The ClientWise Blog

Ray Sclafani

Recent Posts

Micro-Segmentation

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Oct 8, 2020 10:11:36 AM

An opportunity to test and learn new acquisition strategies

Lately, whenever I talk to one of our clients, I make it a point to ask them what their year-to-date new households/ new clients numbers look like. Almost every response has been “oh, not great!” But when I then ask them what their year-to-date net new money looks like, the vast majority tell me that those numbers are up.

Without a doubt, it’s a terrific accomplishment to be net positive in new assets during a year of unprecedented turbulence. But if this is the situation you currently find yourself in, it’s important to acknowledge both the good and the bad. You should be supremely confident in the fact that you’re growing your wallet share. It’s a clear indication that your existing clients – despite the ongoing turmoil – have growing confidence in your ability to help them weather the storm.

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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, Client Engagement, Learning

Zoom Your Way to Loyal Client Advocates

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Sep 23, 2020 10:56:34 AM

Sit down at a lunch table during any advisor conference, and I can pretty much guarantee you that sooner than later, the topic of conversation will gravitate to client referrals. In fact, I can’t think of a more fitting battle flag motto for most advisors than "referrals, referrals, referrals! ” Don’t get me wrong, referrals are great; and by all means you should keep asking for them.

BUT…if you really want your referral game to work big, you need to go small.

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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, Client Engagement, Learning, loyal client advocates, zoom

Why Aren’t You "Board"?

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Sep 10, 2020 11:24:32 AM

Late last year, I led a working session of sixteen advisory clients – all but one of them managed in excess of $1B in assets (with at least two firms north of $2B in AUM). I was more than a little surprised to learn that not a single one of them had a professional advisory board (not even an informal one).

I’m not talking about a client advisory board. That’s a different animal – focused on relationship building, networking, and client service. Instead, I’m referring to a trusted source of business insights and advice from other entrepreneurs who’ve experienced the same or similar issues, challenges and concerns; a genuinely valuable sounding board for when you’re doing your SWOT analysis and long-term planning.

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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, Team Development, Learning, Team Engagement

Are Socially Distanced BBQs a Thing?

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Sep 4, 2020 1:04:15 PM

The very first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City on September 5, 1882. And on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law making the first Monday in September of each year a national holiday to celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers; the contributions they have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

For most of us, Labor Day has always marked an end to summer – parades, picnics and one last warm weather gathering with friends and family before the kids head back to school and the days become noticeably shorter. It goes without saying, however, that the unprecedented nature of this ongoing pandemic has changed everything this year.

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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, Team Development, Learning, Team Engagement

Curated Content for Financial Leaders (Week of August 31)

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Aug 28, 2020 2:48:29 PM

 
 
Each of these important articles and podcasts have been thoughtfully curated, timely, and helpful for you and 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, Crisis

Opportunity's Knocking

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Aug 25, 2020 9:38:43 AM

New clients and new talent have never been more accessible

Perhaps all this industry buzz and talk about entering “a new normal” is legitimate, and that the way you conduct the business of advising your clients has irrevocably shifted. Or maybe it’s all just a massive overreaction to a serious (but temporary) disruption – a speed bump on the financial planning highway which a year from now will be just another business war story.

The jury remains out as to which legacy will ultimately prevail.

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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, Team Development, Learning, Team Engagement

Curated Content for Financial Leaders (Week of August 24)

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Aug 21, 2020 3:49:52 PM

 
 
Each of these important articles and podcasts have been thoughtfully curated, timely, and helpful for you and 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, Crisis

Curated Content for Financial Leaders (Week of August 17)

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Aug 14, 2020 3:34:35 PM

 
 
Each of these important articles and podcasts have been thoughtfully curated, timely, and helpful for you and 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, Crisis

Rethinking Your Personal Productivity Tech Stack

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Aug 11, 2020 1:44:15 PM

Moore’s Law states that every two years the number of transistors on a microchip will double while over the same period the cost of computers will halve. Rather than a traditional law of physics, it’s an observation and projection that we can expect the speed and capability of technology to regularly increase while the corresponding costs decrease.

Yet many advisors get complacent when it comes to technology. If something has served them well thus far, why switch horses in mid-stream? As Marshall Goldsmith points out in his book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, “successful people believe there is always a link between what they have done and how far they have come—even when no link exists. It’s delusional, but it is also empowering.”

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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, Team Development, Learning, Team Engagement

Best Practices in Creating a Distributed Workforce

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jul 29, 2020 11:00:00 AM

When it comes to returning to the workplace, there’s no shortage of conflicting viewpoints in the marketplace in general – nor among advisors and their teams in particular. I’ve spoken with more than a few firm founders who have told me, “I’m never going back into a 9-5 office environment. I get way more done, more quickly and efficiently, working remotely without all the interruptions.” And I hear the same thing from many team members who love the fact that they get back two hours of time every day that they otherwise would spend commuting.

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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, distributing workforce

Why and When Should You Hire a COO?

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jul 22, 2020 2:11:47 PM

If you’re like most successful firm founders, you’re probably either a tremendous relationship manager, rainmaker and/or investment technician. And as your firm has gradually grown, you’ve been able to acquire enough business management skills to get by. But is business management truly your passion; not to mention an area where you want to devote a significant portion of your time and effort?

The unintended consequence of success in acquiring new clients and assets is the time needed to provide them with the advice and guidance they seek; all while efficiently running a business that performs the underlying technical work required. Once you reach a level of about $5MM in revenue, it’s time to earnestly consider onboarding a professional business manager for your firm. Why make the shift at this particular stage in your growth?

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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

Curated Content for Financial Leaders (Week of July 20)

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jul 17, 2020 4:52:36 PM

 
 
Each of these important articles and podcasts have been thoughtfully curated, timely, and helpful for you and 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, Crisis

Curated Content for Financial Leaders (Week of July 13)

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jul 10, 2020 11:11:00 AM

 
 
Each of these important articles and podcasts have been thoughtfully curated, timely, and helpful for you and 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, Crisis

Coaching? Now? Are you serious?

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jul 9, 2020 2:15:42 PM

You’re the CEO of a successful RIA. You’ve grown the business from a fledgling operation to a thriving firm with a talented team of skilled planning and investment professionals serving hundreds of clients and managing hundreds of millions (or in some instances billions) in assets. So, why in the world would you possibly need to engage a professional coach?

Have you ever wondered why most Fortune 500 CEOs have an executive leadership coach? The answer is perhaps best summarized by Jack Welch’s oft-cited quote: “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.

With the onset of COVID-19, we’ve entered truly uncharted waters. Given the ongoing disruption to your business, how are you altering the ways in which you actively develop people? How are you building and managing interdependent accountability structures such as OKRs?

As the owner of an advisory firm, your most important job is to cultivate relationships with clients. But right after that, is your responsibility to develop the people on your team. Unfortunately, however, there’s no formal education that really teaches you how to do the latter.

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

Topics: Coaching, RIAs

Online Collaboration Tools

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jul 1, 2020 4:53:59 PM

Bringing the best out in your team during challenging times.

While compliance requirements may limit some financial advisory firms from using certain technologies, online collaboration tools have quickly gone from useful conveniences to mission critical applications in a matter of weeks. From Zoom video conferencing to DropBox file sharing, Google Docs collaborative editing, Basecamp project management, and WorkBoard OKR software, advisors are relying more and more heavily on collaborative tools to keep your businesses running efficiently.

As we all collectively go through a process of totally reinventing our workplace, processes and service delivery models – with a clear understanding that working virtually will most likely be a long-term rather than a short-term solution – it’s going to become increasingly critical to facilitate and streamline team communications.

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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, Team Development, Team Engagement