I have always believed that Financial Advisory is a very evolved business. Just like medicine, it is an evolved business.
An evolved business is one having the potential to help society at large.
Whether we practice the profession from an ethical perspective or otherwise, is a decision we have to make.
Like doctors, even financial advisors have the option of either working for the betterment of society or only for their self interest.
Businesses that can change and improve the quality of lives of scores of people usually provide delayed gratification for the entrepreneur / professional / business owner.
However, when the gratification occurs it more than compensates the delay.
Again the focus of such business is less on products and more on customers and their needs.
While it is easier to begin this profession by understanding and learning products, the secret of success lies in understanding people.
Understanding products is much better defined and easier. It is time bound and can be mastered in a couple of months. There are quality sources available to learn about products.
On the other hand understanding and learning about customers is a continuous process. It takes experience, observation, listening, focus, clarity of thinking, empathy, keen interest in psychology etc.
However, when you master this process over a period of time, the profession starts to become very meaningful.
If you can understand your customer, his needs, his moods, his fears, his vulnerabilities, he will not only give you his business but also his loyalty and desire to pay you your rightful fee.
Over the years experts have observed and classified investors into 9 different profiles.
These are :-
1) Family Stewards – Those whose primary motive is to take care of their family
2)Phobics – Those who fear talking about investments
3) Independents – Those who love to attain their independence
4) Anonymous – Those who are very secretive and value those who understand their fears
5) Moguls – Those who believe money is power
6) VIPS – Those who crave for material goods, status and respect
7) Accumulators – Those who just want to grow their money for the sake of money and nothing else
8) Gamblers – Those who enjoy the process of investing. They see it like a game and love speculating, chasing tips etc
9) Innovators – Those who want to know the latest and most sophisticated methods of investing. They seek services such as PMS etc
In the course of discussion with our clients, it is essential to ask the right questions and to quickly ascertain the profile of your customer.
The quicker you understand him or her, the stronger will be the relationship and more prosperous will be your business