ELITE ADVISOR BEST PRACTICES
Your ability to stay focused on your goals and instill that focus in your team members can make all the difference
By Jonathan Powell
- Having a clear, concise and compelling value proposition can be a powerful tool for creating and maintaining focus on your goals.
- Determine your goals and communicate your strategy to your team.
- Monitor your progress—make use of metrics!
- Build a brand that ideal prospective clients are drawn to.
Success depends greatly on your ability to get focused and stay focused on where you want to take your business. You’ve also got to communicate that focus to your team.
When it comes to creating and maintaining focus, your clear, concise and compelling value proposition can be a powerful tool. You know the importance of focusing your business only on those clients who are financially and personally ideal for you to serve. Of course, your team also needs to understand the niche they serve clearly and the unique value they can bring to that group of investors. This helps ensure that there is no misunderstanding about what you do and for whom you do it.
Your value proposition also reinforces to your team that they can’t—and shouldn’t—try to be all things to all people but instead should focus on the type of clients that really count.
Four steps to focus
Gaining the right focus—or regaining it, as the case may be—is best achieved by following a four-stage process.
Stage 1: Determine your goals. Goals serve as a framework to stay focused. With that in mind, identify the strategies and tactics that would be most impactful to the business in the short term, medium term and long term. Set no more than three major goals in each of those categories. Some possible examples to consider:
Short term (up to six months). Determine a specific number of Discovery Meetings that you will have with ideal clients and prospective clients over the next six months. Do the same for Centers of Influence interviews. Or work on adding a needed professional to your network of experts. If you have accomplished these goals, vow to have two great expert team meetings to discover opportunities to work together. Or strengthen your credibility within your niche by writing and publishing an article that will be seen by its members.
Medium term (6 to 18 months). Produce and distribute a white paper. Vow to form two strategic alliances with great partners. Or develop and make an effective group presentation to your niche audience.
Long term (18+ months). Have two working strategic alliances that have achieved their teams’ major milestones goals. Develop systems that systematically collect your clients’ feedback to fine-tune your delivery of your world-class wealth management experience. Begin blueprinting your systems and processes to ensure consistent, extraordinary experiences for both your affluent clients and your team members whether you’re there or not. Establish a formal learning program for all team members.
Stage 2: Communicate your goals and strategy to your team. Strategy, according to renowned Harvard Business School professor Ken Andrews, is a pattern of decisions made over time that reveal the goals of a firm and its plans for achieving those goals. You, therefore, don’t necessarily need a huge, all-encompassing strategy document. You just need to know where you want to take your firm, whom you will focus on serving and how you will serve them.
That said, you’ve got to make sure your team members understand all the aspects of your strategy if you expect them to work together (and with you) toward those goals. All teams need a leader who can spell out the organization’s objectives and how each member’s work relates to and furthers those objectives. Therefore, you want to know that your team members can state your purpose, your strategy and your goals in general terms.
Stage 3: Develop and monitor metrics. It’s crucial to assess your progress along the way to your goals. You need to determine where you should be at various intervals in order to get to the end point on time and be prepared to make necessary adjustments. Every month, have a “state of the business” meeting during which you look at revenue, expenses, profit and cash flow at both a high level and a detailed level. Pay close attention to metrics such as the number of new clients versus the number lost, revenue per client, profitability per client, revenue per principal and revenue per team member. Compare your projections to the actual results.
Stage 4: Enhance the brand. Unlike brand identity—which includes your company logo, colors, etc.—your brand represents the overall awareness and opinion that your clients and prospective clients have of you. You want to be first in the minds of your target market as an elite, consultative wealth manager who acts as a personal chief financial officer to your target affluent clients, helping solve their biggest financial challenges.
But it’s not enough to be known within just your ideal client base. Idea clients should be able to state in clear terms what you do as it relates to them and their needs. Once they can articulate what you are all about, they’ll understand how your services fit into their lives, and they’ll be in a position to refer you to other members of your niche. Ultimately, you want potential affluent clients to see you as an industry leader who provides tremendous value to them.