The Newcastle United fan has been following the World Cup and, with the final just days away, it would probably be rude not to indulge in the odd football analogy.
In Sumner’s case, drawing parallels with ‘the beautiful game’ goes some way to explaining why he’s a fan of business coaching from the likes of Paul Armson and Money Marketing columnist Brett Davidson. His reasoning is that you can be the most naturally gifted footballer – or financial adviser – in the world and still benefit from coaching to improve your game.
“Coaching is essential – even Harry Kane needs a coach to teach him how to score goals,” says Sumner. “I think it’s essential that anybody who wants to run their own IFA practice goes on one of Brett’s courses. It’s like a boot camp for financial advisers, but you have to do what he says. There’s no point going to one of the coaching sessions and thinking that’s a great idea but when you get home you forget to implement it.”
As well as how to be professional and create good outcomes for clients, Sumner says the most valuable lesson that business coaches like Davidson can teach advisers is how to run a business. However, to get the most out of it, you need to trust your coach.
“Brett talks about how advisers should have as many meetings as possible in their office rather than visit the client at their office or home. People like me might think we’ll upset the clients and lose them but Brett shows you how to word it and show them how it’s a benefit for them. He knows it’s going to work. It’s a more efficient use of the advisers’ time which is better for everyone,” says Sumner.
Attending one of Davidson’s courses was not the first time Sumner turned to a business coach. About six years ago he discovered lifestyle planning after reading about Paul Armson. “I went on one of his courses where you go on a yacht with him for a week and share ideas. We were on the coast of Turkey and it was very inspiring,” says Sumner.