10 Tips to Get Paid What You're Worth
Looking to make a move? Here are the top 10 tips from Danny Sarch, president of Leitner Sarch Consultants, to help you get everything you think you're worth.
-- Paula Vasan
1. Target your efforts.
Target your efforts to a firm that is going to meet your personal, financial and career needs. Why are you looking? What are you trying to solve? If you feel you’re in a bureaucracy at Merrill Lynch don’t go to Morgan Stanley.
2. Pick the right fit.
Big firm, regional firm, boutique, start-up, RIA or independent -- there are lots of choices with various pluses and minuses. Make sure you know the right fit for you. Do homework before you engage your time and their time. It’s a matter of figuring out what you want.
3. Consider clients first.
Deal with the "client stuff" first, then the "me" stuff. Anybody you’re talking to wants you to move your business to theirs. You know clients better than any outsider. Bottom line is that if you can’t move existing business to an outside firm then you’re wasting your time.
4. Make your business transparent.
Have a detailed due diligence process -- you'll have credibility down the road. When you get granular about your practice (while obeying protocol), you get taken more seriously. Transparency means revealing everything about your clients except their names.
5. Check your record on FINRA BrokerCheck.
Reveal everything ahead of time. It’s going to come out anyway so frontloading any problems about your past shows that you’re a straight-shooter worthy of investment from an outsider in your business. No one likes problems in the eleventh hour so bring it all up in the beginning.
6. Negotiate in good faith.
Understand the parameters under which you’re negotiating. Regional firms don't pay as much as wirehouses, so don't negotiate with a regional and ask for a wirehouse deal. Understand what is realistic. Negotiate all aspects ahead of time while you still have some leverage.
7. Be prepared to compromise.
You’re not going to win every battle nor should you want to. Figure out what you refuse to compromise on ahead of time.
8. Get the deal in writing.
The financial aspects of deals will always be in writing. But often some of the “softer” aspects are not. Negotiate all expenses, including sales support, travel and entertainment, industry conferences, and marketing support.
9. Be prepared to sell clients on your decision.
Don’t be afraid to have that conversation. Be confident and explicit in explaining why your decisions are in your clients’ best interest.
10. Disclose deal terms.
When an advisor moves from one firm to another, they often get some form of compensation. Proposed regulation from FINRA to the SEC may require that the advisor tell clients what their compensation was in moving from one firm to another. I have been advising the financial planners I work with for years to disclose this proactively. Don’t blindside.