How To Rethink Your Approach As An Advisor

Thinking is everything. How you mentally approach being a financial advisor is every bit as important as your wealth management skills…

Keeping the right mindset sometimes requires us to reconsider long-held views and beliefs.  That can be a difficult process, but doing so leads to new insight, which can lead to breakthroughs that might take your career to a whole new level.

Because when you get right down to it, your success as a wealth manager hinges on your ability to stay relevant. Relevant to your clients, to the ever-changing financial markets, to emerging new technology, and to the world itself.

That reality applies to advisors of all ages and levels of experience. As I wrote in my book, Dr. Cole Cash Will See You Now, “Advisors need to get over themselves. They need to stop thinking of themselves as an old guy with a legal pad, and instead need to see themselves as a resource, not a relic. Despite the fact that we live in a youth culture, gray hair doesn’t mean, ‘Put me out to pasture because I’m not cool.’ It means ‘information station,’ and that’s how younger clients will see you if you reach out and truly let them in.” 

The battleground for becoming—and remaining—relevant is in your mind. How you think goes a long way in determining how your career will unfold.       

I have talked about the importance of mindset with several financial services professionals on my podcasts. Their outcomes were remarkable when they dared to take a fresh look at themself, their job, and how they go about performing it.

Let me share a few of their insights with you.

Bradley Leimer, a co-founder of Unconventional Ventures, which connects founders to funders, has an interesting perspective on getting involved in your clients’ lives. He says financial advisors should “look beyond banking” in relationships with their clients. For example, he asks, “Regardless of how many assets your clients have under management with you, what are you doing to help them live longer and live healthier?” 

Leimer recommends doing something unexpected: “Instead of buying your clients a box of candy or nuts or some sort of gift basket at the end of the year, buy them an Apple Watch. And then show them how to use it.” 

Consider Paul Fenner’s take on social media. The TAMMA Capital founder says we need to totally rethink our approach. “Rather than pushing out strictly content, what people really want to know is about me (as a person) and what I’m doing. When I look at the things I post, the highest level of engagement I get is always when I post things about my family, how TAMMA turned 11 years old, and the story behind it, things of that nature. Special things like that get people’s attention. Sharing pieces of my life, I have found, is much more valuable than sharing the latest tax strategies.’”     

Brett Orvieto says his enhanced understanding of psychology has improved his client relationships. He is a managing partner at Dakota Wealth Management and says his new approach has changed his outlook: “So much of the job day-to-day is just talking to people. When you’re a trader, you think more of what goes on in this industry, like what’s happening in the market and how the portfolio is doing. And the reality is for most of my clients that’s not even the third or fourth thing we talk about. It’s more about other things going on in their lives, just kind of being an advisor to them.”

Taking an interest in your client’s physical (as well as fiscal) health… changing the type of social media content you post … listening instead of telling …. They all represent changes in traditional advisor thinking. Some of the changes are radical, some smaller. Yet all of them produce tangible benefits through enhanced relationships, clearer understandings, and an improved view of ourselves as financial advisors.

So, are you ready to let go of the past? Are you willing to break free from “This is the way to do it because it’s the way we’ve always done it before”? And most importantly, are you willing to try something different?

All you have to do is open your mind to new possibilities. Your thinking will take it from there.