John Anderson

John Anderson

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:

Why Focus Groups (Not Advisory Boards) Put the Focus Where It Belongs

Getting generic advice from a cross-section of clients will create a generic advisory firm. But a focus group, made up of the clients you want to replicate, could be the best recipe for growth.

Why One-Size-Fits-All Client Service Doesn’t (Fit, That Is)

“One size-fits-all” is often ill-fitting – that’s true when it comes to clothing, as well as client service. If you’re segmenting by AUM or revenue, rather than by what is important to your clients, you’re setting them (and yourself!) up for disappointment.

Founders to Successors: Advisor Transitions

You’ve probably read a lot of articles about succession planning from the founders’ point of view. But when founder and successor consider one another’s best interests (a term well known in the fiduciary world), it’s more likely to put the “success” into succession.

Advisor, Is Your Bias Showing?

Opposing views make people uncomfortable. It’s natural. People prefer to hear things that reinforce what they already think. It’s a little thing called confirmation bias. But is it keeping you from getting a new perspective, new ideas – and possibly new opportunities?

What Goes Into a Referral Marketing System?

Research shows that the top referral-getters have a relatively structured referral marketing system. As Stephen Wershing of The Client Driven Practice notes, that system hinges on getting the right message out and measuring the results.

Advisors: The Unspoken Risk in Your Business (Hint: It’s Staffing)

When is the last time you took a good hard look at your staff and gauged what would happen if one or two people decided to leave? Don’t wait until they give their notice to prepare for key departures.

The Elements of Referability

If you’re not getting the referrals you think you deserve, you may need a new approach. We’ve been researching the “elements of referability,” and are now sharing what we’ve learned.

DOL: Are You a Dinosaur, a Luddite, or a Well-intentioned Straggler?

Like it or not, the trend is moving toward more fiduciary regulation. Will you fight against the riptide (and potentially drown your business in the process) or survive it by moving in parallel?

Bob Veres Book Excerpt: The New Profession

I’m excited to share an excerpt from Bob Veres’ new book, The New Profession. It details the great marketing opportunity that advisors have, as the profession evolves from sales to advice – which is what clients truly want.

Advisors, Should You Hire a CIO? Maybe.

Whether you are heading down the enterprise or the lifestyle advisor path, a CIO could overcomplicate your business. Unless it doesn’t. How do you know if the juice is worth the squeeze?

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