Trust is the foundation of a financial advisor’s relationship with his or her clients. Without it, how can you build a long-lasting connection and deliver advice and guidance that will help people achieve their personal and financial goals?

The recently released John Hancock Trust Survey sheds some light on the close bond that people share with their advisors. Among a list of professionals, including accountants, contractors, real estate agents, bosses, financial advisors and primary doctors, the researchers found that responding affluent investors – those with at least $100,000 in household income and a minimum of $200,000 in investable assets – trust their advisors above any of the other groups.

This development was a result of advisors being knowledgeable about products and clearly explaining why they recommended certain investments over others. Being upfront about compensation and quickly responding to investors’ questions also helped deepen their trust. Getting recommendations from friends and family was a factor in investors’ trust level, but was among the less-important aspects named in the survey.

“The bond of trust between investors and financial advisors is as strong, or stronger, than with most other professionals in an individual’s life,” David Longfritz, CMO for John Hancock, observed. “That is quite a statement given the difficult economic times we have all been through.”

How do you show clients and prospects that you are trustworthy? What small actions do you take to demonstrate you have their best interests in mind?

FAs can convey that they honor their clients’ trust by learning about and working to preserve their priorities and values. To get clients to follow your recommendations and continue their relationship with you and your business, you will need to build up confidence. Norm Trainor said it well in The 8 Best Practices of High-Performing Salespeople: “Even if your recommendation is perfectly logical and it is obvious to everyone that you are right, your prospect or client will not decide in favor of your recommendation if they lack confidence in you.”

Building confidence alongside your business requires sticking to your commitments and following through on actions that you have promised to do. Arriving late to appointments, failing to reply to emails and not showing clients that you appreciate them will detract from the client capital you have built and can mar the future of the relationship.