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The Basics of Being an Elite Advisor

Want to be elite? It starts with mastering—and always seeking to improve upon—the basics.

Two recent events smacked me in the face as "ah-ha" moments. The first occurred during a discussion with one of our coaches about an elite wealth management team he was instructing; the second was a pre-call to a follow-up webinar I was to deliver for a major firm's national marketing campaign.

Let me start with the elite wealth management team. For a little background, they’ve brought in over $300 million in new assets between new clients and consolidating assets from existing clients. To say this is a high-powered wealth management team doesn’t give them the credit they deserve. As their coach was debriefing me about their progress, he recalled, with an air of being seriously impressed, the last part of their coaching call: 

“One of the partners asked if I could help them with some conversational language to use with clients to uncover what they did over the summer, who they saw and how to get introduced to them.”

They spent the last 10 minutes of their coaching session going over simple conversational language, verbiage that they already knew and had been using, role played right up to the line,“This sounds like somebody I should get to know. What would be the best way for you to introduce me?”

As this call ended, another partner added a closing comment which served to reinforce their elite status: 

“Thank you for the reminder—we know the recipe, we just need to execute consistently and we need to practice.”

This was coming from a $3+ billion team that plans to bring on $150 million in Q4. They have succeeded because of their achievement mindset—always looking to get better. 

Here was the second "ah-ha" moment. During this webinar pre-call, two things became obvious. First, a small group of financial advisors were successfully bringing in new clients and assets. Second, the majority of their advisors were still getting ready to get ready. In other words, I was instructed to use my best motivational skills to get their general population of advisors to recognize the prospecting opportunity in today’s environment, set a serious Q4 acquisition goal and start pursuing said goal in a disciplined manner.

Much of the strategy embraced by their elite advisors was consistent with our relationship management/relationship marketing model. This means providing outstanding service while simultaneously developing a consistent stream of referrals and introductions. 

Relationship management involves all forms of touch points from birthday calls to anniversary cards and gifts to personal phone calls to the occasional surprise and delight gift and so on. Relationship management at this level is a mindset and requires an investment of both time and money. It must be a priority.

Which leads us to relationship marketing. When a financial advisor establishes a true emotional connection with an affluent client, they have an ideal client, one who will spread positive word-of-mouth-influence, introduce them into their spheres-of-influence, and assist in acquiring family members, friends and colleagues as clients.  

That said, both aspects of this nexus must be considered an art that needs to be executed with consistency. It must be practiced. Whether it’s sourcing a name from a wealthy client, asking for an introduction, developing rapport with an affluent prospect during an initial meeting, having a business conversation with an affluent prospect or asking for their business.  

All of this is basic. There’s nothing complicated about it. But these basics must be executed naturally, conversationally with a relaxed confidence. Remember, the affluent DO NOT like the feeling they’re being sold. Which is why practice needs to be a constant companion of consistent execution.  

By the way, practice doesn’t make perfect; it leads to improvement, which in turn infuses all of this language, all this verbiage, all of these scenarios into your DNA.   

Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent

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