Kick off 2013 with Helpful Resources- Co-written with Sara Gilbert

January is a great month to adapt your practice to meet the changing needs of today's investors and adjust your approach to a new era of deep client engagement. “What are you going to do differently to grow your business?” asks Sara Gilbert, founder of Strategist in Montreal.

Elevate your business model
Investment advisor, wealth manager, commercial family office, investment counsellor and family wealth advisor are just a few of the business models you can choose from. As each offers different services and caters to a different market, research each business and see which represents the vision you have set out for your practice.

Research your competitors and market leaders
Pick out the leaders in your selected market or business model and research their marketing initiatives, their approach and their services - basically, research everything. Then see what fits in your model and what can you deliver consistency and efficiently.

If you are unsure who are your main competitors, ask some trusted clients who they may have chosen to work with if not you and your team. Your competitive analysis will help you better position your practice in the marketplace.

Delegate and outsource for results
Investors come to your office for your expertise in the field of investments and/or wealth management. Your time and efforts should remain focused on dealing with clients, gaining new clients and servicing them with outstanding client experience - or as we say, “WOWING THEM”.

Everything else should be delegated and outsourced. The days of believing you have to do everything yourself are over. Clients expect more, and the marketplace is increasingly competitive. Focus on what you do best and build a team of experts in their respective fields - tax accountants, insurance experts and marketing specialists. Capitalize on their expertise to enhance and grow your business.

“Remember that delegating means giving someone else one of your tasks while you maintain responsibility for its completion”, says Rosemary Smyth, international business coach for financial advisors.

Ten tips for effective delegating are:
1. Take time to plan. Make a list of which tasks you would be able to give to someone else.
2. Start with the tasks which you can easily delegate. Giving up control of your tasks can be challenging, so start with the easy ones.
3. Choose carefully. Know the reason why you picked this person.
4. Communicate clearly. Describe the results you are looking for and when. Listen carefully to the person’s questions.
5. Set high expectations. When you assign a task, let them know you are fully confident in their abilities.
6. Review your boundaries. How much authority are you giving someone else and how far will that reach in terms of expenses, etc?
7. Monitor progress with check points. Set up a schedule.
8. Stand by your decision. Avoid rescuing the task from someone who is struggling. Support them to completion.
9. Give feedback and encouragement. Let them know what worked and what could have worked better.
10. Show appreciation. Find out what that looks like to them.

Being clear about what new tasks you can delegate can be a huge payoff and can save you time and energy.

Rosemary Smyth, MBA, CIM, FCSI, ACC, is an author, columnist and an international business coach for financial advisors. She spent her career working at leading investment firms before pursuing her passion for coaching. She lives in Victoria, BC. Visit her website at www.rosemarysmyth.com. You can email Rosemary at: rosemary@rosemarysmyth.com

Sara Gilbert, FMA, FCSI, CSWP, is Founder and Business Consultant of Strategist Business development. She brings over 15 years of wealth management industry experience to help wealth advisors develop and implement business building strategies. Visit her website at: www.Strategist.cc, you can reach her via email at: Sara.Gilbert@Strategist.cc

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© 2009 Rosemary Smyth & Associates