As a financial professional, I meet a lot of skeptical people. Often they are coming to see me because they suspect something is afoul, don’t feel like they are getting the whole story, or it may be the first time they are ever really opening up their financial info to someone new. So, I get it. However, I have found success winning consistent referrals in this skeptical marketplace and I thought it would be helpful to share some reasons why. People are afraid of what they don’t understand, so I focus most of my attention on education to maximize comfort, and truly caring about those I serve.
In our experience, people understand that various investments come with risk, but just want to understand what those risks are and how they may affect their account. I always start with a very straightforward conversation on the risks associated with the current plan and any recommendations proposed. Investment risks can include market risk, inflation risk, reinvestment risk, interest rate risk, and others. Putting these into context where it’s a balanced discussion, and in an easy-to-understand way, makes all the difference. The main goal here is to use layman terms while providing the full story clearly and concisely and to steer clear of any jargon that can only add confusion.
Right after risks are costs. In a previous blog, I described some of the costs associated with investing that some people are unaware of. In my experience, most people are OK with paying for something as long as they can see the value in it. While there are certainly some, typically less informed, individuals who approach long-term investing with a “cheapest is best” mentality, most sophisticated professionals prefer to not financially plan for their future the same way they would shop for socks or cereal (and most folks wouldn’t just want the cheapest versions of those either!). So, I introduce the costs involved with any option, clearly demonstrate the value that cost is providing, and allow my clients to make their own informed decision.
Above costs or risks, is simply caring. When our clients come to see us, they can feel something different right away. We are fortunate enough to work with people whom we thoroughly enjoy, appreciate, and know that we can help. This can be felt, and isn’t something that takes much practice. In my opinion, the single reason why we receive consistent referrals in a skeptical marketplace is because we care, and it shows. A phone call to check in, a friendly email, or a quicker-than-expected turnaround on a simple task lets people know we care. Combine that with a straightforward conversation on risks and costs, and it’s a formula that has at least worked for me. We hope others can use these very simple and intuitive ideas to improve their refer-ability in their own marketplaces.
This general information should not be construed as investment advice. Scott Greenberg offers securities through AXA Advisors, LLC (NY, NY 212-314-4600), member FINRA, SIPC, offers investment advisory products and services through AXA Advisors, LLC, an investment advisor registered with the SEC, and offers annuity and insurance products through AXA Network, LLC. Scott J Greenberg Private Wealth Management is not a registered investment advisor and is not owned or operated by AXA Advisors or AXA Network. Individuals may transact business and/or respond to inquiries only in state(s) in which they are properly qualified. AGE-109877(01/16)(exp.01/18)