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“Social capital” refers to your relationships with those with whom you live and work, which make all of us function effectively. Since you’re in the business of building and nurturing relationships, your social capital is one of your most valuable assets.
Think about your social capital. It includes your relationships with clients, COIs, colleagues, prospects, wholesalers, broker dealers, family, friends, and community. The delicate nuance of every relationship brings us immense joy as well as frustration, anger, disappointment, and confusion. If you consider the people in your life, you know who you can’t wait to speak to because they make you laugh and those who drain your energy and who you try to avoid. You shake your head at times and find yourself saying, “I just don’t get them. They make me crazy.”
Imagine if every relationship came with a user’s manual. You could learn about what makes them tick, how they prefer to make decisions, what motivates them, what hidden fears they have, how to communicate with them so they feel understood, how they might perceive your behaviors and how you could perceive their behaviors. Imagine receiving the key that unlocks this insight and gives you personal guidance to productively use your social capital.
I give my advisor clients this user manual (it’s called “Everything DiSC®”) and coach them on how to implement it to enhance their relationships, navigate through and/or avoid conflict, increase closing ratios, communicate more insightfully, improve referability and enhance personal and team productivity. An Everything DiSC® behavioral style assessment places you in one of four quadrants (D = Dominance, I = Influence, S = Steadiness, and C = Conscientiousness). The D style includes people who are fast paced, task focused, direct, firm, strong-willed, forceful and results oriented. The I style includes people who are fast paced, people focused, outgoing, enthusiastic, optimistic, high spirited and lively. The S style includes people who are slow paced, people focused, even tempered, accommodating, patient, humble, and tactful. The C style includes people who are slow paced, task focused, analytical, reserved, precise, private and systematic. Generally, people have a primary style that influences their behavior and some have a secondary style as well.
Let’s look at a couple of examples of how understanding your DiSC behavior style and the styles of the other people in your life makes a big difference in your bottom line.
One client – I’ll call him Tony – is a massive go-getter (a “D”). He is always looking for the opportunity and when he sees dollar signs, he’s ready to move fast before someone else beats him to it. He can be as driven as a dog with a bone. Tony can be perceived as being pushy and insensitive by others who are quite the opposite of him. While talking to Tony, I was discussing a referral source who is different than him. Roger (an “I”) is a fast thinker, very social, and willing to connect Tony to just about anyone. He carries a lot of influence in his network because everyone loves Roger. But that was the problem.
Tony didn’t want to meet everyone. He wanted specific referrals but didn’t know how to relay that message to Roger without putting an end to his referrals. I asked Tony to review all the referrals he’s received from Roger and determine a common link among those that were spot-on and closed without issue. Tony discovered that whenever Roger was directly involved as a face-to-face introduction, he had a perfect closing ratio. I asked Tony to share those results with Roger and ask him if he would be willing to make this a standard practice. Roger was excited to do so because all he wanted to do was to help Tony and make sure that it worked out for both parties. Without our conversation and Tony’s increased understanding of how to communicate to Roger, Tony’s frustration would have continued.
Another client – let’s call her Carol (a “C/S”) – likes a process and follows a plan. She’s very conscientious and doesn’t like to upset people. She avoids conflict but appreciates the need to close business to meet her goals. Her actions always take other people into consideration. Carol asked me to review an email she was about to send to a prospect, Tina, because she wanted to make sure it was not too forceful.
Before reviewing the email, I asked Carol to tell me more about the prospect. Tina (an “S”) was a nurse about to retire in six months. Carol described her as quiet, timid, kind, full of questions, thoughtful, and afraid to make a mistake. Tina asked to be given a week to think things over. It had been two weeks and Carol was ready to push. I shared with Carol that Tina would not react well to being pushed. Instead, Tina needed to know Carol was there to answer any additional questions and to provide more relevant information as needed. Tina also needed to be reassured that a transition would be easy and non-confrontational. I encouraged Carol to invite Tina to meet in person again. We shortened her email considerably and included specific words that would resonate with Tina given how she was feeling. If Carol had sent her original email, Tina would have likely retreated and remained unresponsive, leaving Carol unsure why she lost this seemingly awesome prospect.
In both situations, relationships were at stake. Carol could have easily lost a good prospect without having the chance to continue the conversation and Tony’s frustration would have caused him to walk away from a great referral source.
Are you like Tony or more like Carol? Perhaps you’re more like Tina or Roger? Or perhaps one of these characters is a complete mystery to you and drives you crazy.
Every day, advisors juggle numerous relationships. Our human nature causes us to easily relate to some people better than others. DiSC helps us to learn how to relate to, and engage and communicate with those who challenge us. It makes us better people and more effective and profitable in our profession. Understanding someone through the lens of DiSC leads to appreciating them and takes away the mystery of those to whom you don’t believe you can relate.
You’ll go from I’m okay, you’re a complete mystery to I’m okay, you’re okay and I like your style.
P.S. Everything DiSC® helps immensely with your personal relationships as well. If you would like to learn more about Everything DiSC® for yourself or your firm, see my contact information below.
Michelle R. Donovan owns Productivity Uncorked LLC where Michelle (Referral Coach) and Patty Kreamer (Productivity Coach) offer a one-two punch to help financial advisors get more done in their day and more be more profitable. If you want to see how Everything DiSC® can impact the productivity of your team and enhance your bottom line, set a time to chat with Michelle, email her at [email protected] or connect with her on LinkedIn.
Read more articles by Michelle R. Donovan