What steps are firms taking to bring about diversity? I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years and I don’t see much changing despite all of the talk.
I’m a wholesaler who wants to sell. But our firm is constantly putting new ideas, projects and priorities on our plates. We have sales-related goals we have to meet each week, but these other requests are not counted in how we are measured.
Our partners think it is important to communicate with everyone about what’s happening. I’m all for open communication, but this has turned into meeting after meeting to talk about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and then the results of what we’re doing.
Our firm is moving to a more planning-based approach. I am not opposed to doing this but our clients seem to be. In many cases they hired us for our investment expertise, not to talk to us about their future goals and desires.
My team shuts their doors all day long. I’m a very social person and as leader of the firm I want to engage and have discussions about what’s working and what’s not.
Our advisors (seven of them) are perfectly content to work with existing clients and not worry about what’s coming next. I’m one of the younger partners in the firm and am motivated to put a true sales system in place. I need advisors who will sell within that system. How do I get them motivated and on board?
How can I pull a team together most effectively? We have spent a lot of time in the hiring process identifying great people and each one – on their own – is very good. But when they come together they all jockey for the top-dog position.
We are managing money well for our clients; I’m not worried about our performance, but I am worried about my own retirement and holdings.
We hired an HR person who turned out to be an irascible gossip. Team members are coming to me to complain. What should I do?
You can minimize stress by becoming more mindful in your day-to-day advisory work.
It is frustrating to have great relationships with clients and centers-of-influence (COIs) but virtually no one refers, especially considering how many people we know. Too few of our happy clients refer to us. Is this normal?
We have had a lot of turnover at our firm. While we are a large organization, it sends a bad message when we lose so many talented people at once. And, of course, many of them are going to our competitors.
I have been very successful establishing high-value relationships and keeping clients happy. But lately our management has been focused on new sales. How can we strike an appropriate balance between driving new revenue and maintaining our existing relationships?
I frequently receive questions about dealing with aging clients. In addition to saving for retirement and developing an estate plan, learning how to deal with mental and physical incapacity in clients is important for advisors.
Why is it so hard to find good talent in this industry – young people who are motivated, know what they need to do and do it?
I can’t get my supervisor to acknowledge I can add value, even though I’ve been at my new job for three weeks.
I typically read about successors who came in and they didn’t know as much as or were less capable than the original founder. In our case we prefer the son to his dad.
When I ask an audience of advisors who wants to be a better salesperson, the room goes silent. I often say “sales” is not a four-letter word (it is five!).
When our less-experienced team members present their ideas, the long-time staff dismisses them as “been there-done that” almost before the idea is fully vetted.
What do you do when one of your best clients is spending their way into oblivion?
Time management is a fallacy – you can’t manage time; everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day. You can manage your choices – by focusing on personal management you will start to see a positive shift when you try one or more of these things.
We are finding it harder and harder to attract good talent. We are in a large metropolitan area and the economy is strong so candidates are waiting it out when it comes to job offers.
The last couple of weeks I was reminded that often times, words do matter and we have to consider how what we say is interpreted and relayed to others.
I need to motivate my team to take more action. I often tell them to bring me solutions, not just problems. But all I hear are complaints about what we need to do differently.
There are things coming at me from all corners – my own clients, my boss’ needs and other projects he wants me to be involved with in our firm – and he is asking me to obtain a certification, which I haven’t even been able to investigate yet.
What do the best leaders do to gain the trust and respect of their followers? They master these seven key skills.
My advisors need to do a better job of presenting their ideas to clients.
The founders of our firm don’t get along. They are accusing each other of stealing from the firm, abusing the clients and taking advantage of the employees.
A number of our clients are watching the markets and becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the ups and downs. We have many retirees and soon-to-retire clients and 2008 is still fresh in their minds. They fear another disastrous downswing in their portfolios.
We are grooming three young people to be successors to our founder. What should we expect of them?
I know you’ve written a few times on difficult clients, but I hope you will indulge one more inquiry. What if the difficulty stems from possible dementia?
Our partners take marketing very seriously. They are focused on growing and want to create a sustainable business. We’re all very involved. The problem is, it is too much.
Do you have any tips on the best way to coach and mentor someone who is the heir apparent in my firm? I have a young man who is sharp, highly credentialed and very good with clients. The problem is he rubs people in the firm the wrong way.
I want to hire someone with a few years of experience because I don’t have the time or inclination to train a new graduate. I’ve been posting ads to LinkedIn and networking through friends, family and even clients but cannot find a single candidate.
Unfortunately the old-fashioned networking that worked for you no longer succeeds. Consider these four tips to make networking work for your team.
Our sales manager is starting to implement more stringent requirements around how many calls we have to make each day and how many meetings we have to have in order to plan a trip. He wants to weave results into our bonus program.
This week I learned a valuable lesson on delegation and communicating in a polarized political environment, and on being respectful of how people might interpret something.
My partner and I are at a crossroads in our advisory firm. For years we have been in sync about our values and culture, how we should grow and even the people we have hired to join our team. In the last few months, though, he has become aligned with some radical political philosophies.
Here are some tips on the best ways to network, engage people and get results. LinkedIn can be a great tool to research, see what others are doing, learn new information and meet people. But it is becoming abused as a way to find prospects and pitch to them.
Here are some reminders to add to your list of New Year’s resolutions. These are compiled from the thousands of inquiries I get via this column and in my consulting work every week of the year.
At this time of year, I’m often asked for ideas to help cope with family-related issues. As a gift to our readers, I’ll pass on my best ideas for you to share with your clients as needed.
Clients focus on their portfolio performance numbers – not just against goals, but against the benchmark. Could we do a better job of explaining why the benchmark isn’t apples-to-apples?
The focus of the sexual harassment issue is on women being victimized by men. I, however, have been victimized by women in business as well as personally.
Is it prudent for me to reach out to the women in my firm and ask whether I have done anything that made them uncomfortable?
To make a hire, or ensure someone you have is operating at full capacity, here are my “Seven Tips to Hiring Success.”
I lack motivation to work with my staff and mentor or coach. Is this what happens to every advisor who has been doing this for a while?
I want to outline a process I created many years ago that I teach to managers, leaders of firms and staff members so they can learn to solve their own problems.
Are family businesses doomed to fail? It’s killing the great advisory firm we have all inherited.
Can I run my sole-practitioner firm for the next 15 years until I retire? I write because my wife keeps bugging me to “hire someone to help” and I am dragging my feet to do this. She thinks it will free me up, but I believe it will tie me down in ways I don’t desire.
Here are Bev’s five best tips for improving your relational skills with your clients.