Personal Development

May 2010 Graduation Season

You know the pomp and circumstance.  A time when all of us pause and watch friends or family strut their moment upon the stage with optimism and digital flashes.  We say, “What a success you are!” As if it is an American right that our next generation has more opportunities than the last one.  Perhaps you sat in the audience, reflecting on your graduation, or the economy, or opportunity.  What do you advise a graduating senior today?

4 Principles of Selling in the Trust Business

Selling defines success. Nothing else is more important in your business. So what is this notion of the trust business?

Are you in the financial services business or the “trust business”? Your answer could well determine your success. The trust business is defined by what you provide for your clients. People hire you—or decide not to—based on how much they trust you. People reinvest or walk away based on how much they trust you.

Perhaps the idea of selling trust is new to you. If you think you sell products or services, you’re limiting yourself.  Here are the four principles you need to remember to be successful at selling in the trust business:

How to Act With Courage

Excellence springs from courage, but not everyone chooses to be brave. These financial advisors share how and why they acted with courage, and how it benefited their business. Consider their insights into the nature of courage, and start using it to build your business, too.

Let’s start with a definition. The word “courage” shares a root with the French word coeur, or heart. So when you act with courage, you’re acting from the heart, from your inner instincts.

I define courage as being authentic, acting from your gut. You know when your gut senses danger or trustworthiness during a first meeting with someone. Courageous actions spring from taking to heart what your gut is telling you.

The brain is involved. But there are no decision trees. In fact, your executive center may stifle courage at times. “Courage has need of reason, but it is not reason’s child; it springs from deeper strata,” wrote Herman Hesse.

For instance, if your gut instinct is that a wealthy prospect is going to be extremely difficult to work with, it may be courageous to walk away. It may be good business practice to say, “I’m not interested in moving in that direction at this time.” But that might mean giving up what seems to others to be a blockbuster account. Do you focus on the dollars? Or do you do the courageous thing and listen to your heart and your gut?

Following are six examples of people in the financial services industry who have acted with courage. Perhaps you are facing similar situations.