Develop Leadership Skills So Clients Will Follow You
There’s far more to being a good financial advisor than simply setting up a financial plan and then walking away.
The best advisors not only identify which path clients should take – but accompany them for the entire journey.
Your clients need to know that you’re committed to their long-term success. They will look to you for reassurance along the way. So you need to step up to the mark and develop strong leadership skills.
Maybe some people are ‘born leaders’ but the majority of us don’t come equipped with leadership skills. It’s a role we have to learn as part of the job. In order to develop strong leadership skills make sure you do the following:
1. Have a vision
To get your clients to stick to their long-term goals, you need vision. You need to demonstrate a strong belief that the goals you set can be achieved, regardless of the obstacles. Picture a better and happier future for your clients and make it real. Use color and as much detail as you can so you can get your clients to really understand that what you aim to do will improve their lives. Get them to ‘buy into’ your vision of their future. Charismatic leaders set lofty goals.
2. Focus on your client’s goals
Stay focused on your clients goals and they will in turn remain focused. It’s essential to think long term and have a concrete plan to steer your clients through good and bad times, so as not to veer off road.
3. Refine your communication skills
Make sure your clients truly understand the game plan. They should be in no doubt as to where they’re going and how they’re going to get there. It’s your responsibility to keep them updated. Improve your communication skills by really listening to your clients and strive to improve your verbal and nonverbal skills.
4. Be flexible
Keep an open mind and know when it’s time to change course. Great leaders are always prepared to be flexible and open to suggestion. Cope with uncertainty by being decisive, make the decisions you need to make on your clients behalf.
5. Never feel you’ve ‘arrived’
People who tend to think of themselves as “natural leaders” are generally wrong. In fact these types of people are not good at self-reflection and don’t seek objective feedback. Neither do they have a tendency to feel strongly about helping others achieve their potential.
In their minds, they’ve already achieved what they needed to achieve. This is not demonstrating strong leadership. Take the opposite approach and look inwards, accept input from others and always put your clients first. Never stop trying to improve – people who think they’re experts always have a lot more to learn. So never stop learning and be receptive to others’ perceptions so you can grow.
6. Take responsibility
In order to be a good leader you must be accountable. Your clients will see you as a leader if you take responsibility for the advice you give. And it’s fine to be wrong from time to time so long as you put your hands up and admit it.
Then tell your clients how you are going to fix things. It’s only human to make mistakes and even the greatest of leaders are human. Own your problems and lead by being the first to bring up issues. Never blame others or the environment but accept that there were – still are – things you can do to change outcomes.
7. Show you care
Be passionate and enthusiastic and clients will find this infectious. If you have a genuine passion for your work your clients will know you care about their progress. Always act with integrity. If you act in accordance with your morals and values, people will sense your integrity and will naturally respect your opinion and leadership. Be a role model and ‘walk the walk’ as well as ‘talk the talk.’ Be positive – and people will be attracted by your attitude.
Whether you’re aware of it or not you are continually using leadership skills in your daily life by leading yourself and others. Use the tips we’ve identified and draw on your innate skills – then put them to work – so that clients will want to invest in you and follow you.