2014 MANULIFE SMALL BUSINESS RESEARCH REPORT

FOREWORD – Trust: The key to rewarding, long-term client relationships

Chances are we all know at least one small business owner, either in a personal or professional capacity, who’s often wearing multiple hats to ensure that their business succeeds. The last thing they need or want to worry about, on top of everything else, is their financial needs. That’s where you come in. There is an abundance of opportunity to build and sustain long-term, beneficial relationships with small business owners—people who need your professional expertise to help guide them toward their financial goals. But one foundational piece must be in place before a successful relationship can ensue: trust, the subject of the 2014 Manulife Small Business Research Report.

As you’ll read in these pages, we went right to the heart of the topic, asking over 1,000 small business owners across the country questions that  looked at how much of a role trust played in their decision to work with an advisor; how much they value trust in their relationship with their advisor; and what their reaction is if that trust is broken. These owners also indicated how much opportunity they are willing to give advisors who prove themselves and invest time and effort into earning their trust. Through the survey, we learned most small business owners are concerned first and foremost with their personal financial needs, followed by their business needs and then the needs of their employees. This
translates into three different entry points for an advisor—and tremendous potential for substantial cross-selling, once you have their trust.

Finish Reading the Report