Culminating our inaugural Pursuing Practice Excellence survey coverage, we present two features that explore practice management for advisors and their partners.

For our cover story, we invited four industry experts to Chicago to talk about practice management and what it means. There, they spoke frankly about what the industry was doing wrong and how they could address those problems.

Also featured in the August issue is the final installment of the Pursuing Practice Excellence series. We uncovered several gaps between the way advisors see practice management and its role in their business, and what their partners are offering. All of our survey coverage is available here.

Finally, advisors are going about getting referrals all wrong. Olivia Mellan breaks down how advisors can improve their results by changing the way the talk to clients about referrals.  

Beyond the BuzzwordsBeyond the Buzzwords

What is practice management and how can it increase advisors’ success? What are the gaps between advisors and their partners on practice management? These and other critical questions were answered by experts at a day-long roundtable discussion in Chicago.

The four participants were invited based on the (admittedly subjective) quality of the answers they gave during the interview portion of the survey and the critical thinking they displayed in those interviews. The quality of the roundtable discussion confirmed their choice as some of the best and brightest in the industry, as was their willingness to speak frankly about what the industry—advisors and their partners—has done wrong and what it needs to do right to increase advisors’ chances for business success.

Editor-in-Chief John Sullivan shares their comments.

Read the full article.

Pursuing Practice Excellence: Where Advisors and their Partners Part WaysPursuing Practice Excellence: Where Advisors and Their Partners Part Ways

In the final report on our comprehensive practice management study, we identify the areas where advisors and their partners differ on practice management. Among the gaps: the relative importance of succession planning.

Advisors rely on their partners to run their businesses, and many financial services businesses count advisors as key clients. So shouldn’t it be the case that advisors and their partners are on the same page when it comes to what works and what doesn’t in practice management? Wouldn’t the strength of the relationship between advisors and their partners be built on shared perceptions as to setting goals and how to measure success on practice management initiatives? Wouldn’t they agree, at the most basic level, on the definition of practice management?

We found that for some, the answer is yes and no. Spenser Segal and Jamie Green explain.

Read the full article.

How to Succeed at Referrals (Without Even Asking)How to Succeed at Referrals (Without Even Asking)

Of all the ways to build an advisory practice, referrals probably rank highest on the list. A good referral costs nothing to create, and a referred prospect is usually much likelier to become a new client than the average semi-qualified sales lead. So why don’t we do a better job of generating referrals?

Olivia Mellan speaks with Stephen Wershing, marketing coach and author of “Stop Asking for Referrals,” to find out what advisors are doing wrong.

Read the full article.