When you think of professionals who business owners consider a trusted financial advisor, accountants would be among the first to spring to mind. And yet, in a 2018 survey of MYOB clients, only 6% thought of their accountant as a trusted financial advisor. That’s in stark contrast to the 72% of accountants who viewed themselves as trusted financial advisors.
If it’s not an accountant, then who is a genuinely trusted financial advisor? This is largely down to client perception. And in a nutshell, what most business owners think of as trusted advice is that which is delivered in a meaningful way and delivers tangible results.
So what are SMEs looking for in a financial advisor? The key areas are:
- Advice on how to save time and money
- Cash flow – they want to be sure there’s more cash flowing into their business than out of it
- Their customers – they’re always looking for ways to retain existing customers while increasing their customer base.
- Managing staff – this is one of their biggest investments, so they want to be confident they’re getting a good ROI on each of their employees.
If you can provide sound advice on how to target each of these key areas – and following your advice produces tangible results – then you’ll have ticked all the boxes and will be regarded as a trusted financial advisor.
Achieving this is down to identifying and focusing on your key strengths, and educating yourself on whatever you don’t know. If you haven’t already, start by:
- Getting to know your clients, prospects and referral partners. The better you know them, the more valuable and useful your advice will be.
- Keeping in regular contact with your clients. They need to know you’re always thinking about ways you can help them.
- Improving your communication skills. Your clients should understand the strategies you're recommending and feel on track to achieve their goals.
- Learning how to manage your clients’ anxiety. They need you most when they’re feeling stressed. You can become a more trusted financial advisor by developing a reputation for being easy to talk to.
Forming partnerships with people in the same industry – partnerships which focus on a client’s best interests – is an excellent way to not only keep up to date, but will reassure your clients that you’re making use of professional resources.
Dacreed partners with insurance brokers and other financial advisors to provide extensive legal compliance that reduces business risk, including financial. It’s a tailored compliance system that you can offer to your clients. Helping them reduce risk in this way is a key step towards becoming a truly trusted financial advisor.