Perhaps new hires aren't the only ones who need some fixes.

Unclear expectations, lack of structured training and limited formal mentoring make it hard for new planner hires to wow their bosses writes Caleb Brown, a partner in recruiting firm, New Planner Recruiting.

In Brown's blog on things he wishes he could fix in new advisors, he offered them tips on how to work better and impress their bosses. Though his fixes are geared toward new hires, Brown acknowledges that not everyone is a good manager. 

Kelly Guncheon, of Guncheon Financial in Bloomington, Minn., responded to the post with his own tips for managers:

Having been an employee at a couple of insurance/financial companies and one independent firm, I now have my own practice. Although it is more difficult to be a one-man show, I much prefer it to my previous positions because of the management style and culture.

Here's what I would write to those managers:


Having one way of doing things means that your turnover is going to be large and constant. Everyone is different, and the more you try to make everyone sell the same way, the less success you will have.


Awards sometimes have the opposite effect from their intended goal. Having the same senior people get production awards every month or quarter means little to some of the newbies because they know that the senior person's practice is very different from theirs (e.g., support staff, company leads or orphaned accounts, access to tools a newbie can't afford, perhaps a relative who brought them up in the business). The reaction can be either neutral or resentful because the the guy with the step up is constantly getting the prize.


Be careful who you team your newbies with. I didn't have a single mentor who didn't try to screw me, and one manager set me up with a CFA who was his buddy, didn't know the first thing about selling, and was the manager's partner in a DBA that we didn't know about which was a landing place for the orphaned business when newbies left the firm.


Be careful who your "experts" are. One office had a senior, top producer who everyone knew was one of the most unscrupulous producers in the office, give presentations about selling. He even screwed his parents, who essentially disowned him because he left them in terrible financial shape as the result of his wanting a sale.


Stop telling people that they will be making $100k in just a few years. There are exceptions, but they are few and far between, and the quick successes usually have a relationship (family members, former employers, or other connections) that are unique to the individual and can't be conjured up. It takes at least three years, and usually five, to establish oneself in the industry, especially if you're right out of school.

I knew one newbie who had become engaged right after he had joined the firm. The pressure on him was enormous. He bought the line about how successful he was going to be, and he certainly had the skills to do it, but he quit shortly after he got married because he couldn't afford his new responsibilities.

Bonus suggestion: Carefully cultivate your culture. If the ends justify the means for your advisers, you'll attract people for whom the almighty dollar is paramount and will try to make the sale in whatever way they can. Perhaps that's what you want, but I've been around those people, and it only inspired me to get the hell out of there. When I left the firm, all they had left were cowboys, jocks, and peacocks.

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