Less than 2% of the job-seeking candidates are interested in positions that involve “rainmaking” or “marketing.”
This is key finding from a recent poll my company did with one of the industry’s leading recruiters, Caleb Brown’s New Planner Recruiting, in which we asked candidates about their attitudes toward the jobs they are seeking.
While you may not be surprised by this figure, the importance of this lack of interest in attracting new advisory clients has been magnified in recent years by the well-documented “talent shortage” in the independent advisory industry.
Simply put, this situation loudly begs the question, who is going to bring in the advisory firm clients of the future? And for most firms, the answer increasingly will be “the firms” themselves.
For most of its 30 or so year history, the independent advisory industry has relied on both referrals from existing clients, and “rainmakers,” who were typically the firm owners, or other senior partners who had a knack for attracting new clients to their firms.
In recent years, the Internet created an explosion in digital ways to reach new and prospective clients. And many advisory businesses have hired Internet-savvy marketing firms to help them compete in this new world.
Yet, in my consulting experience, I’ve found that while “marketing” does help, it doesn’t completely solve the growth problem. It turns out, attracting prospective clients is only half the battle. The other half is converting those “prospects” into clients.
Traditionally, that was also part of the rainmaker’s job: converting prospective clients into real clients. And with fewer advisors expressing any interest in that role, today’s firms are increasingly facing a serious challenge.
The solution is to focus on the “service model.”