Article by Financial Advisory Director, Adeline Tan
The first of the three core skills for any financial adviser is communication. And this also involves listening, Adeline Tan, financial advisory director at SingCapital, is quick to add.
To her, listening means not just to what clients say, but also what they don’t say, and then asking questions to clarify and probe further.
“This requires advisers to be mentally and emotionally ‘present’ to the conversation,” explains Tan, “to be more closely aligned with the client in order to get to know what they really want in terms of their needs.”
This is essential, she adds. Clients tend to have different reference frameworks from their advisers, which prevent them from comprehending what the adviser is referring to, she explains. The same can happen the other way round, too.
Reaching out to new potential customers, or to existing customers to ask for a referral, is the second key skill that any aspiring or successful adviser must have as part of their repertoire.
In particular for Tan, the majority of her clients get referred. “So it is important for me to understand their purpose so that I can add value to them,” she says.
In her case, the advantage of having an accounting background ensures she is quick to grasp concepts such as cashflow and the implications of it.
“And in terms of tax, my background enables me to provide tax advice as well as guidance in property investments,” she adds.
Effective time management
To make the most of their careers, the third vital skill advisers need is the ability to set aside the appropriate amount of time for each component of their role – for example, prospecting, upgrading skills and knowledge, and having a balanced lifestyle.
“Without proper time management,” says Tan, “it won’t be possible for advisers to deliver on the client’s expectations or to fulfill their own professional objectives.”
Time management, therefore, means focusing what is important and will add value to clients.
In other words, doing the right thing, and doing things right.