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4 Techniques to Improve Your Advisory Team and Acquire Clients

By Ray Sclafani | January 29, 2015
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One of the greatest gifts at your disposal as a financial advisor is your ability to communicate openly, both with your clients and your team members. As our focus is on teams this month, I will first look at the benefits of using direct communication with your team members, and then  also show how these skills are beneficial in your conversations with clients.

Don’t forget to overlook the value these tactics have in conversations with potential clients too. Sometimes your greatest opportunity to acquire a client is in your capacity to be truly open, honest and direct with them about their situations, not in telling them what they want to hear. Use these tactics into your next potential client meeting and see how it shifts the dynamic.

 

 Learn to listen and perceive how others process and understand information. They say there’s a reason why we were born with two ears and one mouth. In many cases, this is directly true of working with your team and your clients.

 

This will benefit your team: The best way to communicate and share responsibility is to speak to your team in a way they understand. This is achieved through listening. If you listen carefully enough to how the tasks you request of your team are perceived, then repeated back to you and executed, you’ll begin to learn how they comprehend information. You’ll find that you naturally begin using language that is reflective of their way of thinking and being.

This will benefit your client: Your clients also engage and process information differently than you do. These differences are easier to perceive when you are open to it and make a point to listen for it. Consider carefully how they repeat back the information you give them, and how it incites you to shift your guidance moving forward.

 

 Avoid hidden agendas and judgment: While you may be the “expert” or “ leader”, don’t presume to know the answer before your clients or team members. And don’t presume that if they fail to choose “your way” they are wrong.

 

This will benefit your team: You will encourage initiative and accountability in your team members by allowing them to take the reigns and do what you’ve hired them to achieve. Have faith in their ability to accomplish these tasks, and perhaps even find better solutions, without your input.

This will benefit your client: Providing your guidance, while allowing your clients to take initiative and have their own ideas and objectives will give them the opportunity to learn about their relationship with money and take a proactive approach with it. It will also build their trust in you as their advisor because it will demonstrate your faith in their opinion.

 

Use comments and observations to reflect back on the actions of your team members and clients. This helps your own understanding of the situation, and that of the person with whom you’re communicating.

 

This will benefit your team: Your comments and observations allow your team members the opportunity to reflect on their actions based on your observations. Your input gives them some additional perspective and understanding, and the opportunity to agree with, disagree with, or modify the observations you make. This can lead to productive conversation about your team.

This will benefit your client: In the same fashion, the actions your clients take in their financial lives, like any other personal matter, could be clarified further with some outside perspective. Your comments and observations give clients the same opportunity for reflection as they do your team members. You may point out things your clients had not yet noticed about their financial habits, intentions, or family interactions.

 

Have trust in yourself and those with whom you partner to share the truth, and accomplish the objectives at hand. This will encourage open and direct communication on your part, and garner the same response from your team members and your clients.

 

This will benefit your team: You likely hired your team members to perform a job that you are either not specialized in, over-qualified to do, or don’t have time to do. Have faith in them to do that job. In the event that you have doubts about your team members’ abilities, be straightforward about those doubts, and open to what your team members have to say in response. Remember that you will always have 3 kinds of truth: Your truth, your team members’ truth, and the actual truth. Acknowledging these differences will help you in these conversations, and perhaps clarify some misinterpretations along the way.

This will benefit your client: Realize the different truths you have with your clients as well. Be completely open and honest in your observations, with your clients and have trust in them to do the same. This will encourage conversation and make both you and your clients less likely to fear the difficult conversations that can lead to disagreement.

 

Powerful Coaching Questions from This Article:

1)   How clear are you on whether or not your team members and clients receive information in the way you intend it?
2)   How do you use comments and observations in your conversations with clients already, and how do you plan to increase this in the future?
3)   Do you have awareness of the different types of truths that exists between you and your clients and you and your team members?
 

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Topics: Client Acquisition Business Development Team Development

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