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Responding to the Reality of Change
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
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In the financial services industry the only thing that an advisor can guarantee to clients is that there will always be change.  However, how individuals respond to change may vary.  It is the way in which you choose to respond to what I call “the reality of change” that makes a difference.

If you embrace it and see the opportunity in any obstacle then you have found one of the secrets of success.  If you run away from change then the key is learn to put on the brakes and better regulate any negative emotions you may perceive that change brings with it. It is far better to put your energy and time into assessing the situation, researching information and solutions and deciding to put a plan into action! 

Let’s take a deeper look at ways that you can ensure you take advantage of change when it comes, expected or not.

The Reality of Our Response(s)

If we take an honest look at how we respond to change, we can boil it down to two choices—-resistance or acceptance. Resistance happens when we perceive that an event happening will have a negative impact on our clients and/or ourselves. We may feel like we have lost control. Ironically, the only thing that you can control is how you react to the situation.

An example of this would be experiencing a Bear Market. When the last Bear Market began, how did you respond? Did you go into denial or feel lost as to what to do? That was a common fear I heard during many of my coaching calls.  The reason was because you felt helpless to alter what was occurring. However, as time passed and the market failed to correct itself quickly you were left with no option other than to accept the situation.

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Regulating Our Negative Emotions

Being able to regulate your negative emotions can mean the difference between connecting positively with clients or creating a relationship that is chaotic. During difficult times, clients look to their advisors for guidance. Now, I’m certainly not saying that you must paint a rosy picture every time something goes awry but what I am saying is to choose your words, your tone and your attitude carefully.

Assessing The Situation

Any good hiker knows that if you get lost, the worst thing you can do is to panic! The best course of action is to remain calm and assess the situation. The same holds true in the financial services industry when we find ourselves in a maze of confusion about the market or the economy.

An example of this is that in the spring of 2000, I found myself at odds with what to do during what was then the worst Bear Market in history.   At that time, I hired my first business coach and he recommended that I find out what all of the major wire houses were saying. Upon doing this I felt better immediately because I realized that many in the industry were re-confirming what our analysts were saying.

Realizing Your Solution(s)

Once you have reached this point, the emotional storm subsides and you can see the silver lining. Does this mean that you have weathered the storm?  Yes.  Does it mean there isn’t another storm right behind it?  No.  It should make you more at ease with the next one though since you now have knowledge (solutions) in your pocket (an umbrella of sorts).

One solution that became crystal clear for me in 2000 was that all Bear Markets in recorded history did eventually end. So, I decided that I would view this as an opportunity to communicate confidently with my clients about what we should or should not do and find prospects who were lacking communications with their current advisors and offer my advice to them.

Putting A Plan into Action

The amazing thing about taking action after mapping out your solutions is action typically alleviates anxiety.   I recommended this same course of action during the Bear Market of 2008 while coaching hundreds of financial advisors that year. And, those that put their plan and solutions into action were very happy that they did when the market turned around again. They did not have to play catch-up or explain to clients why they had been out of touch.

Repeating the Process

Change is inevitable. If you can learn to embrace it and adopt a positive spin on even negative events, you will find yourself with a solid foundation for a successful practice.

If you are in the midst of change and need someone to discuss the best course of action for you and your business, simply email me at dan@advisorsolutionsinc.com for a free consultation.

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