Five Steps to Creating an Effective Community

June 10, 2014

by Tony DiLeonardi

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This is an excerpt from the newly released book, Face to Face: Building Lifelong & Multigenerational Clients, by Tony DiLeonardi.

You can create intimacy by building purpose and community in your life and in your business, and that intimacy can help you retain lifelong and multigenerational clients. Start by going face-to-face with the most important people in your life.

Turning clients into lifelong and multigenerational clients may take what landed that client in the first place – a face-to-face meeting in the client’s family room. Dynamics change when you go into someone’s personal space and meet them face-to-face for genuine, purposeful dialogue.

Let me pose five simple ways to improve face-to-face interactions. One of the great myths of business development is it has to be complicated to be true. I disagree and encourage you to consider the following.

Be intentional and practical, but figure out how to create community in your business, in your family, with your friends and even in your neighborhood.

Creating community has five key requirements:

  1. Commitment
  2. Honesty
  3. Politeness
  4. Confidentiality
  5. Volume

Creating a close, productive community requires a commitment to relationships – and to the work associated with them, even when that work is difficult. People are not perfect, nor are you.

Community takes honesty. Speak the truth with love. Not addressing conflict causes a lack of community. Addressing conflict may be the best way to create community. Resolution helps. Most of us need to have more patience and a gentler spirit when we deal with problems. Don’t we require that from others when dealing with us? Be honest in your relationships, even when we look stupid. And be honest with yourself.

Creating community requires politeness. How often has your temper wreaked havoc on your community? Next time, slow down and respond in a professional and polite way – even if you were wronged. Take the high road. It may make all the difference for your well-being and your business. The freedom of speech does not mean we always have to give our opinion. I confess, this one is very hard for me.

Community requires confidentiality. That’s where trust grows from. People need a confidant, a trusted friend and adviser. We need someone who we can go to in our moments of weakness and despair. Who would become vulnerable to someone if they believed their secrets and fears would be shared? Would you accept that in your closest relationships? Why should your community accept loose lips, gossiping or a lack of trust?

Creating community takes volume. You cannot have a relationship without proximity. The world has created a dangerous lie – quality time over quantity of time. All great, meaningful relationships require lots of time together. For us to think we can create a strong, intimate, honest and respectful community without investing our time into it is silly.

So, how do you become an intimate wealth adviser so you can create lifelong and multigenerational relationships? Invest in your community by being committed to it. Be honest with yourself and your community members. Increase your politeness, professionalism and genuine concern for others. Commit to practicing confidentiality in those communities to better serve others. Finally, be frequently involved in those communities. The results will be life-changing, and you will be a noble intimate wealth adviser.

Adopt the simple, but not easy, tactic of going face-to-face more often in your business today.


Tony DiLeonardi is the founder of Third Quarter Advisers, LLC, which offers strategic best practices, coaching services and solutions for wealth advisers and their clients.

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