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To grow a branch in today’s ultra-competitive recruiting environment, it takes a compelling value proposition that separates your practice from the competition. Focusing on these five factors help branch managers make a positive impression on prospective advisors.
Few aspects of your practice will separate it from the competition like your culture, and it’s often the deciding factor for advisors when they choose to join a branch. Branch managers can use these elements to provide a framework for articulating their branch’s culture to prospective advisors:
- Professional development
- Process and procedures
2. Business Growth Tools
You can never offer too much service and support, so be sure to let prospects know exactly what they’ll receive as a member of your branch.
Will your branch provide administrative services? Lead generation? Supervision oversight? Best practice solutions? Size and scale are important to advisors deciding on the ideal branch and its broker-dealer counterpart. Many are looking for a firm large enough to provide leading products, services and technology, but small enough to provide personalized support and maintenance.
“Our broker-dealer gives our branch great flexibility in the support, products and platforms needed by such a diverse group of advisors in one branch,” said Todd Terhorst, branch manager for Diversified Wealth Management in St. Louis Park, Minn. “Our advisors have a variety of platform types they can choose from to operate a fee-based, commission-based or hybrid practice. I have the ability to tell advisors they can join my branch and receive all the support they would like, while doing business how they want, when they want and under the name they want.”
Because broker-dealers often offer more competitive pricing on services and products to their larger branches, many advisors discover joining a branch rather than directly joining a broker-dealer makes more sense financially.
3. Coaching, Mentoring and Training
Advisors who join a branch gain immediate access to coaching and mentoring opportunities from like-minded people, further enhancing their ability to excel. It’s important that prospective advisors know about the community you have built and how it will support them in their career.
Be sure to provide prospects a list of all the educational opportunities they’ll receive by joining your branch. Newcomers to the industry will have an interest in coaching and mentoring programs offered by your branch and your broker-dealer. Be prepared to provide details on how your coaching and training will help them get started building a successful practice.
If you offer mentoring and coaching for a specific niche, such as millennials, women or minorities, incorporate this into your presentation when communicating with prospects from these demographics. And be sure include success stories of advisors who have benefitted from your training and coaching programs.
4. Support Services
Does your OSJ branch offer the compliance and supervisory support advisors need to free up more time to serve their clients? Assistance in transition? The opportunity to use support staff, office furniture and equipment to save time and money on hiring administrative support and leasing and outfitting an office of their own?
Support services are key selling points that Cooper McManus uses to show prospects why they should join their firm.
“We treat our advisors as if they were our clients,” said David McManus, co-founder of Cooper McManus Wealth Management. “Our service level has to be high in that regard. We don’t bring them on then forget about them. We talk to them from a service level daily, and we call them often just to check in. Constant communication between the branch and the advisor is important.”
Don’t forget to include your branch’s relationship with its broker-dealer and the support advisors receive from that level as well.
It isn’t uncommon for a prospect to focus on how much your branch charges. In those cases, you’ll need to be prepared to explain what they’re gaining in return for a slightly lower payout.
The costs associated with technology, compliance and business development continue to rise every year. Affiliation with a branch office can help advisors control these costs and better manage a state-of-the-art financial services practice.
To show prospects the financial advantage of joining your branch, prepare a grid that shows how payouts are structured if an advisor is responsible for paying all their own expenses including office and rent as opposed to paying an override to the branch to receive those same services.
Upheaval and change in the industry have many advisors on the move or considering a move in the not-so-distant future. While this can present retention challenges for some firms, it also presents a rich recruiting opportunity for those who have the right plan and tools to stand out from the competition.
Securities offered through Securities America, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc.