The rate at which the financial world is changing has never been faster and it will accelerate even more in the coming months and years. For many financial advisors, the scale and pace of change has been a career altering event. Some wasted their time and energy resisting it. Others evolved in cadence with change and exploited the opportunities blowing in its tailwinds.
Change is inevitable in any profession. Adapting to and managing it is optional. The wealth management profession has been particularly impacted by the ramifications of rapid change. Advancements in technology have altered the ways advisors think and evolving investor expectations have forced advisors to recalibrate the value they offer.
Change is a double-edged sword for financial advisors. Those who are unprepared, unwilling or unable to adapt invite career extinction. Advisors who embrace change and evolve with it will not only survive but thrive in the new environment.
Dare to Be Different
High performance advisors are rarely found in the crowded space of the status quo. They know that to grow as professionals, they must continually acquire new knowledge and skills that harmonize with the needs of the clients they serve.
Top advisors are more tech savvy. They manage time better, are more service oriented, and exceptionally organized. They listen more, talk less and connect with clients and prospects on a deeper personal level. They keep up with the future rather than chase it because they complement their conventional hard skills capabilities with newer, softer skills that favorably differentiate them from their peers. They are as focused on the purpose of their clients’ wealth as they on the performance of their portfolios.
Great advisors think differently. To them, change is a catalyst that broadens their perspective, spurs innovation and triggers progress. As old financial models become obsolete, top advisors are busy imagining new ones that will keep them relevant. They see the benefits of gravitating away from the traditional logic, rules and rationality of linear thinking to the lateral mode that allows them to see the world and the people in it from unique and multiple perspectives.
Use Technology to Humanize Your Approach
What will not change is the importance of the human connection in the wealth management process. Technology is altering the ways advisors utilize their cognitive skills, but it will never replace the most valuable asset of all – the emotional connection that is the heartbeat of every successful advisor-client relationship. Digital processors cannot express the feelings of compassion and empathy that show how much an advisor cares. Technology cannot smile, laugh, be kind or express gratitude. It is unable to engage in a meaningful conversation that uncovers how a client defines the concept of true wealth. Technology may digitize the mechanics of asset management but only advisors will continue to have the ability to humanize the purpose of wealth.
Become the Game Changer
For many advisors and their organizations, change is an existential threat that is upending the old-world order. Their tunnel vision perceives it as a disruptive force that threatens their corporate culture and rattles their familiar routines. Proactive advisors see change through a different lens. They refocus their time and energy from trying to preserve the old to building upon what’s new.
Companies that fail to strategically react to change lose their competitive edge. Former GE Chairman and CEO Jack Welch said, “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” The axiom of “Be the disrupter, not the disrupted.” has never been more valid and applicable.
The reality is that companies can’t change. Only people can change. It is a movement that begins at the grass roots level, one financial advisor at a time. The world of finance has plenty of players. What it needs now more than ever are game changers.
Like this tip? Are you satisfied with how your team is adapting to change? We have many powerful lessons and proven strategies to help you build a better practice and become even more successful as a financial advisor. Contact us today about our coaching programs.