Top 10 Reasons a Coach Can Help You Achieve the Firm of Your Dreams!

So, we come in all “shapes and sizes” as they say.  The word “Coach” or “Consultant” may bring to mind “the Bobs” from the movie Office Space.  But truth be told, that’s not what most of us are about. Like you, we are entrepreneurs running our own businesses who may have a Coach or consultant of our own. Why?  Because in many cases, a third party looking at your firm from the outside can provide fresh perspective and ideas.  In the case of my firm, we also assist with implementation because we think this is where most advisors run into problems.

So, what are the top 10 reasons you may seek coaching for your financial advisory firm?

  1. You are not sure you have the right individuals on the bus and/or in the right seats.  This is probably the number one reason we get called and rightly so.  Having the right or wrong staff can literally make or break you.  However, I am constantly amazed that I still get calls for hiring assistance and the advisor will say something like “it’s only a receptionist, we don’t need to spend a lot of money here”.  So, let me understand what you’re saying.  In a time when customer service is virtually the only thing that differentiates you from your competitors, the place you want to save money is on the person who will make the first impression and be responsible for ongoing impressions?  That makes no sense and honestly, we can’t help you so if this is your mindset, please do not call us.  Additionally, there is a grave talent shortage in this industry currently so A players are hard to find.  Not only can we assess your current staff, we can hire and terminate as needed, create offer letters, training schedules, comp/incentive plans and career paths to make sure that once you have that A player, you do not lose them.
  2. You do not have a strategic plan. So, I’m guessing you require your clients or at a minimum, highly recommend they have a financial plan, correct? Why?  Easy, so they know how to get where they want to go. Do I need to say more here?
  3. You find yourself spending way too much time working “in” your firm and not “on” it.  Happens to the best of us, including me.  The key here is to understand where your unique ability lies and delegate the rest either in-house or to an outsourcer.  We will work with you to determine where your time is best spent and then help you build a model week to ensure you have the necessary time to work “on” your business.
  4. You must build your franchise.  What are your best practices?  Are they documented?  Whether or not you agree with McDonald’s food choices, there is no doubt they are a great example of a franchise. That hamburger you order is going to be exactly the same no matter where you order it. Why, because they have their processes so well documented that there is no room for error or deviations.  Your firm must be the “McDonalds” of financial advisory firms.
  5. You are not measuring key performance indicators (KPI’s) and are unsure as to how to start.  Having the correct KPI’s and reviewing them periodically is crucial to your success.  But there are so many. Which ones are meaningful?  We will work with you to build a “scorecard” that will help you identify trends and get out ahead of anything not working.
  6. You must empower your A players to do their jobs.  Are you struggling to “let go of the vine”?  Most entrepreneurs do at one time or another.  We are so used to doing things “our way” that letting someone else do it is terrifying.  I know, I’ve been there, and it created many sleepless nights. But letting go of the vine and enduring that terror has led to something even better!  More time to do the things I do best and knowing that I’ve created something that is bigger than just me.  We will help you develop the necessary skills to become a great leader so you can be the visionary and let others do work that is better suited to them.
  7. You must have deep, meaningful relationships with your clients.  But what constitutes that relationship?  How do you know you are providing what your clients value?  Are you providing it to your most profitable clients?  Do you have systems and processes to ensure it is provided each and every time on a consistent basis?  We will work with you and your team to segment your clients, develop your service model and build the systems and processes around it to ensure it gets delivered the same way each time.
  8. Business Development – I have a question on my retainer client discovery questionnaire that goes like this:
    • Which of the following statements best describes your feelings about marketing/business development?
      1. I can’t wait to get out of bed each day and tell my story to anyone who will listen
      2. I don’t love it but I’m comfortable with it
      3. It’s a necessary evil
      4. I’d rather go to the dentist
      5. I’d rather be dead
    • No matter which category you fall into, we all know that unless you have a marketing/business development strategy, you are going to be the best keep secret in your area.  There is NO one-size fits all and we work with our clients to find out what they are comfortable doing and that might mean outsourcing much of it to one or more vendor.
  9. You must have a succession strategy – you’ve seen the statistics on advisors without a succession strategy I’m sure. They are staggering.  The good news is right now, it is a buyer’s market and there are about 30 buyers for every firm. But is this going to be your strategy?  If so, that’s great but if not, if you want an internal strategy, don’t wait to put this in place.  Just as there are 30 buyers for every firm, there are 30 firms for every great candidate out there.  Understand how you want to pass on your legacy and get to work on it now.  In the meantime, at a minimum, have a buy/sell in place with another advisor with whom you share values, investment philosophies, etc.  We work with our clients to understand what their succession goals are and make sure they optimize the value of their practice in whatever direction they choose.
  10. And finally, technology.  You’ve just spent 10’s of thousands of dollars on the latest and greatest technology but you’re not seeing the results you wanted.  I can venture a guess the reason for this is you and your team did not commit to taking the training or you only did partial training.  The technology available to advisors today is robust.  You can’t just “plug it in” and expect to be able to get the most from it.  Set aside time to train on it and really understand what it can do.  We work with our clients to help them put training in place to ensure you are getting the most for your money.

So, there you go. That’s how we put all the pieces together in our coaching practice.  We have developed a process to understand the gaps in your practice and focus on those areas while maintaining and improving what is already working.  We know what it takes to help you get where you want to go.  Please take our stress test to see if you would value from having a complimentary call with us.

Thanks for listening, Ginny