NAILBA Perspectives Winter 2020 - Page 22


Emotional intelligence in a virtual world

85 % of Americans would be more likely to trust recommendations from human financial advisors if they demonstrate emotional intelligence .
Brandon Heckert joined FSM Wealth , Inc . as an Advisor in 2017 , leaning on past experiences as a Financial Advice Specialist , advising representatives on advanced financial planning strategies . A three-year MDRT member , Brandon spoke at the 2019 MDRT Annual Meeting and Global Conference .
1 . MDRT , Emotional Intelligence
Utilizing technology can increase your production by driving process efficiencies , eliminating time spent commuting and expanding boundaries to reach a wider clientele . However , how can you build a true client-advisor relationship when you may never meet clients face-to-face ?
A recent MDRT survey revealed that 85 % of Americans would be more likely to trust recommendations from human financial advisors if they demonstrate emotional intelligence ( EI ). 1 Here ’ s how you can exhibit emotional intelligence — even through a computer screen — to effectively build trust .
Easy-to-understand communications
Relationship management is a crucial component of emotional intelligence . One way advisors can maintain quality relationships is to communicate in an easy-to-understand way ; in the same MDRT survey , 57 % of Americans said this would increase their trust in an advisor . To ease virtual communications , my practice found that Zoom is the most user-friendly conferencing software , allowing multiple audio options and enabling face-to-face interactions .
By leveraging video features , you can also demonstrate your active listening skills to boost your EI . You are less likely to divert your attention when a camera is fixed on you , and you can also provide nonverbal cues to demonstrate your listening . These small gestures will make a significant difference . In fact , more than half of Americans would be more likely to trust the advice of a financial advisor if they listen to and acknowledge client needs .
Maintain trust with clients and prospects
When we first started using virtual planning , most of our clients had previously met us faceto-face . Because of the established foundation , some were comfortable using digital options while others still preferred in-person . When visiting the office , we make sure someone greets clients and sets up meetings even if the advisor joins virtually . This simple gesture shows we care — an EI characteristic that 52 % of Americans say would increase their trust in an advisor .
On the other hand , most prospects who are meeting with us virtually for the first time are referrals , which means there is an inherent level of trust . To build an even stronger connection , we introduce our method of virtual planning right away . Once the client agrees to do business with us , we can complete nearly all of the paperwork virtually in a fast manner . The quicker processing times translates to more time spent talking with clients and , therefore , more opportunities to establish and maintain trust .
Expand your boundaries
While almost nothing compares to giving a client a physical handshake , we have the same ability to provide clients a detailed and customized financial plan tailored to their needs whether that ’ s done physically or virtually . We have often said to clients that it does not matter where the advisors are , but rather where the clients want to go . By leveraging technology , we diversify our clientele in a way that was never possible before , and this is just the beginning for our industry . As technology evolves , we continue to learn how to cater to everyone ’ s needs in a more efficient manner while exceeding foundational levels of trust .
22 Perspectives Q4 2020