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Suits You Sir

24 October 2023

FINANCIAL PLANNERS – are you wearing a suit? And if you are, why?

Serious question – think about it…

But while you do, I’m going to take away the option of answering either.

“Because everyone else does.”

And, “Because I always have.”

So, what’s left?

What conscious reasoning do you have for wearing a suit as a Financial Planner?

The most common responses I get to this are:

“It looks professional.”

“It looks smart.”

“It’s what a client would expect a professional to wear.”

All good answers.

Except that what you’re really saying is that it’s a uniform.

It is a mode of dress that gives people an initial impression of your character.

In the same way, priest’s robes, doctor’s whites, or police uniforms all give an immediate sense of the virtue, knowledge, or authority of the person wearing them.

A business suit says, “I know my stuff.”

But as a Financial Planner, I’m sorry, but you don’t.

You know absolutely nothing about the stuff you need to know about – none at all!

Because our job as a Financial Planner is to learn about our clients – how they think, how they feel, what they want, and what they worry about.

And when you first meet a client, you know none of that—the whole purpose of your session is to find it out.

So, wearing a uniform that says, “Listen to me; I know my stuff,” is setting you up for a fall.

You’re creating a false hierarchy.

You want the client to tell you everything, but you’re wearing a uniform that signals to the client that they should be hanging on to what you say.

Now I’m not saying you should be rocking up to your client session in your best Kappa tracksuit and Adidas Samba’s, but neither should you automatically reach for your suit every morning, just because that’s what you’ve always done.

Go on, try it – loosen that tie a little! – Software, Training & Business Services for Financial Planners


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