ELITE ADVISOR REPORT
A Blog for Today’s Top Financial Advisors
Superstar Financial Advisor Success Stories – Episode 29
- Demonstrate your credibility to prospective clients.
- Build a network of high-quality experts.
- Focus on serving a niche market extremely well.
As a driven financial advisor, you want to know which strategies actually work before you try to adopt and implement a plan to grow your business. That clarity will not only help you be successful on purpose, but also empower you to ascend the hierarchy of financial advisor success at an accelerated rate.
That’s why I asked some of the top financial advisors in our elite, mastermind Roundtable Program to share their best ideas—the strategies that they have used to generate at least $150,000 in new revenues and that they believe other financial advisors could implement in their own practices to generate the same results.
Here’s what these top advisors had to say.
Remember: Each of these three strategies has been used by one or more elite financial advisors to generate substantial increases in their success. There’s nothing theoretical about these tips—they have all been used “on the ground” to fuel great results.
1. Demonstrate your credibility to prospective clients. One financial advisor was looking to expand his firm’s reputation among its chosen niche market—business owners, executives and entrepreneurs in his local market. He decided to deepen his relationships and build connections with the people he wanted to serve. So he began asking executives to let him interview them about their lives and careers.
He used those executives’ comments to create professionally written “profiles of success” that he would give to each participant. The profiles told each person’s unique story—including his or her background and history, and the driving forces that help the person achieve great success. After doing roughly 60 profiles with executives, he compiled them into a hardcover book. He has since published five more volumes.
The books, he says, got his name out there and have enhanced his credibility within his target market. “People who might have blown me off before now come up to me and introduce themselves,” he notes. The books are also online, which from a search engine optimization perspective has given the firm a lot of visibility that has generated new business.
2. Build a team of experts strategically. Elite financial advisors make a point of building professional networks of outside experts to help them provide exceptional value to affluent clients with complex needs. One top financial advisor built a core group of team members including a CPA, a trusts and estate attorney, a family law/matrimonial expert, and an insurance specialist. He even has professionals “on the bench” in case their area of expertise is required. His largest referral ever resulted from his professional network—a client who contributed 30 percent to asset and revenue growth in one year. The experience of working with his professional network has branded the financial advisor as a “transitions expert” in the field.
His advice for being strategic about building expert teams: Focus on quality, not quantity. Don’t try to partner with ten so-so professionals who will do an average job. You need just a handful of superior professionals who are the right fit for your clients. Also, just go for it—don’t think these professionals are doing you a favor. Today, outside experts are looking for ways to build their businesses and serve wealthy clients, just as you are. Most of the other experts were eager to discuss ways to work together once they understood the level of expertise and professionalism that this financial advisor brought to the table.
3. Serve a niche market—and understand it deeply. Focusing on one type of client is a strategy that many top financial advisors say is central to their huge success. One financial advisor positioned her practice to serve women who are senior executives and professionals, and has seen revenue and assets under management grow by 25 percent annually, with 70 percent of that growth coming from clients in her niche.
She points out that financial advisors often worry that narrowing their focus to one group of clients will cause them to miss opportunities and leave money on the table. Not so, she notes, explaining that by focusing on a niche, financial advisors come to be seen as the go-to expert among the members of a specific community—giving them more than enough business. She also says that leveraging even just one contact in your chosen niche can pay off handsomely. For example, after working closely with just one existing client from her chosen niche to address a range of advanced planning issues, the client responded by telling 25 colleagues about the financial advisor’s services.
As another top financial advisor points out, you have to show that you understand the financial needs of your chosen niche deeply if you want to succeed in attracting clients from the niche and serving them. This financial advisor, who specializes in dentists, took several steps to ensure that result—including interviewing more than 50 dentists and other professionals who are important to dentists, to identify their specific financial challenges. Next, he wrote a white paper on the topic based on what he learned—a key step in building credibility among a niche market of affluent investors. When he presented the interviewees with copies of the white paper, some of them immediately asked to meet with him to discuss their situation—before even reading the report. Finally, he created professionally shot videos that he put front-and-center on his firm’s web site, talking about how he works with dentists to help them make smart decisions about their wealth.
LEARN FROM YOUR PEERS
Financial advisors can learn a tremendous amount from each other about how to build and maintain a world-class practice. These examples described here represent just some of the strategies that top financial advisors use every day to provide the types of exceptional client experiences that are the hallmark of elite financial advisory firms.
Your next step: Examine your own business—its strengths, weaknesses and areas of opportunities—and identify just one thing you could do differently to drive greater success in the year ahead. Armed with a vision of where you want to go and a strategy to guide you there, you will find yourself moving in the right direction with the clarity, purpose and focus you need in order to achieve great results.
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