Not everyone is destined to thrive. In this video Penny talks about what separates the best in the business from the rest.
Happy Wednesday everybody. I was inspired to record this session today about what really separates good from great in the industry, or as we like to say, “Those who sustain versus those who thrive.” Because I’ve had a number of conversations with institutions and advisors and thought leaders this past week around this topic and I think we’ve always known what those X factors are. But these past six weeks have really brought to light what separates those who thrive during times of chaos and change versus those who get paralyzed by it, or sort of disappear into the masses. And so I’m going to talk about that today. I have two objectives for you. This is going to be a little bit different because I’m not going to give you tactical to-dos. I want to either validate what you already believe to be true about yourself and the business or what you’re already doing.
Or I want to encourage you to have some deep conversations with yourself and a consultant or study group or confidant about the business and your value, and whether you take this time to really pause and refine or redefine value and what fulfillment means like and what success means to you and looks like for you over the next 10 to 20 years. I’ll just say as a side note, my comments today are relevant for any industry, but I’m speaking specifically to advisors building businesses or leaders leading financial institutions. My caveat to this is if you are in the camp of folks who really thrive, then likely you’re already doing this, but I’ll remind you, if we were worried about industry consolidation before this crisis, it’s going to increase tenfold post this. There are many advisors in the business who realize now that they don’t want to build it alone, that they don’t have the insight, resources, tools to do that, and we’re going to see a lot of movement in people partnering together so that they never have to go through something like this alone again.
On the other side of that, we’re going to see a lot of folks within a BD or firm who realized that they weren’t properly supported to be able to support their clients during this time and they’re going to be looking for another place to build. And so it’s important to sort of take what I say today and use that to craft your message to the industry if you really are in a position to want to grow bigger and bring on more advisors or partners moving forward.
Okay, so four things. I’m going to give you what I consider the four X factors. The first thing is an unrelenting obsession with brand and business. The best in the business have managed to separate themselves from the entity. And I mean that even for folks within a VD who can’t literally maybe form an LLC or an S Corp and are just building a practice within a bigger organization.
There are folks who were thriving in that model. And what all of these people have in common across the industry is a belief so strongly in the conviction of what the business was built to do. What I mean by that is, the best in the business wake up every single day, obsessed with getting the message out into the industry about what they do. I want to ask you to think about whether you are still treating your business as a sales practice, where you get to flex your skills and do the things you enjoy doing, or whether you’re viewing your business as a marketing organization that has a very important and specific message to get to a consumer. You can guess by the tone of my voice, those who thrive and are thriving have made that transition. Even if the business isn’t an actual physical entity on paper, they view it as such.
There are many leaders who believe and tout that they’re obsessed with their brands and their businesses, when they’re really just obsessed with themselves as leaders. And so the truth is the best in the business who are thriving, have managed to separate ego from the business. How that manifests is just a complete obsession every single day with getting a message across. We’ve seen this now, especially the last month. Look, this is an even playing field, whether you’ve been in the business five years or you’ve been in the business 35 years, and nobody has ever seen something like this before, what’s happened in the country and in the world really. If you are an adviser who’s in that thriving camp, then you’re somebody who sees this as a tremendous opportunity. You are saying, “Thank you for giving us an opportunity to really do what we do best at this time.”
Again, the best leaders in the business have realized that there was one group of people in the world who are licensed and certified and positioned to be able to serve the consumer during a time like this, and it’s advisors. And they believe that to be true so strongly about their business, that every single day they’re on social media, they’re sending out newsletters, they’re picking up the phone and they’re talking to people about what the business was built to do, and so that’s the first thing.
The second thing, which is linked is an obsession with the consumer. The best advisors and leaders in this business wake up every single day thinking about what is the consumer or client thinking about? What did they wake up worried about today? Are they feeling the same way today that they did yesterday? The best in the business are going on sites like Reddit and Google, and looking for what people are searching right now.
They just have this deep desire to understand the consumer. And I’ve been saying this for the past two years, the institution or advisor who best understands the consumer wins at the end of the day. I really want you to think about whether you’ve spent time actually thinking about what the client wants, what the client asks, because nobody wakes up and says, “I want risk management services today. I’m going to go look for somebody who does risk management. I want goal setting and financial planning.” That’s not how the average consumer thinks and talks. So all of the content that those thriving advisors put out, are tailored to answering any of those questions that the consumer may have on any given day. And so an obsession with client and what they want is another major differentiator. The third thing is that the best in the business simply do, and this is a tough one because a lot of times we’re so hung up on waiting for compliance, waiting to have the process.
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard an advisor tell me, “Well I haven’t gotten approval on the capabilities deck or the pitch book,” or “I don’t have the language down exactly.” The best in the business simply do. They come into the office and the business every single day being willing to recreate, and create, and recreate again. My advice to folks is that here’s… this is one thing that I would encourage everybody to sort of try to hone or over the next couple of weeks is simply doing. So if you’ve never done a Facebook live session before, do it. If you’re noticing that a lot of your competitors are engaging in having inspirational Zoom conferences, and you might want to try something like that, simply do it. The best in the business, don’t hesitate on things related to serving the client and getting their marketing message across.
I mean, I say I’d rather ask for forgiveness than permission. And I know that’s a little bit more difficult in the broker-dealer space, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do and you can’t try, and sometimes that’s as simple as you picking up the phone, or opening your computer and recording a video and sending that into compliance, but simply doing. The best in the business create. They’re master creators of content, of ideas. Now the challenging part is getting all that stuff implemented, but the best in the business have found folks to help them implement. And if they’re an idea person, they don’t need more idea people on their team. They need somebody to sort of help them carry it out. But what you’ve noticed about all these folks is it always started with them creating, and doing, and implementing on their own first and then ultimately with their teams.
Then the final thing is the best in the business take advantage of every opportunity. If there was ever a time where you can get away with some of the salesy stuff that maybe comes along with our business, it’s now. There’s never been a better time to… and I don’t mean pitching somebody on a product or service, but I mean being really bold and telling a client, look, part of our job is to provide you with opportunities, is to scour the industry for opportunities and solutions for you. Here’s what we’re suggesting as a course of action, or here’s what we’re suggesting is something to look into, and we want to talk to you about it. Now’s the time when you can have that.
The best in the business see this as now the time to have those types of conversations with prospects or people that maybe you’ve shied away from doing that with. And so I know that went really quickly, but I hope that that was thought provoking for you and got you thinking a little bit about which camp you fit into. Of course, if you want help figuring this all out, feel free to call us here at Thrivals. Otherwise, I will see you next week, same place, same time. Take care.