The ClientWise Blog

When’s The Right Time to Sell Your Business?

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Sep 27, 2016 11:50:00 AM

A mere 3% of today’s advisors have a written continuity plan to protect their business (and more importantly their clients’ best interests) in the event of their death or disability. Fewer than one in three (31%) advisors age 60 or older have a formal written succession plan in place. For a profession that prides itself on planning and preparing clients for the future, most of you are doing a pretty horrible job when it comes to planning your own.

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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, Succession Planning

Finding the Right Buyer for Your Business

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Sep 20, 2016 3:45:00 PM

We’ve all seen the statistics that there are roughly 30-50 buyers lined up for every advisory practice that comes onto the market. It certainly seems to bode well for those advisors either beginning to contemplate an exit strategy or well down the road towards identifying a potential buyer. It’s critical to understand that very often the “right” acquirer for your business is NOT the apparent highest bidder on paper. 

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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

7 Tips for Creating a More Interdependent Team

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Sep 13, 2016 1:33:58 PM

At ClientWise, we often stress the critical importance of developing an interdependent team rather
than an autonomous work group. But how do you objectively determine which of those two you currently have, and if the latter, how do you evolve them into a true team?

 

 

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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

5 Lessons from the Wisdom of Steve Jobs

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Sep 9, 2016 11:57:33 AM

As we approach the 5-year anniversary of the death of Steve Jobs, he continues to remain one of the world’s most respected business visionaries and innovators. A creative genius and passionate non-conformist who never accepted conventional wisdom at face value, but instead rebelled against the inherent laziness of “business as usual.” 

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

Topics: Organizing Priorities, Marketing Approach, Team Development

Benchmarking the Beach House

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Sep 7, 2016 11:29:23 AM


As an industry, we’ve made great strides over the years towards aligning compensation with client interests – steadily migrating from transaction-based to fee-based models. With the implementation date for the DOL Fiduciary Rule looming on the horizon, that pendulum will continue to swing even further. However, are asset-based fees truly the BEST approach to compensation?

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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, Client Engagement, DOL ruling, DOL Fiduciary Ruling

Preparing Your Practice for NextGen Clients

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Aug 25, 2016 12:29:35 PM

While they may currently only control 4% of the nation’s wealth, there’s absolutely no doubt that if you’re not preparing your firm to address the needs and preferences of millennials, you’re destined to be left behind. By 2030 (less than 15 years down the road) the investable financial assets of U.S. households should approach $65 trillion. The millennial generation’s share of those assets will grow the fastest, tripling from its current 4% to 16%. That’s over $10 trillion in millennial wealth that will need to be managed. Combined with their Gen-X predecessors, the two groups will hold nearly half (47%) of the nation’s entire wealth. 

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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

Want to Attract New 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