I have talked to many advisors in my career and I have lost count how many times I have heard “I only sell annuities” or "I only sell life insurance”. There are several things wrong with this picture. Agents that think like this are not fully helping their clients. They are leaving cracks in their financial plans and as an advisor they are leaving dollars on the table.
Have the Experts Your Clients Seek
There are a few ways to solve the problems in your clients' plans. One is to become an expert in multiple areas that include life insurance, annuities, long term care, and securities. Most agents work with a life expert or an organization that is life focused. The same goes with all other areas. Most marketing organizations have experts in each area so they can provide full service to the advisors. The forward thinking organizations teach and preach comprehensive planning to the advisors. This helps eliminate those cracks in plans and money on the table.
More People Can Equal More Knowledge
The second direction agents should be moving towards is creating an agency with an expert in each area. By creating a team of experts rather than a "one man show" your business demonstrates a higher level of professionalism and advisors aren’t just teaming up, they are bringing in CPA’s and estate attorneys. Doug Trout of PriceMetrix states “There’s a reason the number of advisors working in teams has increased 25% in just the last three years.”
Advantages of Financial Teams
Working in a team has many advantages. One advantage is that advisors do not see as many clients. This may sound like a bad thing, but it is not. This allows an advisor to spend more time with each client, providing a better value and developing better plans. Developing better plans may lead to more referrals. PriceMetrix also found that teams tend to build deeper relationships with their clients than solo advisors. They manage 3.3 accounts per household versus three for the average solo advisor.
Based on my readings, financial advisors who work in teams tend to outperform their solo counterparts in that they attract more affluent clients, manage more in assets, generate more revenue and are generally more productive. For advisors looking to join or establish a team, have no fear, timing doesn't seem to be a factor when it comes to growth.
Start Building Your Team
There are a few ways to build a team. You can start by networking locally or talking to your marketing organization. The successful relationships I have seen came from the advisor prospecting and interviewing potential teammates to see if they are like minded. This process creates long term relationships. Keep in mind that you should only work with those who are a fit for your business. Your new team members could impact the reputation of your business, regardless of if they work out of the same office.
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