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BEST PRACTICE ACTION

for advisers and leaders in financial advice

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  • Writer's pictureJason Dunn

ASSUMPTIONS CAN REALLY MESS YOU UP



How is it that some clients who appear to be identical to other clients can be so different? They look the same, same age, same profile, same professional history, same family situation, same financial situation, etc… Well, rarely are these all “the same”, but very often they can be similar from one client/prospect to another.


For example, a 55 year-old professional with a sound employment history, owning their primary residence, a reasonably geared investment property, a healthy share/investment portfolio, significant savings, long-term spouse, grown up family, etc is the same as the next client who ticks those same boxes. Right?


Well, no. Most likely not.


The fact is that everyone is different.


On the surface there may be significant similarities but beneath the surface, at the core, each person is an individual, there are always differences. And these can be substantial differences.


So why is it then that we often deal with people, make our decisions on what’s important, and base our recommendations and high-level advice according to these “surface” factors?


Assumptions.


We all make assumptions every day. Our assumptions are based on our experience, history, views, beliefs, prejudices, likes, dislikes, habits, feelings, comfort, fears and so many other, varying, factors.


And your assumptions can be quite wrong. I’m sure you have your own personal experiences of assumptions you have made, particularly about people, which nave subsequently turned out to be inaccurate, or downright wrong. It happens to all of us.


Not all assumptions are necessarily wrong or bad. Some are based on our real experiences, benchmarks, historical actions, and things that should rightly be considered when assessing people, situations, and future actions. The key is to not blindly accept assumptions.


Your assumptions need to be tested and validated.


Being aware of what drives your assumptions is a valuable trait and you should be constantly checking yourself for the assumptions you make, particularly in respect of your prospects and clients.


Test and validate assumptions and look more deeply at the person or situation. You might be surprised at how different things are “beneath the surface”.


Keep an eye out for my next article:

“You must communicate effectively”


Ask the next clients you meet with to describe the top 3 things they value about you and if there is anything they would have liked or expected in the past.






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