Posted: 08 Dec, 2020
On Wednesday 2nd December, TMA NextGen Bristol was joined by Foot Anstey’s Jane Middleton for an insightful webinar that even the most experienced advisors will benefit from watching.
Jane is Foot Anstey’s Learning & Development Business Partner with over 20 years’ experience helping people to develop their business and market impact and to progress their career ambitions. Her webinar covered how advisors can have a bigger impact in their business and on their clients, how to unlock this potential and how their impact can be demonstrated.
Lydia Lloyd, founder of NextGen Bristol and a Foot Anstey lawyer moderated the webinar and welcomed Jane to share her insights.
Moving the Dial
Giving context to the subject of the webinar, Jane said that the structural break caused by Covid-19 has caused Foot Anstey to consider how they can deliver differently and continue to foster internal and external relationships while navigating a different way of working.
In the current climate, stakeholders and clients are asking different things of their service providers and advisors and Jane sees this as an opportunity to shine. Lydia agreed, seeing this as an opportunity to engage with clients in a different way.
According to Jane, the opportunity is to ‘move the dial’ on our personal and business impact. It’s a time for incubating relationships and highlighting your wider value to leave a stronger relationship in your wake. To be ‘front of mind’ and therefore ‘chosen’ in your market and your organisation.
In order to ‘move the dial’ Jane said one of the most affective approaches can be to lead conversations with genuine empathy and informed curiosity. Reach out to someone without asking anything of them or sharing something for them to read. Just a ‘how are you?’ can be enough. Such an approach can have a big impact on strengthening the personal bond with someone, be it a client or colleague.
Essentially, Jane said this is an opportunity to be more thoughtful with people: “It’s the personal touch that can take you farthest, fastest.”
When thinking about improving your performance as an advisor, Jane said it’s helpful to put yourself in the mindset of your client and try to understand the business and personal challenges they might be under. Then, think about how your advice can help them as a human being, their role and their business. In times of business crisis, successful advisors speak to their clients and stakeholders more frequently, not less, to reassure them and to help them keep a long-term perspective.
Jane recommended spending 10 minutes per week thinking about your relationships, which ones are most important to you, which ones you want to improve and then take some actions to improve them. She and Lydia agreed that it can be very easy to push out work and have a transactional relationship with clients but giving them a call simply to check in on their personal wellbeing can help to move the dial from service provider to trusted advisor.
Influence and Impact
To increase your impact in a relationship Jane said that it’s helpful to start by thinking about your current relationships with colleagues and clients and think about what they think you are for in your relationships. It’s likely to be for the work you do but what do you want them to think you are for? Do you want them to think of you as someone who they can call at 9pm at night when they’re worrying about something? If so, Jane said you need to think about how you can move the dial in that direction. That’s what makes you stand out.
Impact is about producing an effect, an impression. For advisors, it is about being front of mind and trusted, which unlocks greater influence potential. People are struck by and remember how you made them feel, how interested in them, friendly and thoughtful you were, what you left them in your wake, and if you are easy to work with and helpful to know.
Building trust and the personal connection is the lynchpin for moving from service provider to trusted business advisor.
Crucial, however, is to stay true to yourself.
“Be yourself, but with a splash of deliberate skill.”
To help you assess what your current impact is, define your targets and improve and demonstrate your impact as an individual or as a team, Jane has kindly made her slide deck available and has designed it to provide simple, practical ways for you to increase your impact and influence day by day. To request a copy of the slide deck, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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