Are you putting the best face forward?

Are you putting the best face forward?

Are you putting the best face forward?
Inter-industry referrals are a great way to keep business booming but competition is stiff so what can you do to set yourself above the rest? Noted business intermediary Dalia Barsoum might just have the answer for you.

Ditch the jargon

The world of finance may be notorious for having a spectacular vernacular but this is just technical jargon which only serves to alienate some investors. "I like advisors who are able to explain the complex investment topics in a simple way," says business-savvy Barsoum. So choose your words carefully -- "the more articulate an advisor is, the simpler they're able to explain what they're recommending -- it always works for the client."

Practice what you preach

Some clients may be in an entirely different financial situation to you but Barsoum is looking for tried and tested methods that you personally trust. "I look for an advisor who is personally successful from implementing the strategies they recommend," reveals Barsoum.

If you're not in a similar financial position to your client, put yourself in their shoes and use something that you know will work for them. "I want to see a proven track record and years of experience," says Barsoum.

Total transparency

The debate over fee-based and commission-based advice has divided the industry of late and while the dispute rages on, it's more important than ever to be open and honest about what you charge. "I like advisors who are upfront and very transparent about how they get paid," says Barsoum.

With 17 years in the industry, Barsoum revealed she has stopped recommending advisors in the past because they weren't frank about their fees and were oversetting expectations. "It's important to tell a client about the advantages and disadvantages of each strategy you recommend," says Barsoum. Ensure your client fully understands the possible risks and rewards of each product as well as how you will be remunerated and it will build a feeling of trust.

Passion is contagious    

Be passionate about your work -- clients love it. "I got great feedback from one client who said they'd really enjoyed listening and learning from the advisor because they could see how passionate and knowledgeable he was."

The only thing better than being passionate, is sharing it. Passion is contagious -- "take the time to educate the client and share all the information," says Barsoum. This makes the client feel valued and more involved with the decision making process.

Finance faux-pas

The biggest blunder advisors can make, according to Barsoum, is behaving like a salesperson rather than a trusted advisor: "Coming across like a salesperson or putting timelines in place to pressure clients into making a decision is only going to shut the whole conversation down and destroy the trust."

As a financial advisor, it's imperative that your clients have confidence in you. Industry expert Barsoum offered three simple steps you can take to foster a feeling of trust: "Focus on the client's needs, be transparent about fees and stay away from any high pressure sales pitches."

Dalia is a finance executive and a business intermediary with over 17 years of Canadian and International experience in the financial sector. She is the author of the "Canadian Real Estate Investor Financing: Seven Secrets to Getting All the Money You Want", a regular columnist for the Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine and a speaker on the topics of investing and financing. Dalia operates a successful lending business ( | focused on private, traditional and creative financing options for Real Estate investors and ( where she helps business owners successfully sell their business.