June 29, 2018

5 Ways For Building Trust With Clients For Better Conversion

Sadique Neelgund

5 Ways For Building Trust With Clients For Better Conversion

I found that Financial Planning and Advisory is an annuity type of Business in which client gives you revenue throughout her lifespan and if retained well revenues can be earned from his next Generations. But equally Difficult part is to convert client by winning his trust as no one would like to share his/her financial details to someone whom they don’t trust.

I am sharing my own process for better conversion and winning the trust of clients. I am using techniques from two books “The Trusted Advisor’ and ‘Questions Great Financial Advisor Ask’.

The Trust Building Process as shared in the book ‘The Trusted Advisor’ is 5 steps process;

Step-1 Engage

Step-2 Listen

Step-3 Frame

Step-4 Envision

Step-5 Commit

Let’s learn how to apply each step in our financial Advisory practice;

Engaging With Clients:

Engagement is the first step of Building trust which if done well, clients will begin to feel two things; 1) Personal Finance is an Issue worth Talking about and 2) This person is worth Talking to on that Issue.

I found Investor Education Workshops and Financial Health Check-up serving the purpose of Engagement wherein through Workshop, I achieve both above client Feelings; he/she starts to become aware of his/Her Personal Finance issues and also start appreciating me as an expert worth talking about Personal Finance.

The result of Engagement should be that client start feeling you as “Worth Talking to this Person about Personal Finance’ and you should earn the ‘right to tell and hear truths’.


Listening, when successful, is the stage in the process where the client comes to believe that the advisor understands him or her. The purpose of Listening in Building Trust is to Earn Right to Engage in Mutual Exploration of Ideas.

It is important to listen to what is being said as also what is not being said i.e between the lines based on Facial Expressions, Body Language, Tone etc.

Use Following Questions to ask clients for More Information;

  1. Is there something else?
  2. Do you want to add anything?
  3. Is there anything further?
  4. Is there something more I should Know?
  5. Is there something you are not saying?

Conversational Essential for this kind of listening and meaningful dialogue Include;

  • Getting a client to talk to you
  • Listening to him/her Openly, patiently and without an Agenda
  • Probing Further Whenever Necessary
  • Providing Input

As per ‘The Trusted Advisor’, Listening to the Sequence is important here which is ‘reflective listening’ followed by ‘Supportive Listening’ and Finally “Listening for Possibility’

The result of Listening should be that client start feeling “I am being both heard and Understood’ and you should earn the right to Suggest a Problem Statement or Definition about his/her Personal Finance.

Framing Client Personal Finance Issues: 

If done properly, Successful Framing means of Trust and an essential part of giving advice. It is a process by which the advisor helps client crystallize and clarify personal financial issues involved in the client’s Life. Framing consists of formulating financial Problems, Goals, Objectives. It is built around client’s preferences, the point of view and what is important to a client. It also helps a client to prioritise financial goals.

Framing has two sides; 1) Rational Framing and 2) Emotional Framing.

In Rational Framing, advisor would use all his technical knowledge such as Rate of Returns, Inflation, compounding etc. to do proper framing.

But Rational Framing alone does not build trust and Long-term Client-Advisor relationship. To build long-term trust-based client-Advisor relations, Advisor also needs to frame emotional Aspects of the client.  Advisor Need to understand Clients Experiences with Money, Success, and Failures by Asking questions;

  1. What was your biggest Financial Win? How did you feel about it?
  2. Have you lost serious money?  In other words, enough money have affected your lifestyle, Plans or sleep?

Advisor need to understand client’s Attitudes about Money by asking Questions;

  1. What Does Money mean to you?
  2. Do you think money can make you Happy?
  3. How Much Money Will Make You Feel Rich?

Knowing Clients Purpose also helps in Framing, Advisor can use questions such as:

  1. Can you tell me what is an underlying purpose behind your goal?
  2. What would have happen for you to consider our relationship a complete success?

The end result of Framing should be that client start feeling “Yes, that’s is exactly I wanted to Achieve/Solve…’ and you should know about his/her Personal Finance issues to move forward.


Having Defined Personal Finance Goals, Priorities, Preferences, Point Of View and Issues Now is to time to do Joint Envisioning of Solutions. Any issue would entail more than one solutions. Envisioning is Joint Activity where Client and Advisor would Jointly Envision Various Solutions to address;

  1. What are we really Aiming from Financial Planning Exercise?
  2. What will Clients Personal Finance Look Like when We get there?
  3. How Will We Know We are there?

Sometimes the advisor may add value by getting the clients to expand his or her dreams but sometimes envisioning requires the advisor to manage down the clients’ Expectations, based on the knowledge of the advisor about what is and What is not achievable.

The result of Envisioning should be that client start feeling ‘That Could be really an Interesting Outcome…’ and you should generate and concretizes his or her Personal Finance Vision.


Just in losing weight, a client may understand the issues, urgent desire at the end state, but be unsure not only about what it takes to get there but whether he or she has the will to do what it takes to achieve the vision.

The purpose of the commitment stage of trust building is to ensure that the client understands, in all its rational, Emotional complexities, what it will take to achieve the vision and to help the client find the determination and to take all necessary actions as per action plan given by the advisor.

The result of Commitment should be that client start feeling “I agree, I understand What Needs to be done. I am with you, Let’s Do it…’ and you should be empowered to begin his / Her Financial Planning Process.

I have been using these techniques in my practice and wish you all best of luck for using the same successfully.

3 Thoughts to “5 Ways For Building Trust With Clients For Better Conversion”

  1. P Raji Reddy says:

    excellent information to handle the client

  2. ASHWIN says:


  3. ASHWIN says:


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