Around the Table Episode 3: Be Authentic and Find the Common Thread

Around the Table Episode 3: Be Authentic and Find the Common Thread

May 02, 2019

LPL Financial

For financial advisors, one of the most important ways to reach a more diverse client base is to find the common threads that connect people. Among them: the need for financial planning services.

Financial planning services are something everyone can benefit from regardless of race, gender or any other differentiator. In this episode of “Around the Table,” LPL leaders and financial advisors discuss how to use this common thread to reach and serve diverse communities.

To connect with prospective clients from different backgrounds or demographic groups, an advisor’s sensitivity to cultural differences is important. So is making prospective clients feel comfortable.

What is key, however, is being true and genuine. Most people can tell if a company is interested in working with them just because they see an opportunity to make money.

As one of the LPL financial advisors in this episode notes, financial planning services aren’t color coded to reach specific groups of people. So simply approach prospective clients from different communities as you would anyone else. Keep in mind that everyone needs the same things. That includes financial planning services.

Watch the complete episode to gain more perspectives on how embracing diversity and inclusion can help you reach and serve clients from a wider range of backgrounds and communities.

You can also watch the entire "Around the Table: Diversity and Inclusion" video series and learn more about what we’re doing at LPL to create a more diverse, inclusive culture

Lee Bethel: Not so much, "Well, I don't understand the culture," or, "I'm not real sure about it," but just approaching them as you would approach anyone else because everyone still needs the same things. They need planning. They need employee benefits for their employees. They need these things, and those are common threads throughout anyone who is in business or anyone who is seeking financial services. The services that we provide aren't color coded.

Kathleen Zemaitis: And Bobbie, you've talked before about attracting women in the industry because we are underrepresented in the industry, and that's gotta feel like inclusion where you work.

Bobbie Meola: Oh, absolutely. We've had great success bringing women onboard, and it's inspiring too that LPL is so supportive of wanting to increase the number of women that join our firm and continue to grow our firm because obviously women are going to be controlling a lot of the money and wealth over the next two decades and so we need to get onboard with that. So we're excited.

Marci Bair: And just because, women make great financial advisors. We've got a lot of the soft skills that are really good as being a financial planner, but that's not to say that guys can't also be great financial planners to their female clients. It just takes some extra skills and honing those skills to address the women and value their opinions in client meetings and make them feel comfortable and in part of the conversation. Because there's not enough female advisors to service every female client, right? Same thing, there's not enough LGBT advisors to service every LGBT client. Same thing, African American. So we've got to be able to serve each other's communities and have that conversation with advisors so that they're comfortable serving a community and getting ... gaining that trust and understanding the culture sensitivity around each of those diverse communities.

Lee Bethel: Marci, just following up with that, I recently have started working with an Indian group. From India, Indian group, not Native American. It's been about being able to relate and just be true and genuine.

Marci Bair: Right.

Lee Bethel: Not so much, "Well, I don't understand the culture," or, "I'm not real sure about it," but just approaching them as you would approach anyone else because everyone still needs the same things. They need planning. They need employee benefits for their employees. They need these things, and those are common threads throughout anyone who is in business or anyone who is seeking financial services. The services that we provide aren't color coded.

Marci Bair: No.

Lee Bethel: They're general across the board.

Marci Bair: And be authentic. Because that's the key is that the ... I think all of us can sniff out a company, a corporation that's getting into a marketplace just to get the dollar. And so you throw together some, like in our community, a rainbow flag on something and all of a sudden they support the community. And you're like, you look them up, and they've never done anything before. You could tell. You can tell if it's rainbow washed or green washed or whatever and they're not genuine.

Bobbie Meola: Well, one of the things Dan Arnold said last night is, "It's just the right thing to do." And that was inspiring to hear from leadership at LPL.

Marci Bair: Leadership. Mm-hmm (affirmative).