Advisor 2.0: What Makes a GREAT Advisor?

In July we posted a blog titled “Re-Imagining the Wealth Management Experience: Advisor2.0.”  In this blog we described the fact that the experience required to be competitive in today’s wealth management landscape has evolved, requiring more breadth, depth and skill of advisors.  Interestingly, this was one of the most popular blogs we have ever posted, which we took as evidence that those in our industry agree.  If you missed it and would like to read it, click HERE.

Given the popularity of this blog, we thought it would be of value to dig a little deeper on this topic to help you - whether as an individual advisor or a leader of a team or firm – identify the specific competencies of a GREAT advisor who is prepared to deliver this more robust wealth management “Advisor 2.0 experience.”

In our work with thousands of advisors across our client base, we have defined four specific Advisor 2.0 quadrants – IQ, EQ, PQ and DQ as shown in the graphic below.  To provide more granularity here, you can click on each quadrant to review the specific competencies related to each category.  Our intent is to provide you – either as an advisor or a leader – with a clear, objective framework to make an assessment of yourself or any advisor on your team.

A couple of important notes:

  • The difference between an “assessment” and a “test”: The competencies listed here are not designed to be a test, but rather a way to assess.  With a “test” there is an indication of passing or failing.  With an assessment, you are simply benchmarking relative to a set of standards. This framework provides a methodology for analyzing an advisor relative to a clear set of defined benchmarks that can help isolate areas of strength and areas where improvement can help enhance overall performance.
  • Intellectual integrity: The tendency can be to over-estimate any advisor’s competencies. Approach the assessment with the perspective of determining where improvement can be made to have a greater impact with clients and prospects and improve productivity. While there are some advisors who are at the top of their game, the goal here is to honestly assess and identify where improvements would lead to greater success.

Click on each quadrant to self-assess where you stand via the key Advisor2.0 Competencies.

THE COMPETENCIES

IQ – Wealth Management IQ

  • Does the advisor have the requisite level of knowledge needed to engage prospects and clients at the appropriate depth in the following disciplines of wealth management?
    • Investments
    • Wealth Transfer & Estate Planning
    • Retirement
    • Protection Planning
    • Business Owner Planning
    • Corporate Executive Wealth Planning
    • Lending & Debt Planning

EQ – Emotional Quotient

  • Can the advisor clearly articulate why someone should do business with them in a compelling, authentic way that differentiates them from other competitors?
  • Does the advisor have an intentional approach to delivering immediate value during the first meeting with new prospects?
  • Does the advisor have a clearly defined approach for developing a deep, intimate understanding about what is most important to each client/prospect and the priorities most vital for them to accomplish?
  • Does the advisor have a clear benchmark of the specific financial information they gather with every client to ensure they have a complete understanding of their financial situation?
  • Does the advisor engage prospects and clients in a meaningful and differentiated conversation relative to each of the core wealth management topics, and in so doing, create urgency to address any issues not effectively addressed in their current wealth management plan?

DQ – Digital Quotient

  • Can the advisor leverage their financial planning software to deliver a collaborative goals-based planning experience that accomplishes the following?
    • Effectively positions the value of the experience and maximizes prospect/client interest and engagement
    • Compresses the “time-to-value” in the sales experience
    • Can be scaled throughout their book of prospects and clients to ensure maximum productivity
    • Offers a clear and compelling case for why a client should aggregate and consolidate assets with them

PQ – Practice Quotient

  • Does the advisor have a defined quantifiable plan and key benchmarks (# of prospects, close ratio, average calls to close, average revenue per close) to achieve their production goals?
  • Does the advisor have a defined and disciplined strategy for sourcing new prosects?
  • Does the advisor engage referral sources effectively by clearly defining and differentiating their value to the referrals they provide?
  • Does the advisor have a clearly defined Sales Process that documents the outcomes they are seeking to achieve in each step of the process?
  • Does the advisor have a defined structure to Pre-Call Planning that best ensures maximimum impact and the delivery of true value in every prospect and client engagement?
  • Does the advisor have an Onboarding Process that serves to reinforce a client’s buying decision and inspire greater loyalty?
  • Does the advisor have a clearly defined approach to client meetings/relationship reviews that consistently leads to enhanced client loyalty and relationship expansion?
  • Does the advisor have defined benchmarks they use to assess the overall wealth strategy for each client to ensure they are addressing the most important wealth issues?

Conclusion

At Greene Consulting our commitment is to equip and support advisors in delivering the meaningful advice and insights their clients need to best position them to achieve what is important to them in their lives.  We believe advisors play a critical role that can have a lifelong, even inter-generational, impact on the lives of the clients they work with.  But, just like a doctor, lawyer or any other professional, they must strive for excellence in how they perform their role.

This assessment framework is designed to provide a set of benchmarks that you can use to evaluate yourself/your advisors for the purpose of defining how to deliver the highest impact experience for the clients you serve.  With this in mind, we have developed a range of solutions to equip and support advisors in mastering the skills, knowledge and proficiencies related to each of the Advisor 2.0 benchmarks:

IQ:

  • A Unique Confidence-Weighted Knowledge Assessment
  • Over 150 Wealth management Knowledge courses that can be configured into a curriculum or certification based on your knowledge development needs

PQ:

  • A Practice Management series designed to support advisors in developing a detailed and disciplined Practice Strategy that empowers them to grow their practice with intentionality and efficiency

EQ:

  • A Client Experience Series that supports advisors in developing proficiencies in the emotional side of the business and how they engage clients and prospects in a more meaningful and differentiated way

DQ:

  • A program ensuring more effective adoption and implementation of your digital platforms and financial planning software to deliver a scalable, efficient goals-based planning experience

Each of these can be structured and deployed for small groups through short, interactive webinars or more comprehensive programs designed around your specific needs.  We even are offering an open enrollment Advisor 2.0 program where individual advisors can enroll in a 12-month forum with industry peers to enhance their practice.

If after going through this assessment you find gaps in any of these competencies and would like to discuss opportunities and alternatives to address those gaps, email me at rickswygman@greeneconsults.com or call at (404) 324-4600.