Jason Glisczynski: The Power of a Niche Focus
Often, financial advisors don’t achieve excellence because of one big moment. Instead, success usually comes from a series of breakthroughs that collectively generate great results.
Case in point: Jason Glisczynski, co-founder of Silvertree in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. An advisor since 2004, Glisczynski made a key transition a few years ago—taking Silvertree from the traditional approach (gathering assets from as many people as possible, as fast as possible) to one engineered to conduct deep and comprehensive wealth planning (tax, estate, insurance, cash flow, etc.). “I saw how much better that business model could be for our clients as well as the firm,” he says.
But despite that major overhaul, Glisczynski and his team knew the firm still lacked direction. “We didn’t have a clear identity or path forward as far as finding new clients and how we were going to serve them. We didn’t have a clear service model, because you can’t provide everything for everybody,” he says. “So I—the whole team, in fact—struggled with all of those issues.”
The turning point came when Glisczynski identified a target niche market for the firm—business owners, executives and workers in the manufacturing space—using a process he learned through advisor coaching firm CEG Worldwide. “We help people from the shop floor up to the executive level, all of whom have traditionally been underserved by the advisory community,” notes Glisczynski. “We enjoy working with all our clients, but we have found a special connection with this group where we can really make a difference in their lives.”
That focus on serving ideal clients from a single niche has empowered Silvertree to not only operate more efficiently—and therefore, more profitably—but also better deliver on-target comprehensive planning that truly addresses the key challenges of the members of this niche. “When you try to be all things to all people, or even all things to a very large group like retirees, you can only help them in a very general way—there’s not enough time to go deep with them and do extensive planning,” says Glisczynski. “You also end up with multiple service models because of how broad your client base is.”
Glisczynski highlights a few key benefits to the business of delivering comprehensive planning to a target market:
- Profitability. Silvertree’s net profits rose by more than 45% last year.
- Employee retention. The firm’s fiscal health has enabled Glisczynski to invest back into his business, his team, and his family. “Being able to reward the people around me, who have been so important to the firm’s success, feels like a dream come true—and it helps to retain those great people and have them come to work excited every day,” he says.
- Greater personal flexibility and freedom. Glisczynski has freed up more time in his day because of the firm’s more efficient and focused business model. This freedom has allowed him to elevate his knowledge and skills even further through education and coaching to expertly serve high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients (owners and executives) within the firm’s niche—while simultaneously empowering his team to continue serving existing clients and new clients from their niche.
- Enhanced credibility. Silvertree has become known as the go-to source for expert financial advice among the local manufacturing sector. As a result, associations and media outlets reach out to Glisczynski frequently for his insights into issues affecting the community. “By devoting the firm to a niche, we can solve complex problems that manufacturing owners and executives often feel are unsolvable,” notes Glisczynski. “I’ve become seen as a leader by media outlets, centers of influence and other influential people in our area, which feels really gratifying.”
Glisczynski offers some advice for advisors who may be thinking about whether targeting a niche market is the right move for them:
- Pick a niche that you feel passionate about. It’s important to select a niche with members who have financial issues that need solving (and that you can help solve), of course. But you also need to like the people in the niche and possess a strong desire to help them achieve lives of significance. Says Glisczynski: “A niche isn’t right just because you might be able to sell them a bunch of stuff. You need to truly be there to serve them and care about them, without any other agenda. Do that, and the success you can have is unlimited.”
- Put in the work. Becoming a go-to advisor in a niche takes serious effort. After identifying an ideal niche, you need to do the research—getting to know what the niche’s members care about, their financial (and other) pain points, and what other professionals you may need to enlist to address the full range of their concerns so you can implement comprehensive wealth planning. “It takes time, money and work to really serve a niche successfully, so don’t expect overnight results,” says Glisczynski.
- Get the right help. Glisczynski is a firm believer in seeking out others who can help him be a better advisor, leader and business owner. He suggests enlisting a top-notch coach—but warns that not all coaching programs are capable of delivering. “If you’re going to work with a coaching firm or personal coach, find one that has a significant amount of experience, has a proven track record of success, and has a proven system that’s flexible enough to allow you to be able to grow into it,” he says, adding, “I found having two coaches, one inside the industry and one outside the industry, to be extremely beneficial.”