Author Archive | Pathfinder Team

Standards – Not Rules

This week I had the opportunity to hear Coach Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K), head basketball coach at Duke University and former head coach for the USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team, speak in Chicago at the Envestnet Conference.  Even if you aren’t a Duke or college basketball fan, you cannot help but appreciate what he has accomplished. Coach K has led the Blue Devils to five NCAA championships, 12 final fours, 12 ACC regular season titles, and 13 ACC tournament championships.  He coached the United States men’s national basketball team to gold medals at the Summer Olympics of 2008 and 2012. […]

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Not Another Client Dinner

We know the importance of building deeper relationships with our clients, but finding and implementing innovative ideas for developing that personal connection often lands at the bottom of our list.  We tend to fall back on the small dinner, happy hour or wine-tasting invite, simply because it’s easier. Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”   Over the years, we’ve collected a lot of interesting ideas from our clients. I […]

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When Your Referral Alliances Don’t Refer

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to be in sunny Florida with a client who is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with nearly 30 years of experience. While there, we had the opportunity to share in discussions with many smart people, including: a CPA/business valuation expert a life insurance expert an exit & business liquidity consultant Each one had a unique perspective as to how they worked best with their business owner clients, all with a short-term opportunity to provide value. As the conversation continued, these professionals could see […]

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What’s Your Personal Game Plan?

When the Financial Planning Association released their 2014 Time Management and Productivity Study, I figured many of their findings would reinforce what we at Pathfinder see with every advisor we coach. Without a doubt, there were structural and strategic challenges that were standing in the way of a well-run practice. In fact, I had shared some tips for improvement in a previous blog, Time-Blocking With No Results? Here’s Help. In a nutshell, of the 750 advisors surveyed, only 13% felt in control of their time, while over half felt totally […]

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Hiring a Consultant? What You Need to Know

Too often we hear from advisors who started a project with a new technology, marketing or strategic planning firm, and what they thought they were getting, turned out not to be the case. I hear about coaches or consultants who gave them expensive assessments but no actual way to fix the issues without yet another big outlay of cash. Don’t get me wrong—excellent help is worth every penny. However, how can you be sure you have found the right partner before you sign on?  Does this person or firm truly […]

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Promoting Accountability in Your Practice

Last week we attended a conference where we talked with at least 30 advisors about their practice and offered suggestions and ideas for improvement. As we headed home and looked over our notes, it was very clear that efficiency and organization were severely limiting growth amongst these advisors.  In many instances, key people were assigned tasks, but the accountability was lacking, and they felt like they were actually moving backwards! We heard this recurring theme, “I come to the office, there is paper everywhere, and I know I am NOT […]

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Specialization => Differentiation => $$$$

The recent Sunday paper included an article about specialization in the personal trainer arena. As in our industry, growing and keeping clients is challenging and, particularly here in New York City, highly competitive. In fact, the particular list of trainers featured in the piece figured out that specialization that caters to the very specific needs of their client is the best way to differentiate and be memorable. I could not help but think about how important this concept is to a financial advisor. At Pathfinder, we constantly and consistently ask […]

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Succession Plan Ahead? The Time to Prepare is Now!

I recently visited a very successful Financial & Tax Planning team. They were looking for ways to streamline the office and develop some marketing strategies.  As I began to ask questions, and we started to pull apart what was happening in the office, it became clear that dependency on the senior tax advisor/owner of the firm was causing a bottleneck to growth and would ultimately prevent their vision for succession from becoming a reality. The right people were in place, but the steps to promote their value and develop lasting […]

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Happy? Comfortable? What Would Your Clients Say?

Over the past few months, we have been developing a coaching program for new advisors who have recently joined a large wirehouse.  You may recall your own days of developing your value prop, sourcing names for introductions, and “smiling and dialing.”  New advisors at this firm are embracing the wealth management model and looking for innovative ways to gain the attention of prospective clients. They are passionate about building their businesses and highly motivated to demonstrate how they have the time and energy to devote themselves to meeting the higher […]

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Time-Blocking with No Results? Here’s Help!

I recently had the pleasure of delivering a session at Summit Brokerage’s Annual Convention on ways the support team can make themselves indispensable to both clients and the advisor by exceeding their expectations for client service.   Each person at the session fully intended to be helpful, productive and proactive for his or her advisor team. However, they could all identify with some quotes we often hear when we work with practices:  “I start each day with a plan in mind and by noon, my schedule is blown,” or “There […]

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