Sep 01 2022
7 ways a financial advisor is like a soccer player
By Carina Madrid
The passion of Argentinians for their beloved soccer ignites a culture that packs enthusiastic fans into stadiums across the country to support their favorite teams by playing drums, waving flags and singing chants throughout the match. Living in Buenos Aires, soccer, of course, would be one passion for two-year MDRT member Christian Salandin as he plays and coaches in the sport. His other passion is advising clients.
“Passions can´t be explained; let’s say they are felt,” he said. “I can assure you the best moments of my day are every time I am on the soccer field or when I’m faced with the challenge of meeting a client face to face. Scoring goals in soccer and selling policies in business are similar. The feeling you get is the same.”
Having one foot on the pitch and the other in the world of insurance and financial services, Salandin sees even more similarities between the dedication and training of a professional soccer player striving for a championship with that of an advisor working to attain big goals for the benefit of clients.
1. Method and training
Both professionals need constant training and repetition. For example, in soccer, there are exercises such as the shots on goal where strikers kick from different angles, trying to improve their technique by adopting different foot positions. For advisors, repetition would come from appointments. “An agent starting their career must have several appointments until one of them is good enough from which they can build a process from it,” he said.
2. A winning mindset
The belief a player has in their coach is like the confidence an advisor has in their mentor. If your coach thinks you are the best player for a specific position, you must pursue success and train in that position because, by working together, you can accomplish big goals.
“In financial services, if an experienced mentor believes you are the right person for a specific market niche, then you must trust his advice because this path is likely the best for your career,” Salandin said.
3. Be a team player, but be ready to go solo
Being part of a team is essential when pursuing and mastering the objectives in an action plan. Although the striker forward might be the team’s leading scorer, that player’s goals are a result of the team’s strategy. Likewise, an advisor’s success in helping clients attain their goals can be a product of the team supporting them.
“However, there are many times when you have the ball in a soccer game, and you are on your own. The same situation happens during an appointment when I manage to get the attention of a client, and he is carefully listening to what I’m saying. Just like in the field where there are players and an audience of fans waiting for you to make a move, the client is waiting for you to offer several solutions. It is in those moments when you can change the destiny not only of one person but of many people by making good decisions,” Salandin said.
4. Adapt to obstacles
There are external factors in soccer and financial services that one can’t handle. So, train and prepare for the circumstances that you actually can control. Some things escape your control, like for example, playing an opponent that always lines up in a certain formation according to the scouting report but then changes tactics when they’re playing you. Players have to adapt to the unexpected. In advising clients, you might know your clients, where they work, what their passions are, their daily activities, and the members of their family. But during the appointment you find out that they just got divorced or a dear relative died.
“This is when you have to adapt, and this is why I think that we must always work on the things that can be improved, like educating ourselves,” Salandin said.
5. Reduce the margin of error
As mentioned above, becoming more efficient might not be possible in situations that are affected by external factors beyond a player’s or advisor’s control. But players and advisors improve by identifying areas where they are weak or didn’t perform correctly.
“I may have 10 situations in a game where I could score a goal, but maybe the opponent’s goalkeeper is the best in the world. That doesn´t mean I did something wrong. The same thing happens with clients. Perhaps I met with three or four clients in a day and wasn´t able to close a sale. Maybe the clients were not a good fit. Maybe they had a bad day. But if I made a mistake, I have to work on the things I can polish and improve to reduce the margin of error,” he said.
The players Salandin coaches every day need all his attention to build trust. This focus also applies to his client relationships.
“In both cases, once the players and the clients realize that they have my attention and focus, that I care about them, and that I’m interested in their improvement, they trust me,” Salandin said. “They open up to me, and we can work together for a common purpose. In the case of players, that is becoming professionals and improving. With clients, it is building a good future for their families.”
7. Define success
Success is not about winning a game or closing a sale as, once again, external factors beyond anyone’s control can create outcomes that will be different from expectations. “Success is about being as prepared as possible by getting trained on having a clear idea and method to manage a game or an appointment and just go for it. This is success for me,” said Salandin.
Soccer is Salandin’s passion. For his colleagues who want to combine whatever their passion is with their advisor career, he recommends the following:
- Do not think all the time about money.
- Identify the similarities between both activities.
- Enjoy the process of combining your passion with being an advisor while understanding that this task can be tedious in the beginning.
The 2021 Court of the Table qualifier adds that he is able to perform successfully in both soccer and financial services, yet maintains balance between the two because he acts as a dedicated and organized professional. He also is on the lookout for any updates and training that will help him continuously improve.
“Most of the time and in both careers, I train with the best in their fields. People that excel in their activities,” Salandin said. “I believe this is the most important, and I can give you a couple more important tips. First, try to always be surrounded by successful people in the activity in which you want to work, and second, have people you can fully trust on your staff. Get ready and give your best until there is nothing in your way to reach your goal — success is there. Results will come naturally.”
CONTACT: Christian Salandin firstname.lastname@example.org