When it’s time to sit down at the planning table with a wealth holder, odds are you won’t be alone. Regardless of the wealth holder’s net worth or if you’re meeting with an individual, a couple, a family or a business owner, clients frequently receive advice from many others including lawyers, attorneys, insurance providers, money managers, accountants and philanthropic advisors.
It’s up to you to ensure that the needs are being put first, and there’s a good possibility that the wealth holder might question the motives of some of the others at the table. Everyone knows they’re seated at the table with the motive of commerce, but who’s interests will they put above all else? The answer isn’t always clear, and the client’s interpretation of what’s happening will have a tangible impact on how they view your contributions and advice.
There is a single trait that, if recognized by the wealth holder, can quickly alter how you are perceived by them: it’s called Self-Orientation. In simple terms, we are reassured when we perceive that others are putting our needs ahead of their own – it’s a fundamental in creating the ground conditions for trust. So quite simply, if people sense that you are focused on you, and what you can do, and what you will get out of an exchange, it hurts trust. But if they think you are putting your needs last, they tend to trust your advice more readily.
So how do you demonstrate a low Self-Orientation? Take a step back and put the solutions aside in the early stages. Wealth holders are often concerned that their money won’t end up where they want it to be, that’s a common worry. So, address that by slowing down and taking the time really understand what your client wants and why they want it. Show that this is about your client’s outcome, and not your income.
Then the wealth holder can truly recognize that you have them in your best interest, and you won’t have to fight for a seat at the planning table.