This is the second agreement that connects Inbound Marketing methodology and Fee-Only Financial Advisors: Emotional Intelligence.
Don Miguel Ruiz published ‘The Four Agreements‘ in 1997 and it became a best-seller soon after. You don’t even have to read the book in order for it to have an impact on how you think.
Here are the four agreements:
Don’t take things personally? I’m sure you don’t anyway, and there is more to this agreement than meets the eye. Exhibiting high emotional intelligence, which is really what we’re talking about here, is a skill we can all work on. You might like to test yours right now? I’ve been a personal development trainer in a former life (thought I was perfect) and found that there were areas that I could still sharpen my game.
There is a flip side to everything. We all have had someone say to us “don’t take it personally” and felt that lump in the throat as we choked back a response. Because, if we take our work and business seriously, of course, we take it personally. How we execute our personal relationship in the workplace and especially with clients, is what counts.
Our passion for what’s going on can be misunderstood if we fail to communicate that passion in the right way. Competence and commitment are the two best ways to communicate passion with high EQ.
So communicating softly and carrying a big stick speaks louder than the words ever will. The ‘big stick’ in this case is demonstrating competence in how much you know about the client’s needs. You will only be able to do that by carefully listening to their fears, challenges, and hopes.
Sharpening our active listening skills and questioning techniques is the best way to demonstrate our EQ. Commitment is another central element of conveying your EQ. ‘Saying what we are going to do and doing what we say’ is a very old cliche but one that is poorly executed by many professionals and companies.
People don’t care about the number of promises we make they only remember the ones we don’t keep. Making promises and sticking to them is very loud language and creates and builds strong client-provider relationships.
Often your clients EQ is not what it could be for a number of reasons. Maybe they had a bad day or their expectations have not been met and they are being needy or demanding. These are times when our EQ is most important. Staying cool and collected even when we know the client is being unreasonable.
Psychology Today recommends six ways we can build our EQ :
So we all band around the term ‘high emotional intelligence’. It’s a high wall to climb and we don’t always reach the top. When client accounts present challenges or when adversity rears its ugly face often we can become reactive. We can take it personally and find ourselves saying ’Why is this happening to me’? Or we can see the event as yet another opportunity to practice our EQ skills.
The acronym ROI may be top of mind in many, if not most, of your clients. You are a competent Fee-Only Financial Advisor and can probably provide good ROI on a regular basis. They never ask ‘Do you have high EQ?’ It doesn’t get talked about, yet it fundamentally affects the strength of your relationship with the client especially when things don’t go well or they are not happy about something.
Often the deepest, most fulfilling professional relationships are those that had ‘hiccups’ and through healthy resolution became stronger as a result. Strong client-provider relationships are good for the bottom-line in a number of ways which you can already appreciate.
I recall a crusty old (and highly successful ) insurance man telling me that he wasn’t in the business of selling insurance, he was in the business of curing insomnia. An obscure joke about helping people sleep better at night, I realized. Financial Advisors provide a very similar service. Developing and executing high emotional intelligence with your clients is one of the most (if not the most) powerful tool for delivering that service.
We can be great at prospecting, getting clients but emotional intelligence is a continuous process which even more important when the prospect becomes a client. Practising EQ will really raise ROI for all your competence and commitment.
Prospecting and getting clients is also what we specialize in. We can bring highly qualified prospects to your site download some of our free resources.
The next agreement in the series is ‘Don’t Make Assumptions’. By their very nature assumptions are most of the time invisible, at least to the person making them. In professional life surfacing your assumptions can have transformative effects on how effective you are with yourself and others.