The following is based on one of Norm Trainor’s clients, Joel Goodhart.
When I first started coaching Joel Goodhart, he was a Top of the Table advisor and was already a peak performer. Yet, like many successful financial advisors, Joel has a burning desire to be the best that he can be and to make a difference in peoples’ lives. His father was a doctor and a generous man. In college, Joel wanted to be a lawyer. His interest in politics led him into financial services. A friend who was involved in politics persuaded him to become a financial advisor.
When Joel started in the business, he represented one company. Even then, he realized that no one company could do it all for his clients. The company doesn’t matter to the client. What matters is that they trust you.
Over time, Joel became an independent advisor. He positioned himself as the client’s trusted advisor. Clients expect their advisor to have the product knowledge and expertise to recommend the right product or solution. Informed decision-making became the important outcome. Joel realized that clients want the Cliff Notes version when a product or solution is being offered, while compliance wants the complete dictionary description. Clients respect the due diligence involved. However, they want to enter into a dialogue and make their own decisions. One of the things that attracted Joel to financial services is that he is a born teacher. With his clients, he forms a symbiotic relationship. They want to learn in order to make informed decisions about their financial health and well-being and Joel loves to teach.
We live in an “experience economy.” In affluent societies like ours, people have choice. Products have become commoditized. Starbucks is a good example. It had become an iconic brand by changing the coffee experience. Joel and his partners, Stuart Leibowitz and Dennis Freedman, realized that when people visit with you, they are looking for an experience.