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Reflecting Back, Looking Foreward: Lessons Learned
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Increasing Financial Advisor Productivity with Five Questions

By Norm Trainor
President & CEO, The Covenant Group

As a manager, you are responsible for the growth and productivity of the financial advisors (FAs) whom you manage. At times, this may seem a daunting responsibility.
What can you do to facilitate their success? The answer is quite a lot, if you can help your FAs answer five questions:

  1. What is your business model?
  2. What new products, services, ideas and markets can you introduce into your practice?
  3. How do you identify and implement systems and processes?
  4. How do you assure quality and continuous improvement?
  5. What is the definition of excellent service?

Case study: Ron
When we first started working with Ron, he was 46 and had been a financial advisor for 20 years. His practice was mature. He worked with clients who were between the ages of 50 to 80. His focus was retirement planning. While this is a very large market, Ron was struggling. His revenue was flat over the previous four years and his expenses were increasing. He wanted to get back on a growth trajectory.

Business model: The first step in growing Ron’s business was to identify, clarify and improve his business model. In other words, he needed to better define how he intended to deliver value and convert that value into revenue. Wal-Mart’s business model is based upon operational excellence. They sell based on lowest price, so everything they do is designed to drive down costs and keep prices low. BMW, on the other hand, sells based on excellence and prestige.


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