Over the holiday, I have been reading Blink by Malcolm Gladwell.  I am a big Gladwell fan!  If you haven't already, pick up any of his books.  He tells stories in a way that are both entertaining and informative. 
In Blink, he tells the stories of surgeons who get sued.  Surprisingly surgeons who get sued aren't the ones who make more mistakes.  They aren't the ones that do the most or least surgeries…they are the ones with the least humanity.
Turns out, people don't sue doctors they like, even when they mess up!
-Doctors who got sued spent about 3 minutes less with their patients.
-Doctors who got sued were more demeaning in their tone with patients. 
-Doctors who got sued listened less and directed more.
I think this lesson is applicable to our industry as well.  As financial advisors, there are risks associated with lawsuits, but the higher risk likely would be customer complaints on our U-4s. 

And customer complaints can ruin a reputation in a moment. 
I have noticed three distinct personas in our industry:

The Salesman
The Professor
The Advocate
-->The Salesman isn't listening.  He has slick presentations designed to lead the customer to the "right" conclusion.  He has all the right answers to "objections" scripted and memorized.  The Salesman is your best friend, until you say NO or close the sale.  
-->The Professor is above the fray.  He has no dog in this fight.  He is objective to a fault.  He won't tell you what to do, but will inundate you with data and choices.  He does want the best for you, but isn't going to get his hands dirty with firm recommendations. 
-->The Advocate is listening. The Advocate understands your fears, your goals and your challenges.  He is working with you to find solutions that will get you where you want to go and is willing to hold you accountable to do your part.  The Advocate isn't neutral, the Advocate is passionate about helping you move your life forward.
If something goes wrong, who do you think is going to get sued?
I would like to think that the vast majority of financial advisors really want the best for their clients.  However, our industry has trained up a hoard of Salesman.  The pendulum has swung and those rejecting the Salesman persona have become Professors.
It takes self-awareness and frankly some reprogramming to become a true Advocate.
Let me ask you this: who are you, who do you want to become and what do you need to do to get there?
2019 is calling!  It is time to make a plan!

With Purpose,




Who you are is a reflection of those your spend time with.  If you want to become an Advocate, hang out with others on the same journey! 

I started The Intentional Advisor Mastermind Facebook Group to enable all of us trying to become Advocates and Intentional Advisors a closed community to share ideas.  

I hope you will join us in this FREE Facebook Group!

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