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Clients care about your credentials more than you think

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Looking to attract more clients? Consider handing prospects your résumé.

The vast majority of individuals care about an advisor’s reputation and years of experience when deciding whom to trust with managing their money, according to a new survey from Charles Schwab.

So go ahead and tout years of experience in the field, your awards and achievements and any special certifications. That kind of salesmanship won’t necessarily turn your clients off or come across as self-aggrandizing; instead it serves to build trust.

Of those with $250,000-plus in assets, 97% said a high level of expertise matters when it comes to selecting and trusting financial professionals. Expertise also mattered to clients with lower levels of wealth, but to a slightly lower extent than their more affluent counterparts; 89% of those with less than $250,000 in assets said they cared about credentials when it comes to trusting professionals.

Among the respondents with more than $250,000 in assets, about nine in 10 said years of experience count too when it came to trusting an advisor. Likewise, 81% of those with less than $250,000 in assets said the same.

Richer clients tend to be more tech-savvy than their less affluent peers, finding it easier to manage investments and apply for mortgages or other loans online, but both groups still want a human touch, and the vast majority say “easy access to human customer service is a driver of trust.”

Ensuring there is a real person available to answer questions about any of your digital products isn’t the only thing clients like.

They’re very concerned about a brand’s reputation when it comes to selecting and using digital financial services. A product “made by a reputable company” was listed as the No. 1 driver of trust in digital financial experiences for clients with more than $250,000. Brand reputation ranked No. 4 among those with assets under $250,000, behind ease of use, access to human customer service, and data security.

Wealthier clients are the most sought-after but also the most likely it seems to do their homework and read up on your resume, so make the process easier for them by placing your credentials upfront.

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