Advisor Intel

Amid a highly competitive recruiting environment, Edward Jones shows a softer side.

In addition to allowing one advisor time to contemplate bigger picture ideas, a two-week vacation served as a refreshing reminder that the world doesn't stop when we turn off our phones.

Advisory firms that truly seek to distinguish themselves as strong, sustainable businesses should be utilizing a business tool that already has saturated most other industries: the dashboard.

Working with clients can be difficult. You need to balance rational tasks of navigating capital markets with non-rational challenges of managing client emotions. In many ways, navigating client behavior is more complicated than navigating capital markets, since human emotions can swing wildly and less predictably. Check out some helpful ways to stay ahead of the curve.

If you’re like most advisors, plan growth is one of your highest priorities. However, for many, growing a business is an elusive dream or a worst nightmare. The typical advisor spends very little time on outreach, relying instead on referrals or direct-to-plan-sponsor marketing. Ken Haman writes that this “brute force” marketing worked in the past, but plan sponsors have become increasingly unresponsive to it.

As advisors, we work in a disciplined world of risk management and probabilities, while our clients rely on feelings and “gut” decisions all day long. We shouldn’t take our discipline for granted. We need to remember the vulnerabilities that lurk in the hard-wiring of the human central nervous system.

Now that the S&P 500 is back in the news for hitting a new high, investors appear to be ready to start putting money back into stocks again. Still, Gary Stroik wonders if the timing of this new-found enthusiasm isn’t a bit instructive.

Although client referrals are the single biggest driver of new business, only 20% of advisors ask for referrals systematically. Worse, a majority indicate that they can address referrals only occasionally in client meetings. Matt Matrisian writes that advisors need to focus on reinforcing referral behavior in their client base to generate real growth.

By handling referrals in a simply, systematic and disciplined way, advisors can promote meaningful growth at a limited cost, according to Matt Matrisian.

Many financial service firms are targeting women as their economic power increases. The best way to market your practice to any demographic is by providing high-quality services. However, it is also prudent to have a marketing strategy that speaks to your ideal clients and clearly articulates how these clients can benefit from hiring your firm.

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