There is only a thin line that sets apart a successful advisor from an unsuccessful one. As advisors, we all want to grow our business and mentor our clients. To this end, we happily put in efforts. But do we know what works and what does not?
In my long experience of working with hundreds of advisors, I have discovered that these seven qualities make the ideal advisor.
KYF (Know Yourself First): Know yourself well. Unless you identify your strengths and weaknesses as an advisor, you will not be able to channelise your core competencies. Knowing yourself helps you build on your strengths and prospe. For example, someone who is strong in building relationship should put in more efforts in social events. It will save time and effort in spreading the message about your services as your clients will become your advocates.
Integrity: It is not just a buzzword. It is an essential quality for all advisors – your clients should be able to readily vouch for your integrity. They need to believe that all your investment advice is in their best interest. You need to exhibit your trustworthiness consistently to assure clients that they are in safe hands.
Discipline: Practise what you preach. Every advisor wants clients to be patient and disciplined while investing money. However, many advisors lack these traits. This is especially true about time management. Since advisors are their own masters and are not answerable to a boss, they can become slack about discipline. Hiring a mentor or coach to keep an eye on your progress can help ensure that you stay on track.
Invest in learning: Investing in training and development can help you draw clients and retain talent.
As most advisors work independently, they do not have anyone challenging their viewpoint. This tends to make them complacent and learning new things does not seem important. Most of the successful advisors, however, invest a lot in learning and development. You can learn in many ways – for example, reading up on various subjects can help you engage in lively conversations with people. This helps immensely in building your brand with clients.
Articulate: You need to articulate your thoughts well. If not communicated with clarity, your message may get lost. Clear and concise communication will help you convey the message effectively to your clients. Additionally, advisors should work on presentation skills and personality development to enhance their brand further. Remember, even your attire and body language speak for you.
Creative: Being creative is the need of the hour. There is no harm in using articles available on the internet as reference material to share with your clients, but remember it is being used by many other advisors as well. Your clients will always appreciate original and novel material. When you create the material, you will be able to present it more authoritatively. In addition, the joy that you will get when clients appreciate your articles will be immeasurable.
Empathise: Mastering all of the above traits becomes meaningless if an advisor cannot empathise with his or her clients. The ability to empathise helps advisors to bond with clients. Spend lot of time understanding your clients. Always remember, reading the client fact sheet is more important than reading a fund fact sheet.
Vinayak Sapre of Insights has also authored a book titled ‘Dohanomics’. The views expressed in this article are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cafemutual.