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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 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
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2019-06-14 • 20 second read

Expectation management for yourself and your clients is vital. The stronger your relationships are, and the better your communication strategy and execution is, the more likely that your clients will say to you, “Whatever you think is best. I will follow you anywhere.”

2019-06-13 • 5 minute video

Watch as Duncan discusses Ideal Client Events and how to leverage them to re-frame your client relationships and increase your rate of referrals.

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2019-06-12 • 20 second read

The investment world is all about confidence and trust. Whether you are buying or selling, the more effectively and consistently you communicate with the clients involved, the more you will multiply the value of what you are buying or selling.

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2019-06-11 • 3 minute read

As I started to this article, the phrase: ‘the devil is in the details’ popped into my head and I made a mental note to try and squeeze it into the article somewhere. I then got curious as to where the phrase comes from, and was surprised to learn from Wikipedia that it was derived from an earlier phrase ‘God is in the detail,’ expressing the idea that whatever one does should be done thoroughly, i.e. details are important. So there you have it, you can interchange ‘God’ and the ‘Devil’ in that phrase depending on your mood, and mean exactly the same thing! Who knew?

Indeed, the little details, the little things we do in our office, such as the way we answer the phone, the way people are greeted, how we dress, all these seemingly little things, all in concert with one another, are really the things that brand who you are and that build your reputation, for better or for worse. Without the little things, every office would be similar to the next one, and each would be a sterile office devoid of life and personality.

One of my clients that I am working with now has only recently started to pay attention to the little things, and he admitted as much to me early in our coaching together. Now that he is starting to see how is clients are responding, he is kicking himself for not paying attention earlier. I see it all the time. The best part is that he is having fun. He told me that too. It’s awesome!

Just last week he was doing a call rotation to one of his best clients. This is a call we at Pareto Systems recommend that advisors make to top clients on a quarterly basis. The call rotation concentrates on the clients’ Family, Occupation and Recreation matters. Money is not to be brought up on the ‘call rotation’ unless of course the client brings it up. My coaching client learned that one of his clients, a successful and extremely busy business owner, just had his son graduate from University. The father was ecstatic. My client also learned that the gentleman was also about to go on an annual hunting junket.

Now for most people, that phone call would happen, the client would be congratulated of course, and then the whole thing would become a distant memory by the end of the day; another ‘little’ opportunity squandered. My client; however, has evolved.

My client reflected on the joy in the father’s voice, he soaked it in, and then decided to act. That very afternoon he went by the client’s business unannounced, and dropped off a big bottle of Crown Royal. He included a lovely card that congratulated the father on his son’s accomplishment, and also wrote something to the effect of: “Hope this keeps you warm on your hunting trip!” (My client is now keeping great notes on his clients’ family and recreation information, and had learned on a previous call rotation that the client was partial to this particular whiskey.)

As you can imagine, the client was blown away. What does he do? He takes my client advisor by the arm and walks him to the other side of the plant and says: “I want you to meet my brother-in-law.” 

Just one little thing, that someone did not ignore, that culminated in an impromptu introduction. I always find these types of stories to be mind-blowing stuff. 

Pay attention to the little things, be consistent, and let your disciplines compound, and you will have a better business than most! God is in the detail after all…

Continued Success!

Contributed by Duncan MacPherson

2019-06-11 • 5 minute video

In this episode of The Blue Square Method video Duncan points out how we all have the same 24 hours of time in a day and the importance that emotional intelligence has on practice and relationship management.

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2019-06-10 • 20 second read

There is much that you can’t control and there is no sense worrying about any of that. Constantly scrutinize and refine the things you can control, especially when it comes to breathing life into your client relationships.

Your clients are your most valuable asset and you can’t be complacent about your relationships with them.

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2019-06-07 • 20 second read

One of the most effective ways to sift prospects from suspects and get them to contact you is to deploy a permission marketing approach... This means that you change the call to action from asking them to meet you personally to asking them to request some content from you online. They can begin a relationship with you without actually meeting you at first.

2019-06-06 • 5 min video

In this episode Duncan discusses strategies to ensure your business runs like a Swiss watch regardless of who's there.

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2019-06-05 • 20 second read

When clients realize that you don’t try to sell to people but rather inform them, they know that they can wave your flag without fear. To complement this you should create a habitual approach to providing market commentary, insights and updates and feed it into your site on consistent basis.

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2019-06-04 • 3 minute read

Here are a few of the goals professionals have opened up to me about in relation to re-setting their approach: 

I want to restore liberation and order to my life. I’m tired of fire-fighting, micro-managing and babysitting. 

You want to run the business so that it’s not running you, but it has to be more than a goal. You have to apply a process that helps everyone on your team to get the business out of their heads and into a playbook. It’s a process to turn your book into an actual business, rather than having just a book of business.

I don’t want any dead branches in my business. It’s time to prune the high- maintenance clients but I’m not sure where to start. 

You’ve heard the expression that there are only so many seats on the plane and you have to respect that capacity? Right-sizing needs to be done and it needs to be done professionally and respectfully. It must to be based on mutual fit and, if done properly, you create capacity for more first-class passengers while ensuring an environment that affluent clients aspire to belong to.

I want to transition to a fee-for-service model but I’m nervous about how my clients will respond. 

If clearly communicated as an upgrade, with tangible improvements to your client service model, your clients will focus on what you’re worth rather than what you cost. Later in this book, I’ll go into this particular transition in detail. 

I want to stop trading my time for money and start building more equity value in my business. 

When you de-personalize your business by going beyond raw talent and instead focus on your ongoing and progressive process, you can evolve from a production mindset to an asset mindset. Your business can be worth far more than it is today. 

The gist of this is simple. A strategic planning process can reveal where adjustments and refinements can be made in your business. Few advisors I work with are way off track, or need dramatic wholesale changes to the way they conduct themselves.

Case in point, in our on-going practice management coaching with professional advisors, I often remind our clients of this simple fact: Being a great professional advisor, in and of itself, is no guarantee for success in this business. I 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 of the need to possess strong business acumen along with vital core skills. One of my favorites is the rivalry between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, two inventors who both made enormous contributions to society, but who had dramatically different outcomes in life. Edison’s company became General Electric, while Tesla sold his patents to Westinghouse and died alone and in debt.

While you can argue that Tesla was a better inventor than Edison, Edison’s business skills were far superior.

I will never trivialize the importance of being a skilled professional in your core solutions, but it is a given that you are effective there. My point is this: There is little correlation between how professionally skillful you are 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 a path to your door are long gone. Ongoing professional development to sharpen your skills is essential, but do you invest the same amount of time sharpening your practice- and relationship-management processes? They are of equal importance.

Many professional advisors I work with are successful, enjoy an impressive lifestyle and should be content, but many of them are still ambitious and are frustrated because they have hit a plateau. While every advisor’s scenario is unique, often the plateau stems from inertia confidence. Simply put, the advisor is busy repeating habits and patterns, and has been for an extended period of time. They are getting results, but they can raise the bar and achieve more.

Every advisor can drift into a rut when they haven’t stepped outside of their business to kick their own tires and assess where they can make refinements to their approach. This is especially important if you want to continually increase the quality of clients you are attracting.

Continued Success!

Contributed by Duncan MacPherson

Pareto Systems
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