Remote Advisors: Three Ways to Develop Trust with Clients

Image: Remote Advisors: Three Ways to Develop Trust with Clients

Connecting with current and potential clients is just the first hurdle. As a financial advisor, one of your biggest challenges is to build a positive and trusting relationship with those who consult with you. Working remotely and attempting to use a multi-channel approach for communication can add an extra level of complexity, but there are some key steps you can take to provide a feeling of trust, reliability, and support without having traditional face-to-face meetings.

Tips for supporting clients without meeting face-to-face

Of course, a friendly smile and a firm handshake has been the customary way to show your good intentions in traditional advisor-client relationships, but with many advisors working remotely these days, the strategy may have to shift a bit. While you may find the methods requiring a little more effort up-front, the flexibility and other benefits of working remotely may make it worth the time.

  • Master video conferencing and digital signatures

Whether it means gaining access to a commonly used video conferencing software or just becoming familiar with making video phone calls with clients who have access to a smartphone, technology makes it much easier to meet with clients without needing to be in the same location. Just remember that it’s important to have a solid internet connection and the know-how to manage tools like screen sharing. Get to know some of the most popular video conferencing software options (and their free versions if available) so you and your clients can feel confident that you can find a way to meet—even if technical issues arise. Providing a seamless video communication experience for new or potential clients, along with those you've known for a while, can make for a great impression and highlight your agility and flexibility as an advisor

There are important documents and decisions made all the time between advisor and client, and having digital means for signing and transferring those important decision-making documents is a huge benefit for advisors who are working remotely. With time-saving technology in-hand, you can spend more time growing your client base and less time printing, mailing, and waiting.

The biggest factor in using both of these tools (video conferencing and digital signature software) is having the confidence to walk clients through using them. You are bound to be in contact with clients who have a range of technological savvy (differences in age or comfort with technology), and part of your job is to ensure that they feel confident whenever they are communicating with you regarding their investments and their financial future. Get to know your go-to software and be prepared to answer questions for your clients. A little troubleshooting knowledge can go a long way, and might be the difference between gaining or losing a potential client.

Read more: Growing your 401(k) business by writing unique and personalized prospecting emails


  • Offer comprehensive educational resources and digital tools

There are also a wide range of free-to-use digital tools for advisors and online educational resources—many created to support investors on their financial journey. From handy tools like Ascensus' cost calculator and Elite Advisor program, to education around key topics like automatic enrollment and Social Security benefit planning, you can find valuable information for both yourself and your clients. 

Providing these digital resources is not only a great way to connect with and support your client remotely but also saves you time and ink by not having to print them out to bring to meetings. Clients can save the files in their emails or print them out at home, which not only might make them less likely to be misplaced, but could save you money and time down the road.


  • Prioritize two-way communication with new and existing clients

One of the major benefits to working remotely as a financial advisor is the added flexibility for when and how you communicate with your clients. They might need to schedule a meeting before your usual office hours, but with video conferencing, you can make it happen. A different client may not need to video chat and prefers to communicate exclusively through email, and you have the capability to meet their needs. The key is in being timely and agile when it comes to meeting the needs of individual clients, especially during the initial trust-building part of your relationship as their advisor.

You don’t need to be glued to your phone, but making a habit to frequently check your email and spend some time proactively reaching out to your clients could be a huge benefit as a remote advisor. Highlight your willingness to answer questions in conversations with clients, and make it a priority to reach out to clients who you know may have a question about an upcoming change or deadline. You might not always have the answers immediately, but communicating frequently and openly with your clients can make a remote advisor relationship feel much more personal to any potentially wary clients.

Learn more: How to build relationships with clients as an advisor


Keeping retirement plan clients up to date on their savings

Working remotely can be both a benefit and a challenge. As a financial advisor, working remotely means it’s more important than ever to instill trust and help your clients feel supported as they invest their hard-earned dollars. Partnering with a trusted recordkeeper, like Ascensus, can help. We work with financial advisors to bring retirement savings solutions to millions of people nationwide, and our flexible options and plan designs give you the freedom to create a plan that truly fits the needs of your client.

To learn more, give our retirement specialists a call at 800-345-6363.