4 Traits of Elite Advisers: Do you have them?

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Practice management expert Matt Oechsli of The Oechsli Institute kicked off FPA of Colorado’s 2012 Financial Planning Symposium in Denver last week to a full house. His opening keynote session on the best practices of elite advisers provided research-based characteristics of what Oechsli has defined as the best of the best—those advisers who are adjusting their services to be relevant to today’s affluent clients.

Oechsli partnered with Nationwide to conduct his most recent research, which revealed two major trends: 

  1. Women now dominate the affluent client-adviser relationship (for example, several communication factors such as listening and providing timely information—not mechanical communication—are statistically more important to affluent women than affluent men).
  2. Clients want to know you personally. So don’t just tell clients and prospects how smart you are and how much training you’ve had, share personal details and let them truly get to know you.  

But what struck me as most impactful were the four traits of elite advisers that Oechsli shared. They’re simple, yet profound. Do you possess these traits?

A myth about today’s affluent clients, according to Oechsli, is that they’re different from us. “They’re not born on third base thinking they hit a triple,” he says. “They work hard. They trust and respect hard work and expect you to be a hard worker, too.”

Elite advisers display discipline. Perhaps it’s in their dedication to executing their marketing plan, or perhaps it’s working long hours and weekends to tend to client needs and sales calls without distractions.

According to Oechsli, having self-awareness is recognizing your strengths and weaknesses. Know where you excel and admit where you need help.

Deliberate Practice
A deliberate practice is one that is always in growth mode. Elite advisers are always working to improve.

 This quote from Oechsli sums it up nicely:

“Elite advisers do what average or good advisers will not or cannot do,” he says.

Carly Schulaka
Managing Editor 
Practice Management Solutions 
Financial Planning Association

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