It’s been 16 years of financial advising. 4000+ clients served.
And surprisingly, I am not too bitter and twisted! 🙂
Reflecting on this the other day, I thought to myself “why am I still doing what I am doing?”
The answer is that it comes back to growth. And keeping myself a little vulnerable.
There are always plenty of surprises along the way. One day for me might consist of working with a family after the death of an elderly parent. Another day might be processing an insurance claim on behalf of a client – another talking about how they can manage their budget better or investing somewhere.
I also have the opportunity to advise on exciting things like the purchase of a business or provide family legacy planning.
The common thread is people. Meeting with a diverse range of people gives me a tremendous insight into the human condition.
In the lead up to a meeting I had with a client last week, I commented to my colleague, “I am a little bit nervous”. I was certainly ready for the meeting, having prepared fully for the client but still had butterflies in my stomach. A little shocked, my colleague said, “You still get nervous even after all these years?”.
I replied, “yep…”.
Thinking about this, I realised that if I don’t ever have that feeling, I will have plateaued. I would become complacent and probably our clients wouldn’t be getting the best from us.
This job is really important.
Not to big note ourselves, but our client’s livelihood at stake.
An adviser needs to bring their “A” game. The job shouldn’t be easy. We as financial advisors need to be challenging ourselves every single day.
When I first joined the financial planning industry, the advice I received from an old veteran was “Greet the client. Build rapport. Find a need. Do the deal”.
Sounds very transactional I know. Every step of the way I have tried to challenge this and I have aimed to be different.
Over the years, I have learned that this formulaic approach doesn’t work. Sure, we have a good relationship with our clients, but we aren’t aiming to be their best friend. Our role is to challenge them. Push them really hard to be the best person they can be financially.
This in turn, get’s the best out of me and makes me a better person.
The moment we are concerned about upsetting someone’s feelings rather than actually getting a result – we haven’t done our job.
So what keeps getting me out of bed every day is growing with my clients. Pushing them to the next frontier. Doing ourselves out of a job.
After all, if we are still focusing on the same problem with a client 18 months down the track, the client hasn’t learnt or changed, we haven’t done our job.
Nurturing growth in our clients is my driver.
This in turn makes me and the team better people, every day.
So, whilst getting on with your professional adviser is important, a framework of getting the best out of each other is much better.
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