It's About Earning Your Trust

Whom do we trust more, firefighters or stock brokers? How about librarians or attorneys? Nurses or sales people? The extent of our trust depends greatly on whether we perceive a potential conflict of interest, which can create skepticism or lack of trust. This underscores why we trust our firefighters, librarians and nurses more than we trust people in sales. Since becoming a financial advisor in 1985, I was determined to be among the firefighters of my profession, and I continue to strive to earn this coveted distinction (trust), because when it is received, clients have total confidence in our ability, our integrity, and our character. In my practice, doing what is right because it is right is non-negotiable. I consider it an investment in my reputation and peace of mind.

While most people believe financial advisors as salespeople, I never feel like I am in the selling business. Instead, I consider what we do as giving. Giving of our time, attention, counsel, education, empathy, and value. Selling should be about giving and caring, not taking. Nevertheless, I suppose that people, like me, who dislike salespeople are, in fact, salespeople ourselves! Perhaps, if we are an engineer, coach, teacher, accountant, and yes, a financial advisor, we are in the selling business. Do you know that the word "sell" comes from the Old English word "sellan," which means—you guessed it—to give.