Every day, financial advisors must make critical decisions on behalf of their clients. These decisions always are well thought out and never taken lightly. However, many financial advisors do not apply the same level of scrutiny when selecting a broker-dealer–even though this choice just as easily can make or break their careers.
How can financial advisors know if they have selected the right broker-dealer? What support and guidance can they receive, and what should they expect in return for committing to do business with a broker-dealer? By looking at the four fundamentals of practice management, financial advisors can help themselves answer these questions and make fully informed decisions about who should receive their business. The four fundamentals of practice management are:
1. Marketing Management
Marketing should be as much about the financial advisor as it is about the broker-dealer. Instead of focusing on what benefits can be gained from their own marketing, good broker-dealers should be more interested in helping financial advisors make a name for themselves. Whether it is a complete turnkey marketing program, co-op advertising, help with printing of brochures or even offering essential tips on how to play the marketing game, there needs to be a basic level of support and encouragement. Marketing truly can make or break a business; there is simply no substitute for what a good marketing program can provide financial advisors.
2. Relationship Management
More than half (56%) of an advisor’s growth comes from existing relationships. Question is, does this figure accurately distinguish between referrals and the more highly valued introductions?
The distinction is a crucial one. There is, of course, nothing wrong with broker-dealers giving referrals to advisors. In fact, these gestures are to be applauded and encouraged. But most advisors will agree that receiving an introduction, or warm lead, is much more likely to result in new business.
There is a more personal touch involved with an introduction that all advisors can and do appreciate. Broker-dealers always need to go the extra mile to help grow the businesses of the financial advisors with whom they work.