Transitioning into an Adviser – it’s all in the mind

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Transitioning into an Adviser – it’s all in the mind

Over the last couple of years, we have been having more and more conversations with firms who are looking for help in transitioning their client facing professionals into ‘Advisers’.

 

This isn’t anything new. The professional services market place has been hearing and talking about developing ‘Trusted Advisers’ for almost 30 years now, but very little has changed. With the acceleration of technological advances there appears to finally be a real catalyst for taking the bull by the horns.

 

The million-dollar question is….. ‘how do we do it?’.

 

We believe that the starting point is to define exactly what a ‘Client Adviser’ is. In our experience, a major reason why professionals generally have not developed their client approach as much as they could is down to ‘fear’ of being exposed if they are required to provide advice across a whole range of business and personal issues.

 

Being an adviser isn’t about giving advice (although this will be required). It is about being there for your clients, caring about their ambitions, their businesses and their challenges. It is about being a sounding board, a supporter, a driver and sometimes a critical friend. It is about being a golf caddy not a golf coach!

 

We run Adviser programmes and help professionals to develop important skills and behaviours, to accelerate experiences and to build toolkits to improve their performance and value. Yet doing this will only have any real impact if professionals believe that they are, or can be, advisers.

 

Ultimately, it is about mind-set and self-belief. Our primary focus is on helping individuals change their self-perception about how they can add value which in turn can change the perception that clients and prospects have of them. This means:

 

  • Seeing yourself as the coach/mentor to your clients, not just the provider of a solution
  • Having real ‘inward-out’ confidence (through the aggregation of your experiences, successes, learning, knowledge, network and strengths) to be able to help clients identify what they NEED (which may be very different to what they want!)
  • Being obsessed with understanding ‘context’ through being curious to learn:
    • About the worlds of your clients, their ambitions, strategy, hopes, fears, their market places, the business operations, the commercial engine, the controllables and the un-controllables
    • About what the future might look like, what change may happen and how it could affect your clients
    • About the full value proposition of the firm and all of the ways in which it can help clients
  • Having a growth mind-set – wanting to push out of your comfort zone and do things differently
  • Ultimately, it means going out to your market differently – instead of a specialist who understands a fair bit about business, a corporate client adviser should go out first and foremost as a ‘business expert who just so happens to specialise in Tax Planning, or Audit, or Employment Law.

 

We also believe that firms can do a lot more to support the development of their advisers. How can firms develop an ‘advisery culture’? An environment where the focus is fully on the client and the quality of the interactions, conversations and relationships between client and adviser. An environment where cross service line collaboration is the norm, where advisers are able to properly research, plan and learn to more effectively mentor and coach clients. An environment where client experience is absolutely at the core, with an unfaltering focus on outputs as oppose to the usual inputs of time, chargeability and utilisation.

 

We would love to talk to you about how we can help develop the mind-set, skills and behaviours of your front-line professionals and how the firm can take significant strides in becoming an organisation of great advisers. Get in touch on 01892 610060 or email “hello@thegrogroup.com”.

 

theGrogroup are experts in advising organisations on how best to improve performance by effectively executing and embedding required change. We do this through our proven framework; clarifying change needs, enabling people through skills, behaviours and mindset development and creating the systems, processes and infrastructure to lock in change as the new normal.

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