From the June 2010 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Grow and Learn

A poll recently conducted by the SEI Advisor Network found that the top priority for advisors in 2010 is to "create new initiatives to increase sales and grow business." The second most important priority is to "communicate with clients and prospects more frequently," no small order given the level of client fear over market uncertainty. "Improve office efficiency through technology" and "invest in staff" round out the top four.

Of the four priorities listed, investing in staff was the least popular option. Only 6% of advisors said that staff investments--including new hires and professional development--are a top priority. Additionally, nearly three-quarters (70%) of advisors selected this option as their lowest priority of the four choices.

Among the other findings:

o Nearly all (90%) advisors say they can learn best practices from peers

o 55% of advisors said they would want advice on new business development from a professional coach

o The top 3 business growth strategies were: use client referrals, solidify professional relationships for referrals and create a marketing plan

o The top 3 strategies for improving communications were: increase frequency of outbound communications, increase frequency of client review meetings and create new approach to client review meetings

According to SEI, the results of this poll illustrate that increasing their book of business is a key priority for all financial advisors. Additionally, it's particularly significant that nearly all advisors value knowing what their colleagues are doing to run their businesses more efficiently and effectively.

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