Before Stephen Stricklin was an advisor, he was a teacher and a coach. His previous career taught him the importance of truly listening, staying humble and building wisdom along with wealth. Continue reading for his insights on keeping a proper perspective in an ever-changing industry.
On the importance of education We believe in educating our clients. Most of my new clients come to me as a result of attending some kind of financial class or workshop I’ve done. We also conduct quarterly investment education events for our clients. Thankfully, I haven’t had to give up a lot of the teaching and coaching part of me. It’s a core part of the practice and how we gain clients, but also how we retain them.
On building relationships Some of the most important things I learned as a teacher were empathy and learning how to listen to people’s needs. As a teacher, you’re in a role where people come to you looking for counsel. It’s about listening, gathering the facts and trying to come up with the best solution based on what’s available. A lot of that carries over to being an advisor.
On adding value for existing clients Once someone becomes a client, we don’t look at them as a customer. It’s not transactional, it’s always relational. This means we fully expect to see these people again. Whereas I feel like in the traditional model, especially the commission-based model, you sell something, they leave and unless they have new assets, there’s no reason to visit with them again. I think that’s what hopefully sets us apart — adding value after they become a client.
On building wisdom along with wealth I feel it’s important to make sure you understand what your money needs to do to accomplish your goals first, then, choose the investment.
So the biggest goal I have for my clients is they should all understand why they own what they own. What purpose is it fulfilling?