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Three ingredients for business growth

Your clients want your time. Your business demands it. You want to grow. What can you do?

BlackRock can help. We’ve consulted with thousands of top advisors and surveyed tens of thousands of investors to bring you valuable insights. Below are peer-to-peer best practices and resources to help you manage the demands on your time today and grow your business for the future.

The key to organic growth is to dedicate more time to your current and prospective clients and deepen these relationships. This requires three ingredients:

  1. Streamline your investment approach
  2. Improve business efficiency
  3. Instill psychological safety
Liz Koehler, CFA, head of Advisor Insights, outlines the formula we’ve seen work time and again to boost growth for advisors.
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1 – Streamline your
investment approach

Recapture meaningful time with a consistent approach. On average, advisors spend over 40% of their time on investments and administrative tasks1. This time cost is compounded when you have multiple investment approaches. You end up being reactive and explaining performance instead of proactively leading your team and creating an exceptional experience for your clients.

It’s all in the advice
Tim Palilonis, CFA, from Portfolio Solutions discusses the importance of a scalable, repeatable investment process. Portfolio Solutions consults with advisors to help define investment goals, diagnose risks and design portfolios.
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Whether you decide to create bespoke portfolios, leverage a third party or some combination of the two, it’s important to consider the tradeoffs.

  • Time: Leveraging third party models maximizes the time you have to focus on and increase the value of your business.
  • Control: Customizing individual client portfolios allows you to retain more control over exposures and capital gains.
  • Oversight: Picking individual investments requires more due diligence compared to ensuring suitability and appropriateness of third party models.
Streamline your investment process with a model as your base. Then, customize it with your unique view.
Turn ‘active vs passive’ into ‘index, factors and alpha’ to better deliver outcomes for your clients.
Examine your portfolio across various dimensions and see the potential impact of adjusting allocations.

2 – Improve business efficiency

We’ve found that advisors with the most efficient businesses generally leverage two key elements: a clearly defined, segmented service model and a team-based approach.

Set realistic expectations. No one can be all things to all clients. Establishing a segmented service model can help you provide realistic expectations for each set of clients that you can consistently deliver against. While building the process is important, actually using it with focus and consistency is the real opportunity.

Top clients, consistent services
Jim Renitsky from Affinity Partners discusses the growth opportunity of a segmented service model. Affinity Partners, led by founder Danielle Papandrea, coaches advisors in strategy, leadership and culture to help them grow.
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Team up. Successful teams start with strong leadership. They look to their leader for purpose, vision, roles and responsibilities as well as accountability. These elements are critical to empower your team to operate effectively and efficiently. Empowered teams have emotional ownership and will maximize their value to clients.

Conduct consistent and effective one-on-ones with your team to foster emotional ownership.
Identify better hires through interviews that incorporate values, cultural fit, skill sets and expertise.
Establish a scalable, systematic process to serve your clients meaningfully and effectively.

3 – Instill psychological safety

Clients expect you to be their co-pilot, to help them confidently navigate ups and downs, to help them feel safe.

Start with your team. When creating a value proposition, advisors tend to focus first on the client-facing mission statement. But to make that work, your whole team needs to be on board and emotionally invested. Get your team aligned on the vision, core values and operating principles of your business. Only then can you build trust and confidence within your team and with clients.

Tell your story. Advisors often default to using value propositions that tell clients “what I do” or “what I offer.” But an impactful, business-generating value proposition communicates what your clients can expect: your attention, empathy, and interest in achieving their investment goals. Sharing your experience through stories is an effective way to bring abstract concepts like these to life. Ultimately, your value proposition should highlight how (and why) you earn your fee.

The power of a story
Jim Renitsky from Affinity Partners illustrates how an advisor’s core values can be brought to life through a sharable story.
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Prospect authentically. As you seek to secure new clients, focus on those who are most like the best clients you currently have. There are many different ways to look for new clients. They’re all common sense, but not always common practice and are rarely applied with the consistency needed to pay dividends. Consider adding one or two of these prospecting ideas to what you’re already doing.

  • Use online search engines to identify new homeowners in the area
  • Join a local social group
  • Partner with estate attorneys or CPAs, ask for a virtual introduction
  • Leverage LinkedIn or other online social networks
  • Host “bring a friend” lunches (consider BlackRock’s client programs below)
  • Give a talk on investing
  • Ensure your spouse has the right words to share