Sidney C. Walker
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October 2012

"Our Job Is To Help People..."
by Sidney C. Walker


Many of my coaching clients tell me they are not sure what really motivates them. Many say they feel motivated by the pressure to make money and live a certain lifestyle but beyond that, things get a little gray. In a business culture that champions profitability by control and analysis, it is no wonder we lose touch with our more empowering sources of motivation.


I assume you are a relationship-oriented financial advisor and not what I call a "client controller." As a relationship-builder, your main job is to help your clients make educated decisions about their finances that feel right to them, which actually includes doing nothing if that is indeed what feels right.


Your job is to help people look at the financial issues they are going to face in the near future and beyond and decide what they are going to do about those issues. Your first task is to make people aware of the financial issues they will face. "Are you saving enough money?" is an example at the top of the list.


The next part of your job is to determine your client's interest level in solving specific challenges. Do they care if they are saving enough money? Do a search on Retirement Statistics and you will have plenty of ammunition for this discussion. Show people the reality of who has money and who hasn't. Ask them which group they want to be in. In other words, do they care enough to want to do something about it? If they don't, you probably need to move on and find someone else to talk to.


As a relationship-builder, you're looking for people who are interested in taking proactive steps toward a better financial future. If the interest is not there, you are likely wasting your time. Trying to educate people who don't care about their financial future and get them to take action is not the right business strategy for a relationship-oriented advisor. This is not always an easy choice to make. We want to help people. We want them to care about their future and to do well. But, the reality is that you can't want it more than they do.


Our greatest source of personal motivation comes from our basic and simple desire to help other people. There is a profound feeling of self-fulfillment and satisfaction that comes from helping other people accomplish something good. Most of us got mixed messages from our sales training on where our focus should be. I can tell you without any hesitation if you are a relationship-oriented advisor, you will get more motivation from the simple focus of helping people than any other.


In fact, this desire to genuinely help people not only motivates you but is what is desperately needed and wanted by your prospective client. Focus on helping as many people as you can every day make sound decisions about the financial issues they face. Help them discover what they want and need. Help them get what they really want, what feels right to them. Help them figure out what their priorities are and get started on taking the first important steps. Make them a client. Then you have the rest of your career to help them do the rest of what they need to do.


As a relationship-oriented financial advisor, it is much more effective and profitable to educate your clients on the options available and then let them choose what they want to do. If you push people in a particular direction, they will feel it and push back. If you help your clients make the decisions that feel right to them, you will make a lot of life-long friends and have plenty of money to do whatever you want to do with your life.


Have a productive October,

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