I’ve been in the financial services business for over 25 years. I’ve been around some of the best financial advisors on the planet – and unfortunately around some who made me wonder how they put food on the table. And I’ve learned from both.
I started out as an investor relations representative, talking to advisors and their clients, answering questions and “re-selling” my company’s products. Within eighteen months or so I moved to the sales side and have been there ever since. From working the “sales desk,” to internal account executive, to wholesaler, to managing director, I have been responsible at one point or another for most of the United States. And I’ve almost always worked with advisors, their clients and their centers of influence.
So what did I learn from good (and bad) advisors?
I am awestruck by those great advisors who can take a client’s dream and turn it into reality – whether that means retirement, college education for the kids or just plain old multigenerational wealth. To me, the best advisors are not discussing beta, standard deviation, alpha or some other Greek letter. They’re diving deep into the client relationship. Ultimately, they’re spending time in front of their clients – not in front of their computers. And they are building a business that will provide advice long after they step away. A business – not a practice.
Today, as Managing Director of the SEI Advisor Network’s Practice Management solutions, I work with advisors across the country to run a more effective practice. I also frequently present at conferences for some of the country’s most prominent broker-dealers and industry organizations, such as the Financial Planning Association.
In plain terms, I provide advisors with common-sense tips to grow their business. And in Practically Speaking, I look forward to sharing the conversation with you.
Recent posts by John:
Building a system of trust is key to attaining your ideal clients. Grant Hicks, president of Advisor Practice Management, says it’s all about knowing the right questions to ask, and when and how to ask them.
If you want better and more frequent referrals, you have to give your clients a reason to think of you. Better service is one way to do it. You just need to change the focus from what you can’t control to the things you can.
You’ve heard me say that you need to differentiate yourself and “prove your brand.” Blogging is an easy, inexpensive way to communicate who you are. And if you’re thinking, “I don’t have time to write a long post,” our guest blogger Susan B. Weiner is here to tell you why it’s not about the length.
Artificial intelligence is making robo-advisors better at planning. Will it make advisors go the way of the dinosaur? That all depends on you – the more specialized you are, the harder it would be for someone (or something) to replace the value you add.
The fiduciary movement is gaining momentum. Choosing to implement a fiduciary investment process now may make good business sense. To be successful, you should consider the business ramifications of building out that process.
Most advisors want to grow. Most grow by referrals. If you want help identifying where you can focus your efforts to attract more referrals, now is your chance.
Back in the early 1900s, a stockbroker named Henry S. Haskins said, “Panic at the thought of doing a thing is a challenge to do it.” He could have been talking about advisors using social media (you know, if it wasn’t the early 1900s). Luckily, our social media manager Heather Wilson is here to encourage you to give it a shot and “fake it ‘til you make it.”
There’s real, tangible value in communicating your brand. When you show people who you are and tie it to what you can do for them, it makes a compelling case to do business with you.
Think you’ve found your successor? Don’t rush into putting a ring on it – both sides need to make sure that they won’t end up in a dead-end relationship. I’ve got 6 steps to help you smartly integrate your businesses and set you both up for wedded bliss.
Are you happy with the quantity and quality of referrals you’re getting? If not, the issue may lie with the way you are branding (or not branding) yourself. Today’s guest post from Tactibrand’s Kirk Lowe sets the table for an ongoing series on advisor branding.