This group offers you an opportunity to network and share ideas with Women Advisors from across the nation. We will also update you on plans for our live Women Advisors Forum meetings in New York, Dallas, Chicago and California. LinkedIn
The Women Advisors Forum sat down for a Q & A with our featured presenter Adri Miller-Heckman, author and leading authority in the financial services industry. Heres a preview of the insights youll hear during her session at the Women Advisors Forum, June 10 in New York.
As a coach, you present financial advisors and planners with a new model of success. Can you tell us about some of the problems with the traditional model that many advisors use today?
The industry was built by men to help male advisors attract male clients using methods that are not exactly conducive to women. Don't get me wrong: I love men and have learned a lot from them, but the industry needs to adjust its process and approach in order to start appealing to the female client and learn how to better leverage the natural strengths of female advisors.
I can't tell you how many fabulous, strong amazing women I have coached who came to me totally discouraged. They were passionate about being an advisor and had no doubt they had what it takes to succeed but by following the traditional model they had lost themselves. Work became work, every day became a challenge and they had begun to lose confidence in their abilities.
The new feminine model of success is based on building relationships, inspiring and motivating others. Can you give us some background on this model, and where the idea came from?
Ask yourself, who likes to be prospected? Who likes being sold to or having a salesperson try and close the deal? No one likes to be on the receiving end of those tactics so why would we treat clients that way? Yet those were the skills that were taught in the industry.
When I built my business I wanted to build an almost personal relationship with my clients. I let them get to know me as I became further acquainted with them, and this built a strong foundation of trust. When I would share my ideas and new products or with passion and conviction this naturally inspired them to want to learn more. By focusing on what was really important to them I was able to motivate them to take action, action that I knew was good for their future. When you focus on building relationships, inspiring others and then motivating them to do what's best, you both sleep well.
Youve had an extensive career as a financial advisor. Whats your secret to longevity in this competitive industry?
Listen to your heart and don't conform. Even when I first started out I knew I wanted to build a practice that I loved, with clients I really enjoyed, providing the kind of value I was good at. There was certainly pressure to conform and follow the traditional process but I would have never made it had I followed that path. So much of that model was contrary to who I was and what I believed. So I put my head down, listened to my heart and soul and outperformed many of my peers (and I was a single Mom with 3 kids at home!). I have always had the courage to follow my heart, when you do your passion and enthusiasm becomes contagious and that alone attracts new clients and great business.
What inspired you to become a coach to financial advisors?
I think I've always been a coach. Even when I was a rookie advisor if a new advisor joined the firm I would include them in my events and seminars, coaching and encouraging them. When I became a National Training Officer for a large firm, I was able to train and coach advisors every day all day. While I loved my job, I still found it difficult to follow the curriculum especially when I didn't agree with it or believe in what I was teaching. This was especially challenging as more female advisors joined the firm: How could I tell them to build their business using methods that I wouldn't use in my practice? This created a huge conflict of interest for me. After 4 years I realized my rogue style was not exactly suited for the role as a manger so I left the safety of the corporate world, started my own coaching practice and never looked back.