An afternoon panel of top women advisors was moderated by Cambridge Investment Research president Amy Webber (left) and touched upon the secrets to success, juggling the life/work balance and smashing through possible glass ceilings that might arise. Interestingly, two of the three panelists were former teachers whose area of focus was special education.
Held Thursday afternoon at the firm’s Women Advisors Forum and tilted “Secrets of the Rainmaker—Proven Ideas to Attract Clients,” the panel included Lynn Hinds of Lighthouse Financial, Barbara Hennings of Hennings Financial and Nadia Cavner of Nadia Cavner Group.
Webber, a member of the 2012 IA 25, began by asking the panel about the culture and support each advisor fosters in her firm and why it’s important to their success.
“Client complaints have nothing to do with returns,” Cavner said. “They complain when they feel they’re ignored. We’re honest with them, care for them deeply, create a peaceful environment and always put them first,” she added as the other panelists nodded.
Cavner said she never asks for a prospect’s business. “I just assume it’s mine, and 99% of the time I’m right.”
However, if she senses the client will be “difficult,” she has no problem with raising the issue of a possibility of a personality conflict, and suggests they go elsewhere.
“We feel we are called to give back,” Hinds added. “We have a program called ‘First Fruits’ in which we take 10% of our profits and put it back into nonprofits. We also close the office twice each year to volunteer in the community. We like to say our processes and procedures are ‘cold, hard steel,’ which they should be. But that means our personal relationships are soft and warm.”
Webber then asked each panelist to recall a decision each made that propelled their careers forward.
“Don’t be concerned about what you’re competition is doing,” Hinds advised. “Find what it is that you are best at and then create ‘delightful advocates.’ I always thought I was financial planner, but I am not and that actually bores me. I am committed to my clients and managing the relationship.”
Hinds also told attendees to “outsource, outsource, outsource,” and she feels there is a glass ceiling for women advisors “only if they themselves create it.”