New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote an excellent commentary on how savvy CEOs make business and investment decisions.
He cited our growing dependency on data, yet noted that the greatest CEOs based their decisions not on data, but on values.
Although data is a useful tool, commerce is dependent upon trust. We can draw multiple parallels from Brooks’ column to our own industry.
This Website Is For Financial Professionals Only
One of the weaknesses of our industry today is that we increasingly rely on studies and data to shape the services we provide to our clients. Client relationship management (CRM) technology is a prime example.
One of the purposes of CRM is to gauge what consumers are interested in buying and also to data mine trends that enable cross-selling.
The number of studies conducted and white papers written monthly is mind boggling. All of this is good.
But when it comes down to it, clients do business with us because we earn their affection, trust, and respect. Especially during difficult times, those attributes rise to the surface much more than data.
It’s not a matter of excluding data; it’s a matter of positioning data in its proper role—as a tool to add objectivity and support for our work.
Data is extremely useful in helping to identify trends and in making sense of mind-boggling complex situations.
As it turns out, though, data is not great at assessing people’s emotional states. It measures the quantity of social interactions rather than the quality.
Understanding the authentic role of data and how best to use it is critical for our clients’ success as well as our own.
Understanding how to interpret a survey, reading between the lines, and relying on your own expertise is a skill advisors absolutely must own.
Technology helps us gather and use data in a way that increases efficiencies and frees time to develop and nurture affection, trust, and respect with our clients.
And it goes even further than that. Positioning and using data in its proper role allows us to flip our mindsets and look at what we do for our clients from their perspective.
Article after article on investment and news sites offers a way for advisors to differentiate themselves.
But being able to truly view things through their eyes and employing affection, trust, and respect to get to the heart of their needs and personal goals for their wealth is the only real key to catapulting yourself ahead of your competition.