“Learning is not compulsory…neither is survival.” W. Edwards Deming
In today’s chaotic financial environment where people are feeling unsafe to take risks in general, a successful advisor needs more than the usual toolkit of sales and business skills to survive.
The number one business survival skill has nothing to do with sales and marketing, financial or time management. It isn’t emotional intelligence or customer service. And, it’s not social media savvy.
By way of example, take “James,” whose strategies were not producing the sales numbers he needed to hit his goal. James’s main challenges were:
- His high-net-worth boomer clients were reacting negatively to his investment suggestions.
- His “fact finding” process was not working as well with prospects.
- Networking events were producing fewer and fewer quality leads.
- He was exhausted by increased demands from needy clients.
- He didn’t know how to conduct liability insurance risk discussions with his physician clients.
After some discussion, James discovered five keys to attaining the most important skill a financial advisor can have: learning.
Be curious. The rapid-fire responses and solutions that help us succeed can also get in the way of the truly brilliant idea. James realized one of his blind spots was his belief that he should already know what to do or say based on his experience.
When clients expressed frustration with their investment losses, James found himself defending his position. James saw that if he could allow himself to “not know” a little longer than usual, he could have a more productive conversation with an upset client, and have a better chance of retaining him.
Demonstrating curiosity while maintaining credibility takes learning and practice.