So you think you’ve got strong relationships with all you clients, including all your female clients. And you think that clients really understand the value of the advice you provide and are clear on how much they pay for this advice.

Don’t be delusional!

The vast majority of your clients don’t know how much they pay in a year in fees, no matter what you told them. Even those in fee based accounts.

Most clients couldn’t tell another living soul the value you bring to them. They wouldn’t even use the word “relationship” to describe what they have with you. Let alone call it “strong”. In fact, women we interviewed who were “delighted” with their financial advisor described them as “friends”, not purveyors of financial advice.

So what’s an advisor to do?

Be afraid! Be very afraid! That will at least get you serious about staying relevant to your clients and the conversation you need to have with them.

When it comes to value, don’t describe all the services you offer, only describe those services you’ve actually done for this one client over the last 12 months. No doubt the list will be much shorter. If you haven’t done a financial plan for the client, you can’t use it to describe your value.

Better yet, ask the client what they value about what you do for them. Then shut up and listen. In particular, ask the women who are clients what they value. If there’s a trick to finding what’s worthwhile to them in paying fees, you’ll find it here so pay attention. Get ready to write some of this down.

Assume the client doesn’t know how much they pay in fees. Show them a percent if you want but show them how that percent translates in dollars and cents. Not in a hypothetical example but for their account specifically. Write the number down.

Next give clients context. How do the fees they pay compare to what they can get at the bank down the street, from going at it on their own and from the advisor next door? I hear you now, “I don’t know that”. Well you should. Go find the information. You’ll need it to put your value into action.

And I next hear you say, “What if those alternatives are cheaper?” They very well may be. So what? Clients aren’t always looking for cheaper. Sometimes they want value not available elsewhere. That’s where you come in. But you can’t know what value to show off unless you’ve had this discussion with your clients.


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