What I Learned About Giving Practice Management Sessions to Thousands ... in Vietnam

I spent a week training financial advisors in Vietnam recently. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City might be the latest boomtowns for financial advisors. I was leading marathon practice management sessions for thousands of advisors. The profession in Vietnam is growing leaps and bounds every month. Though the Southeast Asian nation might feel a world away from Canada, I saw a few key similarities between what Vietnamese and Canadian advisors face on a day-to-day basis.

Where do financial advisors struggle?

Vietnamese financial advisors and insurance agents struggle with finding clients and getting referrals. “Canadian and Vietnamese advisors are asking how they should market themselves and how they should focus on who their clients are.”The biggest difference I saw, though, stems from the age of the two countries’ industries. Vietnam is an emerging economy without a long legacy of financial advice. Clients need more education when it comes to financial services on offer and might not know what to do with their newfound investable income. Luckily for them, there seem to be plenty of Vietnamese financial advisors ready to educate those prospective clients.

Vietnam financial companies hire and train 2,000 to 4,000 advisors per month.

I learned that the country of 90 million’s fast-growing middle class represents a huge opportunity for a fledgling advice industry. About half the country now fit in a middle-class bracket, but likely haven’t had any prior exposure to financial services, insurance, or planning. I gave four eight-hour lectures, two in Hanoi and two in Ho Chi Minh City, teaching advisors how to build process into their practices. He took them through processes for acquiring clients, through processes for servicing clients, to processes of business managementI taught them to ask what I call the golden question. “‘Where do I go to meet a group of people like you and how would I meet them?’ I told them to go to their client's events and get introduced to other people as their financial advisor … they thought that was a perfect idea.”

The biggest thing I learned coming back from Vietnam

After returning to Canada, I reflected on the differences between Canada and Vietnam. While we have a mature industry, I know that top advisors are always learning and seeking out knowledge. They are true students of the industry. But where do they go for training? There is very little offered in terms of training for Canadian financial advisors. When was the last time you went to a meeting and practiced conversations, scripts and trained on what to say to an ideal prospect? It represents a huge gap in the Canadian industry, one I intend to fill. Watch for my future training sessions for financial advisors! I fly to California almost every year and attend training sessions that are 20-30 hours long. When was the last time you attended a proven scripted training session?

Ideal client acquisition

I explained to the Vietnamese advisors that client acquisition means going beyond the online space and finding people where they are. It also takes building professional networks and teams, creating a holistic offering and having a clearly articulated value promise. The Vietnamese industry already has a strong technological platform for advisors to leverage. What they need, he says, is an education in proven, scripted process and practice management.

Back to Asia this fall

I plan to be back in Vietnam soon. There is 100 years of training work to be done. While Vietnam’s middle class grows, its financial advice industry is growing too. As the space grows more competitive, advisors will start looking for an edge over one another, but right now I think the sky’s the limit for Vietnam.At this point, it's just about getting out and acquiring ideal clients. Hicks said. I don't know where the end of that opportunity is because of the rising middle class; there are millions of people creating huge opportunities and endless options. It is interesting that most advisors don’t see the same opportunity in Canada, but there are tons of wealthy baby boomers and retirees 55+ with a ton of wealth, who are not getting comprehensive financial and wealth planning advice. The difference is in the conversations,( clients already with an advisor) but the growth opportunity is the same, and I can see it clearly for Canadian and American financial advisors! How many ideal clients would you like to acquire in 2020?Book a time to ask about acquiring more ideal clients in 2020, no obligation. Contact us to discuss your ideal client acquisition plans, email grant@ghicks.com or set up a complimentary 30-minute discussion about how to have up to 6 emotionally compelling offers to make to ideal prospects by clicking here.

Related: How Financial Advisors Can Acquire More Ideal Clients in 2020