This “X Factor” is Your Value Proposition

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Some advisors stand out. They aren’t always the smartest or the most charismatic, yet they are enormously successful, far more so than their peers. I have figured out why.

Here’s a summary of my conclusions:

They think differently

In my previous career as an attorney, I used to try arbitrations in which my client was an aggrieved investor who suffered losses due to misconduct of their broker. These cases are notoriously difficult to win, in large part because the arbitrations are administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Many believe that FINRA is biased and rigged against investors.

My success rate increased significantly when I partnered with a lawyer from a small town in Massachusetts. There was a quiet dignity about him that resonated with juries and arbitrators. There was also something very different about the way he thought.

In the middle of one of our arbitrations, he was notified that the governor had appointed him to be a judge. He still had to be confirmed by the state legislature, which wasn’t a slam-dunk.

When the time came for his confirmation hearings, he had the pick of distinguished lawyers eager to curry favor with a potentially new judge by testifying on his behalf. He politely declined their offers. The only witness he brought to the hearings was a lowly courtroom bailiff.

When it was time for the bailiff to speak, he was so obviously nervous the Committee Chairman asked him if he was okay. He said he was overwhelmed and intimidated to be appearing at the hearing. After all, he said, he was just a low ranking bailiff.