Why Women, Why Now?

The proven development strategies taught by Altius Learning are aligned with the changing landscape of the wealth management industry. Our Women in Wealth Management coaching program is an innovative approach that combines a two day conference with six-months of follow up coaching, including two one-on-one coaching sessions. This unique offering is designed to provide female financial advisors with practical and tactical information to lead a more successful practice. We show advisors how to expand the expertise they already have and acquire new skills.

Service Commitment Part 3: The Importance of Establishing a Deep Level of Trust to Develop Loyal Clients

Trust is something we all believe in and know is important, but do you think about trust as deeply as you should?  In our research there are 3 levels of trust you must have to develop loyal clients:

  • Ethical Behavior
  • Professional Competency
  • Stakeholder Relationships

Click here to watch Dave Mullen’s video, you will find out more about each level of trust and what our recommendations are for developing loyal clients.

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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.

Altius Learning
888-569-0586, info@AltiusLearning.com
www.AltiusLearning.com

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Female Financial Advisors: Their Unique Advantage

The Acquisition Transition

New client acquisition is the bane of almost every financial advisor.  Finding new business is the lifeline of every financial practice but most advisors complain that acquisition tasks are tedious, time-consuming and often costly.  Many argue that the rise of robo-technology and growing numbers of do-it-yourself investors make acquisition efforts an increasingly difficult endeavor.

Under The Radar Prospect Pool

While there are varying degrees of truth to these observations, a bountiful pool of affluent prospects remains largely untapped if for no other reason than they are hiding in plain sight.  They are professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs who have achieved significant levels of success and wealth.   Their numbers are vast and they are ideal prospects by any definition of the word. Yet, they generally remain sight unseen.  They fail to show up on the acquisition radar of most advisors because of one inexcusable factor:  they are women.

Times have changed.  In the traditionally male-dominated world of finance, the perception that men rule is no longer the rule of thumb that determines acquisition success.  Women have quietly risen to roles of prominence in the wealth management arena both as advisors and clients and their ascendance on both sides of the equation is a trend that is expected to continue for generations to come.

The Realities of Women and Wealth

Research into the female financial phenomenon tells a compelling story:

  • Women currently control about 60% of the wealth in America
  • Almost half of the millionaires in the United States are female
  • 70% of assets transferred over the next two generations will be controlled by women
  • Women are becoming wealthy at twice the rate of men
  • Women currently earn almost half of all law and medical degrees

The rise of women as investors will have a profound impact on advisor acquisition and retention performance.  Industry research reveals that within one year of the death of their spouse, about 70% of females will switch financial advisors.  While this is bad news for advisors who lose these accounts, it’s good news for those who position themselves to capture the vast amounts of female-controlled assets that will be in motion.

Alter Your Perceptions

Value propositions must similarly transition to reflect the unique values of female investors.  Advisors who advocate holistic approaches that focus less on product performance and more on the purpose of money will thrive in the new environment. Females tend to be more emotionally attached to their money than men.  It’s why they will gravitate towards advisors who build relationships with them on a deeper, more personal level.  They are seeking relationships with advisors who understand not only what they say, but moreover, how they feel.  Value propositions that connect the dots linking head and heart will resonate with female investors.

The hard skills of a financial advisor will always be important to both genders.  What will change is how soft skills are applied.  Women are more willing than men to be educated in the nuances of wealth management.  They want to learn about how their money is managed and advisors who can engage in a financial dialogue with women in a tone and style they are comfortable with find a receptive audience.  Satisfied female investors will also reward you for the extra effort by making more than twice the number of referrals as male clients.

Make Your Advisory Team Co-Ed

Advisory teams that don’t have a female member or members to color their perspective will struggle in the years ahead.  For this reason, achieving a better gender balance should be a primary goal for most teams.   The demand for female advisors is already exceeding supply, so opportunities for women in wealth management will rise exponentially in the coming years.  In next month’s article, we’ll explore what female advisors can do to prepare themselves for the challenges ahead.

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Like this tip?  Are you expanding your next generation of clients?  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.

Altius Learning

888-569-0586, info@AltiusLearning.com

www.AltiusLearning.com 

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Position Your Advisory Team For Next-Gen Investors

It doesn’t take a crystal ball to predict what’s going to happen in the financial services industry during the coming years.  A generational wealth transfer of historic proportions is about to occur that will transform the very nature of the financial advisory profession.

Survival Of The Fittest

Depending on how your advisory team is positioned, this epic transfer of wealth will be either the best of times or the worst of times.  Vast numbers of Baby Boomers are approaching retirement age and it’s estimated that more than $30 trillion dollars of their accumulated wealth will begin flowing to their heirs.  Where it goes and how it’s managed are unanswered questions that are causing many financial professionals to toss-and-turn in their sleep.

This seismic shift in generational wealth transfer is cause for advisory teams to rethink how their business models are structured and for many, it couldn’t happen at a worse time.  With the average age of financial advisors now 50 years of age, the likelihood of a serious disconnect between today’s advisors and tomorrow’s investors is not only possible but probable.

It’s true that people like to do business with people they know and trust.  What’s even truer is that people like doing business with people who are similar to them, people that they connect with on a more personal level because of shared interests, preferences, traits and especially – values. According to research by Legacy Capital, 80% of millennials are not receiving guidance from their parent’s advisors. It’s logical to conclude that graying advisors will encounter a difficult if not impossible task of identifying with the new generations of investors because of the profound age and cultural gaps that exist.

Re-engineer Your Advisory Team

The upcoming transformational shift in wealth will find many advisory teams struggling to adapt while others evolve in ways that mirror the diverse demographic makeup of nextgen investors.  Teams that recruit, train and retain young advisors who see the world through the same lens as the new generations of investors will be proactively positioned for change as it happens.

While significant numbers of the nextgen population will inherit sizeable wealth, the majority of them will still earn it the old-fashioned way –  over time, through hard work and achievement.  This is more good news for advisory teams that have proactively assimilated younger advisors into their fold.  They’ll have the opportunity to establish relationships early-on with this new breed of investors before they reach their peak earning years.  Young advisors will enjoy the luxury of time to earn the trust necessary to guide their peers through subsequent phases of their financial lives.

Think Different

Infusing your advisory team with young blood is smart planning, but it’s just one step along a longer path your team must travel.  The mindset of your team must similarly evolve. As the advisory profession continues to gravitate towards digital asset management mechanisms, value propositions that rely heavily on product or project performance rather than outcomes will diminish in importance.  Conversely, value propositions with messaging that speak to the new generations on a deeper, more emotional level will touch them where it matters most – in their hearts. Acquiring the ability to connect with young investors factually and emotionally is the spark that can ignite the growth of your advisory team.

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Like this tip?  Are you expanding your next generation of clients?  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.

Altius Learning

888-569-0586, info@AltiusLearning.com

www.AltiusLearning.com 

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Service Commitment Part 2: Proactive Monthly Contacts are Critical in Developing Loyal Clients

Research shows most millionaires prefer to be contacted once a month by their Financial Advisor.  However, most advisors don’t spend that amount of time contacting their clients.  Regardless of your client size, you should be working to build loyal clients and to build a loyal client you need to contact them once a month.

To learn how many clients you can effectively manage using our 8-3-1 rule click here to watch Dave Mullens video.

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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.

Altius Learning
888-569-0586, info@AltiusLearning.com
www.AltiusLearning.com

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Acquisition or Retention: Which Strategy Builds Your Practice Better?

Ask a group of financial advisors which client activity is more important – acquisition or retention – and chances are their replies will be divided equally between the two choices.  It’s a question every advisor struggles to answer correctly: do I focus my work day on finding new business or do I allocate my time on efforts that solidify relationships with standing clientele?

Make The Right Choice

The debate over which answer is correct is as paradoxical as trying to argue which came first – the chicken or the egg.  Acquisition and retention strategies are not mutually exclusive.  For an advisory practice to consistently grow, both strategies must be implemented simultaneously because together, they form a symbiotic synergy where the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

A reality of the advisory profession is that no matter how good you are, you will lose clients.  Some clients will unfortunately die.  Others will be pirated away by the competition.  A few will relocate and prefer to work with an advisor in their new hometown.  Some will become dissatisfied for reasons known and unknown and terminate the relationship.  Regardless of why they leave, the result is the same: they’re gone and they must be replaced.  It’s why client acquisition must be an ongoing process in every advisory practice.

Merge Acquisition And Retention Strategies

In many advisory practices, client acquisition and retention strategies are disconnected marketing components in a zero-sum game.  For every client acquired, another one is lost. They continually shift focus back-and-forth from one strategy to the other only to find themselves trapped on a miscalculated marketing merry-go-round that takes their practice nowhere.

High performance advisors and advisory teams take a more proactive approach.  They understand that without an acquisition plan, they will eventually have fewer clients to retain.  On the flip side, they also know that without retention strategies in place, they’ll lose clients and one of the lowest cost ways of bringing in new business – referrals.  The reason they succeed while others struggle is because they proactively synchronize acquisition and retention strategies together rather than view them as separate and distinctive propositions.

Not all advisory practices are the same.  Some are more challenged by acquisition and some by retention.  Leveraging the right amount of time and effort will vary depending upon each firm’s unique situation but the formula for success will always remain the same:  both strategies must be implemented concurrently for a consistent and predictable growth.

Retention Fuels Acquisition

Keeping clients is always easier and less costly than finding new ones; however, for your practice to grow, you’ll have to continually acquire.  Maintaining the status quo is never an option because it’s a myth.  Your practice is either expanding or shrinking.  There is no safe middle ground.

Top advisors and advisory teams place equal value upon acquisition and retention.  How they allocate their time and resources may vary, but their commitment to each is unwavering.  They’ve learned that by implementing both strategies symmetrically, they can “have their cake and eat it, too.”

Balance your practice’s client acquisition and retention strategies correctly and growth is inevitable.  You’ll also gain a powerful competitive edge because it’s estimated that less than 40 per cent of companies and agencies have an equal focus on both strategies.  In a time when differentiators separating one advisor from another are evaporating, how you acquire and retain your clients can become a defining component in your value proposition.

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Like this tip?  We have many powerful lessons and proven strategies to help you become a million-dollar financial advisor and beyond. Contact us today and find out how we can help you focus on client acquisition and retention strategies.

Altius Learning

888-569-0586, info@AltiusLearning.com

www.AltiusLearning.com 

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Unleash the Power of Goal Setting

Goal setting is a common denominator shared by all top advisors. Every advisor dreams of success but those who achieve it understand that goals are dreams with actionable plans and specific timelines.

Goals Are Your Roadmap to Success

Setting clear goals is a “mindset” quality that is an easy one for any motivated advisor to achieve. The best advisors set both short and long term goals and they become the compass points by which achievement is measured. Long term goals of five years or more can be broken down into smaller, annual goals. Once the annual goal is determined, it should be broken down into weekly goals that together, add up to the annual goal. Achieving a succession of short term benchmarks will keep you motivated and less likely to stray from your long term goals.

Goals Focus Energy and Effort

Exceptional success is not an accident. It is the result of exceptional effort, energy and passion. Successful advisors are steered by goals that challenge them to study more, train longer, and work harder. Henry David Thoreau said “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” It’s why many top adviors often reinvent themselves because each stage of goal achievement contributes to a higher level of business. The disciplines they acquire become magnets that attract new opportunities and open doors that allow them to serve the specialized needs of a niche clientele.

Become a Visionary

Goals allow you to focus your energy in positive directions. Visualize what you want your practice to look like now and in the future. Your vision may not be perfectly clear, but it will become a starting point to a career path that will distinguish you from the norm and make your goals not only believable, but achievable.

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

Altius Learning
888-569-0586, info@AltiusLearning.com
www.AltiusLearning.com

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Service Commitment Part 1: Time Required to Build Loyal Clients

Of all the things you can do as a financial advisor, building a loyal client base is going to be the most productive use of your time.  Loyal clients provide referrals, bring in more assets, and ultimately more business.

To hear more ideas on how to build loyal clients click here to watch Dave Mullen‘s video.

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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.

Altius Learning
888-569-0586, info@AltiusLearning.com
www.AltiusLearning.com

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Continual Learning is a Powerful Differentiator

Visit the website of just about any financial advisor and you’ll probably encounter wording that tries to explain why that advisor and firm  are “different” from others in their profession.  In most cases, the differences alluded to are either aspirational or marketing speak that’s heavy on puffery and light on substance.  The reality is that from an investor perspective, financial advisors are more alike than different.  They do the same type work, utilize similar technologies and offer comparable products and services.  At a time when discerning investors are seeking extraordinary value, the majority of financial advisors continue to appear unremarkably ordinary.

Being Better Is Different Enough

A common denominator of high performance advisors and advisory teams is their ability to do ordinary things extraordinarily well.  They do what their peers do but they do it better in ways that render enhanced value to clients and prospects.  While it’s true that attainment of certain professional credentials and designations is indicative of aptitude, top advisors and teams realize these are weak differentiators because they are easily replicated and often exceeded.  The best advisors and teams differentiate themselves by acquiring specialized knowledge beyond the parameters of professional accreditations.  They become subject matter experts not only in the mechanics of their own profession, but also in the nuances of the businesses and interests of their primary clients.  They articulate this difference in a compelling fashion that resonates with clients and prospects.

Invest In Knowledge

High performance advisors and advisory teams invest in knowledge.  They realize investors today are more educated and place a high premium on advisor insights.  For that reason, top advisors consider attainment of professional designations as a minimum rather than maximum level of understanding, especially those who have wisely aligned their focus on serving niche markets.  They engage in various continual learning activities that allow them to go deeper into the specific issues that impact their niche target markets.  By learning as much as they can about their own profession and their niche clients’ businesses, they become better communicators and teachers which adds immense value to the client-advisor relationship.

Continual learning takes many forms.  It can entail taking a seminar or workshop related to a niche market.  It can involve reading industry-related periodicals and attending networking or social events.  Many top advisors are enrolled in traditional and online educational programs that expand their skill sets, magnify their marketability and distinguish themselves from their peers.  When they meet with centers of influence, they often use the time to create a win-win learning experience where they exchange new ideas and share best practices specific to the niche industries they serve.  Their commitment to continuous self-improvement and self-development is not static, but rather an ongoing process that makes their interactions with clients more stimulating and beneficial.

Many top advisors engage professional consultants as part of their continuous personal development process.  They participate in formal coaching and training programs that help them acquire the tools, techniques and disciplines necessary to systematically grow their practice.  They are mentored by recognized leaders in the advisory profession who share their expertise and experience with them in one-on-one and group sessions.  This type of personalized mentoring amplifies the quality of knowledge advisors brings to client relationships and in the highly competitive advisory profession, this can be a major point of differentiation.

Learn To Be Irreplaceable

High performance advisors embrace continual learning because it broadens their understanding of the more esoteric areas that impact their clients’ lives and businesses.  Because they are able to offer more than just investment knowledge, their client relationships are stronger and able to withstand periods of market upheaval. Continual learning is what truly distinguishes the ordinary advisor from the extraordinary one.   As Coco Chanel once aptly stated, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must be different.”

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How to Identify and Reach Your Team’s Best Prospects

A challenge impacting almost every financial advisor today is new client acquisition.  Even the most experienced advisors are experiencing great difficulty attracting new business and a primary reason for their struggle is the majority of them do not have a formal, written plan in place upon which they can implement and measure client acquisition progress.

Failure To Plan Is Planning To Fail

There was a period not that long ago when bringing in new business was almost as easy as picking low hanging fruit from an orchard tree.  During the 1990’s, the markets were strong, optimism was high and a sufficient flow of prospects and referrals produced enough qualified leads for advisors to reach objectives.  Today, that’s all changed.  The new millennium introduced a series of financial crises that rattled investor confidence and the subsequent aftermath altered perceptions of what constitutes a meaningful client-advisor relationship.

Most advisors were slow to react to the changes in investor behavior.  Rather than create a new client acquisition plan to replace the old one that was failing, many chose the path of least resistance and did nothing different.  Their failure to plan became a plan for failure and not surprisingly, their new business numbers plummeted.  As New York Yankee Hall of Famer Yogi Berra explained, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

Invest In Sweat Equity

When investor behaviors change, advisor behaviors must similarly evolve.  Spending the majority of the work day on account maintenance with little or no time allocated on new business development is unfortunately the modus operandi for many advisors today.  This business model may have succeeded in the past but it will not work today nor in the years that follow.  The first step to creating a proactive client acquisition plan is making a commitment to apply sweat equity and learn new ways to work harder and smarter.  Working harder will get you to the prospects front door.  Working smarter will earn you an invitation to come inside.

Cultivating referrals from current clients and maintaining regular, proactive communications with alliance partners and centers of influence has been and will continue to be a great way to create new client acquisition opportunities.  Unfortunately, it’s just not enough to help you consistently and predictably reach new client acquisition goals.  A different type of approach is required, one that allows you to cross paths more often with prospective clients who will be as willing to do business with you as you are with them.

Narrow Your Vision And Expand Your Business

One of the best ways to identify and reach new prospects is to first know yourself and what value you bring to the table.  The temptation is to try to be everything to everyone but in reality, that’s wishful thinking.  The most successful advisors have built niche practices where their specialized abilities closely mirror the unique needs of their selective prospects.

Building a niche practice is a process, not an event.  Almost every advisor begins as a generalist and through experience, acquires exceptional acumen in areas of financial planning and wealth management that resonates with the specialized needs of a smaller universe of clients and prospects.  Your niche clients are usually easy to identify.  They are the ones you already enjoy working with and who acknowledge your ability to meet and exceed their expectations.  Engage in prospecting activities that target this type of investor profile and your niche will gradually build itself, one new client at a time.

Remember to be patient when niche building.  The gravitational process whereby your practice evolves from a generalist model to a more specialized one is akin to how you maintain your lawn.  You’ll never see the grass grow in the moment, but once a week it needs to be mowed.  It’s the same upon logic upon which niche advisory practices are built.

Create A Digital Dialogue With Prospects

Traditional marketing efforts such as steak dinner seminars and generic mass mailings are proving ineffective in reaching the new generation of investors; however, technology has new windows of opportunity to identify and reach qualified prospects.  Advisors now have the ability to research, perform due diligence and engage in discovery about prospects in social media communities such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.   Advisors can learn through prospect postings on these sites what activities they enjoy, what causes they support, what issues they care about and who the people are that give their life meaning.

Utilizing social media to learn about prospects can create opportunities to meet them personally.  Advisors and prospects already know something about each other and what areas of interest they share, thus negating the discomfort often associated with traditional first time, face-to-face meetings.

Some advisors who have embraced social media have enjoyed great success.  Their ability to reach highly-targeted prospects with the right message at the right time is how they meet and exceed their acquisition goals.

Choose Your Acquisition Strategies Wisely

A Google search of investor acquisition ideas will produce millions of results that offer suggestions on how to identify and reach new prospects.  None of them will be a quick fix or magic button solution because no single strategy – no matter how effective – can produce a stream of prospects on demand.  What does work is combining multiple strategies into an integrated plan that can reach prospects no matter where they are.

Whatever strategies you choose, begin by creating an actionable, written plan that serves as a guidepost for you or your advisory team to follow.  The next step is to follow it with precision and passion.  Allocate a reasonable amount of time each day and each week to prospecting activities and you’ll reap the long-term rewards of your efforts.

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

Altius Learning
888-569-0586, info@AltiusLearning.com
www.AltiusLearning.com

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