What Business Are You Really In? The Answer is Not What You Think...

Uncategorized Dec 07, 2018

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I have a question for you today, what business are you in? It's not a trick question - it's a question I ask many advisors that come to me seeking my counsel on their success. A lot of the time the answer I'm looking for is not the answer I get.

What I want to hear is I'm in the people business, the helping business, the results business, right?

That's what I really want to hear and instead 8 out of 10 times I usually hear we're in the financial guidance business or we're in the financial planning business or I'm in the wealth management business or I help people make money.

Today I want to talk to you about the business that you are truly in or the business that you need to be in. A lot of people got into our industry because they loved the stock market, the portfolio market, stock picking, or financial planning, which is great.

However, at the end of everything what is it you're looking to truly accomplish?

What you're truly looking to accomplish is to help a human being become more successful. Now the word successful has some radically different definitions. So it could be they're looking to radically increase their wealth. They're looking to have a low-stress retirement. They're looking to be able to just retire. They're looking to just get better sleep at night.

That's the business we're in, see we're in the people relationship business. The problem is what do we train you on? All the technical things right? We make you all these different things, but where do you get your designation in people?

That's the skillset you need to develop - you are in the people and relationship business. If you're not in that business then you become a commodity because then you have no relationship. Are you in a relationship with this client or are you treated as a vendor or a service provider?

Because there is a huge difference in being treated as a service provider versus in a relationship with someone. Being treated as a service provider or vendor is a dangerous place to be in because of fee compression, modernization, and artificial intelligence.

I won't get into all the robot technology because I think that's overblown quite frankly.

If you want life long relationships - what is a relationship worth to you over the course of its life. It's hard for me to fathom that if you're doing a good job that a vast majority of your clients are not with you at least 20 years.

I don't care if you're a soloist, working a lifestyle practice out of your house, or you're on a 10 million dollar team with Goldman Sachs you need to ask yourself what do we need to do to have clients for life? Because if that becomes your culture and one of your core beliefs maybe you'll approach things differently.

Maybe you'll take the longer approach with people, maybe you'll invest more and get less impatient in meeting with them. Care about them as human beings not just care about them for their money.

When you do that it is like relational insurance.

It locks the relationship in, it will forgive mistakes, it will forgive poor performance, it will forgive a lot of things because people don't like to fire friends.

If you do have a hands off approach that's fine, but don't be surprised when you start losing clients.

You wonder why you don't have all their assets, you wonder why you can't get them to do things because they don't feel like you have their best interest.

You need to let people know who you are because people want to know who they're doing business with.

You and I are in a personality driven business.

With that being said they need to know your hobbies, your interests, your family because the more comfortable they are around you the tighter the relationships.

Keep that in mind and let's think about how to execute this.

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