Most of the conversations on building and growing a successful advisory business have to do with the advisor. What we often fail to grasp is the very real fact that the advisor may not be the one to give that all important first impression to a new client. First impressions count. They can make or break a client-advisor relationship.
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But this is just a symptom of a deeper issue. The success of an advisory business has many elements. Your staff
, the way you set appointments, the attention you give to detail, and the integrity of your process are critical. Each of these components sends a message about the experience a prospect or client will have with you. Whether you do what you say you will do, whether your staff actually follows through, and whether that follow through happens within the promised time frame immediately impacts your bottom line. Each of these elements is part of an overall thread of success for the business. Each must align with the others to present a cohesive, well-designed business process. When everyone involved gets what he or she wants—clients, staff, everyone succeeds. And it all comes back to shine favorably on you.
The first step is to take an objective review of the process you use from the second a prospect walks in the door to the point of signing account documents. What you see when you step back and do an honest appraisal can say volumes. Take your staff, for example. How is the prospect greeted? Is that greeting sincere or forced? How well can your staff articulate your value proposition? Have they adopted that value and mission for themselves? Do they believe in what you are trying to accomplish? This can also tell you whether you have the right people on your team. If your partners and staff do not willingly buy in to your vision, they will sabotage your success.
How your staff illustrates your value proposition in action is critical to getting that account document signature. If your staff is not professional, if they are not completely on board with your vision, it is a reflection on how you conduct your business. Clients and prospects pick up on these underlying messages quickly. In today’s marketplace, building trust is a make or break proposition. The more you can inject consistency within your business, the more trust in you your clients will have. The more consistent the message throughout your entire business operation, the more your business will grow. Done well, it becomes effortless.
Your partners contribute to the client experience as well. A team who is synergistic knows each other’s authentic abilities, and gives those abilities ample opportunity to enhance the client experience creates an aura which is felt the minute the client walks into your office. Clients and prospects pick up instantly on the atmosphere you create. A team who has internal rivalries, jealousies, or simply is not on the same wavelength sends a message clients do not want to hear.
This is where marketing and education in business development take on a new meaning. Consistency between you, your partners and your staff contribute to a trust relationship! Consistency in message is key. Consistency in service quality is vital. Giving your staff and your partners a personal reason to help you succeed is your lifeline. If people have input on the processes they participate in, they will make that process their own. They will become your best advocates. They will find ways to raise esteem with your clients. They will make you much better than you could possibly be on your own.
Educating your staff and taking a personal interest in their success offers them a personal reason to help you succeed. What dreams do they have for their own lives? How are you helping them fulfill those dreams? Those are questions which may lead you to hidden talents in your staff, team members, and partners which you never might have discovered. It ensures that every person who has contact with your prospects and clients becomes principle driven and not just process driven. It could make your practice flourish in ways you never thought possible.