The ClientWise Blog

Want to Attract More Female Clients?

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Aug 23, 2016 10:10:29 AM

Over the last few years, there have been many articles published about the increasing economic power of women both here in the U.S. and globally. By 2020 (essentially right around the corner) women will control two-thirds of this country’s $22 trillion in private wealth, along with two-thirds of our $12 trillion in annual spending. However, few wealth managers have made any efforts to meaningfully adapt their service model to the unique needs and preferences of women clients. 

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ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Client Acquisition, Team Development, Client Engagement

4 Ways to Take Team Leadership From Good to Great

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Aug 15, 2016 9:55:17 AM

There’s an old adage that states, “Great leaders don’t tell you what to do; they show you how it’s done.” It’s a point we try to strongly emphasize anytime we work with advisors looking to evolve from Lone Ranger to Leader™.

As team leader, it’s your responsibility to model the behaviors, habits and attitudes that will foster a more cohesive and interdependent team. Often, these are behaviors and habits that may not be a natural part of your team’s DNA. Therefore, they must be cultivated through repetition and practiced by all team members, especially you. The following are four quick rules that can help you become the type of leader who leads by example. 

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ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Leadership, Team Development

Hiring for Fit: Why character can matter more than capability

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Aug 10, 2016 12:16:58 PM

You sit at your desk and review a pile of resumes. For the most part, you can quickly make a determination as to whether or not individual candidates have the requisite skills and experience needed to be the right fit. Therefore, from a purely technical ability perspective, personal interviews more often than not merely serve to validate your preconceptions – very infrequently raising a competency red flag. 

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ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Team Development

Putting the ClientWise Conversation™ to Work

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Aug 2, 2016 3:55:39 PM

The subtitle of my book You’ve Been Framed is “How to reframe your wealth management business and renew client relationships.” Before you can effectively undertake that process, however, you need to have a clear understanding of how your existing clients and professional advocates are currently framing both you and your practice. How do they perceive you personally? How would they describe your capabilities and service model? What’s their overall impression and assessment of your team and your firm?

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ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Client Acquisition, Client Engagement

Unlocking the Gate: 5 Key Referral Criteria

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jul 29, 2016 10:13:21 AM

Why is it that some advisors seem so successful at building a Professional Advocate Network of attorneys, CFPs and estate planners, while other equally capable advisors struggle? Much of the disparity comes down to a simple matter of better understanding the audience, their needs and most importantly, their concerns. 

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ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Client Acquisition, Professional Advocate Network

The Most Overlooked Fiduciary Duty

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jul 22, 2016 12:13:00 PM

Imagine sitting down with one of your clients for a financial planning meeting and focusing exclusively on their short-term financial needs and concerns. When the client broaches the subject of retirement planning, you turn to them and with a wave of your hand say, “Let’s just focus our attention on more immediate needs…we’ll deal with your retirement challenges when we get a lot closer to that date.” Not exactly a tactic that any self-respecting advisor would advocate, yet, it’s essentially the approach that 60% of advisors who don’t have a formal succession plan are currently taking. 

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ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Designing an Advisory Team that Adds Enterprise Value

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jul 20, 2016 3:03:35 PM

In order to achieve your defined measures of financial reward now and upon exit from your practice, you must design and hire a team that is:

1. Capable of all aspects of practice management, client development and client service delivery without you

2. Sufficient in size to create enterprise value in your practice

3. Interested in assuming the reins of the business after your exit

At its core, enterprise value (the economic value of equity in your firm) is what not only will attract other strong advisors into your firm, but also serve as the key determinant of the economic return you’ll be paid upon your exit from the practice.

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ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Team Development

How to Operationalize Your Wealth Management Vision

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jul 17, 2016 8:30:00 AM

It’s an incontrovertible fact that the majority of wealth management advisors vision statements never effectively drive firm success for the simple reason that they’re never operationalized. The chronic gap between business conversation and business activity renders them essentially nothing more than feel-good wishes until they are truly used to create and implement operational actions. 

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ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: financial advisor mission statement

6 Questions to Help Envision Your Future Team

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jul 14, 2016 9:15:46 AM

It goes without saying that the support of a highly-skilled team is essential to achieving the future firm you’ve always envisioned. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that most team leaders focus almost exclusively on a prospect’s skill set when making hiring decisions. Unfortunately, that can quickly become a recipe for team discord and a problematic lack of cooperation.

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ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Team Development, Hiring

Think Outside the Platform and Get New Clients

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jul 8, 2016 3:26:00 PM

If you’re like many advisors, you probably associate certain social networking sites with specific functions. Facebook is the platform you turn to for attracting new prospects and engaging with existing clients. Twitter is the platform you use to disseminate timely information and build your credibility as a “thought leader.” LinkedIn is the site you rely on to network with other advisors as well as to cultivate and engage with your network of professional advocates.

While those are certainly logical uses, the important question to ask yourself is whether or not they are the ONLY uses. Are you getting maximum benefit out of the time you invest in social media?

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ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Social Media

4 Behaviors to Better Leverage Your Advocates and Team

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jul 6, 2016 4:33:51 PM

Many successful financial advisors out there have found ways to cultivate centers of influence and build momentum with their wealth management team. Here at ClientWise, we are often connecting with wealth management advisors who are looking to create stronger relationships with their advocates in the effort to build a partnership that serves them both well. So, how can you better leverage your strengths as a leader to implement advocacy into your client acquisition strategy?

The following 4 tips are not only ways to better partner with potential advocates, but also smart ways to motivate your team members.

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ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Client Acquisition, Team Development

Shared Values and Diversity – More Than Just Buzzwords

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jun 29, 2016 3:30:00 PM

The simple truth is that people will both join your team, as well as quit your team, usually for the exact same four reasons:

1. The nature of their personal relationship with their boss
2. The nature of the work they’re doing
3. The nature of their workplace relationships and environment
4. Money 
 
Not only are team continuity and employee retention vital to building enduring client relationships, they optimize operational efficiency, improve profitability and provide a sound foundation for your firm’s long-term sustainability. So, what do the best financial advisors do? 
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ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Team Development

Profit or Purpose: What Truly Drives You?

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jun 22, 2016 12:11:09 PM

People work for three reasons: to create safety, to create freedom of choice, and to create meaning in their lives. Yet all too often, we tend to wrap all three of these things in purely monetary terms – obscuring what genuinely motivates us.

Every successful wealth management team leader that I have ever spent time with, however, has been driven by something far deeper than mere financial reward. They are driven by something that fuels continued business growth, inspires their service delivery model, governs the manner in which they’ve built and lead their teams, and shapes the ongoing satisfaction they take from their chosen career. So, what drives you? 

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ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: financial advisor mission statement

Wealth Management Advisors: Identify Your At-Risk Clients

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jun 20, 2016 4:19:11 PM

Lately, in talking with financial advisors, I’m getting a sense that clients have finally settled down a bit after the heightened volatility that ushered in the New Year. Enough positive economic news along with abating fears about a China meltdown have served to calm the waters enough to fuel a bounce back that made quarterly statements a lot more palatable to mail.

Even despite one of the presidential candidate’s efforts to open a proverbial bag of snakes with pronouncements that “a massive recession” is looming, my sense is that most of your clients are back and becoming increasingly engaged. This may be an opportune time to pause and assess any relationship damage that may have occurred over time.

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ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Client Engagement

Is Your Kid the Right Succession Plan for Your Business?

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jun 15, 2016 4:17:02 PM

Perhaps no generation is as misunderstood as millennials – the people who represent the future of our financial services business. We tend to haphazardly paint their ranks with an incredibly broad brush as self-centered narcissists, lacking all manners in social skills as a result of growing up behind a computer screen.

Spend any considerable amount of time with these 20-somethings, however, and you quickly begin to realize how socially-aware, compassionate and relationship-oriented so many of them are. They simply have a different approach to communicating and engaging than previous generations.

But what if that millennial is your own kid, and possibly the future leader of your firm?

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ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Business and Operations Management, Team Development, Succession Planning