Face to Face

Becoming an Intentional Connector

by Tony DiLeonardi

Research is clear, when the affluent client is asked what they want most from their adviser, they reply with a more robust service model and the fact that they want to be heard. Consider this:

  • When the affluent are asked what they want from the financial services sector: 77% say wealth management.
  • When they were asked what they perceived they got from the sector: 81% say product push.

What does wealth management mean? To me, and I think to countless numbers of your clients, it means concierge service. It means help me have a better, more comfortable life. It does not mean jam more product and market insight at me. Stop selling products and begin selling you as the trusted adviser-the one person who can make my life better.

Let me explain it this way. I believe there are three types of people walking around God's great planet. I will, for this example, label them as follows:

  • Intentional Disconnector
  • Unintentional Connector
  • Intentional Connector

In this nonscientific, but radically practical example, the Intentional Disconnector is the person who deliberately wreaks havoc on relationships. He/she is constantly complaining, creating conflict, and looking for fights. They seek to destroy relationships. They are often times the "victim." The good news is that this group of people represents the vast minority; let's say 10%. If they are your employees or clients, fire them. If they are in your family, God bless you.

The Unintentional Connector represents that largest group of people; let's say 80% of the population. These are good intentioned, hardworking men and women who simply by being alive, conscious, and active in their life are connecting people to people and creating mainly positive relationships. The challenge here is that this group is doing it unintentionally. The results are good, but they are unaware of the power of what they are doing in life.

Therefore, the "power" position is the Intentional Connector, defined as practical and aware that relationships matter, they drive results and understand that engaging with people in a positive way is life changing. This small group of intentional, positive relationship creators-or said differently, those who create intimacy-will be happier and more successful. They clearly look for new relationships and ways to go deeper into those relationships. This is the place we want to spend most of our time. If you can set yourself apart, be an intentional connector in people's lives, you will be an intimate adviser and reap all that is available to you.