Practice Management TrendsettersAugust 28, 2017

Trust is not the goal 

If trust is NOT the goal of acquiring new ideal clients, then what is the goal? The answer is, It is simple and complex. The goal is the experience. Do you have a process that creates an exceptional experience, creates a high level of trust and that inspires people to hire you? Could your process need some work? When I ask a room full of advisors, could your process of client acquisition need some work?  Most of the hands go up, simply because most financial advisors do NOT have a process for acquiring ideal clients. Sure they can acquire clients, but to acquire more ideal clients, more high net worth clients, most financial advisors are struggling to achieve success.

What is your process?

“Practice management is about process, process, process. Grant Hicks” What is your proven process for acquiring more ideal clients, and how do you create an experience that will inspire them to hire you? Let me share a story to help you with your process. I just got back from a great workshop with Bill Bachrach in San Diego. Bill asked me to discuss some key practice management strategies for financial advisors.  It was interesting to talk to financial advisors from all over the world, who had a high degree of success, yet wanted to come to a workshop and improve their process. After three days of practicing and listening to Bill Bachrach’s proven process, a few key ideas came to light.

Altruistic process

 First off, it is an altruistic process. Giving and expecting nothing in return is difficult when advisors are promoting product sales. It is not a sales process, it is a trust process. Do you have a process to build trust, or create sales? The process helps people regardless if they do business with you or not. Helping people get clarity around their future, their dreams and goals and of their higher self, is valuable, regardless if they work with you or not. Everyone could use a little more clarity in life about their future, their family and their life. It is not about building rapport, it is about building trust and asking trust building questions, to help people understand where they are going. Remember, you are in the goals business, help people discover more goals in their life, not just retirement.  Asking better questions, listening with empathy and understanding them is crucial to creating an ideal experience.  Help people get a deeper sense of clarity around their future.

Active listening

The second element that is essential in creating an ideal client experience is listening. It is amazing to see financial advisors that want to write everything down and take notes while a client is talking.  Knowing what to say, by having a clear process or script to follow shows that you are paying attention to body language in a conversation. Having a pen in your hand tells people that you are only interested in taking notes for your purpose, not theirs. Your critical questions are a big part of your process. Knowing what to ask, when to ask it, listening and most importantly, understanding what they are saying, without a pen in your hand is all about the client experience.


Do you record your meetings with ideal prospects? Elite financial advisors record their meetings so they can listen to them over and over to understand what the client is saying. Use Bill Bachrach’s scripted process to help you overcome the fear of recording. “The reason I record is because I’m very thorough. (Pause.) Do you know how you can watch a movie a second or third time and see things you missed the first time?” (Long pause for response.) “Well giving you advice about your money so you can achieve your goals is obviously much more important than a movie, so I want to make sure our advice is right for you. If we choose to work together, I’ll listen to this recording at least one more time to make sure to get it right.” (pause) source

Elements of your process

To be successful in acquiring more ideal clients, you need to work on your process. The elements you need to have are:

  1. Booking the appointment-
  2. Gathering all of the information needed in the first meeting
  3. Asking great questions
  4. Building an altruistic process to help people get clarity
  5. Recording the information
  6. Articulating your value promise


Finally, every advisor could use a little bit of practice. I encourage you to grab a successful advisor and practice your process to acquiring ideal clients. In my workshops with financial advisors, I ask who could use a little help in their process, and usually, most hands go up. Everyone could use a little help in their process. Start by practicing it with a colleague and if you want to master it, record it and practice it. Go for it and good luck!

You need a clear picture (vision) to complete the puzzle of your life.

Envision that you have already accomplished your most important goal for your business today. How does that make you feel? Act as if it has already been done.  The message is clear, the best advisors spend more time on servicing clients BECAUSE they have invested the time and energy to put their processes in place.

 Advisor Practice Management’s goal is 

“ Helping Financial Advisors take action, to create 100 quality financial plans for their clients”. My mission if you choose to accept it is “ To help advisors to create 1 million quality financial plans for people”.  Ask your clients and prospects this question " What does a quality financial plan mean to you ? Let me know if I can help you grow your practice. 

Let’s work on your business. Start by emailing us. Why not? 

Enthusiastically yours,

Grant Hicks, CIM, National Director Practice Management
Advisor Practice Management

909-17th Ave SW, 4th Floor
Calgary, Alberta  T2T 0A4
Tel  587 390 3148
Cell 403 970 8895

PS Where do you want to be in 3 years?

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