Regardless of how you position or market your practice, one thing we all agree on is that you can’t be all things to all people all the time. The markets and solutions we offer are just too diverse and complex. Some see diversity and complexity as barriers to their success – others see them as opportunities to achieve success.

For many advisors, harnessing those opportunities is accomplished by finding strategic partners whose strengths remove the barriers. A strategic partnership is a long-term commitment between two organizations that allows each to achieve specific business objectives by maximizing the effectiveness of each participant’s resources. In my experience, the only way these relationships work is based upon integrity, trust and a dedication to common goals.

The most successful advisors may have multiple partners whose strengths complement their own. For example, a finely tuned life insurance practice may not have expertise in the annuity market – but they know that they have clients who need annuities in their overall plans. So they seek out a strategic partner who has deep experience in annuities – but who doesn’t handle life insurance.

Disability income is another field requiring specialized knowledge – of markets, contracts, financial and medical underwriting, sales techniques, etc. The average life or group benefits advisor knows that disability poses a significant part to their client, but simply does not have the time or resources to achieve the level of knowledge needed to deliver a credible solution.

Rather than leaving their client exposed to that risk, and leaving themselves exposed to losing a client to another advisor, the smartest advisors I know find a strategic partner. Finding the right partners takes time and effort, but it is worth the work. The end result is a win for the advisor, a win for the partner firm and a big win for the client.

Check out more blog entries from David Saltzman.