I don’t want to be left behind. I must expand the boundaries of my declared expertise or risk becoming irrelevant.
How am I going to do that?
The fact is, my clients come to me for more than my expertise…
It begins with my shared purpose. That’s why I do so well… my common driving force empowers me to do well personally while I am doing the right thing for my clients. How can I expand my limits of expertise by shifting my purpose without losing the flock?
Still, there are more components of my value than my expertise and purpose that must shift slightly for me to remain relevant over time.
More than simply my expertise grounded by purpose, my value is authenticated by my beliefs and opinions. The reason people pay me is rooted deeply in my beliefs and opinions which are developed through my experiences in business as well as life in general.
There are other characteristics of my value that my ideal clients are seeking…
The values that I hold close to my heart… the principles that construct my moral fiber are a huge component of my business. People trust me because they share the moral standards that I have developed through my life experiences and my business experiences. When they see me, they see themselves… or at least the closest version of themselves available, qualified and dedicated to one thing and one thing alone…the stewardship of their wealth.
So I want to remain relevant in an industry that is moving at light speed (exponentially faster every day). How do I make the shift?
If I exit the boundaries of my proclaimed shared purpose too abruptly I risk the mutiny of my clients. My shift in purpose must be quantified by me through honest and poignant client feedback… and it must be done at the new speed of business.
How do I gather the metrics that matter to me so I can remain relevant?
What questions do I need to be asking my clients?
What are the topics of conversations I should be having with potential and current clients?
What content should I be publishing to keep my clients at ease?
How can I shift my expertise, subtly, to remain relevant without scaring away my client base?
Man… I’m asking a lot of great questions today.
— Grant Barger (@TangibleAlpha) February 20, 2017
Discover define design deliver remind and refine… not just good ideas but a taxonomy for advisor value development that takes your business to another dimension.
It’s not a checklist… it’s a progression.
The next dimension of your business requires your complete attention… we afford you the opportunity to give your business the attention it requires to survive in a robo-world.
The Value Algorithm
Sustainable organic growth comes from predictable recurring revenue… or at least the ability to create predictable recurring revenue when it is compounded by the catalyst of successful repetition. This is the magic formula or the “advisor value algorithm” that has enabled successful advisors to thrive (sometimes by default) by design. It is in your best interest (as well as the best interest of your clients) to discover your own personal advisor algorithm to create your own sustainable organic growth by design.
Inherent risk associated with default setup… (The issues associated with you not taking control of your advisor algorithm) What will happen to your business and your clients when you continue to ignore your own advisor algorithm…Options you have to discover your advisor algorithm… (really just one)
Successful outcomes of advisors who have discovered their advisor algorithm and the evolution of their businesses because of the proactive stance they have taken in owning their algorithm of value culture and growth…
3 types of risk you introduce into your business by refusing to own your advisor algorithm…
- One Step Up Risk (Two steps back)
- Culture Risk (Your people don’t have anything to take hold of… there must be autonomy and the opportunity to own one’s own advisor algorithm)
- Valuation Risk (Reducing your organic growth machine to chance reduces the value of your business in an inorganic spectrum)
One Step Up Risk (Copycat Risk)
The issues associated with not owning your advisor algorithm are numerous and compounding by nature. We can start this shortened summary of all risks inherent with not owning your own advisor algorithm… with the risk that you bring into your business by not having the framework for a successful business model in place to guide your daily actions. When you associate the success of your business with the success of tactical concepts that may have worked for other successful advisors you are tacking on additional risk (one step up risk). What initially might seem to be a hit with you and your clients is eventually exposed as the temporary fix that it is because you don’t have the same Advisor DNA as the advisor whose blueprint you have copied. These actions always lead to heartache and two steps back because of the additional work it takes to make up the difference in the perception of the value you have perpetuated and the actual authentic value that you can and should be offering your clients. Your authentic value (the value that you can actually control) must be made tangible to demonstrate its relevance. The relevance of your value is critical in uncovering (getting) and maintaining (keeping) ideal clients. When you turn you back on these critical components of the advisor algorithm you introduce one step up risk into your business… and you don’t need that. One Step Up or Copycat risk is incredibly toxic when it comes to building your business. The cleanup factor is enough to drive any serious advisor out of business… Your reputation will be forever sullied by the lack of authenticity you introduce into your business culture when you fall for One Step Up Risk.
Your business is far too valuable and your reputation is far too important to introduce this type of Copycat Risk into your business development model. When you discover and design your advisor algorithm you create a strategic foundation that makes you and your business culture far less susceptible to falling for One Step Up Risk. In fact it guarantees that you will never see tactical offerings as strategic solutions again.
(This should be enough to get you started down the path of building your business by design… if not, please continue reading to discover more risks associated with not taking ownership of your advisor algorithm.)
When you don’t own your advisor algorithm you open your business up to a multitude of cultural issues associated with lack of focus. Your trusted partners have earned the right to become part of your culture and they are indelibly tied to your reputation and the story of your authentic relevant value. A certain level of autonomy is required to create this culture of trust. If you do not acknowledge the importance of owning your advisor algorithm you will introduce chaos into your business model. Each member of your valued team must be able to have critical conversations that matter, with the confidence of the courage of their conviction. And in this era of 24/7 collaborative services, all conversations matter. You must prepare all trusted partners with the ability to converse with confidence. Without the ownership of the algorithm, which sets the tone for your culture, you are adding risk by default… this sounds confusing… design… default… what the hell man? Just let it be known that you are not doing yourself, your partners, your staff or your clients any favors in the ways of client experience and trust by ignoring your advisor algorithm. For sustainable growth to occur by design you must have a culture that is built (on purpose) from the fundamentals of your advisor algorithm which empowers you to exude your integrity and trust in a multitude of mediums twenty-four hours a day. Your predictable recurring revenue is at risk every minute that you are not able to exude the culture of integrity that you have created by design for the good of your ideal clients.
Business Valuation Risk (Inorganic Value)
The value of the moving parts of your business when you cease to be there is considered by many to be the valuation of your business. There are many more variables associated with the value of your business in the inorganic perspective… there are buyers and sellers markets when it comes to valuations and the grey matter involved is beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say that you must be able to demonstrate your predictable recurring revenue and the ability to maintain that predictability and growth when you are not their holding the reigns. The other side of the coin is if you are acquiring another business and need to create your own specific variables for valuation… owning your advisor algorithm empowers you to go beyond the spectrum of third party evaluations of ROI into cultural details that can uncover cultural alignment which must not be ignored when there is so much at stake when it comes to potentially adding risk to your current client base if you do not have an ideal fit with the firm you are acquiring. This is a light summary of the possible risks inherent in the valuation of advisor businesses when it comes to inorganic acquisition. Sustainable organic growth is indelibly tied to inorganic acquisition regardless of which side you reside… both buyer and seller must verify the ability of the acquired business to generate predictable recurring revenue and sustainable growth…Simply not recognizing the opportunity (owning your algorithm) to create a stronger business model while reducing risks associated with valuations is just not acceptable. Your clients deserve better, so does your staff and you do too.
What advisors can gain by owning their advisor algorithm is a dramatic reduction of three inherent risks associated with lack of focus, vision and or purpose.
The advisor algorithm is a merely synonym for alpha or value by design… some advisors see things one way, some see it another.
To get all advisors exposed to the opportunity of tangible alpha I have designed multiple synonyms for tangible alpha… anyway, back to the point of this story…
The need to create sustainable organic growth is often undermined by risks that advisors unwittingly add to their businesses while trying to create predictable recurring revenue. It’s a kind of sabotage that advisors can’t see because they are often times too close to the business to see clearly the missteps they are taking. That’s why I feel it is my calling to enlighten and empower advisors with the wisdom I have been able to gather through my affiliation with one of the best advisor coaches that has ever walked the planet. I might be a little biased.
Anyway… on to the conclusion…
To gain a competitive advantage in a multitude of dimensions (moving forward in the digital age) the advisor in the future will own his or her advisor algorithm and increase the probability of success while simultaneously reducing inherent risks associated with cultivating a business that thrives on sustainable organic growth.
Keep It Tangible,
Advisor autonomy will empower advisors to create stakeholder value that leads to enterprise value and shareholder value.
Recruiters of advisors must come to the realization that in the digital age of transparency, it is autonomy that will set advisors free and not independence. Advisor autonomy can be offered to any advisor regardless of his or her firm’s affiliation. The battle for recruiting top advisors will start with a different tone in the not too distant future because the era of collaborative services has arrived and transparency will dictate that investors will not trust advisors (or their firms) who are not offering stakeholder value ahead of shareholder value.
Transparency will empower the investor to see exactly how his or her best interest is being discounted for the good of the c-suites and shareholder value and they will not become a party to being the means to that end. Those days are over.
Just as the investor is becoming empowered by technology and transparency, so too will the advisor. Autonomy will afford the advisor in the future to sit on the same side of the table as his or her clients by owning the perception of his or her authentic value which is wrought from a client-centered purpose. Shared purpose is the only way investors will trust advisors or their firms in this modern era of financial service. This is a great thing. It’s the best time in the history of financial services to become a trusted steward of wealth and every financial advisor has an opportunity to thrive in the digital age.
To create a sustainable culture of integrity that ensures growth from this point forward, recruiters are going to have to offer autonomy to advisors to empower them by allowing the to own the perception of their value. Otherwise the pending crunch that is spearheading commoditization of services and reducing margins (including NIM) will destroy the firm and the industry.
The industry will not be able to serve investors through robos and opaque sales tactics… ever.
I’m not going to let that happen and neither will you. And… neither will the firms… once they realize that autonomy is the key to the culture creation that spurs inorganic growth while harmoniously stimulating and ensuring organic growth for advisors. Own the words… own your alpha… create your own autonomy to remain relevant and become irreplaceable.