Your financial future may depend as much on your personality as it does on your portfolio. That's the idea behind a growing trend in the financial planning industry. These podcasts will give you an introduction and graphic demonstrations of how this can be put into practice.
Last week I was working with one of our Certified Wealth Mentors with my role to offer some behavioral insights on some difficult client cases. The cases were difficult because of the clients’ attitudes not only to financial decision-making but also to life. These cases reaffirmed to me how much trust is core to all dimensions of every client situation. This is why when we redeveloped our DNA personality system in the past year we made trust a new stand-alone personality factor.
Often when we talk about trust it is in the context of our role as trusted advisor and building open relationships with clients. Certainly, this is an important dimension. Talking about trust in this way is fine. However, the heart of truly understanding trust and to knowing our clients is to know where trust comes from. There are a number of very important dimensions to trust that we all need to know. Let me ask you the question: How much do you trust yourself? Trusting yourself is the starting point of building sound relationships and also making sound decisions. Your own level of personal trust will determine whether you will trust others and then whether others will trust you. So, if you want to know whether your clients will trust you, reflect on your own level of self trust and then learn about their self trust.
No matter the industry, providers of products and services are always saying something to the effect of: "You are blind as to who is going to walk in the front door for their first meeting with you. As you work with the client a bit you have a greater collection of knowledge but still not the whole picture. It can still take 10 years or more to really know who you are dealing with". Do you truly know the life and financial motivations of your clients? Their deepest desires? Do you know their risk tolerance? Do you know what types of products and services they want?
In recent weeks we have strongly focused our messaging around "business transformation". In particular, the need to address the client experience that is being provided in order to transform. So often, leaders regularly talk about getting the right people on board, developing the team and the leadership, having the right product, focusing the business plan, improving execution etc. These are all important dimensions; however, they are not all of it.
For advisors, growing your financial planning business is about getting more of the right clients who you can profitably serve on a sustained basis. This means you must have financial planning clients who will pay for the value you provide and will allow you to do so efficiently and with minimum wasted energy. I am sure this sounds logical and for many financial advisors this will sound obvious. The question is: are you acquiring clients and managing relationships as well as you can?
Have you considered what is going to propel growth in your business in the coming months and years? Schwab conducted a research study in March 2009 which shows the greatest 3 enablers of growth are:
1. Closing the deal with prospects - 75%
2. Maintaining quality service - 73%
3. Adding new technology for scalability - 67%
So what is your strategy for closing more prospects more quickly and improving client service?