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Five things I’ve learned: Marco Vallone, Brighton Financial

19 March 2016

Marco Vallone is owner-director of south coast firm Brighton Financial

Five things

Be a people person

When I joined the industry in 1996, I had never had a client-facing role. The thought of having to deal with real humans terrified me. Over time, this has become the single most enjoyable part of my job. I love meeting new people and finding out about them and their goals. You never stop learning that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover

Be more than a financial planner

I still meet financial advisers who have an old school mentality of not looking much beyond the next few weeks and being in constant need of new business. I’m not saying I’m above that – far from it – but I’ve learned that financial planners also have to be business people. We have to operate our businesses in a way that makes them compliant while we own them and attractive to potential purchasers when we think about selling them.

Don't get distracted

I’ve fallen foul of being a moth – being drawn to the shiny lights of a potentially lucrative opportunity, even if it’s outside of our area of focus. The shininess can sometimes be overwhelming, but I’ve slowly learned to resist such temptations. Staying true to the core focus of your business is crucial to success.

Get the right fit

Not every client we come across is the right fit for our business. We need to take a step back and be true to ourselves. Will this client help me take my business in the direction it needs to go? Could this relationship add complexity to my business that I could do without? Are we the right fit for that client? These are tough but important questions to ask.

Be objective

Look at your business from a client’s perspective – your office, your literature, your appearance, everything. Are things as polished as they could be? It’s difficult to be objective, so I often ask a friend or family member to come into the office and tell me what they see. Always look to improve on the detail.