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8 (More) Ways to Improve Your Practice Today

8 More Ways to Improve Your Practice Today 8 More Ways to Improve Your Practice Today

In January Financial Planning featured its 30 Day 30 Ways project – tips from advisors for advisors over the course of the month on how to improve their practices.

Riding on the momentum and success of the project, here are what other advisors had to offer.

Tip 1: Start your work day tackling a problem or difficult situation Tip 1: Start your work day tackling a problem or difficult situation

Bill Keen, managing director, investments, Keen Wealth Management Group, Wells Fargo

“Productivity occurs with momentum,” Keen says. “Tackle your most difficult projects first thing in the morning and the momentum will take you to the next task.”

If you wait until the end of the day, you and your productivity could suffer. “Pushing your most challenging task until the end of the day can be inefficient and demotivating,” Keen says.

Tip 2: Refine your image Tip 2: Refine your image

Robert Fross, co-founder, Fross & Fross Wealth Management

“While image certainly isn’t everything, it is what our prospects see first,” Fross says. “It should be your goal to look better than your competition.”

According to Fross image is about more than just you. “This would include the way we and our staff dress, the appearance of our lobby, as well as our website, brochure and other marketing material.”

Tip 3: Don’t be lazy with marketing Tip 3: Don’t be lazy with marketing

Adam Kuettel, managing partner, NWA Financial Partners

Some advisors don’t even have a marketing plan. Others let their broker-dealers control it, especially when it comes to social media, Kuettel said. “If you allow your broker-dealer to drive your plan, you come across as your broker-dealer.”

A mix of social media and event marketing, along with a spot on a weekly radio show, have proven to be effective for Keuttel and his firm in just a short time. “We’ve only been up and running for 3 months, but in the last month we’ve picked up 12 clients in our target market,” Kuettel said.

Tip 4: Be wary of advisertizing sales pitches Tip 4: Be wary of advisertizing sales pitches

Benjamin Lupu, founder and chief investment officer, Kensington AMI

Conventional print advertising for CFPs is usually a waste of money, Lupu tweeted.

Tip 5: Invest in your beliefs Tip 5: Invest in your beliefs

Bill Keen, managing director, investments, Keen Wealth Management Group, Wells Fargo

“It can be very difficult to advise clients in this market without being clear on your own beliefs and convictions,” Keen says. To be aware of what you believe in takes time, effort, introspection and research, he says.

To do that, ask yourself: Do you believe in long-term asset allocation and a rebalance strategy? Or do you believe that market timing may work? Do you believe that your managed discretionary portfolios will be most suitable for your client? Or will you accept clients that direct their own trading?

“Aligning your beliefs to your business practice is the first step in executing on your plan and providing a consistent client experience especially during these turbulent times,” Keen says.

Tip 6: Look for ways to play offense rather than defense Tip 6: Look for ways to play offense rather than defense

Thomas Fross, co-founder, Fross & Fross Wealth Management

Lack of communication is one of the main reasons clients fire their financial advisors, Fross says. “Especially during turbulent times clients can’t feel like we are hiding under our desks,” he says. “While we may not have all of the answers, our clients need us to be proactive and reach out to them rather than waiting for them to call us.”

Better client communication isn’t just good for your client, it’s good for business. “An added benefit is by keeping yourself top-of-mind, your clients will think about you more; when they think about you more, they’ll talk about you more; when they talk about you more, people will hear about you more, which means you’ll get more referrals,” Fross says.

Tip 7: Establish your long-term objective Tip 7: Establish your long-term objective

Bill Keen, managing director, investments, Keen Wealth Management Group, Wells Fargo

Understanding what is important to you and where you are heading is crucial for your firm, Keen says. “Without a clear vision, there will be no basis for decision-making on behalf of your clients and this could lead to sub-par performance.”

To help get you there, you might have to actually step back from your business for a day. “I recommend an off-site, “creating and planning” day with key staff members once per quarter,” Keen says.

Tip 8: Get rid of "meetings" get to work! Tip 8: Get rid of "meetings" get to work!

Benjamin Lupu, founder and chief investment officer, Kensington AMI

“One big problem for managers, associates: Way too many "meetings" Destructive to productivity,” Lupu wrote in another tweet.

In January Financial Planning featured tips from industry experts on how to improve your practice. Now, advisors sound off with their own tips for colleagues and competitors.


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