Allow Your Practice to Thrive By Being Yourself

by Certified Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA

Do you know those advisors in your office who get bored easily, are constantly changing things and wait until the last minute to prepare for things? They are easy to spot with their fast-moving style and the sense of urgency that seems to swirl around them. The Kolbe Quick Start style is believed to represent about 90% of financial advisors in the industry. They are born to sell, hardwired entrepreneurs who enjoy risk and even uncertainty. So, what happens if you are an advisor who is not a Quick Start? Or if you are a Quick Start, read on to learn how you can benefit from your Fact Finder and Follow Thru colleagues. (If you want to learn your Kolbe style, please take the Index A.)

If your style is to research things and learn about them before taking action, or figuring out a system or a process before you can move then you may feel like your style is less understood by the agency. This is a contrast from when you were growing up when your Fact Finder or Follow Thru style was very supported by the school system and college you attended. (Educators tend to be these two Kolbe styles.) Meanwhile, your Quick Start friends may have been having a tougher time K-12 and in college. For the first time in your life, you may be feeling like the fish out of water! In general, the Quick Start style tends to be the one that agencies cater to because it represents 90% of reps. Contests and rewards that favor quantity and speed are geared toward them. Sales School teaches many sales techniques that you may observe Quick Starts just running with. And you. Are. Not.

If you relate to this, it does not mean you’re going to fail out of the business! It just means that you will need to be “insistent with your mode” as Kathy Kolbe, author and educator, writes. Be stubborn about how you as an individual need to set up your practice and run it. If it’s custom designed for your Fact Finder or Follow Thru self it will look quite different than a Quick Start practice. Here are some things you can try:

If you are a Fact Finder:

Avoid answering any questions off the top of your head. Set good boundaries and ask for enough time to respond.

Allow yourself time to research and learn every day. It is like oxygen for you. 

The thing that motivates you is having the right information. Then you can take action! 

Schedule longer meeting times with clients (90-120 minutes).

Allow enough time between meetings to read, learn and prep.

Do not be pressured into going fast by a client or a joint work partner. That is not your speed.

Consider specializing in holistic planning and more complex cases that leverage your Fact Finder.

Consider going into management long term.

Do joint work with Quick Starts who will benefit from your detailed style while you benefit from their many ideas and energetic style.

If people give you feedback that you are stubborn, let them know that you are not resisting moving forward to be difficult but that you just need more information.

Research other people’s language and scripts and learn ideas from them.

If you are a Follow Thru:

Do not allow interruptions when you need to focus and get things done. Schedule regular blocks of time when you will not be disturbed. This will take lots of good communication and boundaries.

If you don’t yet have an office with a door, make that a high priority. You need quiet and a lack of interruption more than any other style.

Take the time to slow down and create systems, processes and procedures for everything. This is what you need to motivate yourself and take action!

Get organized. You need it.

Allow yourself to work in a meticulous and slow way. This is your innate style.

Plan your language and feel free to use scripts as long as they are true to who you are.

Set rules and boundaries for yourself and your team and follow them.

Your style does well in management so consider a career path that allows you to maintain systems and structures in the agency.

Do joint work with Quick Starts who will benefit from your processes while you benefit from their many ideas and energetic style.

Do not be pressured into going fast by a client or a joint work partner. That is not your speed.

Consider specializing in holistic planning and more complex cases that leverage your Follow Thru.

If you are a Quick Start:

Deliberately

do joint work with a Fact Finder or Follow Thru. They are excellent at researching information, developing a great plan and putting it into action. You will complement each other!

Read "What Your Staff Wishes You Knew" to increase your understanding of Fact Finder and Follow Thru modes (who are your AFRs).

Try to specify when something is needed (everything you say sounds like “now!”)

Run things by Fact Finders and Follow Thrus to help you pump the brakes and get some balanced feedback when you are making a big decision.

Rethink going into management unless your Fact Finder and Follow thru numbers are at least a 4 in your Index A results.

Try not to put your non-Quick Start colleagues in situations where you want them to respond instantly. Don’t interrupt them all the time by popping in.

Share your energy, but be respectful that your style is the gas and their modes are the brakes. They are not motivated by urgency like you are!

If you are in the 10% of non-Quick Start reps, take heart. You provide balance. Taking the time to really customize your practice to your style will help prevent burnout and increase productivity and happiness. Be true to yourself and reap the rewards.