“If there’s one thing I’ve learned about advisors, it’s this: If you want them to use something, put it in an Excel spreadsheet.” While that one comment made on day one of the final in-person workshop for Commonwealth Financial’s 2012 Power in Practice coaching program last December was accurate and insightful, Joni Youngwirth knows much more than one thing about advisors and about what they need when it comes to practice management. Youngwirth argues that the big practice management challenge for most advisors isn’t that they don’t spend enough time on practice management issues. Instead, she argues, the downfall of too many advisors is “not focusing on activities with the highest return on investment.”
That’s why the Power in Practice program focuses on raising production levels by setting goals of increasing each advisor’s revenue-generating activities on a daily or weekly basis, which includes introductions to prospects, getting referrals, networking, holding small social events for clients and prospects, and building strategic alliances with allied professionals.
For Commonwealth’s practice management group, Youngwirth has her own business plan: to move from a 60%/40% ratio of the team being reactive rather than proactive with Commonwealth’s reps to being “80%/20% proactive by the end of 2013.” One way she hopes to accomplish her own SMART goal of emulating “the way advisors treat their ‘A’ clients” is to increase staffing on her team from seven to 12 people.
Her final word on the program, which in 2013 is now in its third year, is that “the power of Power in Practice” is tapping into the collegial sharing fostered by the program’s peer group mentoring, so participants learn “what your peers are doing” to be successful. That’s just one more thing that Joni Youngwirth knows about advisors.