We all know that employers are looking at hard and soft skills when interviewing potential new team members, but in my experience, I’ve found that developed soft skills are vital to the success of financial advisors.
While soft skills are generally formed over years of experience, there are many that you can nurture and work on even in the start of your career.
Hard skills are the job-specific, technical skills that many employers look for when deciding if you are the candidate that can perform the job.
They are typically quantifiable skills that can be learned through training programs or certification, and in the end, they can be evaluated.
On the other hand, soft skills are interpersonal abilities (or “people skills”).
Soft skills are much harder to define and evaluate and often include aspects such as communication techniques, listening, empathy or any other trait that characterizes how a person interacts in their relationship with others.
Being able to engage with people effectively is the lifeblood of financial advisors—possessing a variety of soft skills also makes you a more adaptable and flexible person.
If you are seen as someone with many soft skills then others probably also view you as unique and with a broad background that can diversify an organization, thus increasing your value.
Ultimately if you are rich in soft skills, then your interactions with prospects and your ability to engage and land new clients will blossom.
The list of important soft skills could go on forever, but I’ve compiled a short list of the ones I believe are most important for financial advisors to have.
We deal with complicated information that can be confusing for the average person. Being able to simplify information into a way that investors can understand will be key. Make them understand all the info rather than trying to impress them with your vast knowledge.
If you are a good listener, then clients are more likely to trust you. Demonstrate your eagerness to hear their concerns and goals; you are giving them potentially life-changing financial advice, after all. You must build trust with them any way you can.
Stress is inevitable, but how you handle your stress can say a lot about you. Being able to manage your stress and show your clients that you’re not worried will go a long way in growing the relationship.
Enthusiasm for your job is so necessary; as financial planners, we must have a true interest in helping others succeed by growing their wealth and establishing security.
In finance, the smallest mistake can be costly. A great financial planner is extremely attentive to the details and will notice a potential issue before it has the opportunity to expand into something worse.
What do you think? Do your strengths fall on my short list of important soft skills? If you’re ready to start developing your skills and growing your business today, let’s talk!
Reserve your spot for my January 2018 workshop here.