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Bachrach lists keys to client trust

To demonstrate trustworthiness to clients, advisers need to be able to ask the right questions and be willing to listen, says US-based consultant Bill Bachrach.

In an email communication, Bachrach & Associates chief executive Bill Bachrach said building trust with clients does not start with telling them about personal credentials and accomplishments, but rather with asking questions of the client and listening.

“If you begin your relationships by talking about your personal credentials and how great your company is, you probably have a client who nods on the outside and thinks 'Who cares?' on the inside,” Mr Bachrach said.

“Avoid listening for a need that you can fill with one of your products. Listen to truly understand your client. People will perceive you as knowledgeable, credible and trustworthy based on the quality of your questions and how you listen, not by your statements,” he said.

Mr Bachrach added that asking “uncomfortable” and thought-provoking questions will also help to gain a client’s trust.

“We trust people who help us discover the truth even if it is uncomfortable. This can be difficult to accept for many salespeople because our goal has always been to make people feel comfortable,” he said.

“A good example is life insurance. When people think of life insurance, they naturally think of their own mortality, which sometimes creates discomfort. You can help them get past their discomfort and move toward decisions that will benefit their family and make them feel good.

"Help people recognise the truth, be willing to deal with their discomfort and they will trust you,” Mr Bachrach said.