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People Buy People

7 April 2023

FINANCIAL ADVISERS are rare beasts…

Good ones, I mean, because in order to be a great financial adviser, you need three very different skill sets.

  • Technical & Analytical ability: to know all those products, funds, and tax rules.
  • Drive & Determination – to do all the sales activity to find new clients.
  • People-ability (is that a word? – it should be?) to connect with clients.

Most other roles in the financial services profession only require one or two of those skill sets, but advisers need them all—that’s what makes them rare beasts.

And if you asked someone to put them in priority order…

The FCA and your Compliance Officers would say technical & analytical ability first.

The business owner would say the drive and determination to do the sales activity and bring the revenue first.

But me?

I’d say people-ability first.


Because Mike, my old sales manager, said so.

‘People buy people’ he would always say.

And he had social skills in spades. He was warm, friendly, and could connect with anyone; he always had a story to tell, and people wanted to listen.

By his own admission, he wasn’t that technical.

And although he built a great client base, he wasn’t that driven.

In fact, I was probably twice as good at analytics as he was and twice as determined.

Yet he had twice as many clients as me.

You see, you can know all the clever stuff and you can work all the hours, but if you can’t connect on a human level with people then they won’t buy into you.

And if you’re not a ‘natural’ people person, then you need to find a way to be one.

And the best way to do that is to specialise.

No, not in a particular product type (sigh).

I mean work with clients that you have a shared commonality with.

It doesn’t matter what it is; what matters is that it’s important to you and talking about it does for your people-ability what spinach does for Popeye.

Whatever makes you light up.

Be it a life event (good or bad), your local community, particular professions, health & fitness, or even Star Trek, if it’s also important to them, then you’ll have a passionate and connected conversation about it like two trekkies on the bridge.

And they’ll buy into you like a Ferengi at a bitcoin conference.

Find your tribe and work within it. – Software, Training & Business Services for Financial Planners.


  • End-to-End Lifestyle Financial Planning Process & Software
  • Full Financial Planner Back Office System
  • Coaching for Financial Planners


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