In coaching financial advisors for 14 years, I’ve found that many of the most elite financial advisors — the ones who are extremely successful and maintain a high profile — have a secret weapon at their disposal: The power of their presence.

Think of it also as charisma, personality or magnetism. This seemingly elusive trait means these advisors light up a room when they walk into it. Their personal presence makes them nearly irresistible to wealthy investors, who want to know more about these advisors from the moment they meet them. And once these investors are clients, they essentially become marketing apostles for their advisors, spreading the word to all their wealthy friends and associates. Presence also helps these advisors build and motivate amazing teams of people to support them.

We’ve been coaching financial advisors in developing their presence and personal stories for years, with amazing results. Many members of our mastermind group of more than 200 top financial advisors directly credit these tools for garnering billions of dollars in new assets under management.

Quote
Having a clear vision and being able to communicate it effectively is not enough. You also need to be able to move others in a forward direction.

Here, I’ve narrowed down all that wisdom to six key steps to boost your presence among prospects.

1. Know your story: People will want to know who you are. A compelling story that reveals the truth about who you are will attract others to you, including potential future clients and team members.

By knowing your story and telling it well, you will realize specific, practical benefits:

  • Your story will attract people to you. When others hear your story, it gives them insight into who you are, what you stand for and what you had to overcome to get to where you are now. Very often, this makes them eager to associate with you.
    John S. Bowen Jr. gives tips on increasing your charisma
    Your story will create trust. Your story will also go far in building authentic trust in clients, prospects, team members and strategic partners. Your story is uniquely yours and no one else can tell it like you. By opening up to others about what is important to you, your listeners become much more inclined to trust you with what is important to them.
  • Your story will be the foundation of your vision. As you review your life, you see how certain events shaped you in powerful ways. You uncover clues about what you most value, which in turn begins to clarify your vision for your life. Having a clear vision is an absolute prerequisite for accomplishing great things in your practice.

2. Build your dream team: Building a top-flight financial advisory business is not something you can do alone. You need the help of select professionals who can fill specific roles on your internal team and on an external team of strategic experts. The optimal group of individuals who will support you, push you, leverage your strengths and minimize your weaknesses will buy into your dream of building the best possible business.

Video
Advisors: Amplify your influence
You must be able to express your vision wherever you go. This may feel mechanical at first but with practice, it will feel more natural.

Leading financial advisors surround themselves with top people both internally and externally in the form of strategic alliances with financial specialists. An elite team enables you to leverage your talents and skills to build your business by focusing on value-driven, client-facing activities. The result is a win for you, your team and your clients.

3. Live with intention: There is one thing that will anchor everything else you do: your vision of what you want to do and who you want to be. With this clear vision, you will begin to live intentionally to achieve your dreams. When you define your vision and passion in life, your tasks become crystal clear. The road ahead becomes obvious and your energy becomes sharply focused. By building a powerful presence, you galvanize those around you into action to help you achieve your vision. You literally begin to attract success.

So many financial advisors focus only on the “how” of building their businesses. You should instead first focus on the “why.” The reason is simple: When you have clarity about your life’s purpose, everything else falls into place. When you have a compelling vision, you have a powerful tool that will guide your practice forward to a better future. It will also be a source of strength and perspective when the inevitable obstacles present themselves. Just as important, your vision will exert a magnetic pull on all those around you, including partners, team members, clients and future clients.

4. Amplify your influence: You need to be able to communicate your vision to others in order to get them on board with helping you achieve it. You must be able to express your vision all day, every day, wherever you go. At first this may feel mechanical and bumpy. With practice, however, it will come to feel like the most natural thing in the world.

Quote
There is one thing that will anchor everything else you do: your vision of what you want to do and who you want to be.

To motivate others, you must communicate your vision in a clear and lively manner. You must express it in a simple and direct way that moves and touches people. Make your vision come alive to others by using metaphors, examples and anecdotes. Relate it to their own hopes and aspirations. Most importantly, you must literally walk your talk and hold yourself to the same high standards to which you hold your team.

5. Inspire those around you: Having a clear vision and being able to communicate it effectively is not enough. You also need to be able to move others in a forward direction. The word “inspire” means “to breathe life into.” Your goal is to breathe life into your vision and those around you. To achieve your vision as a financial advisor, your focus will be greatest on those who are in a position to help you most effectively — your team members. You will inspire your team members in two steps: First by gaining their full commitment to your vision, and second by providing leadership that motivates them to take their own efforts to a higher level.

6. Build your road map: Once you and your team are committed to your vision, it’s time to give it all you’ve got. Successful people are intentional about their actions and do things only on purpose — no stumbling around. Activity alone is not enough; you need to act deliberately with a focused intention to achieve specific goals. An effective plan for achieving your vision is one that spells out the exact commitments that you are willing to make and that defines specifically how and when you will execute each commitment.

Developing your presence will help you attract a steady stream of highly desirable, pre-qualified affluent prospects to your doorstep and give you and your team the ability to serve them well. Accomplish those two things and you’ll find yourself among the ranks of the industry’s truly elite advisors.

John J. Bowen Jr.

John J. Bowen Jr.

John J. Bowen Jr., a Financial Planning columnist, is founder and CEO of CEG Worldwide, a global coaching, training, research and consulting firm for advisers in San Martin, California. Follow him on Twitter at @CEGAdvisorCoach.