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Practice Management > Building Your Business

4 Steps to Accelerate Your Firm's Growth

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photo of consultant Angie Herbers Angie Herbers

Advisors who want to think deeper about how to grow should look outside the industry for inspiration.

Wealth management is not the only industry that runs on a recurring revenue model — far from it. Most of the industries we should look to for inspiration are software-based. And are top companies such as Netflix or Salesforce.

While advisors don’t operate in the same space as SaaS companies, the common thread is that these software solutions are focused on continually improving their customer experience.

Similarly, advisors have to maintain an intentional focus on the client experience they create in their firms if they want to accelerate growth in the right way.

There are four steps to accelerating growth, and they have to be worked through in a linear fashion:

1. Enhancing the Client Experience

When you enhance your client experience (CX), the longer clients will stay with you or refer friends and family. As I’ve said often, maximizing referrals is the key to accelerating firm growth.

Improving CX is the absolute best way to grow your firm. McKinsey research found that a brand that improved its client experience increased revenues by up to 15% and lowered costs by up to 20%.

2. Sales Strategy

Once CX has been improved, move on to enhancing your firm sales strategy. After all, it won’t matter how many referrals or inbound marketing leads you get if you can’t close the deal. Along with improving the CX, this is largely a retention step. Once you’ve mastered it, however, you’ve set yourself up for growth acceleration.

3. Employee Training

At this point, most firms want to jump right into marketing. But at this stage what truly accelerates growth is employee training.

To keep the CX and sales strategies going — and continue to be successful — you need to map out your training process to get all employees on the same page. Yet it’s one thing to map out a process, it’s quite another to master it. Training fuels better service, which improves referrals and close ratios.

As with CX, the research backs this up. Companies that have a superior client experience paired with a superior employee experience see double the revenue growth of firms who don’t.

4. Marketing Strategy

Once you have a training program that supports your CX and sales strategy, you’re ready to layer on marketing to increase your external lead flow.

Growing in the Right Direction

Most firms try to accelerate their growth by working through this process backwards. They start with marketing, then work on training, then improve sales, and enhance their client experience last.

The problem with that method is you end up working through the process twice — up from marketing and then back down. You end up going through eight — instead of four — steps to achieve accelerated growth.

It may be counterintuitive to start with client experience, which isn’t something typically associated with sales and increasing revenues.

However, if your firm works through these four steps starting with CX, you build a foundation to support the growth you’ll experience in the later stages and the entire experience will be smoother for all involved.