Only 12 per cent of clients would recommend an adviser if they have not been in touch in the last 12 months, compared to 40 per cent of those contacted annually.
ING Australia commissioned Nielsen to survey more than 700 consumers and 300 financial advisers in June and July.
The survey identified three key drivers clients cited for keeping their financial adviser: understanding, trust and being heard.
Sixty-eight per cent of those surveyed said their adviser understood their needs, 67 per cent said they trusted their adviser while 60 per cent said their adviser listened to their investment needs.
Two in five respondents said the reason for choosing a financial adviser was recommendation from family and friends.
"With word of mouth being such a powerful marketing tool, the survey results clearly show that a proactive adviser will gain substantial client support and win new business," ING Australian sales and marketing executive director Dan Powell said.
The research also found that less than one in five clients follow their financial planner's advice to the letter.
Only 17 per cent of investors surveyed invested all of their total investments (excluding property) in accordance with their financial adviser's advice.
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