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Proven Strategies Blog

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2021-04-12 • 20 second read

Thursday, April 29th at 12:00 PM or 4:00PM EDT 

Complimentary registration link:

Master the lost art of sending impactful greeting cards by joining Duncan MacPherson of Pareto Systems along with Cathi and Glen Durrell of Lavish Cards as they discuss:
• Why high-quality greeting cards have more impact on client relationships now than ever before.
• How to adopt and deploy best practices and proven strategies that amplify loyalty and advocacy.
• Ensure that you always "own the mantle" whenever you send a card to a client paying tribute to an life-event, milestone or holiday.
Top teams are seizing the moment to up their game when it comes to client engagement. You too can learn how to take the abstract, commoditized, transactional and volatile nature of this business and make your value more conceptual and indispensable with simple and easy to use strategies.

Q&A - Be sure to ask a question when you register for the Q&A portion of the webinar.

Complimentary registration link:

Can't make it, don't worry register anyway and we give you access to the recording.

2021-04-22 • 4 min video
What does a seller want? - The most attractive business you can buy is from an advisor who wants three things; liberation, legacy, and liquidity. Liberation means you're going to liberate them to go live their lives…
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2021-04-21 • 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:

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2021-04-20 • 3 minute read

I’ve seen it time and time again. Being more productive doesn’t mean that you have to work harder or put in longer hours. You just have to be strict and economical with your time.

You do it every day, without thinking about it. When you buy a power screwdriver to replace your rusty old manual one, you are buying time. You are focused on accomplishing the same job but in less time and with less energy expended.

As I identified earlier, one way to manufacture capacity, free up time and reduce hassle factors is to right-size your client base. Focusing on how small you can stay has worked wonders for several advisors who hit a plateau, but that isn’t to say it is necessary for every advisor. Some advisors transfer B and C clients to a Call Center. Others hire a protégé to manage B clients to free themselves up to provide enhanced service to A clients.

Another approach is to come back to the Pareto Principal. If 80 percent of your business is stemming from 20 percent of your clients then you must invest 80 percent of your time with those clients on a one-to-one basis. And if 20 percent of your business is coming from 80 percent of your clients perhaps a one-to-many approach for your B clients using a managed money platform is the answer.

You’ve probably considered a managed money platform for a block of your B clients but never executed on the concept. I can tell you this - and this stems from countless observations - done properly, following a predictable and sustainable process that is positioned professionally and as a benefit to your clients, this can manufacture time and capacity to ensure that the business serves your life.

The key in that statement is that you position the concept as a benefit to your B clients. I say that because many advisors feel that the optics (from the clients’ perspective) of transitioning all or even just a block of B clients to a managed money program will be negative. Surely clients will feel they are being trivialized and will eventually defect to another advisor? I’m here to tell you that it all comes down to how you position it. Not to oversimplify it, but you can follow this simple checklist as a starting point: 

  • Research - It should go without saying, but scrutinize the platforms available to you and be in no hurry to select one that is the best fit.
  • Apply a two-meeting approach - The first meeting is for introducing the concept and the second is for the actual transition itself.
  • The importance of process - Explain the difference between a financial plan and on-going financial planning. 

This is the recipe for the secret sauce, for lack of a better analogy. With your B clients, you want to explain how this is a proactive and ongoing process that helps you both take a long view to financial planning while at the same time still being nimble enough to react to fluctuations and external events along the way.

Many clients think of financial planning as a one-off event where the advisor diagnoses the client’s issues, identifies their goals and objectives and then creates a 120-page plan that the client probably won’t read or understand but might feel better simply holding.

True financial planning is a fluid and dynamic process that can be affected greatly by Critical Life Events; any one of which can instantly render that 120-page plan obsolete. When you are transitioning your relationship to a managed money approach, you can re-frame the client’s understanding of your role in their life. It is one thing to explain the difference between transactional commissions and transparent asset management fees, but a Fee-Worthy Advisor goes deeper than that.

The Fee-Worthy Advisor uses words like “process”, “consistency” and “predictability” - not in terms of returns on a statement but in terms of advisor-client engagement. They use metaphors like the weather, a GPS and the seasons to help the client conceptualize how the advisor navigates through storms and seasonal swings. The markets are like the weather - you can anticipate some storms and others you cannot. The markets are like the seasons. You can count on the seasons of life but the severity of each season can fluctuate from year to year.

This can help your clients truly understand your role and your value and see past turbulent periods.

Many advisors say that having a Fee-Worthy mindset puts you on the same side of the table as your client. I say that it puts you both on the same wavelength, and that understanding competitor-proofs your clients, minimizes their anxieties about external factors and events and improves your refer-ability. It also has proven to dramatically reduce the daily frequency of inbound client calls because of their renewed confidence in you and your process, and that takes the transitional process from time well spent to the best investment you’ll ever make.

Continued Success!

Contributed by: Duncan MacPherson

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2021-04-19 • 20 second read

Being good at what you do is expected by a client. For clients to feel it would be a disservice to a friend not to make an introduction requires you to be better than good.

Providing an exemplary level of service and communicating your value with clarity allows clients to buy into a relationship with you, not just products from you. It lets you exceed their expectations. Being refer-able actually does lead to referrals.

2021-04-15 • 4 min video

If your clients don’t know who your ideal client is, they can’t recommend someone who is a good fit. If they don’t know how to make an introduction to you, they won’t. Communication is key and having a defined process and ideal client profile makes you more referable.

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2021-04-14 •

When it comes to practice management, a lot of attention must be placed on the client experience. Using an agenda, having a fit process, onboarding a client systematically and deploying a service matrix are just a few of the essentials that I help advisors put into action to project professionalism and strengthen their client relationships.

The Advisor Playbook is loaded with actionable content to take your business to the next level! Click to download a sample chapter:

#branding #businessdevelopment #practicemanagement

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2021-04-13 • 3 minute read

Is it your fault as an advisor that the markets are volatile and the future is uncertain? Not any more than it’s your fault when autumn becomes winter. Your responsibility, however, is that your clients are prepared for winter, and that it’s not a shock to them when it arrives. However, if your clients tend to refer you only when things are rosy, you have a serious vulnerability in the way that you have positioned yourself. Things do not have to be this way!

If advisors would take a page or two from a profession that has already gone through this brand of disharmony, the dentists in the preceding section being a great example, they would finally have a business where clients can and will refer them regardless of how the markets are doing. This is not a pipe dream. There are advisors who have already integrated these things into their businesses. These advisors have clients who have been taught the doctrine and who are not faked out by volatility. As a result, because their clients’ expectations have been exceeded in the areas that the advisor can control, these advisors are immensely referable 365 days out of the year.

When ‘instant rapport’ takes place at your office and the experience is coupled with a client process where the complexities of financial planning have been simplified and future-paced, clients will embrace your efforts. They will also realize that it would be a disservice not to recommend this five-star service to others they know who are unhappy with their professional advisors.

Through a crystal-clear client process, clients are taught that financial planning is not an event, but a process that involves ongoing interaction with their professional advisor, repeatedly and consistently as their lives and needs unfold.

Like the “dental health” mantra, clients can learn a financial mantra and will deliver it to others just as naturally and eloquently. With this kind of structure, to blame a professional advisor for an occasional or sustained hit to a balanced portfolio would be akin to blaming a dentist for your impacted wisdom tooth. The end result is that the instant rapport and the Client Process are what the clients learn to value in their dealings with the advisor, instead of fixating on the rate of return on their investments.

To those advisors who doubt the veracity of this claim, the number-one piece of feedback I hear from the clients of professional advisors who have embraced this approach of perfecting what they can control and improve on is: “Finally! This is what we’ve been waiting for!” Typically, when affluent prospective clients hear about a superior brand of advisor, they will distance themselves from the transaction-oriented advisor as quickly as possible and gravitate to the full-service advisor.

The bottom line is that everything – every action and reaction – executed by you and your team makes you either more or less referable. Scrutinize everything and create a referable experience so that you can nail down the small changes that makes for major improvement; the processes that sharpen the winning edge.

Continued Success!

Contributed by Duncan MacPherson

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2021-04-12 • 20 second read

Professionalizing every aspect of your business – from your agendas to your onboarding process to your office itself – and infusing each element with your brand, governed by replicable process, is the key to moving from the business running you, to you running the business.

2021-04-08 • 15 min

The wonderful women behind ID will be presented "How to Look Your Best in Virtual Meetings" at last month’s "The Women Are Here!" Virtual Summit. Watch the replay here!

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