This is the Time...
- When clients will learn who has sold them something and who is an advisor.
- Where new advisors can hit the ground RUNNING.
- Where we show clients that we have the tools to stress test their plans.
- Where we teach team members to consider objectives and not tasks.
Okay, so from last week to this week feels like a completely different world and so I just want to speak on this Wednesday Wisdom briefly about adaptability and what it actually means real-time to adapt in an advisor’s business model. I think that this is going to be a tremendous learning experience for the industry around a couple things.
Number one, how obsolete the solo-preneur advisor business model is. How critically important it is for advisors to have a team around them, a continuity plan, partners that they work with, people who they can rely on for their own sort of sanity, but also in terms of messaging to clients. I think this is going to be a time where we’re going to learn a lot as the consumer about who’s selling us something versus who actually can give us advice and guidance. I’ve been spending a lot of time talking to advisors, especially young advisors about this is not a time to feel a lack of confidence around the business.
I have a lot of folks who say, “Well, you know, younger guys on my team haven’t been in the business for a long time. They’ve never experienced a cycle like this.” And my response and my message is, “So what?” As an advisor, it’s not a requirement to have gone through every single thing a client has gone through in their life to be able to empathize and understand and use the tools and resources and knowledge at your disposal to help them. Same with consultants, by the way. And so even if you’re a 25-year-old advisor in the industry right now, I would be reaching out to everybody in my network and saying to them, look, I am licensed and certified to provide guidance and support to people in a time like this.
I mean, who are the folks who we should be turning to when there are events in the news that have to do with our finances or our goals or our wealth or the economy? We go to advisors. I don’t go to the media. I call up my financial advisors to have them help me navigate and translate what the heck is going on. And so if you’re an advisor in this industry period, you are in a position of strength right now. And if you don’t feel confident being able to give the advice and guidance that you know your clients need, then lean on others, lean on third parties, lean on consultants at your firm, lean on partners to be able to do that.
This is not even where I was going with this webinar, but I think part of my adaptability message is being able to adapt value proposition in a time like this is going to be critically important for the young advisers. And for some of you, if you’re listening, you may have entered this industry without having a real purpose. You’ve got in the business because it’s a lucrative business to be in. If you can succeed and you enjoy working with people, but here’s the time to really say, look, “I got in the business to be able to serve as an advocate for people during a time like this.”
And so just being in the business, being employed with a firm, having licenses I think gives you more license to talk about what’s happening then than some of the folks on social media just sort of surmising what’s going on. So that’s one piece of this. But when I think about the advisors who can adapt best, it’s the advisors who can go into the office every day, take a read on what’s happening today versus what was happening yesterday or the week before and quickly adapt systems and processes. And so two things I want you to adapt literally starting tomorrow.
Number one, communication. We’ve been talking about the need for proactive communication and last week I was talking to you about the importance of just sending a message out to clients, giving your perspective and really showing your thought leadership around what’s going on.
We’re adapting because we’re in a different world today than we were yesterday. And so the communication now has to be honed in, it has to be customized and it has to start speaking more specifically to the consumer. And so I recommend taking your top 10 to 30 households, your top folks in your book of business and building a customized communication to them, letting them know that you’ve stress-tested the plan, letting them know that you have the tools and programs internally to really test out their journey and their progress towards their goals in a worst-case scenario and give them the results of that stress test.
I would actually identify for them, articulate for them what their short term goals were that they articulated and what their longterm goals were and assess and give your honest feedback on whether there need to be any adjustments made. Simply saying stay the course is now no longer sufficient. It was last week, it’s now no longer sufficient where we have businesses, people who have had to close down their restaurants, take a leave from work. So it’s a totally different playing field. And I think hearing that message, “Don’t worry, stay the course” doesn’t feel like anything anymore, so we have to adapt the messaging. The other thing we have to adapt is our communication with our team advisors. Last week I was talking about the notion that … Listen, working from home works. Statistically, we know this to be true. There’s nothing to worry about in terms of the business falling apart, but we now have to lean into that.
I think it’s not just okay for us to say as consultants, look, working from home is great. Here’s how you make it work. After you get through the initial hurdle of getting technology. I’ve been working getting used to being on video or audio all the time. Advisers have a conversation with your team at the end of this week to co-create the objectives that you want to focus on achieving over the next month. Whether or not you are back in the office or stay at home for a longer period of time, everyone should have a really clear understanding of what they’re trying to achieve.
If you are a client of Thrivos, then we do this exercise all the time. Focusing on objectives. What is the business trying to achieve? What are we each trying to individually accomplish? Do we want to drive greater client engagement at the top client level? Do we want to drive better brand awareness on social and digital platforms? Do we want to build deeper partnerships and relationships with our COIs?
Articulate what it is that together you’re trying to accomplish and then allow everybody to go on their merry way and work on accomplishing those things individually. So focus on strategic objectives versus tactical tasks. If you get in the habit of just having everybody fill out their to-do list for the day and then reporting on their activity, that keeps everybody first of all in a very tactical mindset, it also is mind-numbing.
It’s a form of micromanaging, it’s frustrating and it keeps people disengaged from the bigger objectives and goals of the business. So those are my … we’re supposed to be two, but three ways to adapt this week. Refine your value proposition, lean into what’s happening. Secondly, shift communication with clients. Make it more personalized. Stress test their plans. Show them that you have the tools to do that.
And then finally, number three, refined communication with team as it relates to really setting clear objectives for what you want to accomplish over the next month. All right, folks, we are here for you.
Please feel free to reach out. I will be on a live webinar with four other fabulous consultants on Friday at noon Eastern Standard Time. Register below to join us in talking about how to manage relationships effectively during a disrupted time in the business.
Take care everybody. Stay well and healthy. I will speak to you next week, same place, same time. Bye.