How Elite Financial Advisors Systemize Their Practice

How elite financial advisors systemize their practice

Practice management for financial advisors is about three things, process, process and process. Working with elite advisors every day, I see a very clear distinction between the average advisor and successful advisors. Successful financial advisors have more systems in place than the average advisor. Here are some key strategies to consider when building your processes.

What areas need to be systematized?

I asked financial advisors all the time what are the top three areas you would like to improve your process and your systems. The most common areas are:

Marketing and prospect tracking and communication

  • on-boarding new ideal clients
  • Client service tracking and follow-up
  • Ideal client preparation
  • Team management processes
  • Time management and capacity management

What are your top 3 process challenges today in your financial advisor practice?

Now it is your turn to rank your top three areas to build better systems. Let's examine each one in more detail.

  • Marketing and prospect tracking and communication. Are you sending the same communication to prospects as well as clients? Elite advisors build two different systems to communicate with two different groups of people. For example, financial advisers who send video messages, send one type of message to clients and one type of message to prospects. In other words, things to not worry about for clients, and things to worry about for prospects.
  • Onboarding new ideal clients. Top financial advisors I work with have a 30-point onboarding checklist or bigger, and a three to six-month onboarding process checklist for ideal clients. They have all the templates and communications mapped out toad to deliver an exceptional experience for a new ideal client. Do you have a detailed onboarding checklist, binder, and process? does it need work? 
  • Client service tracking and follow-up. The famous management guru Peter Drucker once said " what gets measured gets managed". I would like to add that what doesn't get measured does not get managed. How do you measure and improve your service delivery processes?  Financial advisors I work with have a double-check and triple-check process that we help build for them. They also have a tracking process to set expectations for clients, financial advisors, and the team so that everyone is on the same page. 
  • Ideal client preparation. Do you have standards set for your team that have the files prepared a minimum of three days in advance with a checklist of all the work to be completed? Is the meeting with the financial advisor and associate time blocked for a practice session for your best and ideal clients and prospects? Is there room for improvement in enhancing your ideal client experience? How can you spend less time on file and meeting preparation and more time on practicing the meeting experience for ideal clients and ideal prospects, just like elite financial advisors do? 
  • Team management processes. In the past few years hiring new team members and associate financial advisors is a large process. Do you have all the tools and templates that you need to build an extraordinary experience for new hires or are you winging it? I work with headhunters whom have shared some exceptional tools and resources to help build policies procedures and processes for financial advisory practices. Does your practice have a training process for team members? Do you have well-documented processes for human capital? 

Time management and capacity management. Practice management is also about time management and capacity management. Implementing processes in your business not only will give you more time and capacity But also a greater sense of confidence and peace of mind when you think about managing and growing a larger financial advisor practice. I highly encourage you to read Gino Wickman's book “Traction” BenBella Books; Expanded ed. edition (April 3 2012)  because he takes process to the next level. How entrepreneurs need systems and processes to achieve their vision. Check out   I would also encourage you to read “ Process!: How Discipline and Consistency Will Set You and Your Business Free” by Mike Patton and  Lisa González  BenBella Books (Sept. 27 2022)

How will you systematize your practice more in the next year?

I would highly encourage you to print this out and discuss the top three processes you would like to work on in the next year with your team. Who can help you run better processes? There are financial advisors who have people who implement process technology to help them, and resources to guide them. Speak to your colleagues about how they built their processes and who helped them. Build out your team. Practice management people, HR people, marketing people, and technology people, all help in building processes.

Related: What Does Comprehensive Advice Look Like?