My 15 years as a coach and values & behavioral analyst working with financial advisors has taught me that 80% of financial advisors have some components of introverted behaviors and some introverted financial advisors are unconsciously adapting to an extroverted behavioral style, to the point where they believe that they are extroverts. The introverted financial advisors that are unconsciously and continually adapting to an extroverted behavioral style are stressed out feeling like they have one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake at the same time.
Susan Cain’s book is a must read to help introverted financial advisors understand the strengths of their natural introverted behavioral style. This will give introverted financial advisors a foundation to stand on to implement introverted practices of business planning, time management, hiring, delegation, marketing and sales that are far more suited to the introverted financial advisor.
For more information watch Susan’s video on The Power Of Introverts on TED.com.
TORONTO (Reuters) – It often starts with a case of weekly dread. Frustrated financial advisers, overwhelmed or under water, need objective advice. With few formal supports available in an industry that breeds fierce competition, they seek out a coach or mentor.
“It’s typically someone sitting late on a Sunday night, playing ‘Gee ain’t it awful,’ in their mind, and then getting up on Monday morning and saying ‘I need some help’,” said business coach George Hartman.
A managing partner at Accretive Advisor in Toronto, Hartman said advisers often struggle when their business gets too big and presents a conflict between running an office and serving clients. For many, revenues are down and costs up, and they are surrounded by people who depend on them for security.
“In many cases they’ve built the practice doing themselves all the things that other people should now be doing, so it’s hard for them to delegate, hard for them to justify adding resources or outsource activities.”
That’s where coaches or mentors come in; experts who can advise the advisers at any stage of their career. Business coaching is flourishing in Canada’s financial world as professionals fork over between C$3,500 and C$12,000 a year for an assessment, strategy and support to improve their careers.
Click here to read the full article.
You are in the business of customer service.
Are your team members representing you professionally and effectively and showcasing the level of service you provide? Are your systems working?
In my ongoing effort to garner interest in having Simon speak at future events within our niche, I call people, some of whom I know and some I don’t, and take a few minutes of their time to make a re-introduction or introduction to the value Simon can provide to their audience.
What consistently amazes me when I am dialing and making these calls is the inconsistent and poor customer service I experience. The majority of businesses have very poor systems for answering the phone and dealing with enquiries.
Now admittedly I am a hard marker; I sometimes cringe when we stay in a hotel with Simon as my standards can be extremely high. My background is hospitality and I believe in providing the guest with the best possible experience. As a hotel customer, I value staff who go the extra mile to provide service.
From the moment a guest places the call to the reservation department, to entering the lobby, the guest’s first contact with the front desk agent and bellman and concierge is so important. One point of contact gone wrong can taint the remainder of the experience for the guest.
What do your clients or prospects experience when they call your office to ask for information or arrange an appointment, or when they walk into your office for their first appointment?
Some of what I have experienced on the phone recently…..
- The voice on the other end of the phone, who really does not care
- The voice on the other end of the phone, who speaks so fast and puts me on hold before I can blink
- Calls dropped and disconnected
- A receptionist who does not know how to transfer my call
- No voicemail available, really??? How is this possible in this age of technology???
- An answering machine
- Voicemail that does not allow you to leave a message
- Hold music that features heavy metal music or the local radio station DJ yapping away in my ear
- An advisor who answers the phone himself……
Any of these sound familiar or hit close to home?
You know what they say about first impressions…..
What impression are you leaving? What impression are your team members leaving with your prospective and current clients?
The ultimate test – try calling your office anonymously.
It is a beautiful sunny day in Vancouver today, cold and crisp, as nice as one can hope for in November. This morning I got a bit of early start as I didn’t have to take my kids to school. As I made my way downtown, listening to some of my favourite music at the customary “these go to 11” volume in my car, I was looking forward to my day – a 9 am client meeting, a planning meeting with my committee for our local chapter of Advocis, some business planning, lunch with a colleague, and one more client meeting mid-afternoon. At the end of my work day, a chance to see my 5 year old son on the ice playing hockey. Feeling great. A perfect Friday.
As I drove north down Burrard Street past 4th Avenue, I saw something that looked out of place. A car in the southbound lanes facing the wrong way, perhaps a fender bender. As I slowly approached the scene, a single red shoe lay in the middle of the northbound center lane, probably 50 to 60 feet from the turned-around BMW. Then a few people on cell phones. No emergency vehicles around; this must have just happened. As I came up beside the turned-around BMW, I noticed the passenger door was open and a woman was sitting in the passenger seat. For a split second, I was relieved. It didn’t appear as though anyone was injured. For a split second. And then I saw what lay in front on the car – remnants of what once had been a motorcycle, and a person lying motionless on the ground. Several bystanders had gathered, and the individual was being attended to by a few of them. Help was obviously on its way.
So much for a perfect Friday. My heart immediately sunk, and down went the volume on the car stereo. What was the motorcyclist thinking just minutes ago? Very likely something along the lines of my earlier thoughts – nice day, sun is shining, etc. I am quite certain that the individual wasn’t planning on being involved in an accident. And from the looks of it, a very, VERY bad one at that.
This brought my thoughts around to what it is that I really do. I sell life insurance. I sell long term disability insurance. I sell critical illness insurance. No one plans on the premature death, or the accident, or the illness. But these things happen. Often when we least expect them to.
So here is what I hope. I hope that the motorcyclist was not seriously injured (although it certainly didn’t seem that way). I hope that the motorcyclist doesn’t have family, especially children that depend on him or her. I hope that the motorcyclist had taken proper steps to ensure that he or she and his or her family would survive financially, if something like this were to ever happen. I hope that my hopes are correct. My experience, however, leads me to think otherwise.
PLEASE, stop saying “It won’t happen to me”. I hope it doesn’t. But it may. Are you prepared? Are your plans up to date?
Click here to contact Michael A. Healey, B.A., CFP, CLU, CHS
Unresolved unmet needs within an advisor creates push back from prospects and clients because they fuel the unmet needs within the prospect that they are trying to serve. This in turn segues into “thoughts are real forces” because the unconscious advisor:
- Feels the lack of approval from the client because they cannot do enough for the prospect or client
- Feels a loss of control of the client because the client will do the opposite that the advisor wants the prospect or the client to do
- Feels unsafe because the advisor didn’t get the sale
- Feels unworthy because the advisor leaves the unclosed sale thinking that there is something wrong with them and if only they would have done, this, this or that, maybe they could have closed the sale
A Goal Setting Process For You and Your Clients was written by Duncan MacPherson November 15, 2012
Does it boggle your mind that the movie E.T. hit the theaters 30 years ago? Do you shake your head when you consider that Black Monday occurred 25 years ago? From my perspective, that time span seems like a blink of the eye. But here is the surreal part: as fast as the last 25 years whipped by, I’m convinced that the next 25 are going to zip by even faster.
With that in mind, and considering that 2012 is winding down, this week’s Actionable Tip revolves around the importance of goal setting and a simple process for designing your vision of the ideal future. My suggestion is that you set aside some time to walk through this process to galvanize your thoughts on paper. If you have a team, you might want to consider an off-site team meeting and incorporate this into a team goal-setting session. And lastly, many advisors have told me that they’ve adapted this approach into conversations with clients to create a more panoramic approach to help them set personal, professional and family goals to focus on what really matters to them.
Long ago, I learned of a perfect metaphor related to designing your future:
It’s not the winds of opportunity that determine our level of success, it’s the set of the sail.
I’ve learned that if we don’t decide what direction we want to head in, the winds will decide for us. Maximum achievement is by design, not by chance. Sure it is nice to have a tailwind, but we can’t rely on external dependencies. Life is about choices, and truly accomplished people will tell you that documenting your goals is one of the best decisions you can make.
When we coach a client of ours through a personal goal-setting consultation, we have a simple, sequential process to get their wheels turning. W5 is a framework that you can use, and it consists of these questions: What, Where, When, Why and Who. These can be a good starting point. As you get on a roll, you can drill down and then use what you’ve written down as a tool to help you navigate 2013 and stay on course.
What Are You Grateful For?
One of the best ways to slow life down a bit is to reflect on the past before you plan for the future. There is so much emphasis placed on achieving new goals that we can often trivialize what we’ve already achieved. The most effective, well-rounded people possess a unique blend of perpetual ambition and palpable contentment. The very essence of a Zen lifestyle is that you could live to be 100, or it could all be over tomorrow. When you savour your successes, you create a foundation of peace and fulfillment. Ironically, this activates a new level of appreciation for your value and self-motivation for your untapped potential.
This process also helps you distill everything down to what ultimately matters in your life. You can tune out the noise and do mid-course corrections in case you’ve drifted away from your core purpose.
It reminds you of the importance of loving what you do. It’s hard to improve on your skills and the value you are bringing, if you don’t love what you do.
And finally, I believe that gratitude amplifies other important qualities to pure success in life. Forgiveness, self-responsibility and humility are the wellspring of a balanced life that result in an inspiring legacy. I was told long ago that lessons can be learned from every person’s code of conduct. Every life is either a warning or an example.
Where Do You See Yourself?
Once you’ve looked back and reflected on your accomplishments to this point in your life, you can then invest the past into the future and create a wish list of achievements you’d like to make in the years ahead. The key here is to pour it all out. List out everything you’d like to accomplish going forward. How much do you want to earn? Where do you want to travel to? What do you want to acquire? What do you want to get better at? Get it out of your head and put it all on paper. Take your time and marvel at all that is possible for you.
When Do You Want to Accomplish This?
Once you’ve created your wish list, start putting timelines beside everything you’ve written down. You should create a spectrum of 1, 3, 5, and 10 year goals and beyond. Then I’d like you to circle three items that you feel you can accomplish in the next 3 years. These should be the goals that are of paramount importance to you and will become the beacon to help you see past short term obstacles and setbacks.
Why Is This So Important To You?
Ultimately you are going to need to create a plan to help determine HOW you are going to accomplish your goals. But something that is just as important as the HOW is the WHY. As legendary personal and business development guru Jim Rohn often said, “The How is the process, the Why is the purpose. When the WHY is clear in your mind, the HOW becomes that much easier.” This process is what amplifies your personal drive and sense of purpose.
Who Do You Need to Become?
Many people focus primarily on monetary goals when they go through this process initially. In time though, they realize that while how much one earns is important, it isn’t the key factor to success in life. It’s not what we earn that makes us valuable, it’s who we become as a person. So the last number in the combination to unlocking your full potential so you can breakthrough any self-imposed plateau is to focus on the skills you need to develop. We have to make the time to develop ourselves. If we want to earn more, we have to learn more. If we want to become all that we can, we have to continually improve our skills. To paraphrase Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, we can never convince ourselves that we are too busy cutting wood that we never have time to sharpen our saws.
This is especially important during times when the world seems to be focusing on all that is wrong. With talk of a fiscal cliff, a recession, markets apparently about to drop by 20% and all sorts of other noise, it’s easy to get faked out and look to the future with apprehension rather than anticipation. But you can’t control any of those issues. We can’t hope for conditions to get better or easier. We have to get better and focus on what we can control. As I often tell my kids, the best ten 2-letter words ever put together in a personal pledge are these, “If it is to be, it is up to me!”
Let’s look at the values scores of a financial advisor that is really pushing, they are successful but they don’t feel like they’re fulfilled even though they are more successful than 90% of advisors.
- #1 – Utilitarian = 70
- #2 – Theoretical = 60
- #3 – Individualistic = 44
- #4 – Social = 38
- #5 – Traditional = 25
- #6 – Aesthetics = 15
The too high Utilitarian value drives the financial advisor to seek out higher net worth clients and for a time the financial advisor is successful but it is unsustainable. As years go by, the harder they push, the faster clients and prospects seem to run away and even if they close the sale, underwriting is taking forever.
While the Utilitarian value of capitalism, money, return on investment and time are driving this advisor, the Utilitarian value is too high, and when a value gets too high it changes from a value to an unmet need.
This is where The Values Discovery Process comes in.