Taking on the lessons of 2016

The Brexit result and Trump's election last year took the world by surprise. Lessons can be taken from those events in giving your business an extra boost.

2016 was marked by unexpected outcomes such as Brexit and underdog Donald Trump elected US President.

Try to take politics out of these results and focus on the surprise factor where the pundits and pollsters missed the mark. There was certainly a perception that perhaps certain segments may not have been well canvassed, not canvassed or perhaps gave different responses to dissuade the punters. Or perhaps the pollsters had just not been listening properly.

You might think Trump succeeded because he inspired a group of voters who wanted something different, and who could relate to one of Trump’s ideas. What we do know - these segments had votes and used them.


Although many of us may continue to speculate on exactly why.

Similarly it’s well reported that the Brexit vote may not have taken into account the segments in regional areas who felt underrepresented and questioned Britain’s choice to join and remain in the European Union.

Lesson 1: Make sure we are listening and make our messages clear

Listen to all voices. Are you making sure you are giving them what they want?

Are you giving them opportunities to really tell us what they want from their relationship with us?

When we are clear on what our customers want, we need to address their issues and concerns head-on, clearly and transparently.

Some customers will be interested in maximising their tax free income in retirement but for others their top priority is school fees.

Ensure you have offers that match your customers’ needs.

As an adviser you can provide:

  • Confidence and or direction to help guide clients to their goals
  • New investment opportunities for diversification
  • Coaching for finances and budgets
  • Timely counsel about the changing state of their stage of life, regulation and policy

We need to be mindful to speak to our customers in language that is meaningful to them.

Lesson 2: Two ears one mouth

We all have two ears and one mouth so use your ears twice as much as your mouth.

Listen to your people – those working for you and your clients.

A successful practice for clients is one with a capable, engaged and inspired team.

There needs to be ongoing focus to keep your people engaged to ensure clients remain the top priority.

Make sure you are open to hearing about not only what your clients have to say, but your people.

The more you listen earlier the better equipped you are to tackle issues and put things right.

Lesson 3:  2017 is not 2016

Take the lessons of 2016. Listen and give clients what they want.

Always face ahead and do the right thing now.

Approach the year as you would any lifestyle change. Start strong and if you fall off the wagon –consider this a blip and get back on the horse.

This will help to start encourage new habits.

We all have the opportunity to make 2017 year, especially with the full benefit of hindsight and lessons learned from 2016.

Julia Newbould is the Stella Network leader from BT Financial Group

Taking on the lessons of 2016
Julia Newbould
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