Have you ever wondered what makes a financial adviser successful? If you believe that having a high I.Q. is the key to growing your business, think again.
There are two distinct types of intelligence—intellectual and emotional—each of which activates distinct areas of the brain. Intellectual intelligence, or “book smarts,” is measured in terms of I.Q., while emotional intelligence, or “people smarts,” is measured in terms of E.Q.
Emotional Intelligence is essential to building and maintaining a successful financial advisory business because the financial services industry is a people business. If you cannot connect with people, you will not be able to set the appointments, open new accounts, gather assets, and build a thriving practice.
The following are 5 core competencies for building relationships and increasing your Emotional Intelligence.
1. Emotional Self-Awareness
This means knowing what emotions we are feeling at any given moment and being aware of how they impact us, clients, and prospects. The emotionally self-aware financial adviser has a high ability to tune into changes in feelings from moment to moment. This is the foundation of all of the other competencies for building relationships.
2. Emotional Management
This means knowing how to manage emotional states to regulate those that have a negative impact on you, the task at hand and/or your business. Emotional management is also about being able to “bounce back” from any and all emotional set backs.
Advisers with high levels of emotional management can regulate anxiety, fear and irritability. Typically, these types of advisers do not take rejection personally but see it as a necessary part of sifting through non-qualified prospects in order to find a qualified group of people who will one day form a great client base.
Self-motivation is regulating one’s actions toward the pursuit of one’s goals, regardless of perceived setbacks, adversity and discouragement. Self-motivation is about delaying any activities that promote short-term gratification at the risk of slowing down or halting activities that will get you to your long-term goals.
4. High Levels of Empathy
Empathy is a cornerstone of building relationships because true empathy takes the other person’s perspective into account and leaves any possible conflict of interest behind.
Our business is one of trust. To truly be trusted by prospects and clients, you must first convince them that you understand what they are feeling. The highly empathetic adviser has honed his or her listening skills and is not afraid to ask clients how they feel.
5. Relationships Under Management
Being able to manage relationships by managing emotions in others and having the ability to read social situations, communicate effectively and interact with a high level of confidence are all a part of relationships under management.
They can quickly diffuse client conflicts by simply listening to the client’s concerns, assessing the client’s emotional state, expressing empathy, utilizing reflective listening and assertively responding to the client’s request. In effect, the adviser simply controls the emotional climate by controlling their own emotions and managing the emotions of others.
Daniel C. Finley
Advisor Solutions Inc.
St. Paul, Minn.