It is no longer enough to have the “right” asset, just like any field there must be growth equivalent or greater to the speed of the industry’s evolution. If you don’t adapt to succeed, you’ll be left behind. With the addition of new regulations, new technology, and evolving financial products, you must become clear on who you are and what you can do for your clients.
Technology is one of the fastest-growing changes to take note of—new software is constantly in development, new programs, and even artificial intelligence. To get the jump on technology, you must carve out your role in the technology-consumer relationship. When providing value for a client, the numbers are your anchor, but an anchor must be tethered to a ship.
Consider the metaphor for a moment—the ship represents a client’s desires. They’ll fill their ship with things they enjoy, and invite aboard the people they love. The ship represents freedom, control, and enjoyment. The strategies in place anchor this ship in reality, and makes it possible for the ship to venture out safely. Do you know what is on the other end of your client’s anchor?
Context is Key
Every advisor has had clients who have been presented with a comprehensive strategy, only to fail to implement. The numbers are right there, and yet they still don’t take action!
If you step back and consider your own decision-making process, you may start to see why. How often do you jump into action without knowing how it will work in the context of your life Unless you’re a very trusting and spontaneous person, you probably start by asking yourself, “How does this apply to my situation?” Right?
So how can you expect a client to implement a strategy that isn’t properly rooted in their own story? No matter how amazing the projections are, if they go home without fully knowing how it applies to their desires, they’re going to be searching for a different “anchor,” or a different strategy.
You must ground every strategy in the client’s context. Returning to the metaphor of the ship—there must be something on which to attach the anchor! Numbers are excellent, but taking the time to understand your client’s personal biography is key to building strategies that resonate with them.
Push the Narrative
You know the client’s desires, and you have the numbers, now it’s time to figure out how to steer the ship. In other words, if the ship is the client’s desired life, and the anchor is the strategy that keeps the ship from drifting, this step is like the rudder. You want to help the client navigate the waters, not just stay anchored.
Open a dialogue with the client, and build an idea of their financial narrative. Hit all the major points—find out where they’ve been and where they want to go, then help them navigate the logical strategies. Make sure to hit the major points:
- What are their past experiences with investing and money?
- What has their experience been with financial professionals?
- What financial peaks and valleys have they witnessed from the people around them?
Once you understand their relationship to their finances, you can build strategies that not only help them start down a path, but also navigate that path. This is an excellent opportunity to take a mindset of scarcity and teach them how to think about their money from a mindset of prosperity.
At the heart of this business, you’re “building relationships.” It’s a common phrase in the industry, but do you truly know what it entails? Real relationships are built over time, through the honest and heartfelt exchange of our personal selves. Trust is a key foundation of any good relationship, and trust requires vulnerability and genuine displays of consideration.
While trust is possible through a surface-level comprehension, building a real relationship requires depth. Not everyone is willing to go to deep, and that is where you set yourself apart. A smile or a handshake is not enough, and how you care for your clients will set you apart. Through stories—where you allow someone to see your humanity—common ground is found. Common ground is a space where trust can grow and thrive.
If common ground is where trust, and therefore relationships, are built, it’s important to know who you are and what you stand for. There’s a scarcity trap that advisors fall into commonly—that they must hoard their potential clients and leads away, so that they will always meet their own needs. But what if, by knowing who you are and who you can help, you made more genuine connections and grew your practice that way?
Unlike technology, you have your capacity for human connection. And you have an ideal client. Instead of focusing your energy where it won’t be fruitful, focus your energy instead on who you can help.
Think, once more, about our ship metaphor. There are many different types of ships—cruise liners, yachts, aircraft carriers, commercial ships. They’re all built differently, and they all have different pieces and parts. If what you offer is an anchor, or a rudder, consider that what you offer might not fit all ships. Don’t spend your energy trying to sell your parts to a cruise ship when they’re meant for a yacht…or vice versa. The more you know yourself, the more you’ll learn who you connect with.
The Prosperity Economics Movement is a great place to start—by knowing what you stand for as an advisor of Prosperity Economics, you’re on your way to finding your ideal clients. The Prosperity Economics Movement is about a mindset of prosperity and growth, not scarcity. It’s about teaching control, and then keeping control. Identifying yourself as a part of this movement sets you apart, and shows that you’re dedicated to your client’s success.
In order to grow with the times, you must do what no software can do—you must care. And you must care for each client on a personal level. If your clients are your focus (not just their numbers) you will be irreplaceable.
The field is ever changing, and it’s changing at a faster rate thanks to technology. What has advanced the financial field in the past will no longer take us forward—human connection is now more valuable, because technology is more accessible than ever. To keep up with the times, you must change your practice. Dive deep, be personal, and make connections. Each of your clients, in some way, is like you—find that common ground, and do what machines cannot. Connect.