Accenture Report: Reinventing Wealth Management for Women

Video: Prospect Pipeline

Are you treating your prospects like your best clients?  Watch Dave Mullen’s video for tips on managing your Prospect Pipeline.

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Be The Unique Your Clients Seek

Be The Unique Your Clients Seek
Differentiation is considered one of the core principles of a financial advisor’s value proposition.  It identifies what capabilities you offer that sets you apart from the competition and it explains what unique value you provide to clients that other advisors cannot replicate.

Are You Really Different?
Differentiation is critical to success in today’s competitive financial marketplace and if the process is utilized correctly, it can be one of the most powerful ways to acquire and retain ideal clients.  Unfortunately, most advisors fail to effectively differentiate because they misunderstand the term and the process.

Ask any group of financial advisors what distinguishes them from their competition and the majority will default to a sterile summary of their expertise and experience.  That’s okay to a point because expertise and experience does matter to clients and prospects.  They validate credibility but rarely do they rise to the level of being true differentiators.  The reason why is because qualification parity is so widespread in the profession.  No matter how well-schooled or experienced you are, there are many other advisors elsewhere who have similar or superior qualifications.

Some advisors try to differentiate by injecting marketing-speak into their narratives.  They are quick to call attention to their “holistic approaches, proven methodologies, robust resources and personalized solutions.”  They too, fail to differentiate because they are just repeating what everyone else is saying and the only thing different are the words they use to explain the exact same things.  It’s no wonder why investors complain about how hard it is to distinguish one advisor from another.  Their critique is well-founded in fact.

Distinguish Yourself From The Client Perspective
So how can an advisor differentiate in a profession where everyone sounds the same?  The first step is to realize that differentiators exist only in the mind of the beholder. It’s never about you, your credentials or experience.  It’s always about the client or prospect.  If you can successfully articulate why you are the best provider of one-of-a-kind solutions to the one-of-a-kind challenges your clients and prospects face, you have discovered your differentiator.

Finding your differentiator isn’t easy.  Identifying one can be a complicated, painstaking task.  If it was simple, every advisor would have one or more.  The fact is, most advisors don’t have a meaningful differentiator.   They may think they are different and better, but in reality, they are more like their competition than distinctive.

However you choose to differentiate, make sure it’s relevant to the client or prospect.  If it doesn’t matter to them, it doesn’t matter, period.  Differentiation is all about creating value and the more unique that value, the more it will be memorable and credible to your clients and prospects.

Be Different And Better
If you don’t have a differentiator, do the next best thing – create one.  Just make sure the differentiator you choose is authentic rather than aspirational.  If it’s not factual and provable, don’t claim it because empty promises can do more damage than no promises at all.  If you claim to provide something other advisors don’t offer, make it a reality.  Live your differentiator with passion and purpose and hold yourself consistently accountable to the higher standards that define it.  The risks may be great but the rewards are even greater.

Another way to discover your differentiator is through honest self-assessment.  You already know what type of work you do well.  The next step is to discover what clients tell other people that you do great. Their answers might surprise you, so ask.  Their feedback can help identify a differentiator you were too blind to see.

Speak to your colleagues and professional alliance partners.  If there is something they consider you the go-to person on, amplify that asset.  It could be hard subject matter expertise such as tax optimization strategies or a softer skill such as your ability to naturally connect with younger members of multi-generational families.

When you find your differentiator, seize it with the passion of chasing down the last bus of the night out of town.  Make it yours in ways other advisors might try to imitate but can never replicate.

Break Away From The Status Quo
Most advisors make the mistake of trying to be unique like everyone else.  Top advisors break away from that status quo mindset.  They draw a line in the sand that other advisors hesitate to cross.  The story they tell is not who they are or what they do, but how they do it that makes them unique.  Their relentless conviction to do what others won’t or can’t do is what makes them stand out and shine.

General George S. Patton once said “If everyone is thinking alike, then someone’s not thinking.”

Start thinking, acting and doing differently.  Your clients and prospects can’t help but notice the difference you can make in their lives.

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Like this tip?  We have many powerful lessons and proven strategies to help create a value proposition and become a million-dollar plus financial advisor and beyond.  Contact us today about our coaching programs.

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Video: The Lever of Expansion with Dave Mullen

Dave Mullen, Founding Partner at Altius Learning discusses the Lever of Expansion and how that can increase productivity of your practice.

Use our formula to reach a goal of 100% wallet share with your most affluent clients:
 P + D + E = 100

P=Positioning yourself to your clients, it is in their best interest to have all their assets with one Financial Advisor and that is you.

D=Discovering the assets that your clients are doing away from you.

E= Exposing clients to new opportunities.  This will allow you to assume control of every aspect of their financial life.

Watch the attached 3-minute video for more insights on expanding your client relationships.

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Like this tip?  We have many powerful lessons and proven strategies to help you become a million-dollar plus financial advisor and beyond. Contact us today and find out how we can help you grow your practice and achieve your goals.

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Are You Looking For Clients In All The Wrong Places?


There are more wealthy people in the United States today than at any time in our nation’s history.  In 2017, more than 700,000 Americans became first time millionaires and it’s estimated that new billionaires are popping up at the rate of one every other day. Many people who were already wealthy became even more so thanks to prolonged bull markets and favorable changes in tax laws.

A Perfect Storm for Acquisition

While all this has been happening, aging financial advisors are retiring from the profession at a rate faster than they are being replaced.  The increase in the number of wealthy Americans coupled with a decrease in the number of working advisors should spell a perfect storm of new business opportunities.  Surprisingly, this has not been the case.  Over 60% of advisors identify meeting new client acquisition goals as the number one challenge they face.

The situation begs the question:  if there are more prospects and fewer advisors, why are many advisors struggling to meet new business objectives?  The answer is simple.  They are looking for new business in all the wrong places.

Where’s Waldo?

The frustration advisors feel as they search for new business is akin to what someone might experience when playing the “Where’s Waldo” game.  Waldo is a bespectacled cartoon character dressed in a gaudy red and white striped sweater.  The object of the game is to spot him in a large crowd of people, a task that sounds simple because of his garish appearance.  In reality, finding Waldo is anything but easy.  The only way you can see him is if you search with eagle-eyed perception, discipline and patience.

Waldo is the perfect metaphor for today’s new breed of millionaires.  Like Waldo, they are hiding in plain sight.  Unlike Waldo, they are vast in numbers.  They are everywhere, just waiting to be found.  You just have to know where to and how to look.

Adjust Your Perceptions

Advisors find it difficult to spot today’s nouveau riche because they don’t typically think, look or act like the wealthy of yesteryear.  They worked hard to acquire their money rather than have it handed down from a prior generation and most of them are still working.  You don’t see them at fancy fund raising events because many are working long hours and weekends at their businesses.  You won’t find them socializing at a medallion ball because they are more interested in attending their children’s little league or soccer ball games.  They wear Timex watches instead of Rolexes and Levi jeans instead of tuxedos.

Advisors cross paths unawares with the new rich every day.  It could be the man who owns the garage that repairs your car, the woman who operates the dry cleaners where you take your shirts or the family that franchised one pizza shop into a regional chain.  They may not look like the wealthy you know, but their assets can be and often are significant.

See What Others Can’t

Looks can be deceiving, especially when trying to profile the new generation of millionaires in America.  They are different from old money clients.  Their wants and needs have changed.  Advisors must begin to understand that appearances give a glimpse of the unseen.

Changing your perception is just part of the new acquisition success formula.  You will also have to change the conversation.  These masked millionaires will shed their identities to advisors who are able to connect with them on deeply personal levels.  They will open up to you about their involvement in the local Rotary Club, their interest in their daughter’s softball team or a dream vacation they are planning.  Before you tell them your story, ask for and listen to theirs with your head and your heart.  You might find that your next great prospect is someone you already know if you’ve been paying the right type of attention.

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Like this tip?  We have many powerful lessons and proven strategies to help you become a million-dollar plus financial advisor and beyond.  Contact us today about our coaching programs.

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Video: Event Marketing with Alane Siem

Alane Siem, a Principal at Altius Learning offers insights into Event Marketing which is a very effective client acquisition strategy.  This tool will help you expand your overall client base, build brand recognition, and increase rapport with existing clients.

Hosting events for clients and potential clients is a great way to provide insight into who you are in business and in your personal life.  Event attendance should be 50% clients and 50% non-clients.  Follow up with perspective clients as soon as possible after the event.  Stay connected on a monthly basis to maximize your probability of converting these prospects turn into clients.

In this video Alane reviews types of events, who you should invite to events, the key to a successful event, and following a specific process to help grow your practice.


The Elite Female Advisor

A common misconception among financial advisors is that robo-advisor technology is the most disruptive force impacting the wealth management profession.  While it’s true that automated, algorithmic-based services have altered the course of investment management, it pales in comparison to a more dynamic change that’s quickly picking up momentum: the rise of the elite female advisor.

The Evolution of Women and Wealth

The world of finance has traditionally been a male dominated industry.  Women as both investors and advisors often took a backseat in the wealth management process, subjugated to secondary roles with men viewed as the primary decision-makers.  Now, that’s all changing.  Women are no longer just silent spouses or novice investment assistants.  They have risen to prominent positions as professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs. Their numbers are vast and they have accumulated levels of significant wealth that not only rivals the assets of their male counterparts, but in many instances, exceeds it.  The years ahead bode even more favorably for females as they become the primary beneficiaries of the next generational wealth transfer.

The Right Time For Female Advisors

The reasons why women were marginalized in the past by the wealth management profession have become the exact reasons why they are now being courted by investment firms and advisory teams.  The stereotype that women do not possess the hard skills necessary to succeed in finance was never valid because there is zero difference in X and Y chromosomes specific to analytical aptitude.  Where women gain the advantage is with softer skill sets.  Women by nature embrace a more holistic view of life which is why it is no surprise that female advisors more easily covey the benefits of a holistic wealth management process.  Their ability to empathize with the full spectrum of their client’s lives and not just their finances is the catalyst that helps them build, nurture and maintain long-term, mutually profitable client relationships.

Investment firms and advisory teams are taking notice of the female advisor phenomenon.Gender diversity is no longer an option.  It is mandatory for success in the new financial world and a woman’s point of view is no longer a novelty idea.  It is a necessity.

Robust Opportunities For Female Advisors

The law of supply and demand has tilted the odds strongly in favor of female advisors.  The financial industry is still dominated by older males and a succession crisis is imminent with impending retirements creating large numbers of openings in the industry.  Women currently in the profession and those seeking to gain entry will finds doors once closed now wide open with management applauding their arrival. 

The new environment will present an abundance of challenges and opportunities for females in the wealth management profession.  How they respond to each will be watched and evaluated closely by the new generations of investors and especially women of wealth.  The path forward for elite female advisors will be as successful as they are willing to prepare for it.

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Like this tip?  We have developed a coaching program specifically tailored for highly-motivated female advisors seeking to advance and their performance and careers in the wealth management industry.  Contact us today about our coaching programs.

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Video: The Quickest Way to Grow Your Practice – Lever of Size

How can you become more productive with the work you’re already doing? It’s fairly straightforward – Utilize the Lever of Size and work with higher-net-worth clients!

Increasing the affluency of your clients is the fastest way to grow your portfolio but often it comes with a catch. The higher a client’s affluency, the higher their expectations for will be. Consider how much time you will need to dedicate to meet these requirements.

Click here to watch Dave Mullen’s video as he discusses the balance between affluent clients and their higher expectations.

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Like this tip?  We have many powerful lessons and proven strategies to help you become a million-dollar plus financial advisor and beyond. Contact us today and find out how we can help you grow your practice and achieve your goals.

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Video: Before Lunch/After Lunch: An Easy Solution to Manage Your Time Effectively and Grow Your Practice

Effective time management is one of the biggest challenges advisors face daily. Altius Learning has developed a simple but effective system that you can easily implement into your routine: “Before Lunch, After Lunch”.  Learn when to focus on doing proactive activities and when to focus on reactive activities which will help you grow your practice.

Click here to watch Dave Mullen’s video as he shares how you can implement a Before Lunch, After Lunch system into your practice and start managing your time more effectively today.

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Like this tip?  We have many powerful lessons and proven strategies to help you become a million-dollar plus financial advisor and beyond. Contact us today and find out how we can help you grow your practice and achieve your goals.

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Adapting to and Managing Change

The rate at which the financial world is changing has never been faster and it will accelerate even more in the coming months and years.  For many financial advisors, the scale and pace of change has been a career altering event.  Some wasted their time and energy resisting it.  Others evolved in cadence with change and exploited the opportunities blowing in its tailwinds.

Change Happens

Change is inevitable in any profession.  Adapting to and managing it is optional.  The wealth management profession has been particularly impacted by the ramifications of rapid change.  Advancements in technology have altered the ways advisors think and evolving investor expectations have forced advisors to recalibrate the value they offer.

Change is a double-edged sword for financial advisors.  Those who are unprepared, unwilling or unable to adapt invite career extinction.  Advisors who embrace change and evolve with it will not only survive but thrive in the new environment.

Dare to Be Different

High performance advisors are rarely found in the crowded space of the status quo.  They know that to grow as professionals, they must continually acquire new knowledge and skills that harmonize with the needs of the clients they serve.

Top advisors are more tech savvy.  They manage time better, are more service oriented, and exceptionally organized.  They listen more, talk less and connect with clients and prospects on a deeper personal level.  They keep up with the future rather than chase it because they complement their conventional hard skills capabilities with newer, softer skills that favorably differentiate them from their peers.  They are as focused on the purpose of their clients’ wealth as they on the performance of their portfolios.

Great advisors think differently.  To them, change is a catalyst that broadens their perspective, spurs innovation and triggers progress.  As old financial models become obsolete, top advisors are busy imagining new ones that will keep them relevant.  They see the benefits of gravitating away from the traditional logic, rules and rationality of linear thinking to the lateral mode that allows them to see the world and the people in it from unique and multiple perspectives.

Use Technology to Humanize Your Approach

What will not change is the importance of the human connection in the wealth management process.  Technology is altering the ways advisors utilize their cognitive skills, but it will never replace the most valuable asset of all – the emotional connection that is the heartbeat of every successful advisor-client relationship.  Digital processors cannot express the feelings of compassion and empathy that show how much an advisor cares.  Technology cannot smile, laugh, be kind or express gratitude.  It is unable to engage in a meaningful conversation that uncovers how a client defines the concept of true wealth.  Technology may digitize the mechanics of asset management but only advisors will continue to have the ability to humanize the purpose of wealth.

Become the Game Changer

For many advisors and their organizations, change is an existential threat that is upending the old-world order.  Their tunnel vision perceives it as a disruptive force that threatens their corporate culture and rattles their familiar routines.  Proactive advisors see change through a different lens.   They refocus their time and energy from trying to preserve the old to building upon what’s new.

Companies that fail to strategically react to change lose their competitive edge.  Former GE Chairman and CEO Jack Welch said, “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.”  The axiom of “Be the disrupter, not the disrupted.” has never been more valid and applicable.

The reality is that companies can’t change.  Only people can change.  It is a movement that begins at the grass roots level, one financial advisor at a time.  The world of finance has plenty of players.  What it needs now more than ever are game changers.

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Like this tip?  Are you satisfied with how your team is adapting to change?  We have many powerful lessons and proven strategies to help you build a better practice and become even more successful as a financial advisor.  Contact us today about our coaching programs.

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