No matter what you tell people (or yourself), you likely want to be known as an interesting person. This can be especially prevalent among financial planners who often have the stigma of being boring or sticks in the mud. Unfortunately, many advisors try so hard to prove they’re interesting that they actually miss the boat completely and alienate their clients. Being interesting is not difficult to do once you realize one very important fact: it’s got nothing to do with you. Intrigued? Here are some ways to become the most interesting financial planner your clients have ever met—and catapult your success in the process.
Be Interesting by Being Interested
As Dale Carnegie so famously put it in his classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People, everyone’s favorite topic is themselves. If you think being interesting is all about showing what you know and pointing out how smart you are, you’ve just stumbled on one of the reasons why your business is probably not as successful as you’d like it to be. You need to be deeply interested in your clients to become interesting to them. As part of the discovery process, you should already be asking them questions about their goals, history with money, and other pertinent information. However, you need to take that to the next level by delving deeper into their histories, why they think about things the way they do, and what makes them feel passionate about life.
Learn How to Best Connect with Them
There’s only one way you can be an effective fiduciary and mentor to your clients and that’s by learning everything you can about them. I have always been an advocate of giving my clients personality tests to find out how they process information and emotions and how they take action. If you do this, you’ll also learn how you can better connect with them. Some of your clients will prefer highly emotional conversations while others will prefer to stick to the facts (or numbers). By figuring this out and putting the information into practice when you interact with them, you not only increase your ‘interesting’ factor, but you also create a much deeper relationship.
Investigate Topics That Appeal to Them
So you might be interested in rock climbing, gourmet cooking, and heavy metal. Do you think your client, who enjoys gardening, loves international travel, and is a vegan, wants to hear about your recent rock concert experience? Nope. It’s your job to learn more about those things that interest your clients so you can have meaningful conversations about the things that matter to them. More than likely, as you explore these topics with your clients, you’ll find some intersection and shared interest. Even if you don’t, though, you’ll learn more about a new subject and be able to keep conversations going with your valued clients.
Show Some Vulnerability
Many advisors avoid showing any vulnerability because they equate it with weakness. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. When you open up and show your clients that you’re human, they are more likely to trust you and show their own vulnerability in return. It’s a best-kept secret in the industry that vulnerable advisors are not only more interesting, but they’re also more successful and have higher levels of job satisfaction than their buttoned-down competitors.
As an independent advice-based financial advisor, it’s easy to make the mistake of thinking you need to be a know-it-all to be interesting to your clients and seen as a mentor and expert in your field. The truth of the matter is, there is only one thing you really need to know to be the most interesting person in your field—it’s all about the person sitting across from you. Want to chat more about becoming a smarter and more interesting advisor? Please reach out! It’s one of my favorite topics.
When you become a mentor to your clients, deeply understand them, and guide them toward a better future, then you’ve learned the ways of a financial caregiver. You’ve come to know what it means to be a true purveyor of advice, and how to use money as a conduit to a more fulfilling life for yourself and those you serve.
Patrick Tucker, owner of True Measure Wealth Management and founder of True Measure Financial Advisors, has over 20 years experience in the industry and has spent the last 15 years learning the ins and outs of the fee-only advisory business. He’s spent over $500,000 finding mentors, studying consulting businesses, taking courses, studying the soft sciences, running trial and error experiments, and learning how to be an entrepreneurial financial advisor. He’s simplified this into an easy to use blueprint for anyone who is entrepreneurial-minded and is tired of the sales culture. Patrick has been able to acquire over $158 million under management with little to no money spent on marketing.