Since we’ve partnered with Summit Media to launch our joint workshop “Building the Billion Dollar Business™,” ClientWise has been focusing specifically on helping financial advisors transition from thinking like producers running a practice, to thinking like CEOs running hugely successful businesses with the potential to bring in a billion dollars in revenue.
This topic has been so popular with our followers that instead of stopping at part II, we’ll be including a part III as well, which will come out next week. (If you missed Part I, get it here.)
In our last blog, we talked about the importance of building a team and learning how to shape that team in the vision of your organization, so that your team members can work with you day-to-day to increase your success in the present and build your sustainability for the future. Today we’ll go into a little more depth about how that day-to-day should look by considering the following:
Being completely client-centric: We already said this in the last blog, but it bears repeating so we’ll say it again. Why? Because while financial advisors think about the importance of serving their clients, they don’t necessarily think about it from their clients’ perspective. Time spent devoted to your clients is valuable, but the value of how that time is spent might not the same from their perspective as it is from yours. SEI’s study also revealed that 83% of advisors prefer to have no involvement in managing their investments versus the 17% who do. Many advisors pride themselves on their knowledge of the market and investment strategy, and while some clients find this important, many do not. Make sure you know which type of client you’re dealing with. Additionally, your clients might not know enough to tell you their involvement preferences for their finances, so make sure to ask them yourself.
Recognizing the importance of planning (and plan accordingly): Many clients may feel the financial planning advice you give them is even more valuable in their day-to-day lives than the investment advice. This is especially true in a world where the economic climate is volatile and the performance of the market is never guaranteed. However, due to the existing structure of their businesses, many advisors haven’t figured out how to accurately monetize the planning portion of their services, especially for those clients who can’t afford a flat or hourly rate without the potential proceeds from their investments. As the leader, put in the time and effort to compile a plan and strategy for your team that will allow you to make a profit off the financial planning you do for clients, even if it requires some creativity on your part to make it viable.
Creating consistency of communication: Serving your clients at this higher level is important, but it also necessitates a higher, more involved level of communication between you and the members of your team. As you collaborate and grow to work as a unit, rather than as individual participants in a practice, this will start to come more naturally. Eventually, you will get to the point of achieving Total Team Leadership™. At ClientWise we’ve coined the term Total Team Leadership™ to describe the process by which leaders engage in the exchange of leadership amongst team members to evoke meaningful contribution, showcase the strengths of all, and advance effective group decision making. This helps streamline communication, because everyone becomes essential to and understands the process, but the ultimate goal here is to get to a point where you, as the leader, aren’t required to be the driver behind every business initiative.
Developing your firms’ intellectual capital: As you build your business and put processes in place to make it run more smoothly, start to create intellectual capital around it. Everything from your new client onboarding process to how you make financial planning for clients a valuable investment of your time, are proprietary items that become crucial components of your intellectual property. This intellectual capital is not just a great way to develop and prove your worth right now, it’s also an important part of creating sustainability, and provides the opportunity to make your vision outlast your ability or desire to be directly involved in the day to day.
Concentrating on future vision and sustainability: Once you have a team working toward a common vision, with clearly defined processes recorded around it, you’ll have a solid foundation in place that allows you to better plan for the future of your company. The wisdom you have generated through building your company is something you can pass onto the younger financial professionals who work for your firm, who can then pass that on to your current clients, as well as their children, even after you’ve retired or left your role as a leader of your business.
Coaching questions from this article:
Are you truly thinking about the balance of the services you provide through the perspective of your clients?
Do the processes you've created for your business serve your overall vision and integrate the knowledge, skills, and leadership of all of your team members?
As you build your business are you keeping track of, and properly identifying, your intellectual capital by creating a solid process around your IP to inform the future of your business?