Let’s take a trip down memory lane to high school. Ok, not gym class square dancing (yikes) but the idea that you should always try to improve in your areas of weakness.
In all reality, spending time trying to improve in your areas of weakness is not how the professional world operates.
Part of the thought process behind the team-based approach at Consolidated Planning is that each one of us has the thing we’re great at, and other areas that we are honestly just lousy at. And that’s ok. Rather than dwelling on these areas, we’re going to help you find the time and resources to lean into your unique abilities.
In your journey of discovering if being a financial advisor is the best fit for you, you should spend the time to understand what your unique ability is, and isn’t, and if that aligns with what it takes to build a financial planning practice.
What Is The Idea of A Unique Ability?
A Unique Ability, by definition, is the essence of what you love to do and do best. This ability is something that comes rather naturally to you, brings you joy and energy, and is likely obvious to those around you.
Think of a figure like Michael Jordan, for example. Regardless if you’re into basketball or not, you likely know this name and know that he is considered “the greatest basketball player of all time.”
We’re willing to bet that basketball has always been something MJ shined at and that part of the reason for that is the joy and energy it brought him, and vice versa.
What Are Necessary Unique Abilities To Be A Financial Advisor?
#1 The Ability to Build Meaningful Relationships
Seeking relationships, building relationships, nurturing relationships. Eat, sleep, breathe relationships.
If a unique ability is all about doing what you love and doing it best, enjoying relationships is undoubtedly a must have to be a financial advisor.
Yes, we said it, a must have. If you don’t want to develop relationships day in and day out, this career probably isn’t the best fit for you.
What’s at the core of relationships, especially as a financial advisor? Trust. Here’s what trust as a financial advisor may look like:
- Transparency – Not only do you have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of your clients, but it benefits all parties involved to be open and honest with your services, possible fees, and complete and accurate information of their financial situation and outlook.
- Consistent Communication – Communication, communication, communication. Your clients are entrusting you with their financial wellness, and likely want to hear from you more than annually. Keeping the lines of communication open on your end will go a long way. These can even be casual touchpoints or birthday messages, for example.
- Active Listening – This career requires you to listen more than you speak. Ultimately, you are here to help fulfill your clients goals and that means paying close attention to their questions, concerns, and specific needs.
- Promptly Responding – Addressing client concerns or questions in a timely manner shows your commitment to your client. You are the expert on their finances, not them, help ease their racing mind sooner than later.
- Lead With Your Values – Let your personal and professional principles guide the advice you’re giving to clients. Chances are you’ll attract clients with like minded values and this will help differentiate you in the business.
#2 The Ability to Convey Information Effectively
Speaking of unique abilities, most of your client’s unique abilities will not revolve around the financial planning world. That’s why they come to you.
This is why the ability to convey complex information in simple ways is another can’t-be-without attribute as a financial advisor.
Part of getting new clients, and keeping them is ensuring they are learning throughout the process. Your goal should be to educate your clients as you go by conveying complex information about their financial wellness in a matter they can understand. Here’s what this may look like:
- Avoid The Jargon – The financial industry is loaded with jargon, and while you may feel fancy using special words and phrases, your clients are not impressed by this. Use terms and phrases that make them feel in control of the suggestions and advice you’re setting forth.
- Break Down Complicated Concepts – Break down your everyday concepts into easier-to-understand concepts, including visuals, charts, and graphs. Explain these concepts using examples they can relate to.
- Adequately Answer Questions – Always answer your clients questions in a direct and straightforward manner. Offer to answer a client’s questions or re-explain anything until they feel comfortable.
Outside of enjoying and being good at building relationships and conveying complex information in a simple way, everything else is able to be delegated . Yes, delegated.
How Can I Focus On My Unique Ability To Grow As A Financial Advisor
At this point you have likely identified that your unique ability does or does not align on some level with the two non-negotiable unique abilities we’ve discussed, relationships and adequately conveying information.
As a financial advisor at Consolidated Planning, we want you to be in your unique ability zone as often as you can. To help you stay in that zone, we have several internal teams whose unique ability is to do the things that are not your unique ability. Read that again. We have teams whose unique ability is to do the things that are not your unique ability.
- Processing paperwork
- Marketing to clients
- Case work for planning
- Adequate meeting preparation
If you are wavering on what your unique ability really is, take some time to do some self inventory. Ask yourself, how do you spend your time? What do your days look like? You can also ask those who know you well what they gauge your unique ability to be.
If you’re ready to put your love for relationships and conveying information to good use, chat with our recruiters about growth opportunities as a financial advisor.
2023-149862 Exp. 1/2025
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