it has a significant impact on building a rewarding career.
1. Obtaining Clients
When it comes to building your business as a Financial Planner, a lot of it involves prospecting, creative marketing, and communicating. These help to acquire new clients, expand your business, and in return, your income.
Prospecting can be as simple as cold-calling potential clients, or as necessary as networking with your personal and business contacts. It helps to generate leads and get word out about your services to individuals who may require financial planning.
For star communicators, you may even consider conducting a seminar locally, and share your expertise and knowledge for the benefit of the public. If you market it well, and are sincere and forthcoming, you’ll have the opportunity to garner support and gather many prospects.
2. Sharing with Clients
In the course of your career, you’ll be sharing financial information and knowledge. Most of your clients may not be well-informed and financial documents are often filled with jargons. Not only must you equip yourself with in-depth knowledge but also the ability to explain in clear and simple terms, much like a teacher. Having all the knowledge in the world wouldn’t do you much good, if you cannot convey it to others.
The tone of your voice plays an important role in good communication, as well as how well you can connect with your clients. Skilled communication makes your clients feel comfortable about the exchange of personal information, and gradually instills confidence and trust.
If you already possess a command of this skill, or are capable of developing it, your chances of retaining clients will go up significantly, strengthening long-term working relationships.
3. Maintaining Working Relationships
Having your clients’ best interests and adding value to their financial portfolios aren’t the only must-haves in the initial stages of relationship building. You will need to consistently communicate, follow up and maintain strong ties. While putting in the required work is definitely part of the equation, so is making them aware that you are thinking of them, and their financial needs and goals.
This can be a simple act of checking in on your clients to see how they are doing, or updating them with the latest news. Even if nothing in particular is going on, you may want to keep in touch with them from time to time, just to let them know that you haven’t forgotten about them, and that you are always keeping an eye out for anything that might be useful to them.
This simple and genuine gesture will help you to build trust and develop strong, collaborative relationships.
4. Networking through Referrals
If you’ve been doing the above, most clients will be impressed and will likely recommend their families and friends to you. In this measure, you have people on the lookout for potential clients for you.
The more clients who come to you on the recommendation of a friend, the easier it will be for you to grow your business and income.
Nothing beats having people approaching you for your services. From time to time, you might entertain doubts about the value of your work. It suffices to say that having recommendations and referrals by well-served clients adds assurance that your work is appreciated and valued, and that the time and effort spent with each client is making a positive impact.
As you can see, good communication skills in a Financial Planner doesn’t benefit you solely. It goes a long way and touches the hearts of your clients and even their families.
Jamson Chia graduated from The National University of Singapore in 2003 with Bachelor of Engineering (Hons). Possessing an interest in financial planning, he furthered his education, and obtained the prestigious title of a Certified Financial Planner (CFPCM) in 2007. He is also one of the few privileged advisors in his company to attain the Business Insurance title.
Jamson currently heads the team as an Financial Services Director, where he is responsible for providing quality service and advice, especially in the Small and Medium Enterprises and High Net Worth Market. He is also responsible for grooming new talents, where he holds an impressive track record. Various consultants under his training have qualified for numerous awards ranging from AIA’s Million Dollar Club, to the highly acclaimed international Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) award.
Within the first 5 years of his career, Jamson has achieved an admirable feat of being a member of the Million Dollar Round Table for 3 consecutive years, and he is currently one of the youngest directors in AIA.
Jamson is a Financial Services Director with AIA. The statements or opinions expressed on this site are his own, and do not represent those of AIA.
This post first appeared on LinkedIn.