You know you provide a valuable service and help make people’s lives better, but the public also sees what the film and television industry portray — which could be negative and flawed. How then can you get the message to your friends and prospects that you excel at making a difference in the lives of your clients and their families?
- Share success stories. Friends occasionally ask, “How’s business?” We usually have a standard answer for that question, such as “Great!” That is a missed opportunity. Instead, imagine they asked a different question, such as, “How have you helped someone lately?” Then you would share a brief, anonymous success story. If you haven’t recently made some life-changing improvements to someone’s life, hear the question as, “How have you prevented someone from making a big mistake? You are gradually painting a picture of how you help people. Notice these stories have happy endings. Your friends might then start to wonder “Could she do this for me or someone in my family?”
- Volunteer at your religious institution. Once or twice a month, I present one of the readings at my church. Several people recognize me from this and say hello. This even happened in Paris, France, when a passerby yelled out the name of our church and waved! People often associate your career in the context of how they know you in their private life. They may think, “He is a financial advisor. He must be good because he volunteers at church.”
- Donate money to several charities. Our insurance agent is very involved in the community. He has served on the business partner board at the museum. He raises money for the cancer center. He is involved with the local religious school. He has been involved with the chamber of commerce. When people see you giving time and money, they think you are successful in your profession.
- Get close to the money. Compliance will need to approve this one. Get involved with a community organization and “get close to the money.” This might involve serving as treasurer for a nonprofit. People feel you are ethical and trustworthy because the organization and its leaders put you in charge of the money. If you are ethical and trustworthy in your volunteer capacity, you are considered ethical and trustworthy in your professional capacity.
- Paint a picture. People frequently call your office. You are not always available, though. Sometimes you are out on an appointment or meeting with a client in the office. Instead of simply taking a message, ask your assistant to explain what you are doing in an anonymous way. This might be, “She isn’t available because she is helping a client set up a college savings plan for their grandchild.” This is another picture-painting exercise. Gradually, your prospects and clients gain a fuller picture of how you help people.
Building your reputation is important. There are many ways to do it. These only scratch the surface.
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. His book “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” is available on Amazon.
For more ideas for enhancing your reputation as a financial advisor:
- Read “Are you losing potential clients when they ask what you do for a living?” [MDRT member exclusive]
- Read “The reason we do what we do” [MDRT member exclusive]