In the world of financial advice, many advisors make similar claims.  High level service…comprehensive wealth management…expert investment selection…

We are often asked, “What truly separates elite new advisors from the rest?”  The following are three of many factors that put new advisors on the fast track to success.

1 - Going (Slightly) Overboard in Communication

How often do you call a landscaper, insurance agent or other service provider and not hear back from them? Affluent consumers, although heavily targeted by mass marketing, often get poor-communication from local service providers.   For that reason, we’d recommend the following:

·      When you have an appointment, call the day in advance to confirm.

·      After an appointment, send a summary email – immediately. 

·      When given the choice, opt for face-to-face meetings over phone calls, and choose phone calls over email. 

·      When you meet someone the first time – send them a thank you note and connect with them on social media. 

·      If you need someone to sign paperwork, hand deliver it to their office.

It’s the little touches that show you’re responsive.  Questioning this as a differentiator?  Try it!

2 - Truly Overseeing Personal Finance

One sign of a client who is truly receiving comprehensive wealth management is high-level document management.  Document management?  Really?  You bet.  And it can be one of your most valuable sales tools.  Our most recent affluent research speaks volumes.   Affluent investors with $1mm+ report that the following documents are current and easily accessible:

 

Will

75.9%

Living Will

67.0%

Power(s) of Attorney

62.3%

Financial Plan

52.9%

Estate Plan

49.2%

Advance Directives

47.1%

Trust Documents

46.1%

Investment Policy Statement

21.5%

None of the above

7.3%

 

Bottom line – the majority of affluent prospects you encounter have serious needs in this department.  When conversing with them, talk about your role in keeping these documents current and accessible.  There is tremendous opportunity for advisors to set their services apart simply by providing documentation management.

3 – Be a Leader in Your Community

There’s no questioning the statistics – strategic networking has long been a business builder for successful new advisors.  That said, many new advisors fail miserably at networking.  There was a recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal that helps explain why.  They make the case that the term networking reeks of sales and should be pulled from our vocabulary.   

The focus should really be on getting involved in your community in ways that link to your passions (building the local economy, helping the poor, playing tennis).  This process works because it’s genuine.  Get involved in local causes and events and take a leadership role.  Not just in title, really get involved.  You’ll meet more people and develop lasting connections.  Every new connection is a potential client or a potential connection source.

 

Stay tuned for more differentiators in future editions of FastTrack for Growth.  But for now – over-communicate, discuss financial documents often, and be a leader in your community.  These are time-tested strategies that drive results.

 

Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols are thought-leaders and coaches with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in research and training for the financial services industry.  @StephenBoswell  @KevinANichols  www.oechsli.com