The Golden Rule Fails Financial Advisors

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Treat people the way you want to be treated or do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The golden rule is the foundation of how we were brought up by our parents and grandparents. We’ve heard it time and time again as a guide for our behavior towards others. We packed these words deep into our souls and shared them with the next generation, never breaking with tradition.

Until now.

The golden rule doesn’t work for you as an advisor. It lets you down.

Stick with me.

The golden rule has a huge flaw that needs to be exposed. It sets you up for failure on a big assumption that everyone does want to be treated the way you want to be treated.

That is not the case.

For example, let’s consider a situation where you’re talking to a prospect and doing your best to influence her to become a new client. You say to yourself, if this was me, I would want to know everything there is to know about our company and what our plans are going forward. I would want to see proof of the success of our investment strategies. Applying the golden rule, you begin to treat her like you would want to be treated. You proceed to unfold an array of statistics proving your success, giving her the complete history of the firm including plans for the future. In the meantime, your prospect says to herself, “I hate all of these details. I could care less about the stats. All I want to do is meet the people of the firm and see if I get a good feeling here. My friend wouldn’t have referred me here if she didn’t already trust them.” The prospect is too kind to interrupt you and instead will nod her head and smile.