Last week, Susan shared some ways to communicate trust. As she pointed out, clients want to have a solid basis for trusting you; they want to know what you stand for.
Here’s why. When you share a belief with someone, it creates a connection between the two of you. For example, if I tell you that I believe that Chick-Fil-A has the best chicken sandwich and you agree, we have just identified a shared perspective. And if I see one thing the same way as you, it’s quite likely we will see other things the same way too.
On the other hand, if I told you that I believed that the earth was flat, you probably wouldn’t trust me to plan your next vacation.
For centuries, Christians have used creeds as a way to affirm their key beliefs. In fact, the word “creed” comes from credo, the Latin word for “I believe.” Similarly, credibility comes from credibilis, meaning “worthy to be believed.”
When you create a foundation of your beliefs, it also generates a wonderful feeling of confidence. Putting your proverbial stake in the ground shows others (and yourself) that you have conviction in your perspective. As Nick Murray writes in The Excellent Investment Advisor, “When I believe, I am believed.”
How about you? What do you believe?
You may believe that no one can consistently build and actively manage a successful portfolio of individual securities and that passive, index investing is the wisest choice for most investors.
Alternatively, you may believe that the markets aren’t as efficient as some believe and that opportunities exist for the astute and agile portfolio manager.
Or your approach to investing may be more focused on exercising caution when others are greedy and jumping in when others are cautious.
You probably have beliefs about other areas as well. What do you believe it means to serve clients with excellence?
What do you believe about managing clients’ emotions? What do you believe about expressing appreciation to your clients?
If you’ve never documented your core beliefs, take five minutes at the beginning of each day to write down a few things you believe.
You can use this formula: what + why + how.
Start with what you believe. Then briefly explain why you believe it and how it impacts what you do.
In some cases, you may not know exactly why you believe something or how it impacts what you do. That’s ok. Just jot down what you believe.
Need some help getting started? Try finishing some of these statements. Don’t forget to include why you believe it and how it impacts what you do.
- The most important role I play with my clients is…
- The best financial advisors are those who…
- Selecting individual securities is…
- Portfolios should be rebalanced…
- Long-term care is…
- The best use of my time is…
As you continue to build out what you believe, you’ll find that you are also describing what makes you uniquely you.