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50 | The American College | WINTER 2012

All That Glitters Is Platinum!
by Robert Shore
Learn to take a step beyond the Golden Rule in meeting the needs of your clients.
Recently, I Was speakIng to
an old friend, industry leader and
all-around memorable human being.
We were discussing the attributes of
what exactly makes fnancial services
professionals memorable. After all,
we work in an industry where, if
youre not careful, you can be swept
away by the roiling tide in the sea of
Sadly, this violent sea of sameness,
combined with the inherent lack of
trust that the investing public has
for the fnancial services community,
makes the need to separate yourself
from the masses that much more
As she thought about what makes
individuals or companies stand out because of
their high Memorability Quotient

(MQ) she told

me about the Platinum Rule.
If youre like me, youve heard of the Golden
Rule, or the ethic of reciprocity, which simply
means treat others as you would like to be treated.
My friend, however, applies a stricter discipline.
The Platinum Rule says, Treat others as they wish
to be treated.
She explained that in an industry that requires
the ability to not just be client-centric, but also to
stand apart from the commoditized masses, the
ability to deliver on the clients terms is essential.
How do your clients wish to be served and ser-
Traditionally, businesses promote Platinum Ser-
vice to be their highest, most client-friendly ech-
elon, as demonstrated in the following examples
found across the spectrum of industries (descrip-
tions excerpted from the companies websites):
Oracle Platinum Services: Available
at no additional cost to Oracle Premier
Support customers who maintain certifed
confgurations on Oracle engineered systems.
Features include: 24/7 fault monitoring,
faster response and restore times (including
15-minute restoration or escalation to
development), and patch deployment services.
Fitness Options Platinum Service: We will
visit your home, measure your allocated space
and generate in-house 2D plans and 3D
CAD designs so that you can visualize your
gym before any commitment is made. Once
you have made your decision our own highly
The point of the Platinum
Rule is to see the world
through the clients (prospect,
broker, support staff, branch
personnel, home offce folks,
signifcant other) eyes and
Robert Shore is the
CEO of shorespeak,
LLC and Wholesaler
He coaches fnancial
services distribution
professionals and
publishes I Carry
The Bag, the
offcial magazine of
WINTER 2012 | The Wealth Channel Magazine | 51
experienced engineers will offer a timed delivery and
installation of your equipment. If a problem does arise we
will always be at the end of the phone, no voicemail or call
centers, just ask for your designated salesperson and they
will do the rest.
American Express Platinum Travel: A toll-free, 24-hour
customer service number, 24-hour personalized travel
service, access to exclusive clubs and exotic excursions, and
special amenities at some of the worlds most prestigious
hotels, resorts and restaurants.
The services offered by the industries mentioned are af-
forded to their best clients, and for good reason. The econom-
ics of business dictates that to offer these levels of service and
convenience to all would be cost prohibitive.
Or is it?
Dont todays technologies offer advisors ways to demon-
strate the Platinum Rule service elements to a far wider band
of clients?
how and when
One consideration of that question addresses the medium in
which the client chooses to communicate. There was a time
when our clients had one of two ways to communicate with
us: phone or mail (email or snail mail). Today we may feld
client contacts in the form of text messages, direct messages or
DMs (think Twitter), Facebook messaging, email, voicemail
and the traditional phone call.
As an example of this phenomenon, I was recently on a
Delta fight and was able to use the in-fight Wi-Fi to reach @
DeltaAssist on Twitter and secure a backup reservation in case
the fight that I was on was delayed. This was after using the
dedicated Service Recovery Center 800 number at the airport
before departure (which picked up on the frst ring) to inves-
tigate the delay of the fight I was on.
Another consideration of how clients wish to be served has
to do with timeyour hours of operation and responsiveness.
Long gone for most are the tidy hours of 9a.m. to 5p.m..
Clients today want accessibility 24/7. They need the ability to
make some contact with our practices at all hours of the day
Clients expect
accessibility 24/7.
52 | The American College | WINTER 2012
and, if they cant obtain the information on their own, the
speed of your reply to their as yet unanswered questions is
being measured in minutes.
The world of the advisor is not getting any younger.
Financial Advisor magazine reported that: As an indus-
try, the fnancial advisory business is relatively young. But
its practitioners arent. Cerulli Associates recently threw out
some numbers to chew onthe average age of fnancial ad-
visors is a shade under 49 years, and about 14 percent of its
workforce is north of 60 years. More important, less than
25 percent of all advisors are ages 40 and younger. And one
fnal number to consider: Just 5.6 percent of advisors are
ages 30 or younger.*
In an industry where the age of the average advisor in-
creases each year, its incumbent upon advisors to stay cur-
rent with the latest opportunities to communicate with cli-
ents and deliver the expected level of service.
Arguably more important is your ability to win mandates
from the next generation of investor, be they the heirs of
your existing clients or new clients under the age of 40.
In June 2012 Pershing LLC** released a study that, in
part, suggested that advisors improve their use of Internet
and mobile technologies to engage younger
investors, who rely on them for information
as well as communication. The websites
should focus on what clients can do with
interactive and visual tools to help them
monitor their portfolios and share control
of their investments.
The point of the Platinum Rule is to
see the world through the clients (pros-
pect, broker, support staff, branch person-
nel, home offce folks, signifcant other)
eyes and expectations. By doing so, youll
increase your MQ and expand the growth
potential of your practice.
Arguably more important is your
ability to win mandates from the next
generation of investor, be they the
heirs of your existing clients or new
clients under the age of 40.

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