Practice Tips

Practice Tipsblog

Successful advisers offer easy-to-implement advice for practices looking to improve and update their businesses.

Apr 3, 2015, 12:41 PM EST

The hidden cost of reducing your practice's marketing budget

By Shawn Sparks

When I ask advisers to tell me the biggest cost in their business, they usually point to things like the wages they pay their support staff, the monthly lease for their office space, or the dollars they pour into their marketing programs.All these things can be expensive, but they often aren't the biggest costs in an adviser's business. Unfortunately, if advisers don't clearly recognize their biggest cost, they sometimes make decisions that hurt their businesses.Here's an example: Many advisers use seminars to generate leads. But because seminars can be expensive and difficult to run, they are often the first thing advisers cut when they are looking to save money. (More insight: How top advisory firms handle their expenses)If you were to stop doing seminars and reduce your marketing budget accordingly, you might naturally assume that you'll save money. On paper, you'll see that you were spending so much a month, and now you're spending ... Read full post

Feb 27, 2015, 2:20 PM EST

How a uniform client service plan can help a fledgling firm grow

By Drew Horter

Every year, many young and mid-career professionals make the move into the wealth management industry hoping to help individuals and families make the best financial decisions. While wealth management can be an exciting and rewarding field, few new advisers get the appropriate systems training, mentoring and coaching they need to be successful. While working with more than 300 advisers nationwide, I've studied the best practices of the top 30-40 advisers to fine-tune our systems. From this, we've developed a list of key standards and procedures all advisers who want to grow their businesses and assets should follow. Rising competition from larger players and robo services makes a uniform client-servicing plan more critical than ever. We believe advisers who follow these steps diligently will find their practices growing quickly and sustainably. Here is a brief sketch of what that takes:Differentiating yourselfWith so many advisers... Read full post

Feb 13, 2015, 2:26 PM EST

A numbers-based approach to bringing in more client assets

By Shawn Sparks

Upon ringing in the New Year, successful advisers set their sights on new goals, many of which focus on bringing in new assets. What's your goal? Are you trying to bring in $10 million, $20 million, or even $30 million in new assets?As much fun as it is to sit and daydream about how your life would be different with all those new assets under management, it requires work to get there. And you'll never achieve your goal without a clear actionable plan that shows you exactly what you need to do each and every week of the year.This is not as scary as it sounds. Once you reverse-engineer your goal, you're going to immediately feel empowered. And your goal will feel reachable, attainable and achievable.(Related read: What to do if your 2015 goals start slipping away) For the purposes of this exercise, we're going to assume your goal is to bring in $20 million in new assets by the end of 2015. How are you going to do that? First, you're... Read full post

Jan 26, 2015, 3:08 PM EST

Build trust with clients through clear communication and transparency

By Amy Zimmerman

Some of the most successful, honest and reputable advisers I've interviewed over the years have cited that what makes them different is that they — unlike less scrupulous advisers — actually do what they claim and truly have their clients' best interests at heart. They are tied to a fiduciary standard that goes beyond a legal statute, as they have a passion for helping clients reap the benefits of maintaining healthy financial plans. However, saying “trust us” has the opposite effect of its intent.Trust is an intangible differentiator that financial advisers must convey in their communications with clients. While trust is built over time with a track record, clear communication and transparency can help lead the way. (More: Why you should make both face-to-face and online networking priorities)So how do you convey the intangible trust factor in your communications?Differentiating yourself as an adviser in an... Read full post