We call ourselves advisers, which means we provide “ADVICE”, but what is advice anyway?
There are many professions who are in the business of providing advice, from doctors and dentists to accountants and lawyers, from engineers to motor mechanics, from architects to builders. We all get a lot of advice in our lives, some of which is called for, some of which is not, some of which we take notice of, some of which we ignore.
In the world of financial advice, of which I am privileged to be a part, I too often hear stories where the “adviser” has advised what the client or potential client will accept. This is not advice. In sales terms, the used to be referred to as “echoing” using the prospects own words to persuade. Just telling a client what they want to hear might make the sale easier, or the meeting shorter, but in the end is this what the client is paying you for? Is this what the client expects?
In our business we are determined to “ADVISE”, that is use all of our skills knowledge and experience to come up with a recommended course of action that we will then offer to the client. Sometimes our advice will be accepted and sometimes it won’t, but unless we approach the task of providing it with integrity, we cannot hold out that we have acted in the best interests of the client. Some of our very best advice, has not been what the client wanted to hear, sometimes delivering the advice has been difficult, but being prepared to say what you think is a part of professionalism.
So, to answer my own question, hear are a few thoughts
- Advice is like a little nudge which prompts you to do something you knew you should do anyway
- Advice is a transfer of value from one person to another
- Advice does not necessarily come from the wiser or more knowledgeable, sometimes it is just another way of looking at things.
- Needing advice does not make you stupid, it means you are smart enough to know when you need it.
- Because you ask for advice does not mean you have to heed it, you still can question the quality of what you received.
- When you follow advice, you do not remove the responsibility for your own actions, it is not a passing on of blame.
- Advice is not an order or a decree, it is just someone else’s opinion.
- When you give advice, you had better believe it is appropriate.
- Advice is the extra bit, the missing piece, the final chord.
- Advice is not a recommendation to buy something, it is a recommendation to do something.
- Asking for advice is just asking for help. It is not a sign of weakness.
- Not everyone knows everything about everything, that is why we need advice.
- It is usually best to wait until advice is asked for before delivering it.
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