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Relationship Manager As A Trusted Advisor


Stakeholder management skills workshop |

Meeting with clients can be exciting and challenging. As a Relationship Manager (RM), we sometimes feel the eagerness to dive into the client's needs and give them solutions. In dealing with client engagement for the first time, how do you drive the engagement process?

  • Ask many questions?

  • Make recommendations?

  • Try to clinch a deal?


Let’s pause for a moment, and reflect on these questions:

  • How does your client feel?

  • How are we setting up for a longer-term partnership?

  • Have we uncovered the full spectrum of the client’s needs?


Consider this scenario below, what is the difference in approach?


A Relationship Manager is meeting a client for the first time. After exchanging pleasantries, the RM starts to ask the client a series of questions to better understand their financial goals, family situation, and experience with financial products.

A Typical Way

The Flawless Consulting® Way

“Mr Client, what are your hopes and goals financially?”

“Mr Client, what are your hopes and goals financially?”


Mr Client shares his goals, “I am very busy, I just want someone to advise and help me monitor my investments. I don’t want to take so much risk.”

Mr Client shares his goals, “I am very busy, I just want someone to advise and help me monitor my investments. I don’t want to take so much risk.”


The RM summarises the client’s needs, “I understand, you don’t want to take so much risk, but want someone to help you monitor your investments.”


The RM summarises the client’s needs, “I understand, you don’t want to take so much risk, but want someone to help you monitor your investments.”


The RM goes on to suggest, “Have you considered annuity? This is very suitable for you to achieve your goals (making recommendations too soon).

The RM asks, “How would you like us to work together? How can I support you?” (build the foundation of a broader partnership).


Mr Client says, “Don’t need to go into so much details yet. Just tell me the big picture of what you can do.”


​Mr Client replies, “If you can tell me the big picture of what you can do, it will be helpful.”


The RM replies, “I will go back to review the options and come back with some suggestions.” (misses the opportunity to build partnership).

​The RM asks, “My role is to be a financial guide for busy professionals. For me to help you with this, let’s decide on your financial plan together, I will be happy to share my recommendations for your decision.


2 weeks have gone by and the RM has worked out the options, but the client is not replying to his text messages. The client is ghosting him.


And to achieve your long-term goals, I would suggest meeting with you once in 2 months or at least to have a phone call to touch base. I want you to be open to share any thoughts or concerns with me. What do you think?” (making sure both parties are on the same page and stating consultant’s requirements to set up for successful partnership).


Mr Client feels heard and agrees to move one step forward.


Why? The client forms an impression that this RM is pushing products and not understanding his overall needs, and moves on.


​Why? Mr Client feels valued, the RM respects his time and the client feels secure and understood to move forward with the RM.



What is the difference between the two approaches?


Relationship Manager as a Trusted Advisor |  Consulting Skills workshop

To build partnerships with clients and be trusted advisors requires more than just product knowledge.


3 skills are needed:

  1. Contracting for longer-term partnership, vs. selling a product. Contracting for the role of a trusted advisor, rather than an order-taker, doing what the client wants or an expert, telling the client what to buy.

  2. Discovering the underlying needs of clients and having a big picture of how to support the client, rather than focusing on selling a product.

  3. Agreeing on how to work together or how you want to set up, especially what you need to do good work. For mutual exchanges of wants and offers for the partnership to work.


Case Study: Relationship Manager as a Trusted Advisor | Flawless Consulting®

Flame Centre | Future Skills Institute

 

If you're curious about:

  • How to build trust with clients, help and add value.

  • How to discover client needs, provide support and effective recommendations.

  • How to develop a collaborative relationship so you can achieve long-term partnership.


Check out the Flawless Consulting® framework, tools and skills.




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