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September 8, 2008

Five Ways To Expand Your Succession Planning Business, Part 2

#Family Business Advisor, #2008 Archived

Understanding your Clients: Establishing Trust and Creating Rapport

Last month in this newsletter, we highlighted the requirement that you first have a solid understanding of yourself and your client service team. This month we are focusing on understanding your Clients by establishing trust and creating rapport with them.

The first process is Establishing Trust with them. This is accomplished by asking questions and actively listening to their responses. In preparing for success in the Succession Planning Business, you must immerse yourself with ALL the possible options that exist to handle this type of business. For example, many planners utilize standardized solutions, such as Family Limited Partnerships or insurance products, which may or may not fit the client's situation. This type of preparation will prepare you for any type of fact pattern that should arise over time.

Surround yourself with skilled experts who are committed to working with you to devise the type of solution that will amaze your Client. Select individuals whose unique abilities complement your unique ability.

A solution that satisfies the Client's needs and desires while avoiding their obstacles (i.e. high taxes, family rivalry, and providing income for the future) will create instantaneous trust and confidence in your skills.

The second process in understanding your Client is Creating Rapport with the client or prospective client. There are multiple steps in this process

  • In order to understand your client, you must first ask questions to ascertain their needs and actively listen to their responses.
  • Set realistic expectations and goals for the Client regarding the final result, time and cost.
  • Use your expertise to delve deeper to uncover needs in the areas where you can be of help. Bring in other experts to flush out other areas which is beyond your expertise.
  • Every member of the Client Service Team, from administrative assistant and junior associate to yourself, is responsible for creating and maintaining rapport with the Client. A thoughtless act can sabotage an entire relationship.

Stephen L. Robison knows that Succession Planning for Family Businesses is complicated. We know that it is easy to make mistakes on a botched Succession Plan. That is why we provide an iron-clad service guarantee to protect You and your Clients from Errors and Mistakes. We guide You, Your Staff and Clients through the entire process from start to finish.

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