Two challenges face every business owner: the challenge of optimizing our use of time and the challenge of gaining wisdom to sift through the oceans of information to find the pearls of professional excellence. An old concept in a new form can address these needs: develop your team.
What is a team approach?
A team can save you time in these two arenas. If you develop a team of professionals who focus in an integrated way on the holistic needs of clients, you have instant access to what you and your clients need for
- Investment management,
- Risk-management tools (insurance),
- Legal options
- Tax planning
- Behavioral/coaching wisdom
- Business and life planning
- Other allied professionals (business brokers, commercial realtors, etc.)
A tip I learned in grad school: we don’t need to know everything, we just need to know how to find it.
Having relationships with these kind of experts will allow you—and them—to be focused on what they do best. In the tech world, we called this a best-of-breed approach.
In addition, you will likely work with the same clients as your team—and even become a powerful cross-referral source for one another.
If you are a smaller firm this will allow you to expand the quality of service you can offer clients. This level of service and wisdom is often only available to UHNW (ultra-high net worth) clients can afford to have a family office or financial concierge service.
Why do you need to develop a team approach?
For financial planners either at the beginning or the end of their careers, excelling at getting the right new clients is a pressing need. Those new to the profession are building their client base. Those looking to exit their business need to solidify their client base in order to get the most from the sale of their business.
Having a team can address both these challenges. Each team member is an expert in their area and can share that expertise with other team members. Each team member has outside relationships that can be a mutual benefit to the other team members. The most successful planners and business owners I know build their business on 5-15 centers of influence/strategic partners.
But, few have a clear plan to develop such a team.
Why do your clients need you to develop a team approach?
Your clients need a true fiduciary who looks out for their best interest. They need a trusted advisor. Any team member who serves her clients in that capacity opens the door to other trusted advisors. You help them vet other professionals and save them time and effort. Trust, however, is a two-way street. So, each team member needs to be equally concerned with the quality of service and trust they incarnate.
To form a team, here are some ideas of what you might do when you bring the potential team together. Ask each other questions such as:
- What 3 unique attributes (skills, talents, values) does each member bring to the team?
- What brought your team together?
- Who’s your ideal client? Why do you want to work with me?
Feel free to contact me for additional ideas.
For Next Week:
What are some non-negotiables in building your team?
- Clearly articulated, written, shared expectations (who, what, when where);
- Developing “team” approach to client work
- Developing plan for joint client work/cross introductions
- Sufficient dialogue to identify shared values in working together, with end clients;
- Willingness to serve first and build with the right people.