Perspectives

What's Your Investment Strategy?

When a financial advisor meets with new prospective clients, after taking a few minutes to look over statements from the soon-to-be prior firm, I always recommend that the advisor pause and then ask the question, “What can you tell me about the strategy behind this portfolio?” Strategy is a strong word; it dates back to the 17th century as a military term relating to planning and directing large military operations. Our question speaks to the plan, the method or series of steps employed to obtain a specific goal or result, […]

Continue Reading 0

Developing REAL Relationships with Centers of Influence

As 2011 winds down, and we begin to focus on opportunities for new business in 2012, many advisors express an interest in building better relationships with centers of influence (COIs). By “better,” they generally mean “more productive,” and by “more productive,” they are usually referring to reciprocity. The most common complaint I hear is that, while they have sent X number of their own clients to a certain COI, they have never received a referral in return. Let’s first examine why and how professionals provide referrals. A referral occurs (or […]

Continue Reading 0

A Thanksgiving Message to Your Clients

Many advisors have adopted the practice of sending Thanksgiving greetings to their clients in order to get ahead of the traditional holiday card season. However, rather than simply autumn leaves, pumpkins and perhaps a nice poem, it seems to me that this could be a great opportunity to create a more meaningful – and memorable – message to your clients. Each day during the month of November last year, I posted on Facebook one thing for which I was thankful – it was called 30 days of Thanksgiving. Some days […]

Continue Reading 0

Never let a crisis…

You remember Rahm Emanuel’s famous quote from the fall of 2008: “You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid.” While I am not a fan of the current mayor of Chicago, this quote came to mind over this past week as we’ve experienced so much political and financial turmoil. What are the lessons for financial advisors? I think there are three. Be prepared. If the last few years in particular have taught us anything, it’s that […]

Continue Reading 0

How Are You Different? (The Third P)

As you may recall, a few weeks ago, I received an email from one of my advisor clients. An attorney had asked the question, “How are you different?” He smiled and responded, “I am so glad you asked that question because I can’t wait to tell you about how we are different.” He went on to use my 3 P’s formula to describe his practice – Practice (or People), Philosophy and then the third P, which is Process. As important as it is for a new prospective client or center […]

Continue Reading 0

How Are You Different? (The Second P)

Last week I introduced my 3 P’s formula to help advisors tell their story about how they are different from their competition. This came about as a result of an email from an advisor client who had used the formula successfully with a new center-of-influence. After I published part 1 of How Are You Different, the advisor sent me a response which was so good that I added it as a comment to my blog post. If you didn’t see it, click here; it’s well worth the read – particularly […]

Continue Reading 0

How Are You Different?

Recently I received an email from one of my advisor clients. “Just yesterday,” he wrote, “I met with a new Center of Influence (attorney), and she asked the direct question, ‘How are you different?’” It’s a simple question. Most of us have been asked it. All of us have tried to explain it, haven’t we? How different are you from that advisor across the hall or down the street? And assuming you are, how effectively can you tell your story? So, what did this advisor do? He said he followed […]

Continue Reading 0

Ten Questions Prospective Clients Should Ask

A coaching client recently told me about a great new business opportunity. A few years ago, he had been introduced to a man with whom he shared an interest in running; both became involved in a local running club. They were more than acquaintances, but not close friends. In recent months the running buddy (we’ll call him “Joe”) sold one of his businesses – for an eight-digit figure! It wasn’t long before word got out, and Joe found himself inundated by calls, letters and emails from financial people across the […]

Continue Reading 0

Thoughts –> Words –> Actions

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions….” Lately I’ve been thinking about how this relationship between thoughts, words and actions applies to advisors and their clients. Thoughts and words do matter, and they influence our actions as well as the actions of others. Here are some examples where thoughts and words can have an impact: If advisors refer to their initial meetings with clients (in-depth/discovery interview, planning, etc.) as their “sales process” (and some do), how does that impact how they conduct those […]

Continue Reading 0

Thoughts –> Words –> Actions

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions….” Lately I’ve been thinking about how this relationship between thoughts, words and actions applies to advisors and their clients. Thoughts and words do matter, and they influence our actions as well as the actions of others. Here are some examples where thoughts and words can have an impact: If advisors refer to their initial meetings with clients (in-depth/discovery interview, planning, etc.) as their “sales process” (and some do), how does that impact how they conduct those […]

Continue Reading 0