Presenting in late March the findings of a Pershing study on the opportunities presented by women clients, Kim Dellarocca suggested that “it’s time to change the conversation about women and advisors.” The Pershing director noted that not only do women represent a “crucial client opportunity” because of their control of household financial decisions, but also because of their expressed dissatisfaction with those advisors with whom they already work.
Part of your job with clients is always to direct the conversation, and how you do so will reflect what your priorities are and what, exactly, you’re offering clients. If your client meetings always focus on portfolio performance, over which you have limited control (remember 2008?), you’re sending a clear message about what you bring to the table. You’re also setting yourself up for a potential fall.
In an interview with Mark Tibergien on the occasion of his becoming a member of the IA 25 for the 10th consecutive year—and we’ve only been naming this subjective list for 10 years—I asked Tibergien if he was a philosopher. After all, in his writings for this magazine and in his speeches, he’s always using the Socratic Method. For those of you who slept through your history of philosophy course in your undergraduate days, it was the Greek philosopher Socrates who taught his students not by lecturing, but by asking them questions; it’s all about the dialogue between teacher and student, a two-way street where listening is as important as speaking. But back to Tibergien.