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Wednesday, Jun 7, 2023

Financial Services Profile: Juan Ros

Vice President Financial Planning & Philanthropy Lamia Financial Group Thousand Oaks As a financial planner and wealth manager, Juan Ros handles high net-worth individuals. He meets with clients daily to address concern that range from the sale of their house to tax questions to the pros and cons of a particular investment. He has worked at Lamia for six years since first starting at the firm in 2012. Approach to Customer Service: It is part of our firm’s culture, instilled in our staff from the day they join us, to go above and beyond what is normally expected, so that we make things easy for our clients to do what needs to be done.  It starts when someone reaches out to us as a potential client.  We take them through a multi-step consultative process to ensure that our firm’s services would be the right fit for what the client needs.  Once an engagement is signed, we step into the role as our clients’ advocate in all things related to money and finance.  Our ultimate goal is for our clients to enjoy the life that they envision for themselves, and in order for them to do so, we need to take (as much as possible) their financial worries and stresses away from them. Most Difficult Moment With Clients: When someone has not previously worked with a financial advisor, the most challenging concept to convey is the value of what we do.  Articulating our value proposition in words is not the same as experiencing the value that a firm like ours can provide.  We ask that new clients who are unfamiliar with the benefits of working with a financial advisor to give us 12 months to prove our value.  We are confident enough in our service offering to know that new clients will quickly see the benefit and impact of our firm on their lives.  Overcoming Objections/Problems: Since our firm is “fee only” – meaning we do not sell products nor work on commission – we can readily respond to clients about our fee structure, which is simple and transparent.  As fiduciaries, we place the clients’ best interests ahead of our own with every recommendation we make.  That sets us apart from other advisory firms. Handling Difficult Customers: Our firm is fortunate in that we can be selective in the clients with whom we engage. If we determine during our initial process that a potential client may be difficult, we may choose not to engage with that person. On the rare occasions that we receive negative feedback from a client, we handle it immediately, head-on, without shying away.  If the fault is ours, we immediately take responsibility and work with the client to ease his or her concerns. Favorite Experience With Customer Service: A client recently mailed me a “Certificate of Appreciation” for my work with him and his wife.  One other funny story took place when I drove to the Westside to meet with clients in their home.  When I got there, they were surprised to see me.  It turned out we had our dates mixed up, but they were gracious enough to allow me to stay and meet with them. Do Customers Prefer In-Person, Phone or Email Communication? Each client is different.  We meet with most clients at least twice a year, but the method of meeting varies by client.  Most prefer to meet in-person, and to the extent that can happen, it does.  Others – especially those who live out of the area or in another state – will meet with us by phone or using screen-sharing technology.  In between our regular meetings, clients reach out to us continually for advice or recommendations, and that outreach happens by phone and email. Most Common Complaint: In all honesty, this has not been an issue for us. If I had to choose one issue that comes up, it would be that scheduling meetings can sometimes be challenging, which is not unique to our firm. Back-and-forth phone calls or emails to schedule a meeting can be tedious for the client. This past year we began testing use of an online scheduling tool that takes the headache out of scheduling meetings. So far it is working well.  Advice on Customer Service: Customers are the lifeblood of your business. Treat them with respect, fairness and honesty, and they will come to trust and appreciate you and the work you do. The old adage that “the customer is always right” still rings true, but that doesn’t mean you just roll over if the client is being unreasonable or difficult.  Have confidence in your product or service so that you can face any challenging client situations.  Finally, it helps if you get to know your clients on a deeper level – what are their goals, their aspirations?  Who are the important people in their lives?  What are their interests?  By taking a client-first approach, you will engender goodwill and trust, both of which you will need to attract more clients. – Stephanie Bedolla

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