The Untapped Potential of Gratitude in Financial Services

How Broker/Dealers, Wealth Managers, and RIAs can improve relationships while remaining compliant

Whether you’re employed by a broker/dealer working to secure prospective brokerage clients, a wealth manager maintaining your book, or an alternative investment firm (hedge fund, private equity or VC) working with potential or current investors, relationships remain a key component of your business.

Gratitude and appreciation have always been a key part of relationship-building. Dale Carnegie highlighted gratitude’s importance in How to Win Friends and Influence People when talking about practicing honest and sincere appreciation. 

Yet, because of burdensome regulations, strict compliance policies, or simply the hectic nature of everyday business, we in the Financial Services space have often overlooked the power of gratitude in our industry. 

Fortunately, there are a variety of quick and easy ways that you can strengthen the relationships with your contacts while maintaining full compliance with securities and other laws and regulations. 

Why People in the Financial Services Industry Should Practice Appreciation

If you’re wondering why it’s important for financial service businesses to practice gratitude, then let’s get back to basics: people like doing business with people they like. So how do you become well-liked? 

For starters, genuine expressions of gratitude help to increase your likeability, as well as your organization’s, in your client’s or investor’s eyes. The benefits of demonstrating appreciation have been scientifically proven. According to a study from Harvard Medical School, when gratitude is displayed and communicated, people rise in three areas:

  1. They start to feel more valued.
  2. Their emotional connections are enhanced.
  3. They establish a sense of personal loyalty.

Not only do 77% of those who receive gestures of appreciation say that these expressions make them feel valued, but these appreciative acts also have a positive effect on those who conduct the giving. This occurrence can be explained by the principle of reciprocity, which is the human need and tendency to want to give back when something is received. 

To showcase the power of reciprocity, note that when individuals are provided with a grateful gesture, they become 56% more likely to reciprocate in the future by giving one themselves. 

Specifically, when companies in the financial services space express their gratitude towards both their current and prospective clients and investors, this same concept of reciprocity comes back around in the form of greater business and investment opportunities.

How Financial Service Companies can Create a Gratitude Strategy

We all have sets of compliance policies to follow, and some are stricter than others. At times, it may even feel as if these policies are inhibiting your ability to foster relationships with your existing or prospective clients, investors, brokerage clients, etc. However, there are ways that financial service organizations can reinforce these connections that won’t have your CCO knocking at your door. 

Here are some actionable techniques that you and your team can implement to utilize appreciation in exchanges with your external contacts that won’t violate securities regulations or your company’s compliance protocols.

Tip #1: Try Saying “Thank You”

Practicing appreciation towards your key contacts doesn’t have to be over-the-top in order to make a positive, sustainable impression. In fact, even simple, hand-written “thank you” notes can have a major effect. 

If you’re nervous that your notes will get lost in the mail, or if you’re unsure if your recipients are working out of their offices or from home, new research has proven that recipients of emailed expressions of gratitude feel much more “ecstatic” than anticipated.

Regardless of how you decide to communicate your gratitude, it’s important to note that 60% of individuals believe that appreciation should be conveyed by saying “thank you” directly to the recipient. 

Since 44% of people believe that these expressions should be customized, the more that you personalize your gestures and messages towards your recipients and their interests, the more likely you are to grow these relationships further. 

Tip #2: Acknowledge Relationship Milestones

Maybe it’s been exactly five years since they chose to partner with your company. Perhaps they just signed an agreement that solidifies their status as a client. Or, they may be in the process of deciding whether or not they’ll increase their current investment. Nevertheless, acknowledging different milestones in your organization’s relationships with its external partners will help you with strengthening these ties. 

Tip #3: Share a Grateful Gesture

Although your dinners, lunches, or coffee catch-ups have transitioned into Zoom or Google Hangouts sessions, it’s important to ensure that your prospective and current partners, investors, and service providers alike feel valued in our virtual environment. 

Take into consideration that each time that you communicate with a client, potential partner, or investor and don’t provide them with something that’s personalized and tailored towards their interests, you miss an opportunity to earn their trust, loyalty, or business. 

Regardless of how long you’ve known them or how extensive your exchanges have been, you’ve likely discovered details about these connections in your rapport. 

In order to demonstrate your gratitude for their potential or recurring partnerships, some ideas for grateful gestures that you can share with them are the following: 

  • Coffee for the week, to provide them with a boost of energy so they can keep their work grind strong.
  • Lunch from their favorite local spot, so that making a midday meal will be easily crossed off of their to-do list. 
  • A movie night at home, so they can unwind after spending the day staring at their computer screen.

Sending these types of gestures is as simple as saying Thnks!

Since a Thnks is a grateful gesture that an individual can share with another instantly via an email or text message in order to express their gratitude for both the recipient and their relationship, saying Thnks to your current and prospective clients and investors is an easy and effective way to enhance these connections.

By using the Thnks platform to practice gratitude, your gestures of appreciation can be tracked and measured so that you and your organization can maintain full financial and compliance control. 

Practicing an Attitude of Gratitude with Prospective and Current Clients and Investors

Although we may not be able to meet up with our potential or current clients, investors, or service providers in-person, we still need to make sure that they feel special in our remote environment. 

By sharing grateful gestures with these principal contacts, you will ensure that their sentiments towards your business remain positive while guaranteeing that they maintain their relationships and investments in your organization as the year progresses. 

It’s as easy as saying Thnks

Saying Thnks can help you implement an attitude of gratitude with your prospective and current clients, investors, and service providers. Within seconds, users can send gestures of appreciation with professional connections by searching for an expression, creating a customized note, and sharing it via SMS or email. To learn more, book a demo!