Brett Davidson of FP Advance gives practical tips on how, by sharing your victories, you can build a more effective – and more satisfied – team in your financial planning business
As a financial planner, the work that you do makes a difference to people. You know that. And the clients you make that difference for know too.
But do you ever communicate that to your team?
I don’t mean accidentally or by osmosis. I mean deliberately and proactively.
Typically, advisers do some amazing work and there’s no one else in the room to see it. That’s a real shame, because seeing and understanding what great financial planners do for their clients is an important part of your marketing and recruitment strategies.
Obviously we all need to engage in some external marketing. The type that lets potential clients and suppliers outside of your business know what you do, and how great it is.
Typically, advisers do some amazing work and there’s no one else in the room to see it
However, an often overlooked counterpart is your internal marketing. That is, letting everyone on your team see under the bonnet of what you do for clients.
There can be two key aspects to your internal marketing communication process; the informal and formal.
Don’t be afraid to tell your team about anything good that occurred in your client meeting, as soon as you leave that meeting room. Tell them then and there.
You might focus on the impact the advice is having on the client’s life or choices. That’s your informal process.
Formally you might prepare a specific example or case study to share at monthly/quarterly State of the Nation (SOTN) meetings with the whole team.
You could go even further and describe the role every single person played in delivering a particular outcome. In a smaller firm, with an owner and a support person or two, that will be retty easy. In a larger firm you really need to think about who has played a role.
The Adviser – managed the client throughout the process, asking great questions and making the client feel comfortable by explaining the complex more simply.
The Paraplanner – did the research and technical work and built the cash flow model. They may also have added some small detailed technical input that created an optimal tax or investment outcome on top of the broader strategy.
The Administration Team – chased information, badgering any slow life insurance or pension companies. They also ensured all paperwork was completed, submitted and received correctly first time, and followed everything through diligently. They might have even picked up errors in paperwork from other companies, thereby avoiding a later problem for the client and the business.
The Receptionist – gave a great, warm greeting every time the client attended a meeting, and made the client feel cared for throughout the journey.
The PA – ensured everyone was in the right place at the right time for each meeting. The high level of efficiency also generated a feeling of safety for the client.
The Finance Director – made sure the company was solvent, so no one had to spend time fretting about financial issues. This allowed everyone to give the client 100% of their attention at all times.
The Practice Manager – ensured work flowed efficiently through the machine, and took care of a lot of under-the-radar issues so the lead advisers, owners, and team could focus on their day jobs 100%.
The Marketing Team – made the company look good to the wider world and ensured frequent and clear communication to existing clients. In fact that’s how we picked up this client in the first place, as a result of a referral from an existing client who has been kept informed and warm due to the marketing team’s efforts.
Share the good news
Most employees want to work somewhere that’s enjoyable, pays well enough, and does some good in the world. A great financial planning firm fits that bill really nicely.
Individually, the work some team members do may only be a small section of the larger work being done for clients, but try living without that support for a while, and you’ll realise there is no big or small contribution
When you start communicating internally about great client outcomes, you show how the work that everyone on the team does is connected to the final client outcomes. The stuff that you, as an owner/adviser, get the satisfaction of delivering.
Individually, the work some team members do may only be a small section of the larger work being done for clients, but try living without that support for a while, and you’ll realise there is no big or small contribution.
Good people want to do meaningful work that makes a difference; it’s not just Millennials
It’s why they count ‘assists’ in basketball or football, because some players are great at making other players look good. After all, the final result is all about great team work.
Communicating frequently with your team and sharing the warm feelings that come from delivering great outcomes, are key to making yourself an attractive employer. It makes sure that you are a firm where team members will thrive and develop their careers for the long term.
Good people want to do meaningful work that makes a difference; it’s not just Millennials.
When you take the time to show people the difference they make, you allow them to feel good about themselves and their work. As all the job satisfaction surveys will attest, being recognised for one’s contribution is right up there in making your team feel appreciated.
If you can get this right you can attract and retain good quality people, which is the secret to your own success as an individual and as a business.
So make sure you help your team to know and understand the difference the business makes to its clients.
Let me know how you go.
About Brett Davidson
Brett is the Founder of FP Advance, the boutique consulting firm that helps financial planning professionals to advise better and live better.
He is recognised as one of the leading consultants to financial advisers in the UK. You can follow Brett online and via social media: