The Recipe for Driving Organic Growth

Recent research from Wise Insights found that Non-Traditional Wealth Managers (Fidelity, Schwab, Vanguard) are growing at a rate of 20%+ compared to 6% for Traditional Wealth Managers.  Additionally, with the Great Wealth Transfer that will take place over the next 20 years, organizations serving an older demographic will face new challenges in retaining assets as G1 passes assets to G2, most of whom already have existing Advisors, thus compounding the organic growth challenge.

Driving organic growth is consistently on the list of the top priorities we hear from leaders in the wealth management industry. Based on the stats above, for good reason. Yet, when it comes to most “Traditional Wealth Managers” it seems to stay on the list with each passing year, yet unsolved, as so many struggle to figure out exactly what they need to do to make it happen.

For one clear answer, consider the following conclusion from a 2012 Corporate Executive Board study … which we believe still holds true over 10 years later.

“Clients who believe their firm delivers a Confidence-Building Client Experience exhibit highly loyal behavior and generate twice as much revenue compared to clients who do not believe their firm meets the bar. Moving clients into a high loyalty zone not only positions firms to capture greater wallet share from these clients, but also results in high levels of client advocacy, leading to new client acquisition."

Without a doubt, one of the most important aspects of driving organic growth in an organization is having a clearly defined, intentional and consistently delivered end-to-end “confidence-building” client experience – from how you source prospects, to the sales experience, the on-boarding experience and ultimately the ongoing relationship management experience. Yet, in our work dedicated specifically to the financial services industry, we see most organizations neglecting to take the time and put in the effort to define and ensure the delivery of such an experience. Or they simply just don’t know how to get started.

Make no mistake, every client of your firm is getting an “experience.” The question is, is it consistent from client-to-client and is it confidence-building? For most firms, the answer is no, as the experience they deliver is primarily dependent on each individual advisor on the front line … thereby resulting in an inconsistent (and potentially undistinguished) organizational experience from client-to-client, and seriously limiting your ability to achieve your true growth potential.

How to Begin

The first step is to make an assessment as to the experience you deliver today, to determine if this is an area of growth opportunity for you. To test the value and consistency of the current experience delivered within your organization, market, or team, consider taking the time to ask a cross-section of your advisors the following questions:

A handful of questions like these will help you make an initial assessment as to how consistent your organizational or market experience is, and if your clients are able to clearly recognize what to expect from your organization in terms of its value to them.

Where to Go Next

It could be that you get clear and consistent answers to these questions that lead to confirmation that you ARE delivering a consistent, confidence-building client experience. But, as we find so often when we pose these questions to advisors, you likely have a significant opportunity to enhance the experience you deliver and drive meaningful organic growth.

If your conclusion is that there IS an obvious opportunity to enhance the experience you deliver, the key is to have a process or framework that ensures you can clearly answer three key questions:

What is our “North Star” that guides everything we do for our clients (i.e. our Purpose and the “Promise” we make to every prospect and client we engage with)?

How will we go about ensuring the consistent fulfillment of this promise by all advisors and advisor teams that maximizes the impact they make with every client and prospective client? 

How will we sustain that going forward both with our existing advisors and any new advisors we add to the team in the future? 

To help our clients solve for these questions, we’ve developed a four-step approach that starts with defining the “NorthStar” and to deliver on that, establishes clearly defined, objective benchmarks for the competencies required to deliver the experience the firm desires. Once defined, it is simply a matter of ensuring your advisors (both existing a new) are proficient in delivering on those competencies.

Not only does this provide a clear framework for front-line advisors to employ – leveraging organizational standards and best practices – it also equips Leaders to coach to a more objective standard, and for advisor teams and markets to align around a delivery model that is far more intentional, consistent, and “confidence-building.” The net result is a significant boost to organic growth due to the efficiencies and enhanced effectiveness gained in the overall delivery of your experience.

Call to Action

If increasing organic growth is a priority for your firm or your team and you would like to learn more about the process we employ to help define and develop a consistent client experience to drive growth, and the outcomes that you can expect from it,  click here for more information.