by Sarah E. Dale and Krista S. Sheets
ROP=Return on People™
Here is the latest edition of our newsletter for financial professionals. Please feel free to share the content of this newsletter with anyone who can benefit from it. And, if there is anything that you would like for us to include in future newsletters, let us know! We base our newsletter content on your specific needs and what we hear from the field. To submit a topic that you’d like to see in upcoming newsletters, please email us at info@ParagonResources.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Highlights from the Annual Financial Planning Association Meeting
Last week we attended the Annual FPA BE conference in Baltimore, Maryland. What a great experience – the content and the crowd were fabulous! Thank you, Financial Planning Association. Krista was a presenter in the Business Rapid Fire session which consisted of six speakers executing the PechaKucha style of presentation. For those unfamiliar with PechaKucha, this is a format where each presenter has 20 slides that automatically advance every 20 seconds! This style ensures that you are concise with your messaging – you have 6.6 minutes to deliver value and impact to the audience! We then offered our industry expertise in the Business Consulting Lounge and provided attendees with the opportunity to seek guidance on teaming, along with others who focused on marketing, social media, cyber security, fiduciary responsibility, and advisor websites. We have dedicated this newsletter to the highlights of the conference, including wisdom from key note speaker, Cal Ripken. As you read through these bullets, contemplate how each one relates to your team and practice. What actions can you take to drive improvement?
- The panel of people who surround you – your TEAM – is directly linked to whether you will achieve your goals and win.
- You must be ‘present’ even when you don’t feel like it! You can’t accomplish anything if you are sitting on the bench. Be present every day in business and in life.
- On assembling your team – take time to vet; you must be involved in the process. You must have both a TALENT fit and a CHEMISTRY fit. Making the wrong decisions is costly FINANCIALLY (in terms of TIME), and can negatively impact your EXISTING team members.
- When a team member is no longer reliable, don’t delay the inevitable.
- Cherish humility; check your ego!
- Make yourself available in good moments and tough ones; you must COMMUNICATE, you must be TRANSPARENT. When TRUST is in question, you risk losing the client relationship and subsequently the assets and revenue. Make communication a top priority regardless of whether your message is positive news or negative.
- On dealing with self-doubt: don’t prolong your slump with obsessive worrying or ‘woe-is-me’ thoughts. Focus on what’s in your control; engage in positive steps to get back on top of your game.
- Unless you are looking to spend 40% of your time on personnel challenges, don’t shortchange the hiring and selection process!
- Are you telling a consistent and compelling story ON-line and OFF-line?
- Are you helping your clients prepare for family transitions?
- As you consider your business, how well are you FINDING new ideal clients, GRINDING out all of the work, and MINDING your client and VIP relationships?
- Are your team members engaged, committed, and endorsing the company in their daily lives? Are they advocates of your practice?
- At what level of productivity would you rate each team member?
- When was the last time you asked your team members about their levels of work satisfaction?
- Are all team members spending 10% of their work week ON the business rather than IN the business?
- Risk profiling is fundamentally broken. Questionnaires have no mathematical or statistical background or confidence. Clients don’t understand them. You need to look at their DECISIONS in life – actions are more important than words. What clients say and what they do are often different. Consider revealed-preferences rather than stated-preferences. In our terms, consider your clients’ ROD – Return-on-Decisions. Look at the choices that they are making in life and consider if they are in line with their stated risk profile.
- We act like robots attached to our phones but we are still human beings and need to share stories. As advisors, you must be able to share WHO you are, WHAT you do that’s different, and articulate your WHY.
- We live in a world with a lot of noise! Every SECOND there are 6,000 tweets, 40,000 searches on Google, and 1 hour of video is uploaded to You Tube! 40 million photos are uploaded to Instagram every day! AND…95% of affluent investors will research you online first. 71% of the affluent say that the advisor’s online presence is a factor in deciding whether to work with you! Is your online presence compelling, fresh, and differentiating?
- LinkedIn Tips:
- You should only connect with people you would call on the phone. Quality is more important than quantity!
- The ‘Advanced Search’ feature is the most useful yet underutilized feature.
- Your photo should reflect business-casual because social media is a casual means of communication.
- Second-level connections are your ‘sweet spot’ for introductions.
- Ask first-level connections for permission.
- Don’t ask for more than 3-5 introductions at any given time.
- Internal versus external succession planning: employees have a tougher time affording the business when it has over $400 Million AUM.
- There are many more buyers than sellers out there. Just because you have the valuation, doesn’t mean that there is a willing buyer at that number out there.
- Shared ownership should happen over a 10-year period.
- 70% of advisors have no succession plan.
- Your successor is NOT YOU minus 20 years! You were an entrepreneur and a control freak, and you have achieved success. So now the business needs a manager to take it into the future.
- You can’t deliver the ultimate CLIENT experience unless you are delivering the ultimate TEAM experience.
- It is PEOPLE who will make or break your success. Your TEAM is steadfastly connected to the pace at which you will achieve your goals, mission, and vision.
- The sole practitioner model is no longer viable for those trying to deliver comprehensive financial solutions, high-touch service, AND achieve growth! Yesterday’s model will not propel success; teaming is the ONLY solution for the future.
- To get all the work done…you need PEOPLE. To get it done efficiently…you need PROCESSES.
- To achieve ROI, you must focus on ROP – Return on People™.
- SOLUTIONS to problems are not found in the NUMBERS; they are found in the PEOPLE!
- For your business to thrive, you must understand each team member and their…
- core strengths
- preferred communication style
- ideal role and responsibilities
- preferred work environment
- areas of fulfillment
- job satisfaction
- The real key to building a WORLD-CLASS BUSINESS is to treat your EMPLOYEES as well as you treat your BEST CLIENTS.
- In the absence of effective TEAM COMMUNICATION, you will neither achieve your goals nor sustain your success.
- High-performance teams ensure that DEVELOPMENT is an ongoing element of the culture. Each individual is EXPECTED to engage in activities that will help them grow and that will lead to further ‘mastering of their craft’. Licensing, credentials, mentoring, coaching, continuing education, and 360° performance feedback are all part of practice management activities that are consistently executed by the best-of-the-best in the industry. Is your team committed to ongoing DEVELOPMENT?
- High-performance teams ensure that REWARD and RECOGNITION are an ongoing element of the culture. This includes individual and team acknowledgements as well as financial and non-financial incentives. Although some styles need more than others, all human beings crave recognition; this cultural element will further drive team engagement. How would you rank reward and recognition on your team?
- Growth and success drive team EXPANSION. Be sure to utilize a proven process to address capacity, selection, training, engagement, and new team member onboarding.
- Your success is ultimately driven by the DECISIONS you make, the PEOPLE who surround you, your COMMITMENT to your vision, and your DISCIPLINE with how you spend your TIME!
Remember that you must KNOW your business to GROW your business! As you approach the final quarter of 2016, ponder the importance of PEOPLE (your team), and then take ACTION. Engage in our assessment tools to help drive awareness around each INDIVIDUAL, the TEAM DYNAMIC, and the BUSINESS MODEL so you then set the stage for making new DECISIONS that will DRIVE your success in 2017! See our Performance Insights Process Solution for more details.