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Are you a professional who wants to:
  • Consistently attract and retain great clients?
  • Run a more efficient and profitable practice?
  • Elevate the client experience?
  • Drive enterprise value?
  • Deploy a scalable growth model?
  • Create a panoramic branding strategy?
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Pareto Systems is a consulting firm dedicated to fee-for-service professionals. Our practice management and relationship management programs are ideally suited for:
  • Financial Professionals
  • Insurance Specialists
  • Estate Planning Attorneys
  • Accounting Professionals
  • Trust Specialists
  • Wholesalers
  • All fee-for-service professionals
World Map
2020-02-18 • 3 min video

Avoid those that are negative, cynical and perpetually fault-finding to avoid becoming part of that environment.

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2020-02-14 • 20 second read

The key to reaching the next level is to take your processes from a concept in your head and galvanize your vision and deliverables on paper for you, your team, and your clients to see. None of what you do is an asset or an intellectual property unless it’s documented. If it’s in your head, it’s just a concept.

Turn your good intentions into a proprietary process. Visit:

2020-02-13 • 3 min video

Use video to promote your brand and take your business to the next level! In this 4 part series I’ve teamed up with the fine folks at to showcase the power and impact of video can have on your business.

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2020-02-13 • 20 second read

Duncan MacPherson in Jacksonville with Ryan Issakainen, Anthony Laudicina, Bryan Ulmer and Paul Peterson at First Trust getting ready to present on The Blue Square Method - the mindset and best practices of top fee-for-service professionals.

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2020-02-12 • 20 second read

Advisors who continually expand their client base eventually hit a point of diminishing returns. Once you exceed your service capacity, you can no longer effectively competitor-proof clients, gain their complete financial empowerment or maintain a high degree of refer-ability. As a result, you are likely to become stressed, frustrated and miss important opportunities. Furthermore, unless you hire and manage more staff, which takes time and money, you cannot effectively deploy your service matrix. In time, you will be perceived as a transactional generalist, and you will end up with a business that is a mile wide and an inch deep.

We come back full circle to the question you should ask yourself continually: If 20 percent of your clients generate 80 percent of your business, do you invest 80 percent of your time on that 20 percent? To generate the qualified referrals that will allow you to build a quality practice, you need to do exactly that. Right sizing your clientele will allow you to do it.

2020-02-11 • 5 minute video

Implement processes in your business to avoid having prospective clients get lost in the ‘no man's land’ between intent and consent.

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2020-02-11 • 2 minute read

Controlling the Controllable

Market volatility, political uncertainty, competitive forces and various external dependencies are facts of life for a knowledge-for-profit professional.

It would be great if the world cooperated with our plans on a consistent basis, but that is not the way it is. Let’s face it; that’s why clients hire you. Friction and uncertainty come with the territory. Your ability to deal with this reality is a major factor that separates the best from the rest.

Strategic planning is the first step in focusing that ability. In many ways, strategic planning acts like the noise-canceling headphones I talked about earlier. As with your clients, there is a sea of noise competing for your attention, and the velocity and volume increases every year. A strategic planning process lets you tune out the static and improve the signal-to-noise ratio. This ensures that you focus on what matters - the things you have control over and that have real importance - so you can move in the direction of your vision for the future, relying less on hope and more on process. It gives you the guide you need to begin constructing something of greater value.

I’ll come back to the jigsaw analogy: Have you ever tried to assemble a jigsaw puzzle without the picture as a reference to guide you? It can be done through trial and error, but it takes far longer and is far more frustrating without a frame of reference. A personalized strategic plan serves as your guide as you put the pieces of both life and business together.

A strategic plan can help you make critical observations about the track you are on, based on the Law of Cause and Effect, to ensure that you’re engaged in the activities that contribute to your productivity goals. It can help you identify untapped opportunities and overlooked vulnerabilities, so you take action accordingly.

The key is to apply a process, and not go through that process in isolation. My approach to strategic planning is driven in large part by the gap analysis I discussed. Rather than a generic pep-talk that tells someone what they should be doing and has temporary value, I use a Socratic approach, asking a series of questions that act as a strategic analysis and a path to discovery and self-motivation. I’ve had countless exchanges with professionals over the years where our process leads them to their own conclusions about what really matters and how to make it all a reality.

As an example, I was speaking with a professional advisor recently as part of a strategic planning conversation. We were deep into a conversation on business development, client acquisition and on-boarding when we reached the following sequence of simple questions.

“Do your clients fully understand and appreciate your value?” I asked.

After a long pause, he replied with a tentative, “I think they do.”

I then asked him, “How do your clients describe you?”

“I have no idea, really. They probably say they trust and believe in me,” he said.

“What is your process to make your clients the voice you listen to in order to get the pulse on the effectiveness of your communications?” I asked.

To which he replied, “I don’t have one.”

It is common for professionals from all walks of life to drift into a pattern of sporadic client communication and assume that all is well - part of that inertia confidence I mentioned. While their approach isn’t necessarily bad per se, it certainly isn’t firing on all cylinders.

In the scenario I described, I brought the conversation to the tipping point a few questions later by asking about the advisor’s approach to on-boarding new clients. He proceeded to outline his method, which was fine, but which had several gaps. I then asked him why he did things the way he did, to which he replied, “That’s basically the way we’ve always done it.”

It is essential that you constantly scrutinize your procedures in order to optimize and refine how you do things. There is a place for the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra, but when it comes to communication - especially as it relates to competitor-proofing clients, gaining their full empowerment as the relationship unfolds, and new client acquisition through referrals - you can’t take anything for granted.

You must continually strive to raise the bar, and to do that you need to know where you stand.

The advisor I just described is a classic example of someone with significant mileage and experience whose efforts compounded over time, but had brought him to a plateau. In many ways he was mistaking movement for achievement. He didn’t need to repair any damage, and he definitely didn’t need to make any drastic wholesale changes or reinvent the wheel. He simply needed to make some minor adjustments.

It’s not an exact science but I’ve seen time and time again how very successful advisors have done 80 percent of the necessary work on their business, but are only realizing about 20 percent of the reward. A few simple refinements are all that were needed to unlock the full potential.

Continued Success!

Contributed by: Duncan MacPherson

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2020-02-10 • 20 second read

The one thing all professional advisors have an equal amount of is time. We all have 24 hours in a given day. The concept of time-management is a bit of a misnomer. We can’t manage time itself; we can only manage the activities we choose to engage in each business day. The more you value your time, the more your clients will, as well.

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2020-02-07 • 20 second read

Whatever your goals are, if you want your business to serve your life rather than the other way around, you have to get your business out of your head (and your assistant’s head) and start documenting your procedures. I know it sounds like work, but the payoff can be massive.

Learn how to document and organize your process with Total Client Engagement:

#businessdevelopment #practicemanagement #theadvisorplaybook

2020-02-06 • 3 min video

Be a resource for your clients and their families during the good times and the hard times. Having strategic partners in event and funeral planning can go a long way in making an indelible impression on your client’s families while helping pay tribute to someone's legacy.

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