The ClientWise Blog

What’s My Job Again?

Posted by Ray Sclafani on May 6, 2019 4:52:44 PM

Why clearly defined roles and responsibilities matter

Remember when you first started your firm? Not only were you the owner of the business, you and your original team members all needed to wear multiple hats. You moved from client acquisition to client service; from placing trades and rebalancing portfolios to implementing software and technology; and from regulatory responsibilities to handling benefits and payroll.

Over time, as the business grew, you were able to make additional key hires – building a team of complementary professionals around you. Yet for many advisory owners (even those who’ve built large multi-faceted enterprises) the jack-of-all-trades mindset persists. Rather than hiring and cultivating highly-skilled specialists, they gravitate towards generalists who may not be exceptional at any one discipline but who can pitch in when and where needed.

Ask yourself one simple question. If you needed bypass surgery, would you look for a general surgeon or would you find someone who’s a cardiothoracic specialist?

Building specialized expertise

Our research shows that in most enterprise teams, founders/principals tend to play a large role in almost EVERY team function. They are the pivotal identity of the team – a factor which limits rather than enhances the value of the firm. When perceived enterprise value rests almost exclusively in theidentity and activities of one or two leaders (who will one day retire), it is inevitably diminished.

The best enterprise leaders know that a critical aspect of their role is putting team members in positions to succeed and developing/coaching those individuals so that they can not only be

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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

Rewarding Performance - Human capital is an asset, not a liability

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Mar 27, 2019 9:00:00 AM

As a strategic business leader, you recognize that your team – your human capital – is your most important asset. You invest in them in a variety of ways and, in turn, they fuel the continued growth of your enterprise. That’s why one of the most important elements to the longevity and continued success of your business is your ability to attract and retain talent – getting the right people in the right seats at the right time, and not losing them to the competition.

Yet many firm principals tend to view their human capital solely in terms of being a cost (albeit a necessary one) of doing business. It’s a mindset that leads to reactionary rather than proactive behaviors. Instead of hiring to drive growth, these organizations usually hire in response to growth. They frequently push the limits of capacity – reluctant to bring on new team members until it’s deemed absolutely essential as indicated by a drop-off in service quality. And they reward exceptional performance haphazardly – driven more by the fear of losing a key player rather than an effort to cultivate loyalty and stronger bonds.

Recruiting and retaining top talent

One of the key elements of this challenge is the creation of clear and measurable growth and development plans that provide clarity around not only what is expected of each team member, but precisely what they need to achieve in order to take the next step in the firm. Research shows that individual team members who participate in written performance

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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

Your Most Important Clients? It's Your Team. 

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Mar 24, 2017 8:40:00 AM

If we only had a dollar for every time we’ve heard an advisor say “I’d really prefer not to add new team members because I just don’t like managing people.” Mind you, these are the very same advisors who are phenomenal at managing client relationships – highly adept at deciphering precisely what their clients hope to achieve and creating strategies to help them reach those objectives. So exactly HOW is that any different from managing team member relationships

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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

Developing an Emotionally Intelligent Team

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Mar 16, 2017 8:45:00 AM

The best in the business know that a critical part of their role is mentoring, coaching and developing their team. It's extremely important to gain the skills and experiences they will need in order to be even more valuable to the future team. It begins with developing a higher sense of self-awareness in the individual and a keener awareness of others: two of the most important emotional intelligence skills.

 

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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, emotional intelligence

Advisory Team Leader Non-Negotiables

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Feb 28, 2017 11:55:29 AM

You didn’t become the founder of a successful financial advisory practice without having a host of extraordinary talents – from strong rainmaking and relationship management skills to advisory and technical expertise. Early on, out of necessity, you had no choice but to become a jack-of-all-trades. As your practice grows and matures, however, it’s imperative that you learn to move beyond the lone ranger mindset and more tightly define and constrain your role in the firm. 

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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

Good Stewardship Begins with Your Team

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jan 26, 2017 1:21:26 PM

Whether you call it outcomes-based financial planning, goals-based wealth management, or some other moniker, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s an essential component of being a true fiduciary. That’s because being a great steward of other people’s money is ultimately about helping each individual achieve the outcomes they dream – whether their goal is a simple comfortable retirement or a second yacht anchored in the Mediterranean.

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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

Imagination: A Critical Tool for Business Growth

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jan 20, 2017 11:17:53 AM

In general, entrepreneurs are successful because they can see a future that nobody else sees, and imagine things that others simply can’t bring themselves to envision. How many of us twenty years ago could have imagined carrying around a device with more than 120 million times the power of the guidance computer that successfully landed and returned Apollo 11? Yet today, nearly two billion of us worldwide are doing precisely that with our smartphones.

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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, Innovation, Goal setting

7 Tips for Creating a More Interdependent Team

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Sep 13, 2016 1:33:58 PM

At ClientWise, we often stress the critical importance of developing an interdependent team rather
than an autonomous work group. But how do you objectively determine which of those two you currently have, and if the latter, how do you evolve them into a true team?

 

 

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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

5 Lessons from the Wisdom of Steve Jobs

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Sep 9, 2016 11:57:33 AM

As we approach the 5-year anniversary of the death of Steve Jobs, he continues to remain one of the world’s most respected business visionaries and innovators. A creative genius and passionate non-conformist who never accepted conventional wisdom at face value, but instead rebelled against the inherent laziness of “business as usual.” 

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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, Marketing Approach, Team Development

Want to Attract New Female Clients?

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Aug 23, 2016 10:10:29 AM

Over the last few years, there have been many articles published about the increasing economic power of women both here in the U.S. and globally. By 2020 (essentially right around the corner) women will control two-thirds of this country’s $22 trillion in private wealth, along with two-thirds of our $12 trillion in annual spending. However, few wealth managers have made any efforts to meaningfully adapt their service model to the unique needs and preferences of women clients. 

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

Topics: Client Acquisition, Team Development, Client Engagement

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

Hiring for Fit: Why character can matter more than capability

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Aug 10, 2016 12:16:58 PM

You sit at your desk and review a pile of resumes. For the most part, you can quickly make a determination as to whether or not individual candidates have the requisite skills and experience needed to be the right fit. Therefore, from a purely technical ability perspective, personal interviews more often than not merely serve to validate your preconceptions – very infrequently raising a competency red flag. 

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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

Designing an Advisory Team that Adds Enterprise Value

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jul 20, 2016 3:03:35 PM

In order to achieve your defined measures of financial reward now and upon exit from your practice, you must design and hire a team that is:

1. Capable of all aspects of practice management, client development and client service delivery without you

2. Sufficient in size to create enterprise value in your practice

3. Interested in assuming the reins of the business after your exit

At its core, enterprise value (the economic value of equity in your firm) is what not only will attract other strong advisors into your firm, but also serve as the key determinant of the economic return you’ll be paid upon your exit from the practice.

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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

6 Questions to Help Envision Your Future Team

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jul 14, 2016 9:15:46 AM

It goes without saying that the support of a highly-skilled team is essential to achieving the future firm you’ve always envisioned. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that most team leaders focus almost exclusively on a prospect’s skill set when making hiring decisions. Unfortunately, that can quickly become a recipe for team discord and a problematic lack of cooperation.

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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, Hiring

4 Behaviors to Better Leverage Your Advocates and Team

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jul 6, 2016 4:33:51 PM

Many successful financial advisors out there have found ways to cultivate centers of influence and build momentum with their wealth management team. Here at ClientWise, we are often connecting with wealth management advisors who are looking to create stronger relationships with their advocates in the effort to build a partnership that serves them both well. So, how can you better leverage your strengths as a leader to implement advocacy into your client acquisition strategy?

The following 4 tips are not only ways to better partner with potential advocates, but also smart ways to motivate your team members.

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

Topics: Client Acquisition, Team Development