The ClientWise Blog

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

The Biggest Inhibitor to Your Firm's Growth? It May Be You.

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Apr 27, 2016 3:05:50 PM

Frequently when I speak at advisor events, I’ll ask attendees what they believe to be the greatest impediment to their firm’s future growth. More often than not, the smarter advisors in the room hone in on “a lack of capacity.” Yet, many of these very same advisors tend to be their own worst enemy in that regard – by holding on too tightly to the reins of their practice. There’s no getting around the fact that sooner or later, any growth-focused firm that’s overly dependent on its senior advisor or founder is going to have capacity issues. So, what can you do about it?

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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, wealth management teams, wealth management advisors

Creating a Positive Wealth Management Team Culture

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Apr 8, 2016 11:02:52 AM

We focus so much on acquisition, portfolio management, client issues and day-to-day operations that we rarely have time to sit back and take stock of the state of our team. It’s a by-product of the fast-paced business we’re in – and anyway, does corporate culture honestly need to be all that high on your priority list? 

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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, team leadership, team coaching, wealth management teams

What Skills Does Every Leader Need to Master?

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jan 6, 2016 3:13:31 PM

Love 'em or hate 'em, there’s no arguing that in an industry structured to create franchise parity through salary caps and free agency, the New England Patriots have consistently managed to achieve performance excellence for the better part of two decades – with no apparent end in sight. How? 

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

Topics: Leadership, Communication

Growing Your Business with Purpose and Intent

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Nov 24, 2015 4:02:38 PM

Ask a large group of advisors to list their primary business goals, and odds are “growing my business” will be at or near the top of almost every list. But ask the same individuals WHY they want to grow their businesses and a great many may have difficulty in offering a compelling reason. For many of us, growth has been equated with success as far back as we can remember. Just as a shark that stops swimming ultimately dies, we’ve been conditioned to believe that a firm that stops growing will similarly wither away.

Instead of viewing growth as a goal, you need to start thinking about it as a means to an end. That’s what growth with purpose and intent is – growth aimed at helping you achieve and live the life you want, rather than merely growing for growth’s sake.

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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, Leadership

8 Ways to Get More Out of Your Business Meetings

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Nov 19, 2015 3:57:31 PM

We continually champion the concepts of “partnering” and “collaborative conversations” because they are such critical components to the future success of your business. From developing your vision and crafting your investment philosophy, to designing your client service model, they should serve as constant guides. Even seemingly small details, such as your business meetings, will benefit when partnership and collaboration are the order of the day.

Not only are your team meetings a unique opportunity for team members to come together to solve problems, make decisions and plan, they’re also invaluable for forging greater trust and team identity. Yet all too often, standing weekly meetings start with no truly defined purpose or agenda, end with team members viewing them as “unproductive” or “a waste of time.”

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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

Succeeding at Succession for Financial Advisors

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Nov 17, 2015 5:48:04 PM

As a conscientious advisor, you take your fiduciary duty to your clients quite seriously. Your entire raison d'être is to serve as their voice of fiscal reason, advising and planning to help ensure they’ll be financially well-protected. Yet when it comes to planning for your own legacy, most of you are woefully unprepared as regards to your single most valuable asset – your practice.

Far too many firm principals convince themselves that they have a succession plan in place, when in fact what they actually have is some vague idea of what they hope will happen. In my new book, You've Been Framed, I shine a light on the ultimate advisor hypocrisy I call the "The Big Fat Lie". You swear up and down to your clients that you’ll be there with them through every life transition…but truth be told, you really don’t have a plan to ensure delivering on that promise!

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

Topics: Leadership, Succession Planning

Keys to Running a Successful Internship Program

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Nov 12, 2015 4:56:10 PM

An internship program offers your team tremendous means of enhancing productivity while ensuring the continuity of exemplary client service. 

The challenge for many advisors, however, is how to go about structuring a program that will work effectively without committing an extensive amount of resources to program implementation and management. Where do you go to find strong, qualified interns? How do you ensure that you and your team can keep a talented intern busy with productive work? What kind of compensation is appropriate? These questions are all very crucial ones prior to starting an internship program. 

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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, Leadership, Team Development, onboarding

4 Tools to Help Boost Team Productivity

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Nov 10, 2015 3:44:34 PM

As your team and business expand, managing productivity quickly becomes a monumental challenge. You wake up one morning and realize that what you could once manage with just a pen and a legal pad suddenly has a host of moving parts, all with different owners focused on competing objectives.

In its 2014 Time Management & Productivity Study, the FPA highlights that enhanced productivity is not about working less on the business, but rather it’s about working smarter – spending more time on the right tasks. They conclude that advisory teams who are efficient time managers achieve significantly more production (on average an additional 50 client meetings, 10 prospect meetings and 5 COI meetings each year).

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

Topics: Technology, Leadership, Time Management

Improve Your Hiring Process -- Think Strategically!

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Oct 13, 2015 3:22:00 PM

With every hire, at a minimum you should be thinking about your future company rather than merely filling a current need. Ask yourself where you envision the individual fitting in the company three or five years down the road. Could he/she potentially be a future partner? What’s their long-range career path going to be? Certainly, you hire somebody to fill a specific role, but that doesn’t preclude you from also thinking long-term and striving to identify an individual you envision growing into other responsibilities down the road.

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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, onboarding

Onboarding Starts with the Very First Interview

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Oct 8, 2015 4:23:30 PM

 

How do you go about quickly and effectively integrating new hires into the culture of your team? The trick is to not wait until the individual is hired, but rather to begin the process of onboarding right from the very first interview. Not only will this facilitate a smooth onboarding process, but it will serve as the basis for more productive and informative candidate interviews.

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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, onboarding

I’ve Got Your Back – Nurturing Mutual Accountability

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Oct 6, 2015 4:57:32 PM


Mutual accountability is a quality that neither develops on its own, nor can be coerced. Instead, mutual accountability must be co-created between you, as team leader, and individual team members – that way everybody knows what outcomes are expected and who is being counted on to achieve them. Your job here is to be a participant with and a partner of the team, encouraging members to hold themselves accountable for their individual actions and contributions, as well as their collective contributions to the team and the team’s collective results.

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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

Are Your Marketing Efforts Stuck in the '80s?

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Oct 1, 2015 4:10:31 PM

Blue Horseshoe loves Anacott Steel!

For many of us, the image of Bud Fox’s tenacious efforts to bag the elephant and secure a new client relationship with Gordon Gekko is permanently etched in our mind. In fact, that movie provided a reasonably realistic depiction of the type of survival-of-the-fittest mentality that was pervasive throughout the brokerage world in the 1980s. It was the epitome of brute force, individualistic marketing–sink or swim, you were on your own: “Here’s your phone book, now smile and dial.” You kept your legal pad of promising leads, made your phone calls and follow-up calls, set your appointments, and either converted prospects to clients or started searching for a new career.

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

Topics: Leadership, Marketing Approach

5 Tips for Building an Effective Team and Future Company

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Sep 29, 2015 3:10:21 PM

There’s a fundamental and often monumental difference between a “team” and a “work group.” Yet what most advisors refer to as a team, is more often than not, the latter – a group of people who work together to process a great deal of complex work, but with a task-oriented approach rather than a strategic mindset.

How do you know which one you have? Next time you hold a meeting to set team goals, step back and take a look at the level of active participation. If only one or two people are driving the conversation and the rest are silent with blank stares, it’s a pretty clear warning sign that you have a working group rather than a team.

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

Topics: Leadership, Communication, Team Development

10 Guidelines for More Productive Employee Development Conversations

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Sep 15, 2015 11:00:00 AM

If you’re like most advisors, you probably meet with individual team members on an annual or quarterly basis to provide performance feedback. These evaluations are typically very hierarchical and directive – formal management reviews rather than informal employee development conversations. Yet it’s the latter, not the former, that is far more critical to the ongoing success and continued improvement of your team.

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

Topics: Leadership, Communication, Team Development