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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?
Speak with us today:Schedule a Call
Pareto Systems is a consulting firm dedicated to knowledge-for-profit 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 knowledge-for-profit professionals
World Map
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2019-04-24 • 20 second read

In Portland presenting with Robert Carey for an Echo Meeting on behalf of Ben Johnson, CFA, Josh Weaver and Mark Friend with First Trust Portfolios. At El Gaucho Restaurant appreciating its terrific open kitchen!

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2019-04-23 • 3 minute read
We can, if we so desire, refuse to cooperate with the blind forces that are propelling us. - Aldous Huxley

The gist of this article is very simple; a gap analysis can reveal where minor adjustments can be made in your business, and highlight that it’s usually minor adjustments that can lead to major improvements. Very few advisors I work with are way off track, or need dramatic wholesale changes to the way they conduct themselves. But the adjustments needed aren’t always obvious without a fresh set of eyes to identify them.

Case in point, in our on-going practice management coaching with financial advisors we often remind our clients of this simple fact: being a great financial advisor in and of itself is no guarantee for success in this business. We have seen time and time again where the most effective advisors with limitless growth and progress potential aren’t necessarily the most sophisticated asset managers. The common thread however is that they are the most effective at practice and relationship management.

History provides countless examples in many walks of life that demonstrate the need to possess strong business acumen along with core skills. One of my favorite examples is the rivalry between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, two inventors who both made enormous contributions to society but also had two dramatically different outcomes in life. Edison’s company ended up becoming GE while Tesla sold his patents to Westinghouse and ended up dying alone, impoverished, and in debt. Many argue that Tesla was as good, or even a better inventor, than Edison but Edison’s business skills were far superior.

Clearly I will never trivialize the importance of being a skilled asset and risk manager. But it is a given that you are effective there. My point is that there is little correlation between how effective you are as a financial advisor and how successful you will ultimately be in terms of unlocking your full potential. The days of building the better mouse trap and the world beating path to your door are long gone. Sure ongoing professional development to sharpen your asset management skills is essential, but do you invest the same amount of time sharpening your practice and relationship management processes too? They are of equal importance at the very least.

The Gap Analysis

When we conduct a Gap Analysis, we remind our clients that there are three numbers that have to be dialed into the combination to unlock their full potential:

  • Be a solid asset manager
  • Be a solid practice manager
  • Be a solid relationship manager

Our diagnostic approach reveals quickly that the advisor does in fact have a solid process and structure tied to the solutions he or she provides, but there are gaps when it comes to running the business like a business and maximizing client relationships.

Not to oversimplify it, but we often see that the advisor has done 80% of the work needed but is only seeing about 20% of his or her full potential. There is a vein of gold to be tapped into and its often easily attainable.

From Commodity to Communication

This was revealed recently in a conversation with an advisor who primarily has a B2B (Business to Business) approach as opposed to a B2C (Business to Consumer) model. This advisor provides group plans and related products to business owners and was spending a lot of time explaining his core solutions to prospective clients, but spending very little time understanding the nuances of each business nor explaining his service model and value proposition. As a result, he was swimming in a pool of sameness and had an average closing ratio. Worse than that though was that the quality and quantity of referrals he was attracting was brutal. After analyzing his communications methodology, branding and service process, I provided some minor adjustments that he could deploy. Today he spends far more time being interested in the prospective client’s business, outlining his points of difference and setting expectations as they relate to ongoing service – all driven by process. Business owners understand the importance of process and they can identify when someone is just trying make a sale versus when someone’s focused on the lifetime value of a client relationship.

Continued Success!

Contributed by Duncan MacPherson

2019-04-23 • 6 min video

In this episode of The Blue Square Method, Duncan discusses how the purest form of client acquisition is not going out and trying to convince new people, but working with the people who are already convinced and showing them how to convince people on your behalf.

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2019-04-22 • 20 second read

Take a hard look at your operation. Would it run like a Swiss watch if you weren’t there all the time? Could you convince me, today, that your enterprise is a true business and not just a company that sells things? Have you created something with great value, predictable outcomes and ironclad systems? Could you provide documentation detailing exactly how to operate and run your business right down to the smallest detail?

If you have created a business with true systems, you already know the freedom and control it has brought to your business and personal life.

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2019-04-22 • 20 second read

WEBINAR INVITATION: The Indispensable CSA Part III - Click to register free: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/343300913708656907

For Advisors, their support team is the secret to an efficiently run practice. They are the glue that keeps things together, and they ensure a consistent client experience.

In this fast-paced webinar, the third in The Indispensable CSA series, Duncan MacPherson and Elaine Christakos outline a proven approach that enables support team members to help professionalize the ongoing client service process. This approach details how to:

  • Examine your current client service model
  • Develop and refine processes to ensure all clients know what to expect from you
  • Assign responsibility to ensure everyone knows their role and stays in their lane
  • Systematize your service matrix
  • Develop advocacy from you best clients

Wednesday, May 1st at 4:10 PM Eastern/1:10 PM Pacific

Click to register free: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/343300913708656907

Can’t make it? Register anyway and we’ll send you a link to the recording

2019-04-18 • 6 min video

The benevolence of bringing value and the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

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2019-04-17 • 20 second read

I have seen many entrepreneurs with successful businesses supported by talented people who unknowingly created self-imposed limitations because everyone in the organization flew by the seat of their pants. Time after time, the creation of an Organizational and Structural Chart followed by the refinement of systems outlined within a Procedures Manual has proven to be essential.

2019-04-16 • 5 minute video

In this episode of The Blue Square Method, Duncan talks to the importance of engaging partners into the process, rather than referring clients out and how that has a major impact on the client experience.

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2019-04-15 • 20 second read

When I ask a professional advisor, “How are things?” nine times out of ten, the answer will be, “I’m extremely busy.” Our response is always, “Busy doing what?”

The Law of Cause and Effect states that your activities will determine your productivity. If you want your productivity to increase, the first place you should look is the activities you engage in which give you the best return on your investment of time and energy.

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2019-04-12 • 20 second read

It’s one thing to want referrals. It’s another thing to deserve them. Ask yourself if the service you provide is enough to consider yourself referable. A commitment to consistent best practices is the foundation of advocacy which leads to fully maximized relationships instead of just a client base.

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