In review of all our incoming calls from outside advisors last week, we have validated a clear distinction between two types of planners, (1) those that build their business collaborating with other advisors who offer value to each other and compliment services to reach an end for a client, and (2) those that clearly only care about their own agenda, and want to leverage and use ideas and efforts that they have not earned, but wish to profit from without reciprocity.
Of the 38 calls, only 9 advisors were able to communicate a business relationship where we could invest time and energy and not operate at a loss. They will be given red-carpet treatment and handled with kids-gloves. The others will likely get distracted with certain unproductive thinking taught by a frail financial system and probably fade away. The distinction between these types, we believe, is in how each operates in general within the shark tank.
We add well over 100 new advisors per month to our system and develop cases that filter out as appropriate and involve integrated holistic planning. These tend to be driven by our attorney subscribers and CPA clients. Why? Because these advisors often see the value of an administration service, and not as simply a tool to sell product. In other words, our service of value amplifies their service of value. They also understand how to collaborate within their own industry by leveraging mutual skill-sets to the end benefit of a client. As a matter of course, many of our attorney clients know one another and understand how to pull in expertise to help resolve unique case situations. We find this “boys club” approach is a good thing for clients as it keeps all parties honest and transparent.
Then there are the advisors who are about their agenda at the cost of all others, and have no intent to reciprocate. Unfortunately, this condition is created by a competitive financial industry where there is often no distinction in value. Most advisors are able to sell the same products and use the same selling tools or systems. So they have to resort to dismantling other advisors to earn business. Seems to remind me a lot of the political environment in general, where there is no discussion of value, only attacks on the opponent.
This lack of competitive advantage also appears to drive another issue in the industry which is a multi-level marketing attitude where one advisor wants to try to leverage providers and insert themselves as a “broker” to other advisors.
Note: THERE IS NO VALUE to brokering providers to those in your own industry. Over 25 years in business, we have found that this type of interrelationship never works for anyone and only creates strife between advisors, and frankly just flat-out irritates clients when they find out that they are being fought over, specifically to sell product to earn commissions. Providers these days can get to all advisors without much effort, so there is no value to the connection. Bottom line, we won’t play this game. We work on pure value supported by a transparent fixed flat fee, hence our motto, “Pure Administration”. So there’s no room for cannibalizing clients or advisors!
Providing Value in the Face of No Value
As a service provider, our offer is to help build as well as protect other people’s business, but in tandem with the success with our own. To honor this assurance for all parties, we have set key protocols that help keep our clients, our referring partner-advisors, and ourselves out of trouble and avoid issues that result from aggressive planning.
Our service, systems and strategies are offered to help drive good business, and legitimate business, but it is not for everyone. While we command a dominant position in a specific sector of administration and private retirement plans with our PRT, we always have to avoid situations that may be inappropriate for clients, or cost us profit with advisors.
Path of Least Resistance
While our firm is built to support all other advisors, it’s not for abuse. With hundreds of strategic alliances we can quickly decipher between those who work well as a team, and those who don’t. Our filtering system is used to test the integrity and investment of our partner-advisors. If they pass the test, we invest heavily in that partnership and put our partners’ business ahead of our own. This ensures a lifelong flow of quality business.
However, if an advisor does not pass the smell test then our posture is simply to let them manage their own business. At some point, a successful business has to know when to walk away from situations that will lose money, cause issues in the future or just be plain ol’ exhausting. Luckily, we have that luxury as the market-dominant provider in the private retirement and exemption planning space.
If you are a Team-Player and want to find out more about how we can work together to build quality, appropriate, and life-long joint clients, please click here for more information.
If not, that’s ok too. Good luck!