As a coach, I look at advisor team evolution across a span of 7 phases:
1. Recognition: Many advisors come to the recognition that they are not going to go as far on their own as they would with a partner or a team. In this case, the question becomes what happens if I don't “team up”?
2. Who's Right? Trust is the foundation of any team and you need to determine who is right. Here you’re looking for complimentary skills. If you’re doing to do a good deal of trust work, it might not be a bad idea to team with an advisor who’s also a CPA. Skills balance and fit are critical.
3. Goals: What is your joint work for? What do you want to accomplish together? Here I coach advisors to make explicit assumptions on what the future could and should look like. It’s at this stage that I encourage advisor teams to tightly identify their ideal client profile.
4. Joint Planning: Now that you found the right folks to collaborate with, how will you do it? Who’s the prospector? Who’s the closer? Who’s the one in the client meeting that can cut through the clutter and put the golden egg up on the table? These roles are critical to functioning, but they can also be celebrated and sold to prospects. In many cases, prospects are buying your capacity to get things done on their behalf with an expectation that the right hand offs will be made.
5. Implementation: Building in practice management policies and procedures is key. It’s also important to articulate your brand of service and to create a team culture that understands how to define levels of service. Being responsive is not enough; teams need to be reliable across multiple interactions.
6. Mastery: Advisor teams at Mastery are hitting their marks and then some. They feature seamless client and team interactions, front and back office support, and regularly surpass self-imposed goals of excellence and production.
7. Refresh: Over time, it will be important to advisor team evolution to clear your lens and reflect on the work that you’ve done. The best teams capture client feedback and survey their own people internally. Then they ACT on the data. In some cases, team members decide to go back to an individual contributor role, or focus on more client-development activities within the team.
For more on advisor team evolution or for help in getting your team to the next level, contact Bill Walton at firstname.lastname@example.org .