I believe clients deserve a wealth manager who has a clearly defined sense of purpose.† But I also believe that most wealth managers donít discuss what their purpose is on a regular basis, if ever.
Now, when I say purpose, Iím not talking about things like I want to be the best financial advisor, I want to qualify for an awards trip, or even something like I want to be the wealth manager to CEOs.
What I mean by purpose is the why you do what you do. For example, how would you feel if you could say to yourself: †My clients took my advice and followed their financial plan and now their son will have the money he needs for his college education. †Or My clients took my advice and followed their financial plan and they can finally take that getaway vacation theyíve always dreamed about.
Now, to me thatís purpose.††
Most advisors unintentionally build relationships with their clients based on investments, stock market averages, performance, etc.† But talking only about these things does not touch clients emotionally. Iím not suggesting that you should not talk about stock market performance, but donít make that the focus of your conversations with your clients.†
Think about your recent meetings with clients. Were you just talking about performance or were you also telling stories about clients who recently bought their vacation home because of the plan they built with you? Trust me, those kinds of conversations build stronger relationships than only talking about market performance or portfolio allocation, although both are important.
So, if you havenít already, identify and document your purpose. Hereís an example to help you get started:
My purpose is in helping my clients decide what is most important to them,† and then creating a plan to help them achieve itówhether it entails educating their children or grandchildren, retirement without running out of money, starting a new business or nonprofit, caring for aging parents, supporting charitable causes, traveling or some other meaningful goal.
Once you have defined your purpose, share it with your team. A clear purpose gives everyone something to believe in and take pride in. Itís much more meaningful to believe that your job is to help people reach their most important goals than to believe that you are an investment analyst or customer service specialist. Everyone on the team plays a part in fulfilling your purpose.
In addition, definitely share your purpose with your clients. I would even encourage you to frame it and display it.† How would your clients feel if they read that what drives you is actually all about helping them succeed?
Itís worth taking some time to reflect on why you do what you do. Remember that a sense of purpose is critical to success.
Steve Atkinson is EVP and Head of Advisor Relations at Loring Ward, www.loringward.com. His team is dedicated to helping the independent advisors who partner with Loring Ward to grow their businesses through ongoing support and coaching.†