The Three Concepts that Matter to Every Advisor

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Readers,

I am writing this column on my birthday. I believe a personal new year offers us each a chance to reflect in a different way than everyone’s calendar New Year of January 1t. With the years, hopefully comes wisdom and new learnings. In honor of my own new beginnings starting today, this column is dedicated to sharing three ideas to help you hopefully start anew and become an even better financial advisor.

1. When doing something nice for clients – put thought and effort into it and make sure it is really nice. For my birthday my financial advisory firm, who are very good advisors, sent me a birthday card. The card was older stock so it had names of a former owner and my advisors added theirs in pen. Inside was a printout of ideas to help navigate the Registry of Motor Vehicles. I assume this was there because of the new license rules and the long lines people are experiencing. I don’t have to renew my license this year, I have a AAA card and will go to the DMV when I need to get my updated license. This insert was a “throw-away.” I didn’t really enjoy receiving the card or the insert because it didn’t really send a message of caring.

By contrast my bank, Santander Bank NA, sent me a really fun email with a birthday wish and a sincere note of “thanks” for being a valued customer. I forwarded it to a number of people because I was so impressed by the thoughtfulness that went into it. One was an email; the other was an actual card sent in the mail with a handwritten envelope. The former took more time and was definitely more my personal style. But the email felt as if it took more time and more thought – and it really made my day brighter!

As an addendum – after I submitted this article to Bob Huebscher for edits, later in the day on my birthday, I got an email from my own advisor. This one was colorful and upbeat and profiled two people who did amazing things in the year they were the same age I am now. It was quite inspirational and meaningful. My advisor was somehow intuiting what I was going to write – maybe they do know me better than I think!