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Jan 19, 2006 7:57 am

whats a good aum for almost 4 yrs in the biz??

Jan 19, 2006 9:39 am

$20-25

Jan 19, 2006 10:26 am

$35 MM give or take a mil. By that time, you should be seeing revenue and asset growth of 20-40%... Years 4-8 are the sweetspot for FA's to really crank up their business.... By then, we should all have fairly established clientelle who are referring qualified propsects to us, decent growth on existing AUM, and by then we should all 'get it' in regards to where we are marketing and focusing our efforts....

Jan 19, 2006 8:41 pm

20m "good", 30m "very good", 40m "great"....35m is well above average even for those that "make it."  But it also depends on what you're building...if you are only shooting for $250k+ accts (like blarmston), you will hit higher #s if you've survived.  If you are more mid-net worth type (as bank clients are thought of), $20m might well be kicking tail.

Jan 25, 2006 8:19 am

I'm just not getting the referrals from existing clients. I get along well with all of them. What's the problem? Or the truth is none of us are getting great referrals anymore from existing clients. No one wants to be responsible for losing soneone elses money in this market.

Jan 25, 2006 8:45 am
ezmoney:

I'm just not getting the referrals from existing clients. I get along well with all of them. What's the problem? Or the truth is none of us are getting great referrals anymore from existing clients. No one wants to be responsible for losing soneone elses money in this market.


Are you waiting for them to call with referrals or are you actively seeking them? Are you making them any money? People don't do things unless there's something in it for them. You have to tell them what's in it for them. "Joe, we've done really well with this annuity. We've made a hell of a lot more money than most people out there. There's a lot of people out there who are hurting and they're too embarrassed to tell anyone. They want to meet new advisors, but they don't want to do it with a cold call or one of those silly seminars. They want introductions from their friends. Why don't you help some folks out and introduce them to me? It would help them, it would help me, and you can feel pretty damned good that you have helped someone get started in the right direction."


Then go into your client profile, etc...


Also, if you're making money for your people, forget about it. You don't deserve referrals and your clients don't think you do, either.


To the "advisors" out there...don't try this stuff. This is called "selling." If you're lucky, your phone will just ring.

Jan 25, 2006 8:46 am

I meant "not making money for people."

Jan 25, 2006 9:11 am
ezmoney:

I'm just not getting the referrals from existing clients. I get along well with all of them. What's the problem? Or the truth is none of us are getting great referrals anymore from existing clients. No one wants to be responsible for losing soneone elses money in this market.


Perhaps it's a little harder in your platform to develop actual relationships, since their real relationship(in the clients' minds) is with the credit union?

Jan 25, 2006 10:08 am
ezmoney:

I'm just not getting the referrals from existing clients. I get along well with all of them. What's the problem? Or the truth is none of us are getting great referrals anymore from existing clients. No one wants to be responsible for losing soneone elses money in this market.


I assume you're already proactive in asking for referrals; they just don't come w/o asking.  I also assume you've already established relationships with your clients' CPAs, etc. to open up the door for referrals.


One approach you might try is to let your clients (typically the successful business types, not your little old lady clients) know you're about to expand your business to a substantially higher level and you want to have lunch, etc. to seek their "advice".  Almost everyone is flattered by being sought out for their advice, and that's a positive & non-threatening invitation for help (rather than an obvious request for referrals). 


When you meet, briefly review with them how you do business, the types of clients you serve, etc.  Then acknowledge their position as someone who's successful in business, and ask them how if they were in your business how they might go about expanding it.  The point is to get them positioned and thinking as an ally of yours. Get them to feel like they're "invested" in your business.  During that conversation they might bring up things like focusing in on a particular company like theirs, or an industry like theirs, and/or a group they're associated with.  That's your cue to step in and ask them their ideas on the best way to do that.  Then ask specific questions re their company, industry, etc. like "who are some people you'd suggest I contact ?"  Voila -- referrals!  Keep those clients involved in the process after that; continue to foster their role as your client advocates.


Another technique (typically with new clients) is to leverage off a "getting to know you" conversation and mine it for referrals.  For example, ask them about their family.  "Do you have any siblings?  Oh, what does your brother Joe do?  Oh, he's an executive w/ XYZ -- he sounds like someone who I'd like to work with; do you mind if I give him a call?" (referral)  Ask them about their employment. "What is your company like to work for?  What's your boss like?  Oh, what's his name?  I'd love to speak with him sometime about what I do -- do you mind letting him know that I might be giving him a call?" (referral)


You get the gist of all this -- these are just ways to uncover referrals from clients.  Often times when someone's directly asked for referrals they're taken a bit off-guard and/or are just stumped about coming up with names off-hand.  Engaging them like this not only helps to identify referrals in a non-threatening way, but such conversations also help to cement your relationship with them (and you'll learn a lot more about them).

Jan 25, 2006 10:15 am

Duke's response is very solid. I may add, though, that I've found that a lot of people respond better to a very direct approach.


His suggestion that you focus on successful businessmen is dead on. These people "get it." People have helped them and they don't mind helping others.

Jan 25, 2006 2:59 pm

All of the above can work if done correctly.  Also, I'd make sure you're learning new things about your clients when you talk to them...both financial and personal.  I think the more you show you're interested in people, they will be more likely to pass your name on when the opportunity arises.  I've been good at asking clients to let me know about people I can help generally, but not directly getting names often.


But the referrals who call on their own, usually because they know they need help, are a heckuva lot warmer than the ones we initiate...of course, you get more leads if you ask.  My favorite way to prep them to recommend me is to remind them it's good for THEM also.  "I enjoy spending time working with people like you, and when I'm getting new clients through referrals, that means I spend a lot less time looking for new business...and more on my studying the markets and focusing on my existing clients"...or something like that.

Jan 25, 2006 5:23 pm

T12 Production is more important than AUM, in my opinion.

If you're producing less than $200K at a wirehouse or less than $150K independent then you're behind the curve.

Jan 25, 2006 5:27 pm

It's a relative thing - LOS 2 doing $200k is a pretty solid number.  LOS 15 doing $200k, isn't wire material. 


AUM is just as important in my opinion.  If someone is generating $400k on a $20M book, wires will shy away from that because the ROA is generally too high.  1-1.5% is usually the target.


But, I guess that's why there are regionals and independents who are not as concerned as GDC vs. LOS.

Jan 25, 2006 7:47 pm

I think another important trend to track is your assets per client group...I mean you can be continuing to bring in clients/assets, but I'd want to be sure that you're consistently bringing in better and bigger clients and assets.  Further, I'd submit that GDC doesn't mean much early on...If you're doing this correctly it's about building a book not being a salesman.  If you want to sell your practice GDC doesn't count nearly as much as AUM.