I was recently invited to share my perspective at the annual conference of the Purposeful Planning Institute. This gathering features professionals with backgrounds in wealth management, trust and estates planning, family offices, legacy planning, philanthropy and more. Participants generally serve clients that the sector calls high or ultra high net worth. The conference was virtual this year because of COVID-19.
My observation is that building authentic relationships is what creates connection. And yet doing this requires time. You can’t expect it to be a one-way conversation. Advisors have to take an active role in sharing part of themselves. And it generally requires moving past the safe topics that you can measure: cash, real estate, business assets, revenue, stock options, net worth, estate plans. These are easy to discuss. Creating relationships that last, that are based on trust. This can feel uncomfortable and unnatural – even risky. These relationships require moving beyond the tangible and into the intangible. You have to be vulnerable yourself; it generally involves discussions about family and issues. Getting to this level with clients allows us to really understand what is truly important to them. With this information, we can guide them and help them make decisions that combine both quantitative and qualitative factors. Sometimes what may appear to be most financially advantageous may not be what’s best for the client or their family.
But being vulnerable runs counter to everything we’re taught to believe is how we should behave in a business setting. Vulnerability is equated with weakness.
Not everyone agrees with my approach, but it’s what I think it’s best for clients. Click the link below to see the full video. Let me know what you think!