Years ago, I had an amazing epiphany about financial advisors and the essence of team building in wealth management, “No financial advisor makes it to high seven figures without a team.” And further, “A financial advisor and one assistant don’t make a team. The minimum team size is advisor, assistant, and part-time computer operator…
Lead with Excellence: A Guide to Financial Advisor Team Management
You’re worth at least $1500 an hour as a financial advisor. When you’re doing the high value tasks your clients come to you for, that is.
At the same time, you won’t be able to grow your practice without the busy work that’s necessary to acquire and retain clients.
You need to be able to fill your pipeline, provide an excellent client experience, and anticipate all of your client’s needs to stand out from your competitors. On top of that, you still have your main task as a financial advisor: provide relevant and up to date insights on how your clients can achieve their financial goals.
It’s impossible to achieve a high six-figure or seven-figure income as a one-man team and still have a life outside of work.
Hiring a team so you can delegate tasks to a group of people who have the right skill set can help you maximize your income and grow beyond the $1500 per hour mark.
In this article, we’ll explore how you can effectively manage your team. Stop spending most of your time micromanaging your people—instead of doing the high-value work you need to do to keep your clients happy.
The Evolution of Team Management in Financial Advisory
With a team in tow, you can maximize the amount of time you spend advising clients. The only thing you need to worry about is helping your clients achieve their financial goals and your team will take care of everything else.
On top of that, partnering with other financial advisors can help you provide a more holistic financial planning experience for your clients. With two (or more) heads on one case, you’d also be able to solve more complex problems and see unique viewpoints that will help you develop the best recommendations for your clients.
That said, building a team—and managing it—isn’t easy. We’ve seen plenty of teams who fell for the same traps and challenges in their way. For example, trying to cram two roles into one position. A client service associate can’t do the work of an administrative assistant—and vice versa.
Another common pitfall is not using the term “client service associate.” It seems trivial, but your clients aren’t familiar with all the roles in the financial advisory industry. If they don’t see a “client service representative/associate” role in your team, guess who they’ll come to for their service needs?
6 Key Tips for Effective Management of Financial Advisor Teams
As we delve into the key strategies for effective team management in financial advisory, it’s important to remember that each team is unique. The following tips, however, provide a solid foundation for any financial advisory team.
1. Leverage Technology for Team Collaboration and Client Services
From facilitating communication and collaboration within the team to delivering superior client services, the right technology can significantly enhance your team’s performance. In recent years alone, there have been many improvements to tools you can use as a financial advisor. Consider supporting your workflow with tools like CRM systems, financial planning software, and secure communication platforms.
Most task management and time management tools help you manage your team member’s workloads, which would be especially helpful if you’re working with a remote or hybrid team. You can support your remote team with features like Gantt charts, time tracking, milestones, timelines, and goal setting in one place.
Secure communication channels, such as Slack, help you create a space for your entire team to collaborate. It also ensures that all interactions and transactions are conducted in a safe and secure environment, instilling confidence in clients.
When it comes to client service, technology has revolutionized the way financial advisors interact with their clients. Client Relationship Management (CRM) systems, for instance, allow you to manage client interactions effectively throughout their lifecycle. It ensures that you’ll get updated information on your client. A good CRM system should also help you use the data you’ve compiled to find opportunities to impress clients or prospects—and get more business through the door. Most CRM systems also have automations and templates to help you streamline your process so you can use your data more efficiently.
Moreover, financial planning software has become a critical tool for advisors. Some of them help you manage a client’s assets, others help you see and analyze your client’s financial data more efficiently. Financial planning software helps you streamline your process so you can serve more clients with better recommendations.
2. Foster a Culture of Open Communication and Financial Transparency
Regular team meetings, clear reporting structures, and a culture that encourages questions and feedback can all contribute to a more transparent and communicative environment.
Transparency means being open about the team’s strategies, decisions, and performance. This openness helps to ensure that all team members are on the same page and understand the team’s common goals and objectives.
Open dialogue, on the other hand, involves encouraging team members to share their ideas, concerns, and feedback. This can be facilitated through regular team meetings, where team members have the opportunity to discuss their work, share their insights, and contribute to decision-making.
Promoting open communication with clients is equally important. This can involve providing regular updates on their financial situation, explaining the rationale behind financial decisions, and being open to their questions and concerns.
3. Prioritize Advisor Wellbeing
In the high-pressure world of financial advisory, where you often deal with complex financial matters and high-stakes decisions, stress and burnout are common. This not only affects your health but can also lead to decreased productivity, lower client satisfaction, and higher turnover rates.
A few strategies you can use to promote overall well-being in your team include flexible working arrangements, supportive management practices, and resources for stress management.
Flexible working arrangements, for instance, can help you and your team achieve a better work-life balance—reducing stress and improving overall well-being.
Supportive management practices include recognizing and acknowledging the hard work of advisors, providing constructive feedback, and fostering a positive and inclusive work environment.
4. Encourage Continuous Learning and Financial Education
The financial landscape is in a state of constant flux, with markets, regulations, and client needs continually evolving. In this dynamic environment, continuous learning is not just a luxury, but a necessity. You need to equip your team with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate these changes and provide the best possible performance for clients.
Regular training sessions are one of the most effective ways to ensure that all team members are up-to-date with the latest market trends and regulatory changes. These sessions can be conducted in-house or through external providers and can cover a wide range of topics, from investment strategies to compliance issues.
Support for professional development is another key aspect of fostering a culture of learning. This could include providing financial support for further education, encouraging participation in industry conferences and seminars, or offering opportunities for mentoring and coaching.
5. Practice Inclusive Leadership
Inclusive leadership can significantly enhance team performance. It goes beyond simply acknowledging diversity—it involves actively fostering an environment where all team members, regardless of their background or identity, feel valued, heard, and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives.
By valuing diversity, teams can tap into a broader range of ideas and experiences, leading to more innovative solutions and better decision-making. Moreover, when team members feel included and valued, they are more likely to be engaged and committed, contributing to a more positive and productive work environment.
Promoting diversity and inclusion in your team can involve several strategies, including:
- Implementing unbiased hiring practices
- Providing diversity and inclusion training
- Fostering an open and respectful team culture
- Regularly soliciting and valuing input from all team members
- Ensuring that everyone has equal opportunities for growth and advancement
6. Set Clear Goals and Client-Centric Expectations
Setting clear, client-focused goals is a fundamental aspect of driving your team’s performance. These goals serve as a roadmap, guiding the team’s efforts and providing a clear vision of what they are working towards. They also ensure that your team’s activities are aligned with the broader business objectives and the needs of the clients they serve.
In the context of a financial advisory team, client-focused goals could include improving client satisfaction levels, increasing the number of financial plans created, or growing the assets under management. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) to provide a clear and realistic target for the team.
You also need to communicate these goals so everyone understands what is expected of them and how their individual efforts contribute to the team’s overall success. Regular reviews and updates can help to keep these goals top of mind and allow for adjustments as needed.
Build a Winning Team with the Experts at Bill Good Marketing
If you have questions like: What’s the first role you should look for? How do you find people who will thrive in these positions? What kind of structure should you adapt for your team? How will your team survive once you’ve retired? What kind of team management skills do you need to learn to build a successful team?
The answer to this question might be the most hated answer in the industry: it depends. Ask Bill Good Marketing’s expert coaches to understand how you can assemble the best team that adapts to how you work and your goals as an advisor.
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