‘Day in the Life’ series explores the professional lives of working women – women sharing some insight on what they do and how they manage their day-to-day work lives.
Today, a Client Solutions Specialist, Yinka shares a typical day in her work life. – Yinka is a Nigerian who lives in Toronto, Canada. She enjoys travelling, eating different cuisines and reading, amongst other passions.
As a Client Solutions Specialist, I work with clients to determine the right financial solution(s) for them. I come in contact with diverse clients who have different levels of financial knowledge. My clients can be categorized into two main groups:
- those who possess a high level of financial expertise and know what they want, and upon evaluating their profile, their request is usually the right fit for them;
- and those who want advice on ways to improve their financial situation, which also involves evaluating their profile, before educating them on the best solution(s) for them.
I consider myself to be a people-person and, as cliché as it sounds, I have always wanted a career that involved helping people. I love the satisfaction I get from my job and the life-changing difference my solutions bring to individuals, couples and families at large. I enjoy helping people achieve their financial goals, whether by tidying their debt portfolio, increasing their investments, buying their first home or assisting in setting up rainy day funds. There are many more solutions, but these are just a few, and whatever their financial dreams are, I am here to help them accomplish that.
What does my typical day look like?
Well, I must start off by saying that I’m a Starbucks addict and it doesn’t help that they have a little shop right in my office building; this makes them my first view every time I walk into the building. I work on the 19th floor, and before getting into the elevator, I deal with my Starbucks-induced internal struggles. The first struggle is “should I buy Starbucks today?”, the next struggle becomes “should I buy a java chip with whipped cream and mocha drizzle OR a Frappuccino?” Most times, I go with the java chip with whipped cream and mocha drizzle (if you’re a chocolate addict, get one and thank me later).
Now armed with my Starbucks, I wave my access card at the reader and step into the usually full elevator as, like me, everyone is in a hurry to start their day. When I get to my desk, I sanitize my workspace area. It’s ironic how I used to feel like I was dramatic doing this, but since this horrific pandemic broke out, I feel more comfortable engaging in the act. After settling down, I go over some files from the previous day and follow up on any outstanding transactions that are currently in process or yet to be completed. Then I relax and start entertaining clients. Some clients are very easy to have discussions with, and so I can quickly identify their needs. Others can be a little overwhelmed with their objectives and may require more time to help prioritize their list of goals and eventually work our way down that list.
The job is pretty adventurous because cases are always different, unlike other jobs where you just do A, B and C, and then call it a day. I never know what I’m going to be faced with, it is like going to an amusement park where the rides continuously change, so you never get bored. I really love that about my job. Some cases are much more straightforward than others. I would say the challenging situations are probably when I identify the right solution for a client. Yet, the client doesn’t seem to understand my view and chooses to go with another option, which, in my opinion, may not be the best. At times, it just takes simplifying the financial terms for the client to really grasp the concept of my suggestion. Once they understand, I can go ahead to lighten their burden, put a smile on their face and make a delighted client. I am not micromanaged, so meetings are far in-between. My job also involves a lot of decision making that starts and ends with me, so there is no long process of approvals which makes the job much easier for me.
My advice for anyone who wants to become a Client Solutions Specialist, or even take on any client-engaging role, is to have a lot of patience and understand that people are very different. You have to treat clients differently depending on who you’re helping out; for instance, I’ve noticed older clients love that extra respect and love to be referred to as ‘Sir or Ma’am’, while younger clients prefer to be referred to by their first names as it puts them more at ease. Another advice would be to always put yourself in the clients’ shoes; this will enable you to pacify them when they’re frustrated, sad, angry or experiencing any other negative emotion. Also, empathy goes a long way, as we are all humans at the end of the day, and a kind person would usually connect easier with a client. Relationship management is everything. Clients feel more relaxed with someone who has built a considerable rapport with them.