The Real Reason People Mistrust Financial Advisors

By: Lisa Earle McLeod

Lisa Earle McLeod is a leading authority on sales leadership and the author of four provocative books including the bestseller, Selling with Noble Purpose. Companies like Apple, Kimberly-Clark and Pfizer hire her to help them create passionate, purpose-driven sales organization. Her NSP is to help leaders drive revenue and do work that makes them proud.


You’ve seen the ads for financial advisors.  They tell you, “Customers are our most important asset” or “We care about your future.” Based on their marketing messages, one would think the industry is filled with professionals whose sole purpose is to make your life better.

Yet, according to the latest Deloitte research, precious few Americans trust the financial services industry.

So how do well-intentioned financial professionals combat negative public perception? Full disclosure, my father was an old school banker, my brother is a former stockbroker, and I know several financial planners personally. There are plenty of honest professionals out there. But in many cases, the language they use and the way their organizations are structured actually work against them.

Here are four ways bankers shoot themselves in the foot, and tips for changing their perception.

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