Sirianni: A Little Advice
A coach walks into a busy advisor’s office and says:
“I can increase your revenue by 30-40% in 8 months.”
“How?” asks the advisor.
“By working with your socks. My research shows that what we wear has a direct impact on…”
“Thanks, but no thanks!” says the advisor, cutting him off and ushering the coach from the office.
“Wait a minute!” begs the coach “Do you know Marvin Mcintyre, or Mike Freiman?”
“Sure,” the advisor concedes, it being impossible not to acknowledge the two biggest advisors in his office.
“Well I work with them” the coach says quickly breaking out his charts and graphs that show multiple advisors having incredible results with his system.
By the time the coach leaves the office the advisor is thoroughly confused. He calls his office mates and is astounded to learn that not only do they use the coach’s system, their results are even better than the coach said.
“Sounds crazy,” Marvin says, “but I’m going to have my best year ever…and I owe it all to my socks!”
Sometimes, clients just need to be reminded that there are no easy answers.
The advisor calls the coach and says “I’m in. Bill me the 8 grand. When do we start?”
The coach tells him that they will start right away. He’s going to FedEx a package of socks to him for early am delivery. He’s going to call the advisor in his office at 7:00 am and go over the socks. Then he’s going to call him in the office at 7:00 pm to find out how the socks felt, and decide if they need to change colors or sock types the next day. Furthermore, he tells him that they will keep to this call schedule every day to be sure the socks are performing optimally.
Three months later, the advisor’s business is up nearly 30%.
Now, he may think it’s the socks, but it’s the fact that he’s in the office every day at 7:00 am and stays until 7:00 pm that’s increased his business.
This is not meant to denigrate consultants or coaches. I have a thriving consultancy that works with large advisor teams, RIAs, CEOs, and Fortune 100 financial firms. Sometimes, clients just need to be reminded that there are no easy answers.
Unfortunately, I’m frustrated watching some of our largest firms take the easy way out. They rely on outside advice and ownership that is far removed from the typical advisor’s day to day experience: Write a big check in lieu of culture, create teams to foster a European model salary and commission structure rather than develop next gen entrepreneurs, fire managers to save money leaving no one to rebuild, add non-solicit language to advisor docs, create and then abandon protocol, etc., etc.
Doing the hard work of creating a truly entrepreneurial culture, creating systems and procedures that will help advisors build their teams for the long haul, and investing in the development of events, education, and materials that will help advisors land the best prospects, rather than cutting services for the quarterly bottom line, should be the mission of all advisor firms.
In our world almost any discipline applied to our practices, and acted on with enthusiasm, can drive revenue. Don’t fool yourself: pull your socks up and work, is a simple and effective mantra.
If only firms could learn the same simple lesson, they would save both blood and treasure in the end.