When to Hire a Coach
This coach admits that his service isn’t for all advisors. Those who are helped the most have an entrepreneurial mindset.
This coach admits that his service isn’t for all advisors. Those who are helped the most have an entreprenuerial mindset.
Financial advisors who are looking to achieve big business breakthroughs are increasingly turning to coaching and training programs for help. One important reason is that while traditional learning outlets like conferences tend to focus on one or two discreet ideas, coaching takes a more holistic approach that focuses on how advisors can maximize their entire businesses.
Given the scope of the challenges that advisors face today, it makes sense that many are seeking training that takes their entire practices into account and helps all the moving parts work in concert.
Full disclosure: I am the CEO of a coaching firm. But my goal is not to sell you on my firm — or even on coaching itself.
Enlisting a coach is not the right move for every advisor. In fact, my firm turns away more than half the advisors who explore working with us because they simply aren’t a right fit. My goal here is to help you understand what coaching really is, how to decide if it’s right for you, and what to look for in a coaching program.
First, coaching helps many advisors achieve their desired results much as a personal trainer might help you follow through on a workout regimen.
Coaching can also enhance advisors’ productivity around the core activities of their firm and thereby reduce their overall workload.
The bottom line result: accelerated success. With a coach, planners can often accomplish in two to three years what would have taken five years on their own.
Obviously, each coaching program will differ depending on who is doing the coaching. But any good program should focus on three major goals:
With good coaching, a planner may achieve in two or three years what would have taken five years on his or her own.
1. Dramatically enhanced client impact:
Your clients should be so happy with you that they become your marketing disciples and actively help you grow your business. How? By giving you more of their assets to manage and proactively introducing you to ideal prospective clients.
2. Substantial growth of net income and equity value.
Truly effective coaching should result in an increase in net income and equity value of at least 25% in Year 1. Mere incremental growth should not be acceptable to a great coach.
3. A significantly higher quality of life.
A coach can help you have fewer, more enjoyable clients; a streamlined business model that reduces headaches and burnout; easier acquisition of new assets and affluent clients; the ability to take more time off from work; and more money to fulfill your life goals. All these things add up to a higher quality of life for you and those who are around you.
To ensure that participants achieve those goals, a coaching program should provide specific strategies
and tactics that are results-oriented, highly actionable and proven to work. Taken as a whole, these moves should provide a track to run on and a clear path forward.
Truly effective coaching should result in an increase in net income and equity value of at least 25% in Year 1. Incremental growth should not be acceptable.
Of course, at the core of the experience is a great personal relationship with a coach.
Good coaches will monitor their clients’ performance to identify and capitalize on their key strengths, and minimize their weaknesses. They will hold their clients accountable, be their advocates, act as sounding boards and give a push when needed.
To see how coaching might support your success as a advisor, you need to understand how it might positively impact your business.
Areas of Change
In coaching hundreds of advisors, my firm, CEG Worldwide, has seen dramatic changes in such areas as:
• Assets under management: Significant AUM growth can be generated in various ways. Acquiring the right types of affluent clients and capturing additional assets from existing clients are two of the best.
• Type and number of clients: By setting minimums, advisors often end up working with fewer, wealthier clients — while managing more assets and earning higher incomes.
• Client relationship management: Advisors develop systems to ensure high-quality, consistent client service that affluent investors demand. • Capacity to serve affluent clients: Many advisors position themselves to address noninvestment concerns 'such as wealth protection and wealth transfer) along with their traditional investment management role to meet the affluent client's diverse, complex financial needs. • Client acquisition strategies: Advisors learn to move away from mass marketing strategies to much more effective strategies, such as strategic alliances with other profes-sionals and exclusive private events. As useful as coaching can be, it isn't right for all advisors. If you are satisfied with your business and quality of life, you probably don't need coaching. But if you are frustrated with some or many aspects of your business — or just think you can accomplish a lot more —
coaching is worth considering.
The advisors who tend to get the biggest impact from coaching share one attribute: an entrepreneurial outlook. Many of these advisors actually think of themselves as entrepreneurs first and as advisors second.
Entrepreneurial advisors think big. They challenge themselves to completely redefine progress. Tripling assets under management, cutting the number of clients served by 75% and similar BHAGs (big, hairy, audacious goals) are common. For such advisors, coaches can be a big help. By contrast, advisors time, expense and commitment required of a coaching program to be worth it.
Entrepreneurial advisors think big. They completely redefine progress, and they set big, hairy, audacious goals.
To find a program that is truly focused on helping you generate results in your practice, look for these key attributes: proven industry-specific experience; actionable strategies rooted in research and facts; a screen-ing process so they're not automatically saying yes to every advisor who wants in; toolkits such as templates, scripts and thought leadership content that make it easy to implement specific strategies; and measurable results so participants can calculate their own potential return on investment.
Coaching can help many advisors achieve significant success and leap over hurdles faster than they could otherwise. That said, coaching is not a silver bullet for all advisors’ problems.
Your best bet: Consider if you have the entrepreneurial outlook that could make you a good candidate for coaching. If you do, evaluate your coaching program options carefully.
In light of the growth in coaching services in recent years, you’ll almost certainly find a program that can help you achieve the goals that you most want for your business, your clients and your life.