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Best Practices of Elite Advisors

  • By Andrea Schlapia
  • |
  • May 10, 2013

Best Practices“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” 

Vince Lombardi

Success requires us to have clearly defined goals, benchmarks to gauge progress and a solid plan to reach them.  Top financial advisors achieve success by laying a rooted foundation with a vision and strategy, followed by placing laser focus on tactics and strategies to reach each goal. The center of focus, for top advisors, is placed on the relationship with existing affluent clients.

10 Strategies of Elite Advisors

1.      A Communicable Value PropositionYour value proposition is one of the most important tools in your marketing tool kit. Create a value proposition clearly defining your benefits, products, services and why a client should consider you. The key is to make it precise, understandable and communicable.

2.      Formal Business and Marketing PlanElite advisors develop and focus on their business and marketing plan regularly to ensure core strategies are carried out. Developing a solid business plan and marketing plan hold little weight unless they are reviewed frequently to identify progress, evaluate processes and detect gaps.

3.      Team FocusSuccess is rarely achieved alone. Top advisors find and employ quality talent and implement a structured plan to retain them. Providing team members with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, combined with regular team and departmental focus sessions, allow teams to flourish, excel and contribute to the bigger picture; the success of your firm.

4.      Understand Expectations of the Affluent InvestorAdvisors who desire to cater to the affluent investor must first understand their expectations. In order to stay abreast of the needs of the affluent, advisors must research and study affluent investors and implement ways to meet their needs as change occurs. Advisor confidence is essential in order to execute successful relationships with the affluent investor.

5.      Concentrated Growth InitiativesGrowth initiatives should be regularly reviewed by firm management, as well as team members. Review of your growth strategies is critical to achieve your desired end result. Top advisors realize education and research are essential to improve affluent sales skills and to stay abreast of trending growth initiatives. Elite advisors do not place focus on activities that produce a low percentage of affluent acquisition.

6.      Focused Relationship MarketingWord-of-mouth continues to be the dominating factor in the minds of affluent decision making. Place a concentrated focus on existing affluent clients by developing and implementing strategies to increase affluent client acquisition through your existing client database. Identify which clients you need to become more social with and break down the barriers to their circles of influence.

7.      Strong Networking and Strategic AlliancesElite advisors place focus on the huge benefits of networking and strategic alliances. The two strategies are crucial for advisors desiring affluent client growth. Advisors who have not implemented a formal networking and strategic alliance plan need to restructure their business and marketing plan to include these components. Introductions, professional referral alliances and intimate client events are lead generators for acquiring qualified prospects; while seminars, direct mail and cold calling hold little to no value.

8.      2nd Opinion OfferingsBecause investor confidence and anxiety remain high, advisors need to incorporate 2nd opinion offerings into business and marketing strategies.

9.      Communication AssessmentCommunication is vital in any relationship. The affluent investor wants more communication and desires to know and understand your firm’s investment and communication processes. The affluent need to know they are more than a number on your balance sheet. Understanding how you will communicate, the frequency of communication and the level of service they will receive can calm their fears.

10.   Client SurveysElite advisors are proactive verses reactive. Client surveys offer the opportunity for firms to assess client satisfaction levels, identify gaps and make improvements where needed.

In Conclusion

Elite advisors commit to reviewing and making adjustments to their business and marketing plans on a regular basis. Develop a specific action plan to implement reviews of your business and marketing models. Only when your plan is reviewed are you able to identify the core strategies working and those in need of change. Each of your core tactics link together to provide you with a solid foundation and an increase in new business development.

While it is important to study, research and unveil the best practices of elite advisors; continue to make your firm one of innovation and differentiation.

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Author Bio

Andrea Schlapia, RCC™, HCS, sHRBP, is the Founder and CEO of Ironstone, which represents the culmination of her 20+ year career within the financial services industry. Her experience began as a financial advisor evolving into a consultant coach for advisors entering the field. This ignited her passion to support others through learning and development of best practices in order to achieve substantial results. To this end, she followed her desire into positions of senior-level practice management specialists for Dreyfus, Prudential, and DWS Investments prior to the realization of Ironstone.  Andrea’s focus is on practice management strategies to enhance and improve both business and personal life. Andrea identifies 4 key performance areas known as the Fundamental 4™, which are required to design, develop, and sustain a successful business. Through coaching sessions and speaking engagements, she captivates her audience with interactive, high-energy presentations which are built with “how-to” strategies resulting in real-world implementation for significant impact. Andrea has been featured in multiple publications and audio broadcasts as a specialist and distinguished spokeswoman in the financial industry.