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Sharing the Burden

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Instead of trying to make your new associates marketing people, include them in the delivery of your services, using their technical skills to work with existing clients, so you can bring in more clients. For example, let’s say you’re an experienced planner whose well-established firm has 100 clients. You hire a new planner to service that client base and produce financial plans for new clients. That frees you up to bring in, say, 50 to 100 new clients over a couple of years, without much additional work on your part. The new associate has enabled the firm to add vastly more revenues than salary cost, adding great value without being a “rainmaker.”

At the same time, that new planner is learning just how you’re able to attract new clients. After three to five years, the associate will have the training to bring in more clients and serve a client base of his own which, over the long term, could nearly double your profits. He is ready to become a junior partner, and the firm is ready to look for another associate.

Many experienced planners are reluctant to let a new associate work with their existing clients. I can understand this concern, considering that many new planners will leave after the first three years and take some clients with them, and that experienced planners don’t allow just anyone to work with their valued clients. However, if your partnership track offers rewards and incentives to achieve valuable firm equity, taking your client base across the street will cease to be an attractive alternative.


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