I just spent that has 3 days at a conference for Financial Advisors from all across the country. The content taught from the dais during various sessions was great but it paled in comparison to the wisdom gleaned just by rubbing shoulders with men and women who have been in the business for decades. I’m a relative newbie to the whole world of financial planning, just 4 years in but as one fellow newbie put it, “this room is full of legends”. After the first day I decided that attending conference sessions was merely a secondary distraction, something to do between the all important networking that happened in the halls outside.
So I started to approach these legends,
introduce myself and ask them one question. “When I get back to the
office on Monday morning, what do I need to start doing immediately that
will ensure that I am back here not only next year but in 20, 30 or
even 50 years from now?”
The following are 3 of my favourite responses.
1 – Know your purpose and demonstrate your value, from 33 years in the business.
came from a regional manager who has not only developed a loyal client
base but has been involved in training and developing financial advisors
for most of his career. I’m a big believer in the importance of mission
statements and that closely mirrors the idea of knowing your purpose.
But demonstrating value is a bit harder. What that comes down to,
according to this legend isn’t about you, it’s about showing your client
what you can do for them. Rick Warren, in the first line of the Purpose
Driven Life said it best; “It’s not about you.” It’s about what you can
do for others.
2 – Ask good questions and let the answers lead you where the client needs to go, from 53 years in the business.
man who told me this started in the financial services business at 34
and is still working today at the age of 87! Oh how I would love to be
as vibrant, healthy and engaging as he is at that age. His response came
after he asked me a series of increasingly personal questions. How old
are you? Are you married? Do you have kids? What did you do before you
started in this business? Are your parents still living? What did your
Dad do? Finally leading me to a discussion of what kind of insurance I
currently hold and why I bought it. He then got a sly smile on his face
and asked me why I had answered all of those personal questions that
under normal circumstances would seem a bit off putting? I laughed and
said I see what you're doing, you seem genuinely interested and sincere,
and he was, oh that’s GOLD!
3 – Do What’s Right for the Client, from 31 years in the business.
making one of his first sales over 30 years ago this person’s manager
noticed that as he drove away from the client’s home he was very quiet
and appeared to be working something out in his mind. The Manager looked
at him as said, “stop doing that.” Doing what? “You’re mentally
calculating how much commission you just made aren’t you?” This goes
back to the first one, it’s not about you. If you concentrate on doing
the things that are solely in the best interest of the client the
commission will take care of itself, even if you don't say anything,
clients can tell when your in it for yourself and no them. Stay focused
on the client and you will develop loyalty for life.
years in business myself, the last 4 in this capacity, I know all of
these lessons to be true. I’ve seen them play out time and time again
across all lines of business. It’s about humility, respect and genuine
honesty. Those are the traits that make great salespeople and business
leaders. You don’t have to be an extrovert or an introvert you just have
to be true to your purpose, ask great questions and do what’s right.
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