Lead by Example – Prepare Yourself so Your Clients Are Ready Too
As an advisor, you need to prepare your clients for events that have not yet happened. You need to know in advance how you are going to manage your relationship with them when the markets take a downturn.
To step up to this challenge you need to practice your soft skills so that you inspire your clients with confidence in what you say. If they believe in you and think you are the ‘real deal’ they will go where you lead them.
To better help your clients, establish a positive outlook
Being an advisor can be a lonely occupation. You essentially act as your very own CEO, with sole control over ‘brand you’. This is a fantastic opportunity to shine – your future success or failure is in your hands and your hands alone.
To succeed, however, you need to develop one important soft skill: The art of self-motivation. To become more self-motivated, you must set achievable goals and stick to them. When the going is tough keep your spirit high by reminding yourself that your role is to help people. See setbacks for what they are – temporary. Keep negative people at bay and become self-reliant. Remember you’re the only person that can talk yourself off the ledge.
Reaffirm to yourself why you chose this role; if you decided to become an advisor because you genuinely care about what happens to people, then let this thought spur you on.
Be passionate about your clients’ goals
Only you can choose to be positive so make this decision and love what you are doing. Temporary dips will happen but you must accept that these are woven into the fabric of your job.
If you are hesitant or negative clients will pick up on these vibes immediately. So be passionate about your role in your clients’ lives and talk enthusiastically about their goals. Passion is contagious. If you are upbeat and confident you will attract and keep clients, because they will want to be around you.
Take the lead when the markets take a dive
When the markets become volatile, be ready to call your clients before they call you. When you speak to them tell them your opinion in a firm, clear voice. Create a vision story that shows how little volatility matters in the bigger picture i.e. their financial goals.
The more engaging a vision you can create, the smaller the obstacles to success become. Remind your clients neither they, nor you can dictate what happens – but that you can control how you react to what happens.
Keep calm and carry on – and so will your clients
An airline pilot and flight crew are taught in advance how to handle emergency situations. Should such an occasion arise they will stay calm and do their best to ensure passengers follow their example. They need to ensure their passengers don’t succumb to panic so that everyone has the best chance of exiting the situation positively.
During your time as a financial advisor you will need – at least once, probably many more times – to act like a pilot and flight crew. You will need to mitigate the panic clients experience when markets fall – to give them the impetus to carry on regardless.
Prepare your presentation well in advance
Prepare your bear market presentation now. Don’t leave this future conversation to chance.
Determine what you want your clients to do in the event of a market tumble. If you don’t plan your conversation, it will end up spiraling out of control due to high emotions. So, make your bear market presentation, then when the inevitable happens don’t show panic.
Your clients will be looking to you for reassurance. So, be firm, and don’t follow up your opinions with a ‘what do you think?’ Even if you have their best intentions at heart, people won’t act on your word if they don’t’ feel you are 100% confident in what you say.
People with hard earned money at risk are keenly aware of market derails, so when this happens you need to be there for the clients. You need to be their rock.
You oversee your clients’ financial security, so to ensure they stay on track, work on your soft skills. Develop self-motivation, be passionate about their goals, and prepare well in advance to deal with their reaction to tricky market conditions. If you’re ready and confident to face upcoming events, you will be ideally placed to weather any storms and see that clients reach their end goals.