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Top 5 Areas of Focus for Financial Advisory Teams

By ClientWise | May 29, 2014


At ClientWise, we’re frequently approached by clients looking for that one “fix” that’s most crucial to their success. While as a rule we don’t believe in a “secret sauce” or a pre-defined process that works for everyone, there are areas in which any team would benefit from seeking improvement.


1. Leadership development: Practices that form financial advisory teams with multiple partners generate on average 38% more revenue per team member and manage 97% more assets per team member than their solopreneur/single owner peers, and much of this success starts at the top with a leader capable of guiding his or her team to specific goals through a clearly articulated vision. A leader who is steadfast in co-creating this with his team and helping them stay accountable along the way will experience far greater success than those who create the vision for their business in a silo. At ClientWise, we refer to this as “Total Team Leadership,” where a leader and team engage in the exchange of leadership among themselves in a manner that evokes meaningful contribution from every team member, showcases the strengths of each team member, and advances consistent and effective group decision making.


2. Team building: Team building can be tough, especially for financial advisors who are moving out of a producing role to take on a leadership role in which they are expected to relinquish control to team members who are sometimes younger and less experienced. For tips on how to do this, check out the post called “Letting Go to Grow” on our ClientWise blog. The best advice to guarantee success for your financial advisory team is to create common intent amongst your team members to ensure that they are working collectively as a team toward goals they’ve had a hand in creating. Achieving Total Team Leadership, but the discovery process to get there is just as valuable. The questions and ensuing conversations you have with your team members along the way help you in the team building process by providing valuable insight into their coachability, how they interact with others, and where they fit on the team…so don’t rush it!


3. Professional Advocates: Developing relationships with your professional advocates is perhaps the greatest professional development tool at the hands of any advisory team. If executed correctly, the benefit is mutual for both parties in the advocate partnership, and yet 78% of financial advisors meet less than quarterly with their professional advocates. The biggest step that advisors miss is ensuring that they have a defined process and agenda for the partnership, with clear expectations and an accountability structures. This is where a team can come in handy, by being involved in creating a process and agenda for each advocate partnership, and tracking that process to measure its success.


4. Pipeline Management: Pipeline management is another aspect of your practice that benefits greatly from having a scalable and repeatable process in place to run it. It can also be passed off to junior team members or staff who, in the process of helping you, can also take advantage of the opportunity to learn about your client base in more detail, in preparation for taking on more involved roles as your practice grows and requires a greater involvement from more members of your team.


5. Client engagement: For advisors and teams who enjoy spending time with clients, client engagement can seem like a no brainer. And still, only 34% of advisors spend 50% or more of their time with clients. Time spent with your clients can provide a wealth of knowledge, not just about potential to grow your relationship with them, but to create new relationships with the heirs of their wealth, and other people within their network of friends, family, and professionals. Oftentimes, the success of these relationships can come down to something as simple as the questions you ask clients. We refer to this as “The ClientWise Conversation,” and have found that sometimes the elements of a conversation that you never expect to drive your client relationships are the most valuable contributing factors to gaining their trust.


Coaching Questions from This Article:

1. Have you truly engaged the minds and talents of your team members or are you working alone while surrounding by highly capable people?
2. What processes, if any do you have in place to help your business run more smoothly and efficiently, and potentially pass some of the leg work off to others on your team?
3. Are you truly engaging with your clients in a way that is meaningful and looks beyond the picture of their wealth by asking questions that really get to the root of their fears, hopes, and ultimate goals?




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Topics: Business and Operations Management Organizing Priorities Client Acquisition Leadership Team Development Client Engagement

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