Every Time You Sit with a Client, Your Leadership Skills Are on Display
I want to remind you that next to the family doctor, you are the most important person a family will meet. You are not a vendor. You are the person who has been chosen to lead this family to their safe retirement heaven. The burden is on them to make the sacrifices necessary to guarantee peace of mind in their later years. The burden of you is to make sure they do it.
Showing folks what to do to gather the funds necessary to educate their children and sustain a desired lifestyle in retirement is only half the battle. After you point out the way, you’ve got to run interference for them. You don’t tell them what to do and send them on their way. You lead them by the hand.
You don’t get a golf lesson and go play golf. Golf lessons never end.
Serious golfers take them forever. The more serious the golfer, the more time he or she spends with a pro. The relationship is for life and is based on trust. Clients committed to financial success are no different from golfers committed to golfing success. They are all in with a pro.
I always chat with clients when I speak at client appreciation events.
A favorite question to ask has to do with what they expect of their Advisor. The answers are pretty straight forward. They want their Advisor to ‘get it.’ They watch for telltale signs to make sure that’d the case.
They want their Advisor to aggressively pursue the fulfillment of their goals. They want their Advisor to care. They want enthusiasm in their Advisor. They want honesty and the ability to distill the investing process down into language they can understand. And they want their Advisor to lead them through the minefield, safely weathering volatility, bad news and bad markets.
They understand their role in the relationship. They’ve got to follow their Advisor’s lead.
They want the Advisor to understand his or her role, the role of leadership. The greater the need to succeed, the stronger leader needed.
That’s precisely the thought process used when picking an Advisor. “Tell me what to do. Don’t ask me what I think.”
Take your leadership role seriously.
Clients very much want the plan to work and they very much want you to care. If you don’t appear as a strong leader, you will come across as not caring.
Why don’t we like or trust politicians? Because we know they don’t care. They seem to care more about their own survival than about our well-being.
Strong leaders create a vision we can focus on.
If they are great leaders, they will create great visions. Great long-term visions sustain us through short-term turmoil.
We know we have a great leader when it’s apparent our leader wants us to succeed. He encourages us to keep moving toward our goals. She makes us believe we can do this.
Vendors sell people products. Leaders care. Vendors aren’t there after the sale. Leaders create and sustain visions. Vendors aren’t accountable. Leaders lead.