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Opportunity's Knocking

By Ray Sclafani | August 25, 2020


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.

What this pandemic has unequivocally produced for the best in the business, however, is perhaps the single greatest growth opportunity you will EVER see in your career. Why? Because at its core, this business is a people business, and right now we have:

  • more labor in motion;
  • more clients in motion;
  • more labor available to enter the business; and
  • more advisors failing to deliver genuine value to their clients.

It truly is an unprecedented situation. You have peers who are falling woefully short of their fiduciary duty – unsure and uncertain about the future, and showing themselves as unable to infuse clients with much in the way of long-term confidence during a moment of crisis. At the same time, there’s a wave of exceptional next generation talent who (as a result of COVID) have uncovered the cracks in the foundation of their current firm; young, capable advisors who now may be much more open to pursuing better opportunities with long-term growth potential and greater security.

Capitalize on the confusion

We’re all champing at the bit for the opportunity to re-engage with our businesses on a more personal level – spending time strategizing with our teams and sitting down face-to-face with clients to review their goals, their plans and their progress to date. But we also need to accept the reality that it may be another six months or longer before we’re able to fully engage in those types of activities.

Right now, most of your peers are standing still. They’re telling their teams that they hope they won’t need to reduce staff, but can’t make any promises. They’re playing defense with their current clients and watching the horizon in hopes of glimpsing what the future might hold. Now’s the time that you should be going out and attracting new clients, new talent, and in so doing, positioning your firm for continued growth.

And this is precisely where a professional coach who genuinely understands your business can be an invaluable asset. Sometimes the best defense is a strong offense, and at ClientWise, we work closely with some of the nation’s top advisors to help them stay focused on offense during these uncertain times:

  • How have your productivity and capacity numbers changed since the start of the year?
  • Are you remaining disciplined in only taking on high value clients to preserve capacity for more profitable opportunities?
  • Should you be hiring for current or future need, and what type of hire will best fit those needs (e.g., a lead advisor, a service advisor, an established team, etc.)?
  • How can you leverage the current financial climate to gain a greater share of wallet from your existing clients?

I had a client recently say to me, “You know, I’ve been a 7:00 am to 7:00 pm guy my entire career. But this whole situation has been an epiphany, helping me realize that I don’t need to work those kind of hours to be productive. I can start my day at 7:30 am and finish up by 2:00 pm just by working smarter and avoiding all the interruptions.

You and your team’s success isn’t about working harder; it’s about working smarter. Let a professional coach help you uncover a host of ways to achieve that goal.

Coaching Questions from this article:

  1. How does your current productivity compare to pre-COVID levels, and what’s your plan for building future capacity and capability on your team?
  2. How can you improve your strategic hiring plan based upon your future growth objectives?
  3. In what ways are you remaining engaged with current clients? Are there additional services you can provide to better support their current needs?
  4. What’s your client acquisition strategy for the remainder of the year, and has your team bought into the strategy and targets?

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Topics: Team Development Leadership Marketing & Communication

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