The financial advice industry may be surprised to learn that when it comes to choosing a financial adviser, most consumers are more concerned about how an adviser communicates than the cost of the actual advice.

That’s according to this year’s MetLife Adviser-Client Relationship Report which looked into the most important attributes consumers and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) seek out when looking for a financial adviser.

So how did the different attributes stack up? For the vast majority honesty and trustworthiness (85%) came out on top.

Closely behind was transparency about fees and commissions (78%) and the adviser experience (75%).

If there is a key takeaway from this, it would be that in the financial advice industry, soft skills and technical expertise go a long way.

This means, advisers looking to attract and retain clients should be prioritising how they communicate, when they communicate and the way they communicate, with their customers.

Simple keeping-in-touch practices such as being upfront about fees and commission, how their claims are progressing, and setting realistic expectations around communication frequency can go a long way in building open and trusting relationships between advisers and their clients.

There is no doubt that this should be one of the top priorities for advisers looking to attract and retain clients – now and into the future.

At MetLife, we are passionate champions of quality advice and we are committed to taking a customer-centric approach, supporting advisers to better serve their clients and navigate the changing world of life insurance.

For more information and to download the full report, visit adviser-research-2019 or call 1800 523 523 to speak to your local MetLife State Manager.