“Essentially, financial advisors – rookies and seasoned veterans alike – are looking for proven strategies to get the most growth out of their businesses as possible and they usually want that growth now!”- p.V
In the recently published book, “Building Bigger & Better – Growth Strategies of Top-Producing Financial Advisors,” the author Daniel Collison, Managing Partner of Advice2Advisors, concisely shares his decades long journey of discovery in training and coaching financial advisors on practice management and strategically building their businesses. His mission was forged through learning what works and does not work for growth-oriented advisors across North America by isolating and compiling the best strategies he has personally seen that work for the most successful advisors in the industry. This became a profound influence on the way he approaches the world of training and coaching advisors and helping them deliver professional financial advice and find a true calling in their business.
Collison’s book distills his work with advisors down to three key growth drivers for success: how to quickly develop the mindset of a top advisor, putting the structures in place to support dramatic growth, and building a marketing and prospecting plan that attracts significantly more of your ideal clients.
In an industry facing accelerating change and disruption, there is a vital need for real-world practice management and professional development in order to not just survive but thrive in our new operating environment of rapid business change. This book is an excellent resource built from practical learning from the best-of-the-best in the advisor community and from top social scientists as to optimal human performance.
Golden Egg: A Conscious Deliberate Mindset.
“I grew to understand that in order for a financial advisor to become a top-producing advisor, they need to do more than just focus on the traits, processes, and actions of those who have already achieved great success.” – p.VII
As a branch manager years ago, Collison learned that it is not enough to conduct training on becoming the most technically proficient advisor. It is also not enough for building advisor confidence. From working with and studying top advisors, he determined what they most shared was a motivated, dedicated, and encompassing approach or mindset to their business and clients.
That led him to learning about the psychology of success and going beyond the short-term, sugar rush of motivational speakers. He did his own exhaustive research on the science of high performance and positive psychology – a relatively new branch of psychology that focuses on the science of optimal human functioning. He read and followed the work of social scientists and other researchers like Dan Ariely, Robert Cialdini, Steven Covey, Angela Duckworth, Carol Dweck, Daniel Goleman, Daniel Kahneman, Simon Sinek, Martin Seligman, and many more from various disciplines.
That opened his eyes as a branch manager to start to piece together what he thought were disparate elements behind the success of top advisors, but actually were extremely interrelated. It also reinforced that the industry practice of advisors just seeing how top advisors perform, getting training on what they do, then performing those same actions, was not enough and why it was not working as well as expected.
What was missing and what was needed was to start with developing a mindset of success and purpose. Advisors need to consciously be aware of putting the different pieces of their practice and approach together and understanding exactly how they fit together as they do in order to efficiently and powerfully engage customers and consistently grow their business.
Gem One: The Three Confidences
“Achieving phenomenal growth….starts with recognizing that top advisors have developed three distinct, but interrelated, confidences: a confident mindset, a confident business structure, and a confident growth plan.” – p.90
Collison spends the bulk of the book going deeply into these three confidences and their twelve composite elements:
The Confident Mindset: Entails developing a “growth” mindset, harnessing your motivation, beginning with the end in mind (goals), and Grit (growing your passion and perseverance)
The Confident Business Structure: Entails embracing the Personal CFO model and creating your Ideal Client profile, a unique value proposition for that profile, and developing operational playbooks.
Confident Growth: Requires a defined business strategy and marketing plan with a targeted introduction vs. referral process using a prospecting dashboard that monitors your conscious referability decisions, your personal “target market” networking group, engagement activities like seminars and webinars, and the creation of your business legacy succession plan.
Each of these distinct elements are driven by, and can be attained through, the implementation of proven processes which are outlined in the book.
Gem Two: Combining the Puzzle Pieces of Successful Advisors
“These three confidences and their 12 composite elements that we’ve been discussing are not a compilation of disparate tactics. Rather, they are a group of complementary skills and strategies that, when combined, will help propel your business to new heights.” – p.92
The most successful advisors that the author has found deliberately excel at all three of the above confidences simultaneously. That is why most advisors that may have developed a confidence or two but may not be attaining the success they want. This is because they have not clicked the three puzzle pieces together which is where the success multiplier happens.
What these top advisors also understand is that consumers want, need, and deserve great financial advice and the research on the topic supports their belief. They know that combining all the skills and capabilities above builds the infrastructure and professional engagement that can deliver what consumers want: personally tailored advice, integration with the advice of other financial experts, and they want this advice to be consolidated and delivered primarily through a single trust-worthy source.
Bottom line, I feel that “Building Bigger & Better” is a strong and important advisor practice management guidebook and insightful treatise on financial services professional development by compiling field-tested and proven business and mindset processes used by top advisors. Providing a roadmap to move from product sales and a limited value proposition to assuming the more encompassing Personal CFO model and bringing access to expertise in all realms of holistic financial advice with the help of specialist partners. In so doing, this comprehensive and sustainable business strategy can potentially build an impenetrable fence around clients – effectively keeping competition at bay – while gaining more qualified referrals than experienced before. This would be a very good read before going into your annual business strategy and planning sessions.
The Institute for Innovation Development is an educational and business development catalyst for growth-oriented financial advisors and financial services firms determined to lead their businesses in an operating environment of accelerating business and cultural change. We operate as a business innovation platform and educational resource with FinTech and financial services firm members to openly share their unique perspectives and activities. The goal is to build awareness and stimulate open thought leadership discussions on new or evolving industry approaches and thinking to facilitate next-generation growth, differentiation, and unique community engagement strategies. The institute was launched with the support and foresight of our founding sponsors — Ultimus Fund Solutions, NASDAQ, FLX Networks, TIFIN, Advisorpedia, Pershing, Fidelity, Voya Financial, and Charter Financial Publishing (publisher of Financial Advisor and Private Wealth magazines).