Your office speaks. Your office reflects your personality and the way your clients perceive you.
When clients are comfortable with the surroundings, they are more open towards you. A financial advisor would do well to create a favourable office environment that puts the client at ease.
Here are a few suggestions to make your office attract more clients
- Pay attention to the reception area
Pay special attention to the reception area, as it is the first thing clients notice as they walk through the entrance.
Gajendra Kothari of Etica Wealth Management advises hiring a receptionist. He says, “A receptionist should always be present at the reception area to greet clients and to receive all documents.”
As your clients enter your office, offering a beverage can help relax the mood. Coffee, tea, soft drinks—make sure you offer a choice so that your clients can have something that suits them. “I have office boys who are assigned to offer beverages and snacks in the reception area. I have also kept some investment books for clients to read while they wait. These small touches are a must to make a client feel positive and relaxed when they come to your office,” Gajendra adds.
- Try the power of colour
Colour can influence your clients’ moods from the time they walk through the door. Let your office walls demonstrate a professional yet personal feel. In general, people respond positively to light colours. The opposite is also true—they respond negatively to dark colours.
Gajendra explains that light colors are soothing and make a person feel relaxed. “I have white walls in my office. I opted for a neutral colour instead of bold shades,” he says.
- Strike the right balance with seating
To complement the colour of the walls you will need seating that is right and comfortable. Suresh Sadagopan, of Ladder7 Financial Services, says chairs should be comfortable, but at the same time these should not be lounging seats. “Make sure you have comfortable soft chairs with hand-rests as it sends a message that you respect the client’s personal space and it also gives them some control on their physical comfort”, he says.
- Set the mood
Make sure that you play some soft music in the background as it soothes and relaxes the environment. Also, if you have a television in your office, be careful about the TV programmes you tune into as disturbing financial news can upset clients. Travel or food channels are a better choice.
Vinod Jain of Jain Investments says that advisors should create their own content. “Rather than playing news or any other TV programme, advisors should create their own audiovisual. They can create a small AV on their background, the mission and the vision of their business, the services they provide, so that clients get a brief idea of the business,” he says.
- Modify the meeting room
Create a space in which you can have conversations with clients and help them in becoming more open to your services. Also, instead of buying heavy furniture, a financial advisor should consider investing in movable chairs and small tables for writing and sharing information.
Lovaii Navlakhi of International Money Matters says the placement of office furniture should follow the needs of clients. “In my office, we have multiple rooms for client interactions, depending on the purpose of the meeting. If I have to show some case reports or share data with clients, I do it in a meeting room which has a regular table with chairs. If the purpose of the meeting is a general discussion, then I opt for the lounge which has sofas with a small coffee table, creating a friendly environment,” he adds.
- Put effort in the décor
Decorate your office. Display your credentials, hang wall paintings that reflect your professionalism and go well with your personality.
Shifali Satsangee of Funds Veda says an office should be aesthetically appealing. “I have Tanjore paintings on my office walls to give it a more traditional look and send positive vibes. I have also displayed my achievements, certificates and photographs with inspiring personalities as it showcases my credibility,” she says.
She adds that she switched to wooden flooring for her office for its positive and warm vibes.