Growing Your Financial Advisory Practice | Insights for Financial Advisors, Planners and Investment Managers
027: The major drivers of advisors’ business growth
Growing your advisory practice is certainly challenging, but there are some clear differences that separate out the most successful advisors from everyone else. Today’s guest is an expert in how advisors rise to the top, as he spends his time developing tools, resources, and training for advisors, focusing on client relationships.
Chris Paterson is the National Director of Sales Development for Ivari. He’s worked in the industry since 1995 and has many years of experience working in advisor support roles. He worked with one of North America’s largest financial services organizations where he led a multi-channel national wholesaling team of 30 specialists that doubled the number of advisors selling living benefits insurance from 7,000 to 14,000 over two years.
He’s also been an advisor, consulted in the private wealth management industry, and has been an advanced case consultant for high-end financial professionals. Listen to the episode to hear Chris’ thoughts about what separates the most successful advisors from the rest, whether you should implement financial planning into your service offerings, and how to best market yourself online.
What You’ll Learn in This Episode:
- How the most successful advisors rise to the top (3:05)
- How you should be thinking about financial planning in your business (11:30)
- Common advisor misunderstandings about financial plans (16:55)
- How you can leverage stories and research to show the value of financial planning to clients (20:45)
- The 3 tech must-haves in 2019 (23:45)
- Online marketing best practices (28:00)
- 3 key opportunities in Canada’s evolving financial services industry (34:10)
Links and Resources:
Quotes by Chris:
“It seems all too often that many advisors, when you ask them what their business plan is… they say ‘I want to grow by 10%.’ And that’s barely a goal, and it certainly isn’t a plan.”
“People can’t expect that there’s a magical potion called the internet that then people are going to come on and ask to buy product from... It’s just a destination ‒ they have to help people get there and then interact with them.”
“What is your changing lives forever number? What is the impact you have for your clients in your community?”
With a proven track record of helping advisors grow their businesses, Chris Paterson can help you grow your practice with simple, actionable advice. Today, he’s sharing the importance of a solid business plan, how you can leverage technology to grow your business, and more.
Below, we’re sharing three key ideas from the show:
- How the most successful advisors rise to the top
- The 3 tech must-haves in 2019
- Online marketing best practices
For the rest of the episode, find the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, or hit the link above.
How the most successful advisors rise to the top
Many business owners in Canada don’t even have a business plan. In fact, Chris was surprised to find that advisors who are really good at helping their clients plan are often not great at doing it for themselves. But without a specific goal and a plan to go with it, it’s hard to sustainably and successfully grow a business.
Create a concrete goal
“It seems all too often that many advisors, when you ask them what their business plan is or what their goal is... they say ‘I want to grow by 10%,’” Chris says. “And that’s barely a goal, and it certainly isn’t a plan.”
Top advisors aren’t satisfied with 10% growth; inflation, rising rates, and the occasional referral will get you to about 10% growth without any unique ideas or additional effort.
Instead, the best advisors have goals like aiming to double their business within a couple of years. They ask themselves, “How do I change what I’m doing and focus more on what my unique abilities are to get in front of more of the people that I naturally connect with best?”
Hint: A mere dollar figure may not keep you motivated for long, so consider translating it into something real. For example, maybe that extra revenue that you’re aiming for will allow you to hire an assistant so you can get in front of more clients or spend more time with family. Maybe it means a down payment on a new property. Either way, try to visualize what achieving that goal will bring you.
Have a business plan
Next, you need to have an actual plan for achieving your goal. This usually means breaking those big dreams down into action items and targets ‒ what do you actually need to do every month, every week, and every day to get in front of more potential clients?
Hold yourself accountable
Finally, you need to actually follow through and complete the goal you’ve set out for yourself. You might think about working with a business coach, a mentor, or an accountability group of other advisors. The key is to maintain good habits and hit your short-term targets so you can stay on track with your goal.
The 3 tech must-haves in 2019
In our digital world, Chris believes there are three tech table stakes for any advisor. If you’re missing any one of these, you might have some work ahead of you to catch up:
A web presence
The first thing people do when they hear about you is search your name on Google, and you want to make sure they can find relevant information about who you are and how you can help them. At a minimum, this means having a website or webpage, as well as a social media presence on whatever platform your target market uses (more on that in a minute).
A CRM or something similar isn’t just a nice-to-have anymore. It’s in CCIR and CLHIA guidelines, and many dealers mandate it, too.
We could talk all day about how electronic transactions are more efficient, save money, and reduce error rates. But the bottom line is that’s what consumers expect from any service. People want customized solutions in real time ‒ and they’re getting them in just about every industry, so make sure you’re meeting their expectations.
Hint: To hear more about great tools that you can use to grow your practice and learn a simple process for deciding what’s worth bringing in, check out our show with Jason Pereira.
Online marketing best practices
When it comes to marketing yourself online, it’s easy to waste a lot of money if you don’t know what you’re doing and don’t plan in advance. Fortunately, Chris has 6 simple ground rules to help you make the most of your efforts online:
Go back to your business plan
Your online presence has to align with your goals. Think about who you’re trying to reach, how much time you can put into it, and how much money you’re willing to spend. Maybe hiring a social media manager is your best bet; maybe you prefer to use an app to schedule your posts in advance yourself.
Be where your ideal clients are
There’s no point being on a social media site unless your target market is active on it, too. Find out which platforms your ideal clients use, and make sure you post content there regularly.
Bring people to your website
There are nearly 2 billion websites out there, and the chances of someone just stumbling across yours is slim. As Chris puts it, “it’s just a destination ‒ [you] have to help people get there.” Share your website on your social media profiles and let your clients know about it so people actually use it.
Interact with the people who follow you
Just as you would follow up with prospective clients who leave you a voicemail, you have to interact with and reach out to people who show interest in you online ‒ otherwise, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to connect. If someone is commenting on or sharing your content, respond to them and follow up, maybe inviting them to jump on a call with you.
Commit the time
You don’t want to spend all your time on Facebook or LinkedIn, but ensure you block off a bit of time and commit to your plan. This might mean just 10 minutes a day spent posting or scheduling interesting content and interacting with whoever engaged with your previous posts.
Make sure you’re compliant
Chris bluntly chalks this down to the “unspoken don’t-be-an-idiot-and-put-something-stupid-rule.” Luckily, most companies have compliant material that you can share on your profiles.
For more helpful advice from Chris, make sure you catch the full episode where he talks about deciding whether financial planning is for you, why over-focusing on tax savings is a mistake, and three big opportunities in the rapidly-changing industry. You can find the show right here on this page or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher so you don’t miss any episodes.
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