Many advisors are quietly living in denial. Although we love digging into stats and data on the job, 85% of our success comes from our ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Only 15% comes from our technical knowledge—the details we discuss with clients that they use to make decisions about products like insurance and investments.
But if you go to any industry conference, you’ll find the numbers flipped: 85% of the conference sessions focus on technical knowledge and skill, and only 15% focus on leadership.
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There’s an ingrained focus among financial pros that centers on the technical side of the business. We love digging into the numbers because that’s where we feel most comfortable — and there is less ambiguity. But that comfort is ultimately toxic. The more technical something is, the more likely it can be commoditized, outsourced, or replaced with AI.
More importantly, our clients don’t want technical knowledge. They want confidence that you’ll recommend the right product and generate the best results possible, that you’ll be by their side through the good times and bad. That confidence isn’t sparked by a minute technical fact.
For an example, think about when you need help with something on the job, such as with your cell phone or computer. A small percentage of us want to know how to build the clock, so to speak, but most of us just want it to tell us the time. When someone is guiding us, we want to be led with the right combination of kindness and humility coupled with knowledge and genuineness.