Trust, Understanding and Mechanics

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 15th March 2017.

My last blog focused on what I share in common with Tom Cruise. No seriously it did.

I wrote about how a client told me that I reminded him of Tom Cruise. Well a character the American actor famously played called Jerry Maguire actually. Maguire was a sports agent who built great rapport and long term relationships with his clients.

I took that comparison as a very big compliment, and my client assures me that’s exactly how it was meant.

As promised in the last blog, I’ll expand on why I believe that good financial planning is all about the depth of the relationship between the adviser and the client.

A wise person once said ‘no one ever learned much by talking all the time'. So even with clients that I’ve worked with for years, I listen considerably more than I talk.

By punctuating the listening approach with relevant and thoughtful questioning, we build a picture of what the person’s goals, ambitions, fears and hopes are. What's for sure is that these change over a lifetime and that’s why it’s so important to keep listening.

It’s interesting how people open up where sometimes it get's quite deep when they feel they have someone intently listening to what they have to say. And that approach leads onto the cornerstone of all good relationships, which ultimately is trust.

We’ve all met highly qualified and experienced people who would happily sell their Granny for a price. You need to trust their ability to keep sensitive information confidential. And you need to trust their judgement and that they’ve really listened to what it is that you want.

Most clients don’t want to know the ins and outs of financial products. But EVERY client wants to feel assured that the plan that's been agreed will deliver them the results and more importantly to their chosen destination. It’s not dissimilar to the relationship you can have with a good mechanic.

They listen to what the problem is and you trust them enough to do the work with the end result being that you’re getting from A to B smoothly again. Not least as cars these days are so sophisticated.

As long as all of the above happens you’re happy to continue to use them again and again. If you’re like me you aren’t bothered by what they actually do under the bonnet, you simply want to feel reassured that your car will work and be reliable.

While many people don’t want to get bogged down with what their financial planner does ‘under the bonnet’ it’s absolutely imperative that the planner understands what the client wants. They must know where the client wants to get to, when they want to do it by and what needs fixing to reach that destination.

And that can only be found out by listening, mutual trust and establishing a long term relationship. Just like Jerry Maguire’s approach.