If you are a financial advisor who wants to enhance the effectiveness of your team, solve challenges that are unique to your practice, or begin thinking bigger about where you’d like to go…finding the right coach can be a critical first step. If you are considering engaging a professional coach, look for one who has the expertise, skills and industry knowledge required to coach financial advisors.
Are You Ready?
Before you start looking for a coach, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you emotionally and financially ready to engage a coach?
- What are your desired outcomes for coaching?
- What qualities in a coach are most important to you?
Positive answers to these questions are crucial.
If you begin the coaching process without knowing that you are open to change, you won’t be able to make the most of your experience. If you aren’t sure what you want to accomplish, you run the risk of losing valuable time and resources. And if you aren’t sure what type of you coach you’re looking for, you could end up with a coaching relationship that’s not well suited to your needs.
Taking the Plunge
When you are ready to hire a coach, consider talking to two or three candidates before making a decision. As a starting point, ask other financial advisors whether they’ve ever hired a coach and which ones they recommend. Talk to your manager or director about what resources may be available through your firm. You might also speak to wholesalers you know about what they may offer in the way of training and support. Your goal is to find a coach whose personality is a good fit for your learning style, as well as someone who can help you generate extraordinary results.
Do keep in mind that there’s more to a good coaching relationship than great rapport. Look for warning signs that a coach may not be a good fit. These “yellow flags” would include the following:
- Pay attention to how your prospective coach listens. A coach who talks more than he or she listens during your first conversation. A coach needs to be a good listener in order to help you achieve your goals.
- Be wary of coaches who don’t understand basic financial terms and concepts that apply to your sales process. A good coach understands your industry and can hit the ground running.
- Ask yourself if the coach you’re interviewing is someone who simply agrees with everything you have to say, or who will challenge your assumptions when appropriate. A good coach is someone who can help you move outside of your comfort zone in order to grow and develop.
Being clear on these points before you engage your coach will go a very long way towards ensuring that your connection with your coach is optimal…and will lead to a long and fruitful financial advisor coaching relationship.