Ep #89: What Is Holding You Back From Success in Sales – An Interview with Nancy Bleeke

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Nancy Bleeke is the founder of Sales Pro Insider and the developer of the Genuine Sales Process. Nancy is a goldmine of great information and has an exciting announcement about her sales course which explores distractions that present as obstacles to our ability to generate sales.

I’ve benefited personally from Nancy’s sales coaching services which is why I’m extra excited to share today’s episode. Sales training is often broken down into two categories: skills and will. In this episode, we’ll focus on the will side of the equation and talk about the four drivers that will help you thrive.

Some people are born with innate abilities that allow them to thrive in various areas of life. For the rest of us, building the skill of running a business, generating sales, or succeeding as an independent financial advisor is related to developing confidence in your abilities. You have the skill to provide a much-needed service. Nancy teaches professionals to value the skills they have in a way that translates into improved sales and customer service.

 

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What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • The updates available with Nancy’s sales training class now that she’s offering a virtual delivery option.
  • The success drivers involved with helping sales people become successful.
  • How entrepreneurs can build self-confidence.
  • How financial planners can learn to appreciate the value of the services they provide.
  • Characteristics that successful financial advisors share related to time management.
  • The one task advisors should do to improve their will to succeed in sales.

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Ep #88: From Outsourced Virtual Operations Manager to RIA Owner – The Career of Chloé Moore

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Today we hear from Chloé Moore, a multi-talented planner and business owner who’s already had a diverse and interesting career. Based in Atlanta, Chloé helps firms improve their operations and serve complex clients while she advises more everyday people than in her past.

Chloé graduated from the University of Alabama and immediately started studying to become a CFP. She passed both that and the GSRE and jumped feet first into the industry. After several jobs as an associate planner and manager at various firms throughout the southern U.S., Chloé decided to start her own consulting and advising businesses.

Chloé and I talk about the brilliant path she’s taken as a financial planner, starting her career by advising high net-worth clients with complex needs. Once she realized she wanted to work with more everyday clientele, she made the clever switch to use her hard-earned skillset to start her own dual businesses. Chloé talks about the 50/50 balance she strikes with her advising and consulting practices and how she sets goals for herself each year. She also talks about some of the challenges she’s faced as a young woman of color in a predominantly older and white male industry, how organizations like the Association of African American Financial Advisors are working to support each other, and how we can all contribute to making the industry more diverse.

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What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • How Chloé got interested in financial planning.
  • Why she chose to switch jobs often at the beginning of her career.
  • The skills Chloé developed at her first several firms working with clients with complex needs.
  • How she balances her consulting and financial planning businesses.
  • Why Chloé wanted to transition away from working with high net-worth clients to those with more average incomes.
  • How she sets goals for her businesses and why she wants to remain a very small operation.
  • Chloé’s advice to young financial planners and women or people of color in the field.

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Ep #87: Building a Monthly Retainer Firm in Brazil – The Career of André Novaes

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On today’s episode we hear from André Novaes, founder and CEO of LifeFP. LifeFP is a monthly retainer firm in Brazil with about 3,000 clients, 45 advisors, and a grand vision. If André had his way, 95% (or more) of Brazil’s population would have the opportunity to design their lives with great financial planning.

André came to the US at seventeen to play basketball, when his “American dad” introduced him to the profession of financial planning. André saw advising as an opportunity to marry family, work, and helping other people, and became determined to do just that.

In this interview, André talks about his journey to establish Life FP and establish the financial planning landscape in Brazil. He discusses why they don’t have assets under management at LifeFP, just dreams under management, and the tools he uses to build strong rapport with clients.

With about 70% of his clients under the age of 35, his advice about gearing financial planning toward young families is especially relevant. André also shares how he makes the monthly retainer model work for him and his advisors, and how he gets clients to pay 5% of their income for financial planning services. Finally, we talk about where LifeFP will go next, including growing their digital education and advising platforms, and eventually expanding to the US.

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What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • How André’s experiences in the US as a young man shaped his outlook on life and the impact of financial planning.
  • Why LifeFP focuses on “dreams under management,” rather than assets.
  • The emphasis on long term strategy at LifeFP that helps clients feel more secure in trusting advisors with their income.
  • How André’s sales process differs from that of other advisors.
  • Why young people want to be the heroes of their own financial lives, and how to guide them to that goal.
  • What the future looks like for LifeFP.
  • Why André wants to eventually expand the company to the US.

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Ep #86: Building a Virtual Paraplanning Business – The Career of Jennifer Pritchard

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Jennifer Pritchard has one of the most unique and awesome jobs in financial planning. She’s a financial planner who’s been mentioned on the podcast before because she’s built a virtual paraplanning business working with a number of  XYPN members. Virtual paraplanning is probably the most requested interview topic from listeners.

Jennifer graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in financial planning. After working as a paraplanner for several firms that weren’t a good fit, she poured through advisor profiles on the XYPN website and cold-called financial advisors. She ultimately connected with four planners in a mastermind group and developed a virtual paraplanning service that would guarantee her 30 hours per week.

We discuss the workflows and systems she uses to support her financial planning clients and the software tools that make working with a variety of firms seamless. She has to track preferential differences and ensure that each firm follows the processes that she’s established. Because all firms are fairly new and this business relationship is innovative, she’s constantly evolving as they figure out how best to work together. This is a fascinating look into back-office firm management – a vital component of the financial planning business.

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What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • How internships were beneficial in giving Jennifer a wide breadth of experience early on
  • How Jennifer initially structured the paraplanning business and whether one needs an RIA to start such a business
  • The software tools she uses to support all of her paraplanning clients
  • How each of the firms brought her on as a virtual paraplanner and typical tasks she handles
  • Why entrepreneurs benefit from developing and documenting processes or creating systems
  • Jennifer’s process of creating and documenting workflows
  • Tips for those interested in creating a virtual paraplanning service

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Ep #85: Surviving the Wirehouse Trap – The Career of Brian Face

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When you join the free XYPN Radio VIP Community, you’ll have an opportunity to interact with experts like today’s guest, Brian Face. Brian offered advice in the VIP Community about how to transition clients into fee-only customers and now we get to pick his brain for an entire episode.

Brian is the owner of Face 2 Face Financial Planning, a fee-only RIA in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He’s a second generation planner who was introduced to the industry by his father and in 2007, he started his career in a wirehouse, but found the work unsatisfying after two years. The environment wasn’t conducive to helping clients without significant wealth.

Brian bounced around between various industries before finding his way back to financial planning. He ultimately learned that he could serve customers in a way that provides value while earning a living at the same time. His experience is a wonderful case study describing how to establish a new firm, convince clients to join you, and transition from an existing RIA without burning bridges.

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What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • An overview of the working environment in the wirehouse industry
  • The benefit of getting out the office and building relationships through conferences and other networking venues
  • How Brian developed his fee schedule and business model
  • The agreement signed with a prior boss that allowed him to take certain clients to his own firm
  • How Brian transitioned to his new firm with help from the XYPN Network and his process for transferring clients
  • Why the financial incentives associated with certain types of annuities are not a good fit for many people
  • The messaging he used to convince clients to follow him when he started his own fee-only firm

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Ep #84: Surviving Depression To Find Happiness & Success – The Career of Dave Grant

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Today we’re talking about a few topics that don’t often get discussed in the financial planning space: how your mental health and business are related, and what happens when you struggle with them both. Dave Grant, now the head of Retirement Matters, shares his journey as a financial planner and entrepreneur and opens up about his recent experience with depression.

Dave has spent his entire career as a financial advisor, changing firms several times before establishing his own. In 2013 he started one of the first truly niche financial planning firms, Finance for Teachers, to work with the community of teachers that included his wife and close friends.

Life as a business owner can be tough, however, and Dave found himself under immense pressure to run his new firm, keep up with his day job of actual financial planning (which he loves), and write on the side, too. He talks about how he got out of the prolonged depression that was triggered when the pressure of business became too much, and how he used his love for writing as therapy. This is a great episode for all of us in the business, because sometimes things get difficult and while we don’t always know what to do; you’re certainly never alone.

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What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • How Dave ended up moving from Britain to the U.S., and how he got started as a financial advisor.
  • The pros and cons of job-hopping, which seems to be common among young advisors.
  • What it took for Dave to finally make the leap from advising within someone else’s firm to being his own boss as an entrepreneur.
  • How Dave built the connections necessary to start his business and build his niche.
  • The personal and professional pressure that triggered Dave’s depression, and the raw but inspired writing that came out of the experience.
  • Why you absolutely should not compare yourself to other financial advisors in an attempt to measure your success.

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Ep #83: The Future of Investment Management – An Interview with Rick Frisbie

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For the past few episodes, we’ve focused on real business growth in the financial planning space. This week, Rick Frisbie – the newly minted CEO of Robust Wealth – will share how this advisor-facing technology platform plans to shake up the financial services industry. They’ll be open for business in the middle of the first quarter with a software product that will help advisors offer sophisticated solutions and integrate modular services typically secured through third-party vendors.

Rick enjoyed a successful career at Franklin Templeton; rising through the ranks to CIO before taking on the top job at Robust Wealth. They launched their platform last October right after previewing at the #XYPN16 conference. In addition to making a huge splash, Robust Wealth definitely won the conference swag competition.

Advancements in technological solutions for the financial services industry generally moves at a glacial pace. There is so much room for disruption in this industry. Rick offers a thoughtful take on the state of technology in this industry and what we can expect in the next 18 – 24 months. Robo-advisors, or automated wealth platforms, are here to stay. However, advisors will appreciate the suggestions Rick shares to best incorporate these tools in a way that drives growth. Now is the time to embrace the innovative new products and leverage them to capitalize on real business growth.

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What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • The opportunities at Robust Wealth that attracted Rick and led him away from an established career at Franklin Templeton.
  • The differences between B2C and advisor-facing software platforms.
  • The features that advisors have access to with the Robust Wealth platform and what sets them apart from the competition.
  • What the technology trends on the horizon are in the financial services industry.
  • A frank discussion on impact of robo-advisors on advisor services, client retention, and client acquisition.
  • Whether the market is shifting to fully embrace socially responsible investing and how technology platforms are enabling this shift.

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Ep #82: Scaling Your RIA – An Interview with J.D. Bruce

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This week, J.D. Bruce – President of Abacus Wealth Partners – shares his experience of growing a firm from a solo practice to an established business with a professional management, a board of directors, and a governance structure. J.D., a CPA with management experience across a variety of industries, was hired at Abacus to help merge two solo firms into the successful operation that exists today.

Advisors who want to transition their firms away from the founder-centric model must be strategic about when and how to hire professional management. J.D. shares helpful advice on when to consider professional management. There are certain barometers advisors can use to ensure hiring happens at the right stage of growth.

In addition to bringing in professional management, advisors must also be intentional about creating a culture where decision-making power is completely transferred. Resources with the skillset to build the business need the autonomy to operate effectively. J.D.’s experience at Abacus is a case study in how solo firms can successfully implement the transition to growth-oriented, professionally managed firms.

Developing your solo practice into a large business is definitely possible and J.D. provides valuable insight on how to make the transition smoother.

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What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • A barometer for when advisors should consider bringing on professional management.
  • How founders can implement a succession plan to outside management.
  • The difference between a marketing manager and a COO.
  • The Abacus culture that lends itself to taking risks and pivoting quickly.
  • The first type of professional manager that J.D. suggests firms hire.
  • When an operating agreement becomes necessary when running a business.
  • What a director of operations does for an advisory firm.
  • How a large firm handles the process for recruiting and hiring additional resources.

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Ep #81: Delegating, Scaling, and Get Back to Enjoying Life – An Interview with Michael Kitces

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The New Year often allows business owners time to reflect on the successes and challenges from the previous year. Michael Kitces and I take a look back at the phenomenal growth that the XY Planning Network has experienced since launching in 2014 and analyze how delegating, time management, and hiring to our weaknesses has facilitated the rapid rate of growth. We have developed the skill set necessary to become successful business owners and share a few of the resources that have helped us navigate this exciting journey.

We closed 2016 out with 350 members; hitting our 20-year goal in just two years. Whoa! As accidental entrepreneurs who sought the freedom to build a lifestyle on their own terms, we discuss the pros and cons of pursuing an aggressive growth strategy in business.

Entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses must overcome a common challenge – they must learn to delegate tasks. In this episode, we reflect on how we were able to meet this challenge and the tools that made delegating much simpler. Delegating tasks will free up the much needed time to focus on strategy and the overall vision for the business and is exactly what’s needed to take your firm to the next level. Kitces and I talk about how we’re able to best leverage our time, support staff, and helpful resources to effectively grow this business well beyond our initial projections.

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What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • What listeners can expect to learn from Michael’s new podcast – Financial Advisor Success.
  • The transition that entrepreneurs can expect to go from practitioners to business owners.
  • Simple tools that improved the process of delegating tasks and training employees.
  • The problems with waiting too long to hire additional support staff.
  • How building a time budget can help you determine how best to delegate tasks.
  • How you can build a cohesive team that leverages a variety of strengths.

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Ep #80: Planner, Professor, and Parent – the Career of Inga Chira

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Inga Chira is the President and Founder of Attainable Wealth, a fee-only RIA based in Los Angeles. She specializes in financial planning services for college professors and teachers. Inga has an awesome story and a very cool career path. Originally from Eastern Europe, she came to the U.S. as a high school exchange student and decided to stay and pursue her undergraduate and master’s degrees in the U.S. as well.

Inga began her career working with Citigroup and then started teaching courses in Finance at a local university. In 2009, she left Citigroup to pursue a Ph.D. in Finance in order to achieve a better work/life balance. During this time, she also became a CFP  through an interesting route that we talk about in detail.

Inga’s extensive resume and educational background led to lucrative job offers. However, she turned them all down in order to open her own firm last January. During her first year, she has started working with 23 new clients while maintaining her full-time position as an Assistant Professor of Finance. On this episode, we discuss her time management strategies and a simple, yet effective technique to connect with her ideal client.

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What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • The steps Inga took to transition into her career and found Attainable Wealth.
  • How she arrived at her current fee-only structure and how that impacted her practice.
  • Why she opened up an additional business line that allows her to build the assets under management.
  • The actual number of clients she’s worked with in the last year and how she got there.
  • The marketing strategy she used to begin generating leads within her target niche.
  • Inga’s time management tips for juggling competing priorities.

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