How to Sell Your Practice
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Proven Strategies Blog

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2021-09-07 • 2 minute read

That moment of truth is a big one. 

When you have to have a conversation with a client about an upcoming transition, such as selling your business, it can feel ominous and overwhelming to the client. However, with a little preparation, and by positioning it in the right way in terms of your clients’ best interests, it can help to alleviate any fears they may have had, and help them to embrace the upcoming transition as a benefit.

Transitions can include having to allocate a client to a different model, delegating the client to a different service provider within your bench, disassociating from a client altogether or even switching firms.  

In this article I will be speaking in the context of how to position your eventual departure from the industry and/or your retirement, because that is something that happens to everyone. However, the positioning I will discuss applies, to a greater or a lesser extent, to all of these cases.

Like all transitions, you want to frame it around the past, the present and the future. Order your talking points in that progression and start by honoring the past. Explain how much you love what you do. “It's not a job. It's a calling.” You're very, very fortunate. You have a sense of purpose. You've enjoyed your client relationships. It's been a tremendous honor, but ultimately - like your clients - you've aspired to having that work-optional lifestyle. 

You've got many things that you want to pursue and many other chapters in your life to write. It's not that you're “getting away from this”, it's just a springboard into an evolved future. Then talk about the fact that you are a lifelong planner and you've been very methodical about this, and you've done extensive due diligence to ensure continuity and succession was addressed properly. Explain that you didn't take that lightly. Talk about the fact that you've identified a new team who will be taking over. Qualify that around expectations. Explain that this will be a gradual wind down and that you'll be retained as a consultant into the future. Again, touch on “You don't have to do this, you get to do this. This has never been a job.”

Then talk about the future. Talk about the new team that's acquiring your business and frame that in people, practice and process. Talk about how much you like and respect the people based on their credentials and skills and qualities. That they're really good at what they do. But again, hit on your sense of purpose and passion for this very noble profession. Talk about the practice and how innovative they are and how they've adopted best practices to create a consistent client experience. That you were incredibly impressed relative to some of the other professionals you talked to. Talk about their process; talk about the fact that they have developed and refined a process that puts every piece of the puzzle together and how impressive that is. 

What's really important here is that this isn't interpreted as a hand-off. It's an upgrade. It's not that the past was flawed. This is just part of the evolution. They’ll be in very good hands and their client experience will be elevated. While you'll still be involved in their lives, this is positioned as an opportunity for them to “level-up” going forward. Watch how your clients’ energize. On your side, note the liberation and order that comes in your life and how the appreciation for your value is rejuvenated. You'll probably want to stick around and still be relevant, but on your terms.

Continued Success!

Contributed by: Duncan MacPherson

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2021-09-03 • 20 second read

Competitor-proofing and countering loyalty fatigue has to be ongoing throughout the lifetime of a client relationship. Making your process and value clear to a client through your relationship management process insures you won’t disappear in a sea of sameness - or find yourself suddenly replaced because a drifting client decided to “try something new.”

2021-09-02 • 2 min

Opening the Door to Advocacy This video is an excerpt of the “Still the Best Q4 Campaign” video available now on YouTube. To watch the entire video click here: https://youtu.be/fURvzMlOJlY

#practicemanagement #businessdevelopment #thenextlevel #branding

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2021-09-01 • 20 second read

The difference is this: Always appeal to what someone wants and how you will get them there – they’ve helped a friend meet you because your process will address their needs – not because they wanted to “bring you more business.” Their ‘why’ aligns with your ‘how’, and that takes out any form of salesmanship and fuels everything with stewardship.

2021-08-31 • 6 min video

I have to tell you, after all these years it is still the most powerful campaign to deploy in the fourth quarter, when it comes to relationship management and business development, it's still sending your clients and strategic partners, a Thanksgiving card. It's so incredibly powerful in terms of bang for the buck and return on investment of time.

If you are looking for Thanksgiving Cards with impact visit our friends at LavishCards.com

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2021-08-31 • 2 minute read

After all these years the most powerful campaign to deploy in the fourth quarter, when it comes to relationship management and business development, is still sending your clients and strategic partners a Thanksgiving card. It's so incredibly powerful in terms of bang-for-the-buck and return on investment of time. Besides, I never get tired of hearing the stories.

The impact is both quantitative and qualitative. If you're already sending out cards like this, you know it's not uncommon for clients to call you up and thank you for thinking about them and sending out that beautiful card. That's meaningful quantitatively, right?

Quantitatively, you’ll get a great family referral and when you call up the Rainmaker to say thanks for the introduction – and ask what prompted the conversation that led up to it, the Rainmaker will have told the story over Thanksgiving dinner. Usually with a family member having noticed the card and asked, “Who sent you that?” And the client said, “Well, my financial advisor did.” And the relative will have said, “Well, my financial advisor doesn't send me cards like that.”

If you’ve consistently communicated your process and value and elevated your service, the client will go on to say something along the lines of, “Well, it doesn't just stop there. I mean, they really take this seriously and they run their business like a business. The client experience is impeccable.” The next thing you know, the advocacy door is wide open.

Remember, you're not just managing money, you're managing how people perceive you and describe you and feel about the future. Advocacy means I, as a client, want to share that with others. So this human touch, this little meaningful gesture, can be profound.

If you send out the cards, keep going. Don't stop. It's got to be part of your ongoing process. If you haven't done it yet, give it some serious consideration. In the fourth quarter, your clients interact with a lot of friends and family members, and certain things are topical. Just give them an opportunity to shine a light on your value and wave your flag.

You'll ultimately come down to two very important decisions: Who and how. Who are you going to send these cards to? Are you going to limit it to the 20% of your clients who generate 80% of the business? Are you going to open it up and send it out to all of your clients and all of your strategic partners and just really help activate this sense of Thanksgiving and appreciation for good fortune? It doesn't just mean money. It's that they have the good fortune of having a relationship with you. That's what a card like this can trigger.

In terms of the “how” - are you and your team going to DIY this, or are you going to outsource this to elevate the precision and put some more sand in your hourglass by giving you the gift of time, both in terms of the quality of the card, but also the execution? There’s fulfillment in sending these cards out professionally and in a timely, predictable manner. You probably already know that I feel very strongly about Lavish Cards (LavishCards.com), but, first of all, the cards themselves have incredible impact and shelf life.

By impact, I mean that you will own the mantle. It'll be the nicest card they receive. And in terms of shelf life, again, so many stories come out of this. You'll have clients that will tell you that they put all of the cards they received from you at Thanksgiving over the years on their dinner setting. Some will frame the cards. For others, it prompts them to send a Thanksgiving card to their close friends and family members. So while the impact and the shelf life is profound, there’s also the fulfillment.

Just taking that seriously in terms of a best practice is powerful. Give your clients something to think about, give them something to talk about. Ultimately, giving starts the receiving process, so be prepared to get a lot of recognition in terms of goodwill and introductions.

Continued Success!

Contributed by: Duncan MacPherson

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2021-08-30 • 20 second read

For a professional whose solutions are not tangible, and the benefits of which can be delayed, it is essential to create a client experience that de-commoditizes your services – and a process that communicates those benefits clearly.

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2021-08-27 • 2 minute read

Few professional advisors have cracked the code when it comes to consistently attracting referrals from other influencers and rainmakers who are not clients. In this session Duncan MacPherson will lay out a processes to guarantee referrals are a two-way street.

During this session, Duncan will discuss:
• How to position a referral process as a service you provide
• How to delineate and position your process to strategic partners
• How to contrast yourself favorably with other advisors

Watch the replay on ParetoAcademy.com/Recorded-Webinars

2021-08-26 • 1 min video

Work on yourself and your business to maximize value

This video is an excerpt of the “Maximum Enterprise Value – Achieved by an Always On Mindset” video available now on YouTube. To watch the entire video click here: https://youtu.be/pem1S1Cbipk

2021-08-26 • 1 min video

Focusing on enterprise value lets you look beyond your AUM and number of clients and keep long-term goals in sight – after all, every business is built to be sold

This video is an excerpt of the “Maximum Enterprise Value – Achieved by an Always On Mindset” video available now on YouTube. To watch the entire video click here: https://youtu.be/pem1S1Cbipk

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