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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
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2020-02-05 • 20 second read

In Las Vegas with Brad Shaffer and Daniella Sucato at First Trust presenting on The Advisor of the Future - the art and science of shifting from organic to scalable growth.

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2020-02-05 • 20 second read

Stephen Covey, the legendary author of the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, advised that you should always begin with the end in mind … I suggest that you apply a mindset of building a business with the intention of selling it for maximum value at some point in the future.

2020-02-04 • 6 minute video

Don’t try to be all things to all people, but rather all things to some people.

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2020-02-04 • 2 minute read

I believe we will see three primary types of professional advisors in the future: The robo/virtual advisor, salaried employees making a decent living, and elite entrepreneurial advisors processing their business through respected firms while making substantial incomes. I am convinced that financial services will remain an industry with strong income-earning potential, but that those who adapt to changes at a glacial pace will be left on the sidelines. We are entering into a Darwinian moment. Those who adapt will survive.

The Winning Edge is a fascinating premise with applications for these changes. In essence, the Winning Edge states that the disparities in the abilities of the best and the rest are often small, though the difference in rewards can be huge.

Let’s use athletic endeavor as an analogy. At a recent US Open golf tournament, the winner Justin Rose collected $1.44 million in prize money. With a four-round total of 281, he earned about $5,124 every time he hit the golf ball. In the same tournament, runners-up Phil Mickelson and Jason Day, carded a four-round total of 283, only two strokes off of winner Justin Rose’s total over 72 holes. Yet Mickelson and Day earned only (funny to have to say that) $696,000 each, or about $2,459 per shot. While Rose earned over twice as much as the second place finishers, was he more than twice as good? Clearly not.

The key quality inherent in professionals with the Winning Edge is entrepreneurship. In other words, they treat their business like a business. Many professional advisors regard an entrepreneur as a maverick, flying by the seat of his or her pants, living month-to-month to keep creditors at bay while trying to ‘close’ the next piece of business. True, a few of those exist, but my image of an entrepreneur, like those described in E-Myth or The Millionaire Next Door, is of the kind who runs his or her business like a well- oiled machine.

In the next five years, your industry will look very different, and more challenging, than it did five years ago. Professionals within every major industry have to understand these changes are constant and coming. We are well along that path now. One of the most important shifts you can make to thrive in the future is to adopt a systems-based approach to your business. This means that every process and activity you and your team execute on a daily basis is planned, scripted, refined and well-documented in a procedures manual.

The primary benefit of a systems-based operating approach is that you gain predictability and efficiency. Think of your business and marketing plan as a road map. Your operating manual serves as your GPS device. Not having this approach would be like walking through uncharted territory at night with only a flashlight for guidance. A good plan, one driven by systems, is like having a beacon five miles off, guiding you forward. It lets you see past short- term obstacles without drifting off-course.

Don’t rely on hired talent. Become more talented by creating a systematic approach that you can hand to someone else to implement. You are truly on the verge of greatness when you have made yourself obsolete, and you are confident that your business would run faultlessly without you being there every day. It’s not only liberating for the professional, it’s rejuvenating, too.

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.

Your clients’ perception of you has been shaped by your rules of engagement and your code of conduct. You have effectively led them into a pattern of either focusing on what you cost and using you as a lightning rod to channel their frustrations or focusing on what you are worth and, in the latter case, the thought of defecting never occurs to them and the thought of endorsing you is always top of mind.

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2020-02-03 • 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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2020-01-31 • 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.

2020-01-30 • 5 minute video

Use goal setting to achieve professional contrast and ensure your clients understand and appreciate not just you and your people, but also your practice and your process.

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2020-01-29 • 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.

2020-01-28 • 5 min video

In this episode in the Blue Square Video series, Duncan discusses Zen and how appreciating what you have while you aspiring to what you want, helps you form the yin-yang balance.

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2020-01-28 • 2 minute read

I asked a substantial professional advisor in California with 21 years of experience how his clients described him.

“Man I hate that question,” he said.

“You’ve only had 21 years to answer it, so I can see how I caught you off guard,” I said.

“I know what you’re saying. Are you asking me for my elevator speech or pitch book or my mission statement?”

“Stop right there,” I said. “Look, everything you say and everything you communicate to a client is either a ‘me-too’ or a ‘so-what’.”

A ‘me-too’ speaks directly to a client and amplifies how you are described, which attracts that person and engages them. In their inside voice they say to themselves “I want that.” Or, it’s a so-what. A so-what they dismiss. It’s the same as everybody else. It’s just noise. You sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

I want you to think about this. It’s not a mission statement. It’s not a pitch book. That’s what salespeople use. Consultants use a value proposition, a verbal extension of their branding strategy that’s integrated and converged.

After my rant, the advisor told me, “I’m a professional advisor and I help people reach their financial goals.”

I said that is completely accurate, but you just described about 10,000 professional advisors.

You can’t bore someone into buying something. It sounds like everybody else, and it’s too easy to dismiss. Plus, what does it even mean? It’s abstract, without specifics people can grasp.

What does it mean when you say “I help people?” You need to think about that answer as it applies to you and your business.

Continued Success!

Contributed by Duncan MacPherson

Pareto Systems
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