Fhatuwani Tshilongwane, Executive Financial Adviser at Liberty
Every thriving financial practice has its own story of growth and success that is grounded in the founder’s vision of how they can offer advice, and best build stable financial futures for their clients. However, anyone starting out in the financial advice business will need clients, which means that you are going to need time to build this base over time.
When clients sense your honesty and dedication, it will create a bond that links their financial aspirations to your vision. While this could be one’s personal recipe for success, the principle of the role always stands firm.
As a financial adviser, I consider myself a coach. Not only do I provide advice to my clients, but I train and motivate them on their journey to financial wellness. For many South Africans, having a fixed, monthly savings plan in place often gets put on the back burner when times get tough, or they are forced to dip into their existing savings to help make ends meet.
In my experience, when you advise a client to put their money away for the unforeseeable future or a big life event such as retirement, they need to know that there is a positive, long-term outcome. The latter may not always be obvious, but it is up to financial advisers to paint a bigger picture for their clients, reminding them why discipline is important when it comes to saving. Future plans should always be viewed as an exciting step forward in a client’s life, giving them the freedom to do the things they have always wanted to, but perhaps never had the time for due to work and family life.
In building your practice, your reputation and role as a professional should not be underestimated. You will find yourself becoming a significant member of the community, partaking in events and meetings which would provide you with the opportunity to meet and network with prospective clients. You will be relied and called upon when it comes to offering sound financial advice and education to your clients – future and existing.
This means that you would need to set aside a significant amount of time to build relationships, and being patient and attentive in your conversations with prospective clients. Soon you will find yourself yielding great results by building a reputation for yourself, which will form part of your own success in the long run.
Again, I would like to reiterate the idea of being a coach, and not just simply an adviser. Your clients need your support and require that you walk the road with them from a long term perspective, to help them accomplish their goals. You provide them with sound advice when it comes to saving money, for example, but it is the ability to coach people into realising their dreams and aspirations into a reality that makes a real difference. This takes time from an adviser’s perspective, but it is time well spent and will grow your practice.
When you show up with vigour and integrity, your clients will see you as an ally who is committed to their life goals, and your relationship will grow from there because of this commitment and positive attitude.