“Few if any of us have the courage to change from a finite mindset to a more infinite one alone. We must find others who share our sense of responsibility, who share our beliefs that it is time to change and who share our desire to work together to do it.”Simon Sinek, The Infinite Game
Courage. Responsibility. A shared belief that this work is worthy. It is what makes for lasting bonds, and it has us thinking about the best client relationships we have and why they are so fulfilling.
Anyone choosing to work with Morton Brown Family Wealth is making a commitment, one that we take very seriously. In fact, we even alluded to our reciprocal commitment in naming our firm. Using the term “Family Wealth” in the name of our firm was intentional. We were declaring a major, so to speak.
Building Client Relationships
We made a commitment to doing this one thing well: Helping people make confident decisions about money on their path to living a purposeful life. It has and will continue to differentiate us from other advisors because we do not pretend to be a supermarket of products and advice.
We are adamant about what we do and what we do not do. We do believe in financial planning and a thoughtful investment process. We do not believe in beating the market by picking stocks or selling commission-based investments. These would be a distraction from the work that our ideal clients value. We know that and so do they. Our focus sets a true north for our firm, reassures our clients, and differentiates us from our peers who may try to be all things to all people.
In the two years since our founding, we have become more confident that this commitment to our clients is an authentic extension of who we are. Recently, though, we have reflected on the idea of client “fit”, because in any successful relationship, commitment goes both ways. We asked ourselves these questions:
- In which client relationships have we made the greatest impact?
- What is the mindset shared by the clients with whom we work best?
- When have we been most challenged and rewarded in a client relationship?
Once our team began this conversation, you could sense everyone leaning in. Every member of our team talked about how much energy it gives them to know that our work is impactful and that our efforts to improve ourselves and the client experience is appreciated. As we thought about how hard we are all willing to work to serve our clients, we distilled the characteristics of our most successful client relationships down to three words. We work best with those who embrace:
Humility, Curiosity, and Community.
Humility: We all have limits to our knowledge and skills, and finance is no different. Our most successful client relationships are with some incredibly smart people who are also very honest that they might have some blind spots when it comes to planning and investing. When they tell us this and hear that we do not claim to have a crystal ball either, the relationship is on a solid footing. We can meet them where they are and walk alongside them, with our knowledge and experience supporting their highest aspirations.
Curiosity: The most rewarding client meeting is filled with questions and dialogue. If we spend our time together talking about what just happened, what is our performance year-to-date, or what is going to happen, we have missed an opportunity. It is so much more fulfilling for us and our clients to talk about “Why”? Asking “Why” probes the influences, attitudes, and behaviors that drive the outside world and personal financial decisions. “What” looks backward and registers its pleasure or displeasure with results. “Why” implies that we can understand a little better today what was confusing yesterday. It shows optimism and the kind of growth mindset that yields rewards in every facet of life. The more curious the client, the more rewarding the relationship for all involved.
Community: Our firm is a partnership, a team. If we have learned one thing in our decades of experience it is this: It’s more fun to be on the journey together. Over and over we cited successful relationships where we described the clients as wanting to be part of something bigger than themselves. They are involved in the life of their local community. They are willing to share their time, energy, and knowledge for the benefit of others. We see our role as connectors, conduits for the wisdom of our community to reach a broader audience, elevating all of us and making the experience of finance, planning, and life that much richer. The irony of this era is that it is easier than ever to do it all yourself. However, we are confidently counter-cultural in our belief that long-term relationships are enhanced by a sense of community.
We know Morton Brown Family Wealth is not a fit for everyone. It may not be the right time. Expectations may not be a good match. But, if you have a sense that you could be more purposeful with how your money and your plan support the best version of yourself, the traits above might sound familiar. If so, we welcome an honest conversation about what being part of our community could mean for you. Contact us today.