Perspectives

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Advice…a Commodity? Really?

In a recent article on Financial-planning.com, an advisor was quoted as saying, “Most people look at advice as a commodity, so the best way to differentiate yourself is through your communications and service.” The purpose of the article was to emphasize the importance of effective client communications, something I wholeheartedly agree with. But this quote jumped out at me for a couple reasons. First and foremost, a commodity is generally defined as something widely available and consistent regardless of source.  I doubt that any advisor would consider his or her […]

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Tell-Tell-Tell

Paul White was the first news director at CBS, beginning in 1930. Of course, it was CBS Radio back then. He is credited with what has become known as the White formula for writing radio news: “Tell ‘em what you’re going to tell ‘em. Tell ‘em. Tell ‘em what you told ‘em.” Just about everyone who has taken any public speaking courses has probably heard the formula and understands the importance of reinforcing the message by repetition. I expect that many advisors have never thought about how using the “tell-tell-tell” […]

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The End of the Dust-Covered Business Plan – Six Steps to More Productive Business Planning

It’s that time of year again. (No, I don’t mean “fall back” – that was last weekend.) It’s time to take out the 2010 business plan, dust it off, and see how things have gone. Now where is that plan? In the back of the desk drawer? Under the stack of papers on the credenza? Isn’t that the problem with business planning? The new year will soon be upon us. We’re excited about capitalizing on the opportunities that lie ahead. We envision all the things we can do to better […]

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Abundance or Scarcity?

A guest post by Adam Kornegay I once had a co-worker who lived in one of those neighborhoods where everyone went all-out for holidays.  One year, she invited me over to help pass out Halloween candy.  When I got there, I learned that she had bought 25 bags of candy! When the first kids arrived, I grabbed a handful to give to each of them.  Immediately I was chastised, “One piece per kid, Adam!”  I couldn’t believe it.  We had over 450 pieces of candy. Just one?  While I was […]

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Helping Clients Prepare for the Unexpected

As I noted last week, there’s nothing like going back to your hometown to remind you about how things…and people…change, sometimes in unexpected ways. There has been much emphasis in our industry in recent years on planning – investment planning, financial planning, life planning, legacy planning. All are valuable to clients as we are long past the days when life expectancies were short, defined benefit plans the norm, and simple wills took care of most estates. In all the time spent on helping clients plan for what they want their […]

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Some things never change. Nothing stays the same.

Last weekend I attended my high school reunion in Akron, Ohio. We take pride in having been the first class to graduate from Firestone High. My family moved away many years ago, and I rarely go back to my hometown. So, during breaks from the reunion festivities, I spent some time driving around the area. I saw both of the houses I had lived in growing up – the tiny Cape Cod-style home, still nicely landscaped, nicely kept – and the bigger split-level, a bit overgrown, a bit run-down. Akron […]

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“Just do your job”

Last week I wrote about a recent Wall Street Journal article on client segmentation (Playing Favorites 9/20/2010). I noted that the article’s online comments from investors were not very positive. The following was written by one of them: “Forget the hand holding, lunches and the schmoozing, I don’t need that. Just do your job and produce net returns in line with reasonable expectations. If you can’t beat a vanilla index fund I don’t need to be doing business with you. Too many advisors have got the relationship dynamics upside down.” […]

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