NOTE: On September 28, I delivered a program titled "Communication Ethics" at the Ethics Conference of Investment Management Consultants Association ( I taught a full house of financial advisors how to read people for the purpose of communicating with them more clearly. That is step one in becoming a Relationship Manager. If your firm does not employ a designated Relationship Manager, you could be missing out on more money than you're making. This article is a must-read for anyone wanting to succeed in the financial industry.

Quick story 1. About five years ago, I taught Face Values to the sales force of a technology firm in Dallas. It was a small group, about six or eight people, and they all sat around a table wide-eyed as they realized I was teaching them how to read the minds of people who were important to them – their team members, colleagues, managers and clients. They were fascinated with two specific strategies:

  1. They could assign a specific sales person to specific types of clients. In other words, just by "reading" their clients, they could give vastly better service and simplify their lives. For example, clients who want to jump to bottom-line information just do not want to waste time. They want to get it done now. They needed to deal with a sales person who understood that personality type and communication style.
  2. They could work more effectively with the other people in the firm, specifically the people they had to deal with on a daily basis. In other words, by "reading" the executive team and software engineers, they could build better working relationships and simplify their lives. Once they understood how to "read" and communicate with the types of people who become executives, engineers and entrepreneurs, their morale shot up and their stress level plummeted – plus, their job satisfaction and success sky rocketed.

I tell you that story because many advisors are process-oriented (analytical). They enjoy solving complex problems and developing strategies. Or, they are bottom-line focused (driver). They enjoy making decisions.

The downside – analyticals and drivers are the two Types that stumble or fail most often in the are of relationship management. Each type inherently focuses on something other than relationships. That spells "failure" if the Relationship Manager is either a Driver or an Analytical.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.