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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:
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Proven Strategies Blog

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2020-06-30 • 3 minute read

Through many market cycles over the years, I’ve been saying that a good financial advisor is at his or her highest level of refer-ability during times of volatility. Money becomes more topical and many people start to have nagging doubts about the track they are on – both in terms of their current advisor and financial plan. As a result, friends and family members will often confide in and then bare their souls to your clients: 

“Are you happy with your financial advisor, because I think I’ve just about had it with mine.” 

Capitalize on this growing stage of readiness so that your clients will feel compelled to shine a light on you at that moment of truth. Trigger a moment of recognition and awareness for your value through proper positioning and imprinting. 

Getting Out in Front 

Call all of your favorite clients. A proactive call can serve as a mid-course correction to prevent them from drifting into a mindset where they fixate on specific products, pricing and performance, back to an enlightened philosophy, panoramic planning strategy and methodical process around financial independence. 

From MORF to FORM 

Be certain that you also bridge your “how” with their “why”. Transition yourself from the traditional Money, Occupation, Recreation and Family approach. Instead, focus on their Family Investment Legacy, their Occupational pursuit to a work optional lifestyle and their Recreational bucket list. This way, you can keep Money as a means to an end. The more they stay focused on why financial independence matters, the more value they will place on how you get them there - and in the process you will de-commoditize yourself. This is essential to keeping clients focused on what matters and what they can control.

Imprint Your Value 

“Just before I let you go, as you can imagine, I’ve been speaking to several clients recently, many of whom have friends and family members who are a bit unsettled and are starting to look to the future with apprehension rather than anticipation. I’m telling you this because I want to remind you that, as a value added service, I will gladly be a sounding board for anyone who is looking for a voice of reason. And keep in mind, they do not need to become a client to take advantage of this service. If they’re important to you, they’re important to me.” 

Act on Their Permission 

Many clients will thank you for your comment. Others will give you permission to elaborate by saying:

“I wasn’t aware that you did that.” 

Tell them WHY you do it – it’s because of your sense of purpose

Tell them WHO you do it for – by defining the person who fits your ideal client profile

Tell them HOW to make an introduction – by demystifying your process 

You ultimately aspire to become a client’s personal CFO, ensuring total client engagement over the lifetime of the relationship. You can’t achieve that by solely being their CIO. They need to know you are a CEO who runs the business like a business, creating a solid client experience, and you need to be a CMO with a marketing, branding and communication process that ensures clients understand and appreciate your value and continually focus on what you’re worth rather than what you cost. 

Continued Success!

Contributed by Duncan MacPherson

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2020-06-29 • 20 second read

One of my favorite quotes,often attributed to Confucius, is “Dig your well before you’re thirsty.” As a professional advisor you know all about the importance of planning, risk management and the power of compounding. From a business perspective, do you apply the same mindset?

Excerpt from The AdvisorPlaybook

Visit www.paretosystems.comfor more daily insights.

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2020-06-29 • 20 second read

Missed last month's Pareto Systems' Practice Management E-Summit?

Watch the replay here:

7 Hours of content
10 Sessions
16 Speakers
100’s of Actionable Ideas

Join Duncan MacPherson, the Pareto Team, and other leading industry experts in a full-day virtual practice management summit as they discussed how you can emerge from this current environment prepared for the future - To convey leadership, strength and optimism and identify.

Watch the replay of each presentation here:

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2020-06-26 • 20 second read

A lot of people in your market area need your expertise, but you shouldn’t spend time with people who need you at the expense of people who deserve you. You are only one person with just 24 hours in a day. Work with the people who are already convinced and let them convince their acquaintances for you.


Excerpt from The Advisor Playbook. 


Buy it today on Amazon:

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2020-06-26 • 20 sec

A lot of people in your market area need your expertise, but you shouldn’t spend time with people who need you at the expense of people who deserve you. You are only one person with just 24 hours in a day. Work with the people who are already convinced and let them convince their acquaintances for you.

Excerpt from The Advisor Playbook: 

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2020-06-25 • 29 minutes

In this session, Duncan MacPherson interviewed family business author and speaker Tom Deans about the biggest unmet need advisors can address with first generation affluent business owners, professionals and executives. Watch the replay of his presentation here:

This presentation is pulled from the Pareto Systems' Practice Management eSummit held on May 28, 2020:

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2020-06-24 • 20 second read

How do you welcome new clients? How do you say thank you for client referrals? How do you respond toclient service issues? Do you recognize milestones? As a business owner, branding is everything to your business, and everything you do is part of your branding. Everything you do matters. Scrutinize the entire client experience, and make a list of how you will respond to moments of truth. This is the first step in creating velocity, building confidence and ensuring that you are continually refining and optimizing your systems and procedures. Everything has to be rooted in process and habits.

Excerpt from The Advisor Playbook

2020-06-23 • 29:25

In this session, Elaine discusses four strategies that your CSA can implement immediately to enhance your clients' experience. She also be discusses Team dynamics and communication and specifically how you can use DISC and Motivation assessments to understand your team, enhance communication within your team, and build your team successfully.

This presentation is pulled from the Pareto Systems Practice Management eSummit held on May 28, 2020

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2020-06-23 • 2 minute read

What would happen if you took a month off - starting tomorrow? Would your business spiral into chaos or would it run like a Swiss watch? What would happen if one of your key team members told you that he or she is resigning starting immediately? Would your business be severely disrupted or would you be able to hire a replacement and fast-track him or her to competence?

As strange as it may sound, true business success can only be achieved when you have made yourself obsolete. When the day comes that you don’t need to be present and your business can still be productive, you are on the verge of a breakthrough. Furthermore, when your business practices are documented, you not only liberate your staff to be more efficient but you ensure that you are never at the mercy of maverick talent. 

Another one of the biggest benefits of deploying and maintaining an organized and structured business is predictability. The outcomes and results you are striving for become predictable in terms of productivity and the business serves your life instead of the other way around. It also has tremendous impact on your client relationships too. You set expectations for your clients and deliver a consistent client experience that amplifies the trust and confidence they have in you. 

When we consult with a financial advisor on a one to one basis, at this point of the strategic analysis we reveal that overall their life is good. They earn a good living and have earned the right to be content. However, deep inside, ambition nags at them. They know they could break through the plateau. But they just can’t seem to take their business higher. And, of course, they have a lifestyle to support and cannot allow their business to go any lower. 

Ultimately, they don't want to work harder. Of course, they could work more hours, but the collateral damage to their personal lives would be unacceptable and would take them down the path of diminishing returns. Furthermore, fear of rocking the boat inhibits them. If it isn’t really broken, why try to fix it? In other words, if they attempt to tinker with or re-engineer their current approach, they risk adjustments which might not lead to improvements or could possibly even set things back. 

As one advisor put it, “I can’t afford to be right, eventually. My monthly expenses on both business and personal levels require results right now.” This mindset results in people sticking with the status quo and maintaining a business which simply hovers. 

So, you can’t work any harder. And you’re not prepared to resign yourself to “this is as good as it gets.” What is the answer? 

More often than not, one, two or all of the following three factors must be addressed in order to take your business to the next level, to evolve from survive to thrive. 

Mistaking Motion for Action 

When we ask a financial 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 at is the activities you engage in which give you the best return on your investment of time and energy. Think about it. The Pareto Principle states that 80% of your productivity stems from about 20% of your activities. In other words, you make about 80% of your income every day in about an hour. So, what goes into that hour? Talking to and meeting with your favorite clients and the most predisposed prospective clients available to you. All other activities must support these two essential activities.  

Unless you are a one-person operation, one of the most obvious ways to increase your capacity to do more of what you really get paid to do is to delegate as many supporting activities as possible. 

For many entrepreneurs, managing people and all the accompanying hassles can be a big issue. Many perceive managing people as actually exacerbating the problem because it can be a distraction. Hiring new people adds yet another expense and could potentially upset the chemistry of the staff currently in place. 

These concerns can be addressed if you step back and scrutinize your business. Determine whether it is truly built on predictable, sustainable and duplicable systems driven by accountability and consistency. Does everyone on your team know their job description? Do they follow predetermined systems and procedures, or are they left to their own devices? 

We have seen many, many entrepreneurs with successful businesses supported by talented people but who unknowingly created self-imposed limitations because, frankly, 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. 

Systems Create Success 

The Organizational Chart is simply a snapshot of everyone on your team with a brief description of what they do. One sheet of paper is required and, when completed, becomes the cover sheet of the Procedures Manual. Now if you have never done this before you may be wondering, “Is this worth the effort?” Time and time again, when conducting a Business Evaluation Process (a strategic Gap Analysis) for one of our coaching and consulting clients, we have determined that in order to develop a systematized business this is an essential step back in order to take several forward.

The Random House Dictionary defines systems as "a group or combination of things or parts forming a complex or unified whole." Does this sound like your business? Dry as it may be, it fits not only the dictionary definition, but is critical for your success.

Take a good hard look at your operation. Would it continue to function like a Swiss watch if you weren't there all the time? Could you convince us, today, that your enterprise is a true business and not just simply 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 probably already know the freedom and control it has brought to your business and personal life and your buiness is truly Franchise-Ready. The haphazard approach simply cannot compare.

So where do you start? If you are going to build a business based on systems, the first step is to clearly define each individual’s responsibilities within your organization. You and your team have to sit down and determine who does what and when. On a daily basis, you and your team engage in proactive and reactive activities. Based on the Law of Cause and Effect, all of these activities affect your productivity. You and your team need absolute clarity of who is accountable for each of these activities. 

Continued Success!

Contributed by Duncan MacPherson

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2020-06-22 • 10 second read

Legendary personal and business development philosopher and speaker Jim Rohn often said the following: “The winds of opportunity blow the same for all of us. The difference that separates the best from the rest is how they set their sails. As a professional advisor, you invest a lot of time with your clients helping them face the future with confidence thanks to your investment planning process. Be sure that you have a plan, and that it’s leading you to your goals. 

Excerpt from The Advisor Playbook:

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