After observing trends related to consumers losing trust in corporations, government and media, Million Dollar Round Table recently conducted a consumer study to dig deeper into how distrust is impacting the financial services industry.
The study revealed that the majority of advisors have earned their clients’ trust, thus rising above other professions in this era of distrust.
Concurrently, the majority of advisors appear to have a higher than normal level of emotional intelligence (EI), which experts in human behavior have reported enhances their ability to gain the trust of their clients.
In fact, most Americans with human financial advisors rate their emotional capabilities highly, with 89% saying their advisor displays strong emotional intelligence. Furthermore, 85% of Americans would be more likely to trust recommendations from financial advisors if they demonstrate EI, which signals it should be top-of-mind for advisors aiming for elevated levels of success.
Based on lessons learned throughout my career, there are three main actions we can take to improve our EI and further solidify the trust our clients have.
1. Become Self-Aware
Before we can improve our EI, we must first define it and understand that it includes self-awareness, self-management of emotions and empathy toward others. For me, exuding authenticity is of the utmost importance, so I find self-awareness is the best place to start to take steps in self-discovery. To achieve true self-awareness, we must recognize our weaknesses and strengths and authentically convey professional knowledge and emotional responses.
For instance, my expertise is guiding others through significant life changes, which was inspired by my own life journey. I am confident in managing my own emotions when it comes to life events that others experience and this allows me to serve as an authentic source of comfort for clients. Therefore, my offerings are focused on this strength.
If your client base needs services outside of your expertise or personal experiences, consider partnering with or referring to another advisor, pursuing additional education, or otherwise seeking resources to guide you. If any mistakes are made along the way, use them to learn life lessons that will serve you in the future.
2. Improve Your Listening Skills
Earning the trust and respect of our clients is vital in service-oriented roles. When clients feel they are heard and understood, relationships become stronger. Using active listening skills facilitates this understanding. Give clients your undivided attention by avoiding multitasking and putting away or turning off potential disruptions.