Advisors: Trust Is the Differentiator in Driving Referrals

Advisors: Trust Is the Differentiator in Driving Referrals

When you search for the word trust in the Oxford Dictionary, this is what it comes up with:

A firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.

‘relations have to be built on trust.’
‘they have been able to win the trust of the others’

Quite relevant when you think about the work that financial advisers do and the desire to build long term mutually beneficial relationships with other professionals. BUT, I have noticed some, and some might not like this word, but slackness when it comes to their behaviours with strategic alliances/referral partners/COI’s.

I could quote the dictionary again here, but I think we all understand what slackness means!

Related: Advisors: Why Might You Want to Become a Thought Leader

Trust is a behaviour; it’s something that can take time to build but in a split second destroy. Trust is so important in this industry because it has such an impact on reputation and ultimately profits. When there is a high level of trust in business, it can speed up the process of engagement and decrease multiple unnecessary steps.

In recent weeks I have heard some advisers say things like, “A guy I’m keen to develop a referral relationship with rang me the other week, but I haven’t had time to call him back yet.” “A new referral partner had a client they wanted to introduce, but I haven’t called back yet because I don’t think I have the capacity to work on them yet.” “A referral partner wanted some marketing stuff, but I didn’t know where to find it, so I haven’t got back to her yet.” And, the list goes on. Can you see the pattern here? Some people consider themselves far too busy to either email or call – for business!!!

I’d love to say that this list comes from the less experienced advisers in Australia, but sadly it doesn’t. Why does it happen?

How do you ensure that you and your team are consistently displaying trust with every client and business partner, all of the time?

The list below could be handy to display in the tea room or somewhere similar as a reminder about the importance of one of the most fundamental behaviours that drives this profession.

  1. We understand that trust can keep people together, can hold organisations together and clients repeatedly coming back. We understand that every interaction is meaningful.
  2. If we all agree with our company values and agree on the actions to add life into them, it will result in consistency and consistency in behaviour builds trust – quickly. If we develop the client and referral partner journey, we can identify the steps where we can display trust. ***Remeber trust can be built on your ability to do something so be confident to display your credentials.
  3. If the trust levels of our company drop, it can have a significant impact on the success of us all. Referral partners won’t introduce new clients, and existing clients may be tempted to go elsewhere.
  4. We can display trust in all of our marketing by supporting what we claim we can do with the evidence that we’ve done it!
  5. We can display trust in every action/task that we complete. When someone calls, we call them back immediately – not a week or two weeks later – it doesn’t matter who they are.
  6. Is it time for us to conduct a trust radar? Can we complete a 360-degree feedback on all employees to measure our level of trust? Can we include our referral partners too?
  7. Betrayal immediately destroys trust.

Depending on the size of your business you may wish to discuss [in your next team meeting] what the word trust means to everyone. It can mean differing things. The important thing to consider is how you manifest all the responses into your business.

Rachel Staggs
Advisor Marketing
Twitter Email

The first thing you should know about me is that I’m insanely committed. Committed to hard work, to results­ driven marketing, to financial services, and especially to peop ... Click for full bio

NBA Player Carl Landry Demonstrates the Value of Persistence in Life and Work

NBA Player Carl Landry Demonstrates the Value of Persistence in Life and Work

Written by: Jon Sabes

When you meet Carl Landry, stand-out college basketball player and nine-year NBA player, you imagine that becoming a professional basketball star was a straight forward run for the 6-foot-nine-inch power forward. 

However, when you go deeper into Carl’s background, becoming a NBA professional was less than certain and little came easily to the 33-year-old from Milwaukee:

  • He was cut from his high school team as a freshman and averaged less than ten points a game when he did play as a senior.
  • He started his college career not at Purdue, but a junior college where it was not clear he would play.
  • When he finally got to Purdue, he tore his ACL in his knee his first year and reinjured it the next year.
  • While his family held a party for him the night of the NBA draft, he slept in the Philadelphia airport after missing a flight following a workout for the 76ers.
  • In the NBA playoffs, Carl had a tooth knocked out, but came back in the same game to make a game-winning blocked shot as the Rockets beat the Utah Jazz 94-92.

Landry, who I interviewed on my podcast, Innovating Life with Jon Sabes (, is a remarkable example of the value of “persistence.” In a time where technology creates the image that anything is possible at the touch of a button, persistence is an under-appreciated trait. When I spoke with Carl, I clearly saw someone for whom success has only come through a force of will that made him a NBA player, but it also made him a better player every year he played. That’s the kind of personality that has produced greatness in business as well as sports.

Carl was, in fact, drafted that night he spent in the airport. The Seattle Supersonics chose him as the 31st overall pick and then traded him to the Houston Rockets where he rode the bench for much of the first half of the season. When All-Star teammate Yao Ming was injured, he stepped in and played a key role in the Rockets astonishing 22-game winning streak (the third longest streak in NBA history). And, that season, after sitting on the bench for 33 of the first 36 games, he was named to the All-Rookie second team.

Carl was the first in his family to go to college. “I told myself that this was my ticket out, so I did everything I possibly could to be the best person in school and also on the court,” he said.

His family life in Milwaukee showed him what he didn’t want to do. “Just being honest with you, seeing some my cousins, peers, they went to work for jobs paying six, seven dollars an hour or they didn’t go to work at all and then living off welfare. I didn’t want that.”

When he was first injured, he had to contemplate the end of a career before it even got started. “When you have an ACL tear, it’s over…no more basketball,” he told me. “I said, God, give me health again and I’ll do everything I can to leave it all out on the line and be a successful individual.”

On my podcast, Carl pointed out another interesting lesson he learned in the NBA: Not doing things just to fit in.

“Fitting in was easy,” he said. “Doing everything that everybody else does was easy. If I stood out in some type of way, I’m going to have different results. I’m going to have stand-out results.”

That’s called the “Law of Contrast” and it produces that exact effect of changing the outcomes that everyone else is experiencing.  Carl is smart, he recognized that differences make a difference, and doing whatever it takes is what is required to make real, meaningful differences.

Every off-season for the last 11 years, he has run a camp for kids in Milwaukee where he tells youth his story of hard work and persistence. “I always tell the kids to apply themselves and always be persistent,” he said. “If you dream, apply yourself and be persistent. With hard work, man, the sky’s the limit.”

When Carl says the sky’s the limit he means it.  He is smart to recognize that it’s important to dream big, because if we don’t – we may be selling ourselves short. “You have to dream bigger than your mind could ever imagine,” he said. “I wanted a nice house. I wanted a nice car. I said, and I got all of that. So, what do I do, do I stop now? Maybe I didn’t dream big enough.” That’s a big statement coming from a kid who grew up to be the first in his family to graduate college and go on to be not only a top NBA basketball start, but a good businessman, father and someone who gives back to the community.

I’m convinced that in whatever he takes on as a basketball player or in his post-hoops career, Carl Landry is not going to stop getting better at whatever he does, and in the process of doing so, make the world a better place.

GWG Holdings, Inc.
Investing in Life
Twitter Email

GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:GWGH) the parent company of GWG Life, is a financial services company committed to transforming the life insurance industry through disruptive and i ... Click for full bio