More than ever, it’s common for bandwidth-constrained independent financial advisors to feel that they need “more” from their broker-dealer: more in terms of attention, responsiveness and resources.
Unfortunately, advisors frequently ask for “more” in ways that don’t elicit the best response from their firms. The reality is that getting the most out of a relationship between an advisor and a broker-dealer falls as much on the advisor as it does on the firm.
And the good news is that there are three very specific ways for advisors to get the most out of any potential request they want to make of their broker-dealer for more attention or services, as follows:
1. Contextualize your requests by making a meaningful business case
It’s crucial for advisors to weave into any major request of their broker-dealer key proof points about their own contributions to the firm’s performance, encompassing factors such as annual production/fees and commissions/GDC, client assets, recurring fee-based advisory revenues, and year-over-year growth in these numbers.
Next, it’s important for the advisor to include details on why the broker-dealer’s current offering is insufficient, and exactly how granting this request would directly support the advisor’s performance and business growth.
Again, use numbers to detail realistic forecasts and industry comparisons on key performance metrics for yourself and the firm.
At the end of the day, broker-dealers of all sizes seek to recruit and retain the 20% of advisors who will provide 80% of their revenues.
Advisors who take the time to detail how the broker-dealer’s investment in a requested tool or set of resources will make them one of these most desired advisors, or reinforce their existing position within this advisor segment, will find their requests are taken much more seriously from the outset.
2. Correlate your ask with knowledge of the broker-dealer’s strategy and solutions
Advisors making a significant request for new resources or support from their firms are more likely to get a receptive audience from the outset if their request reflects clear and detailed knowledge on the firm’s most current practices and strategic thinking.
There are two ways to do this: First, don’t be hesitant about using your firm’s marketing and research materials, as well as conversations with compliance and product specialists as references to further contextualize any request.
Second, fly the flags and show a presence when it comes to participating in your firm’s networking and business coaching programs, and attending your firm’s regional and national conferences. Reference information picked up from these venues as context wherever appropriate