Pete Townshend of The Who is famous in popular culture for being the first guitar-smashing rock artist. So, what exactly does he and Jasmin Bergeron, a Montreal-based public speaker and director of the MBA program in financial services at l’Université du Québec à Montréal have in common? They believe that the final impression is more meaningful than the first.
“In life, just like in love, it is important to finish strong,” says Bergeron. “I’m not saying the first impressions or greeting aren’t important – they are – but not as much as the last impression in building an overall experience.”
This kind of overall experience – or, what Bergeron has coined the “wow effect” – can be applied to everything from rock concerts, fireworks, movies and even advisor-client meetings.
It all comes back to the “recency” effect of human psychology and memory, says Bergeron, which says that the more recent moments that we live are those that we remember the most.
With that in mind, Bergeron has some tips on how you can make a resounding last impression with your clients:
1. Compliment your client’s actions
After closing a sale, you are likely to shake your client’s hand and finish completing any paperwork. Before you go any further, Bergeron suggests you compliment your client on their actions – because they came to save money.
“Most Canadians are just thinking of spending so you should say: ‘you invested your money and it is a really great thing you did and you should be proud of yourself,'” he says. That will go a long way towards leaving a very good final impression on your clients: it reinforces the idea that their savings are better with you than the TV salesman.
2. Introduce your client to your team
Don’t be afraid to introduce your client to your manager or other members of your team. Helping them make that connection with your colleagues will make them feel important, Bergeron says.
“When I was a broker, I would always make the tour and introduce everybody to my client and say ‘here is my greatest client!'” This will help create the “wow” effect with your client and help give them a strong final impression of the firm and/or the branch.
3. Treat your client like a guest at your house
Client service is one of the best ways to help you leave a strong final impression. Treating your client as if they are guests at your house will go a long way, Bergeron says, to distinguishing you from other advisors.
You should offer them something to drink and remember to use their names often.
“When you have guests at your house, you don’t just leave them at the kitchen – you walk them to the door and chit chat,” he says. “You should do the same with your clients.”
4. Ask for feedback
You shouldn’t shy away from asking your clients at the end of your meeting how they feel. Were they satisfied? What did they like most about the meeting?
Most advisors, Bergeron, says don’t go far enough to engage with their clients. You should go a step further and ask more questions. Having a sense of curiosity will help you – and your client – build a better relationship over the long-term.
“You want to strive to have your client say ‘my advisor is a fantastic person,'” says Bergeron. “Understanding how human psychology works will help you do that.”