Advisor or Firm Name * Date
Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
Where does your status quo fit relative to the left and right columns on the scale below? Circle the score that best describes your firm.
A score of 1 means you feel closer to the description on the left side. A score of 12 means you feel closer to the description on the right side.
The Humanity Factor™
Being Part of a Community We deliver great value to clients, yet beyond the walls of our firm, we don’t have a formal community of financial advisory peers. We don’t have an established group of growth-minded professionals who operate at our level of expertise and service. *
We’re part of a diverse community of professionals
who are talented and like-minded. Collectively, we
bring a variety of expertise, wisdom and perspectives
into the community. We are geographically diverse
which allows us to hear what’s happening in our
niche, in multiple areas across the country. We’re
surrounded by people who think in terms of what’s
possible, not what’s impossible.
Mine Your Bliss™
Ability to Differentiate Ourselves We don’t have a consistent, compelling story to tell. We know we’re unique but we don’t always have the language to effectively communicate our value compared to other firms. We don’t have a consistent Elevator Talk that’s used by everyone in the firm. *
We have a Unique Story that’s compelling. We
confidently and effectively differentiate ourselves in our
conversations and our marketing materials. We finally
have the ability to tell our story consistently across all
rainmakers and our support teams. We have a distinctive
Elevator Talk that’s being used by all rainmakers.
With all the white noise in our niche, it seems like it’s getting harder and harder to differentiate ourselves. Clients love and trust us but they don’t always know how to explain our value to others. *
When prospects and centers of influence hear our story,
they get that we’re different, and they clearly grasp our
unique approach. Clients embrace our Unique Story
as a touchstone for thinking through challenges and
opportunities. When they explain our value to others,
they speak from the authenticity of their own experiences,
thereby naturally using our branded language.
Referral Habits and Processes We don’t have a consistent process or consistent habits around asking clients for referrals. We get most of our qualified referrals from a handful of clients. We seem to get referred laterally or down-market, instead of up-market.
We have a consistent process for proactively
harvesting the most qualified, inner circle referrals
from the clients we wish to duplicate. The process is
professional, not salesy, and it’s simple to replicate.
We would like to groom junior rainmakers but we don’t have a predictable methodology for helping them fill their pipelines.
We have a clear path for filling our junior rainmakers’
We don’t have a way to correlate our revenue or growth goals to the quantifiable activity required to meet them.
Our referral process allows us to reverse engineer our
revenue goals into clear activity goals. We have the
ability to track and monitor our goals throughout the
year. We have regular access to coaching that helps us
improve our skillsets.
Ease of Client Service In our current affiliation model, it gets harder and harder to service our clients and to do so efficiently. The idea of transitioning to a more independent platform is appealing yet overwhelming. We don’t have time to do the research, and if we did, we wouldn’t know where to start.
Our new, independent model is refreshingly efficient.
We were able to make the transition with far less
red-tape compared to what our colleagues have
experienced elsewhere. The onboarding process
was well documented and infused with leadership
and support. We had a clear story to tell about the
transition, and it gave our clients confidence to move
forward with us. Without the previous distractions of
bureaucracy, we have more time and energy to focus
on servicing clients and building our business.
Cultivate Your Contributions™
Depth of Planning Capabilities We believe in planning and we offer it to a degree, but we aspire to a more robust offering. We don’t have the time or resources to create a process. Even if we did, the idea of onboarding a new approach is daunting.
We have a time-tested, replicable planning process.
Instead of reinventing the wheel, we have adopted
a proven methodology. Our community includes an
established, well-staffed Planning Department, so we
don’t have to do all the work ourselves. There are clear
tools and work flows to guide us through each phase.
We believe we offer great planning, yet everyone makes the same claim these days. We don’t have a way to demonstrate a repeatable client experience in this area.
We have clear, compelling marketing materials that
demonstrate the quality and unique nature of our
planning process. It gives us the confidence to market
our planning services more actively, and to charge
planning fees commensurate with our value.
Diversification of Revenue Streams We worry that our revenue is heavily reliant on one primary revenue stream. If market factors shift, we could face a down-turn.
We have multiple sources of revenue and feel insulated
from any single potential shift in the financial markets,
and the legal and tax environments.
Breadth of Capabilities We’re proud of our current capabilities, yet we’d like to offer a greater breadth to our clients. We see areas of opportunity for both our clients and our firm, yet we don’t have a clear path for expanding our offerings. When we consider the required investment in additional team members, technology and process development, it’s overwhelming.
Our community includes a significant breadth of talent
and resources across many core planning, investment
and insurance disciplines. There are distinct support
teams, and collaborative methodologies available for
us to learn new capabilities, or partner with other likeminded
Access to New Learning Our firm is growth-minded and we’re always interested in broadening our knowledge-base. Given the trends in our industry, we don’t have logical channels through which to continually deepen our learning, from principals through to our teams.
Our community is infused with a like-minded
learning environment. There are regularly-scheduled
collaborative sessions for our advisors and our support
teams. There’s an established university-style curriculum
through which we can deepen and diversify our
knowledge-base. It is taught by our advisory peers, as
opposed to wholesalers or Home Office folks.
Access to Management Resources We thrive when we’re face-to-face with clients, yet the day-to-day responsibilities of managing our team and the firm are overwhelming. We feel we’re falling short in team management and human resources.
Our community supports us in managing any or all
of the day-to-day aspects of running our firm. From
recruiting, to human resources, to lease management,
to payroll and benefits, we can select elements to
outsource. Our team feels well-supported and valued
in these areas.
Quality of Our Technology Much of our important client work is done manually. We have technology but it doesn’t get us to the client-facing result we need. Good data is hard to get, and when we do get it, we have to exhaustively double-check the information. It seems like the team resources required to produce a quality result are constantly increasing.
We have real-time access to accurate, integrated
data for all of our clients and client accounts. The
technology platform is reliable and user-friendly. We
received training at the advisory and team level to
help us onboard the platform, and integrate our new
capabilities into our existing, day-to-day business.
While we would like to upgrade our technology (phone systems, CRM, reporting systems), doing so can be cost-prohibitive. Meanwhile, we don’t have the human resources to research, vet and onboard the technology.
We have a cutting-edge, integrated technology
platform. As part of our larger community, the research
and vetting were already in place, and the onboarding
of the new systems had already been tested and proven.
Also, our community brings economies of scale to our
firm, so we reap the rewards of sophisticated systems
that are accessible from a cost perspective.
The Leadership Lever™
Game-Plan for G2 Relationship-Building We are aware of the need to intentionally build relationships with the second-generation of our client families. We feel it’s important in terms of the promises we’ve made, and in terms of client retention when assets changes hands. We don’t have the bandwidth to create a process and we aren’t sure where to start.
We have created a relationship bridge between our
firm and the second-generation of our client families.
The next generation understands the history of trust
in our relationship, and the significant difference in
working with a firm like ours versus others available
in the marketplace. They call us with questions and
rely on us for support and wisdom.
Access to Like-Minded Professionals When we approach a challenge or opportunity in our day-to-day business, we don’t have a trusted, confidential sounding board on which we can rely.
When we face various opportunities or challenges,
we rely on our community of professionals that offer
relevant wisdom and insight. They provide both the
strategic thinking to help us make good choices, and
the planning and implementation to achieve our vision.
Readiness for Business Succession
Our firm has made a great run of things so far, however we are uncertain about what the secondgeneration of our firm looks like. When we contemplate what’s next, we don’t have an inner circle of respected resources to help us build our vision, or provide the leadership to get there. We want to keep our promises to be there for clients’ spouses, children and grandchildren, yet we don’t have a clear path for how to achieve this.
We were led through a strategic process to navigate
our choices and understand our options for business
succession. We have a clear, documented vision
and game plan in place. All of the necessary
support is available in terms of recruiting and
mentoring rainmakers, merging our firm into a larger
organization, or selling and transitioning out. We
have access to funding options that make our desired
transition feasible and timely.