Lately, our world has been faced with events we can’t control. And as one situation looks like it’s improving, it seems that additional hard circumstances arise. The dilemma is how to succeed in those circumstances -- over which we have no control. And the solution is simple: control the things you can. Namely, attitude.
When you hear the phrase “the space between,” what first comes to mind? Is it the space between your ears? Or maybe the space between where you are and what you are working to achieve? Either way, the space between is where you control your attitude and, by doing so, set yourself up for success.
My business coach just wrote a blog that really resonated with me. In the blog, The Space Between Emotion and Behavior, CJ McClanahan discusses the existence of a space between the time that you feel an emotion and when you react to it. It’s during that space between that we have the opportunity to shape our attitude.
You might be wondering why this matters so much. It’s because how we shape our attitude is how we choose to live our lives — and run our businesses. It’s important to think about how we choose between different options when presented with a challenge. For instance, how did you react when interest rates dropped? Collectively, our actions caused the market to drop.
When something happens that we can’t control, how we interact with our emotions – and how quickly – will define whether we succeed or fail. Mastering your reaction is essential to success. What I suggest is removing that space between. Instead of reacting, anticipate. Have automation in place where available. Take time to understand what your clients want and use that research to make recommendations that fit logically with their goals, and that aren’t based on an emotional reaction. This level of discipline will naturally lead to different revenue streams and more diversification within your practice. And, most importantly, you will no longer be dictated to by an external fact.
Transformational tactic: By replacing the space between with deliberate, well thought out responses, you can shape your attitude and set yourself up for success.
We’re coming to the end of our series on the Go-Giver mindset, based on the book by Bob Burg and John David Mann. The last law from Go-Giver to delve into is the Law of Reciprocity. It’s one of the easiest to understand, but also one of the hardest to implement.
Let’s start with a simple exercise. Take a big, deep breath. Then push all the air out from your lungs. How long can you hold that position before your lungs naturally start to fill back up with air? Not long. In essence, that’s how the law of reciprocity works. In everything — business, sports, relationships – there is a natural back and forth. We let out a breath and our bodies immediately start filling our lungs again with the oxygen we need.
In business, we need to continue to focus on giving value and paying attention to others and to those other laws of stratospheric success we’ve already discussed. Keeping this focus, and practicing patience along the way, is eventually going to lead to success. After all, you just never know when that big case or amazing opportunity is going to come along. But by systematically continuing to focus on what’s important, you’ll be prepared when it does. And you’ll be able to grow your financial services practice while attracting and retaining quality people.
And, I can’t emphasize this enough, you’re going to remain relevant with your clients during the greatest shift from the workforce to retirement our country has ever seen.
Learn more about how to change to the Go-Giver mindset. Let’s schedule an hour to talk specifically about how to grow your business and achieve your financial dreams while helping your clients.
Paying attention to your clients’ and adding value is essential to mastering the Law of Reciprocity. And that is essential when it comes to your own success.
In our digital world, we have ample opportunities to be influenced. We talk about influencers, centers of influence and influential marketing. And as advisors, we are careful of the financial influence others have over our clients.
Influence is found on more than just social media, although that is what first comes to mind. It’s easy to get caught up in social media, and it’s important for many to be well-liked. But what does it actually mean, to have influence over another? Influence carries a lot of power, and it’s important to use it carefully. If exercised incorrectly, influence can be dangerous.
In past blogs, I’ve mentioned different principles from the book The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. Today, I’d like to discuss one more, and that’s the Law of Influence. According to the authors, the Law of Influence says that your influence is dictated by how well you serve other people’s interests. Although this is important in all industries, it really hits home for us. Our professional existence is based on how well we advise our clients and help them achieve their goals. Having influence allows you to drive the conversation and to drive your clients to the desired outcome.
We need to keep our clients’ interest as a priority, and we need to be attuned to any changes. That is perhaps more important now than it was in the past. Think of how things have changed over the past 60 days. As the world continues to struggle to get back to its normal flow, our perceptions have changed. So, it stands to reason, how we exercise our influence needs to change as well.
We need to stay in front of our clients. We need to ask the right questions, and we need to make sure we’re delivering value.
Fortunately, value can be delivered in many ways. It could be delivered virtually. It could be delivered in group settings. And it can be delivered one-on-one. But however it’s delivered, we have to make sure we are hitting the value proposition. We are best able to serve our clients by listening to them and addressing their concerns.
So, think about how you define influence. If your definition doesn’t include putting your clients’ concerns ahead of yours, it might be time to change your thinking. And, I think that if you keep the other person’s interest first, you’ll find that you’ll grow your business. You’ll attract quality people and you will remain relevant with your client in the greatest shift from the workforce to retirement we’ve ever seen.
When determining how to influence your clients, the most important thing you can do is put their concerns first.
Quick. When you think about making more money, what are the first two solutions that come to mind? Were they adding assets under management or adding new clients? Without a doubt, when it comes to increasing compensation, we always think we need to add. But that’s not necessarily the case.
According to The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann, the law of compensation doesn’t rely on more clients or more assets under management. Compensation is controlled by how well you serve the right number of people. And those two points remain constant. If you don’t have enough clients, you won’t make ends meet. And if you have too many clients, you won’t be able to provide the service they deserve.
Over the past several weeks, we’ve talked a lot about how to increase your value, and specifically what to focus on when it comes to changing how your clients measure that value. Today, I want to focus on how your value is increased by having the right-sized business. Just like Goldilocks, you want something that’s not too big and not too small.
And what is the right size, especially now, during a global pandemic? And if you are ready to serve new clients, how do you encourage them to meet with you, even virtually? Are they ready to focus on their finances and partner with someone new?
The good news is that many clients are getting more and more comfortable with digital technology. Clients who hadn’t ever had a zoom meeting are now familiar with meeting over the computer instead of in person. And by using the technology available, it is possible to have a face-to-face conversation, even if it’s not in person.
Providing value, however, remains the single most important task of any financial advisor. It’s up to you to calm their anxiety and help them feel confident about their financial future. With digital meetings becoming more comfortable for your clients, and more efficient for you, it is possible to provide value to more clients.
We’re all curious about what post-pandemic life in the United States will look like. Certainly, it will be different, and most likely technology will continue to play a large role in how we do business. And, companies and businesses will still have the same concerns they’ve always had, in addition to some new ones.
Specifically, pension risk transfers continue to be the largest risk to large and midsized companies’ balance sheets. Pension risk transfers affect shareholder value and can be the right topic to start a conversation with a CEO, CFO or HR director. If you can talk to them about taking pension risk off the balance sheet, you can also offer educational seminars to clients in the future. With their employer’s recommendation, you have a level of trust from a group of new prospects that might not otherwise be willing to listen to you. This could be a successful strategy for growing your business after the coronavirus crisis is over. Activity today is required to spur future growth.
By focusing on providing value to your clients and maintaining a high level of service, along with thinking strategically about how to reach new clients, you’ll be perfectly positioned to impact lives both now and in the future.
Concentrate on two things that drive compensation. First, always give value. And second, increase the number of lives you touch.
Standing out is hard.
In any business, it’s tough to create separation from the competition. Of course, you need to meet the minimum requirements for doing business in our industry. Those are the table stakes that everyone else is doing. Don’t stop there.
What makes you stick above others? How can you create separation for yourself?
Start by thinking about anywhere you’ve been a long-term customer. Are you still a customer? Or, over time, have you slowly gravitated away? Often, when a customer leaves for a competitor, the reason is the same. It’s because they feel underappreciated. If they think you aren’t grateful for their business, they are going to look for someone who is — someone who makes them feel special.
The takeaway is to make an extra effort. Make sure your clients feel truly appreciated. It’s easy to send an email to thank someone for their business. And it’s great to send a hand-written card, especially as it’s a lost art. But the reality is, we need to differentiate ourselves by being unique.
One of the most important aspects to consider when developing a personal relationship, is to stand out in your efforts to make your client feel appreciated.
Last week I talked about being empathetic toward your clients. Use that empathy to view your relationship from the client’s point of view. You aren’t going to stand out by making a call or sending a letter. You need to understand where your client is and what’s important to them. Then tie your appreciation gift to that person.
Today, it’s not enough just to say thank you. Make a memory with your client and concentrate on that memory when you show appreciation. And remember that appreciation isn’t just a one-time expression. If you don’t want to lose long-term clients, stay in touch and remind them how important they are to you. You’ll add value to your overall relationship and, in the process, strengthen your business.
Do more than say thank you. Strengthen your relationship with your client by showing your appreciation in a more personal way.
© 2018 Ash Brokerage LLC.