Recruiting new talent for your firm right now is very difficult. Those seeking to attract talent in this highly competitive environment must have a detailed plan for showing their new planner how the firm will help them get to where they want to go professionally. One of the best ways to do this is for firms to involve new planners in client meetings from the very beginning, so they can start learning the craft! Then once they have developed the confidence, maturity, and skills that you have helped them build, start transitioning clients to them.
When we interview firms nationwide, we frequently hear them say that new hires take too long to become client facing. But keep in mind that, the sooner you hire someone and start the clock with the client facing activities, the sooner they will be ready. When Philip Palaveev presents at conferences, he describes a firm he worked with in his consulting business that had been looking for a financial planner with 5 years of experience for the last 7 years… which means it would have been faster to train hire someone new 7 years ago! It does take time to get people up and running, but that just means the time to act is now… or else the firm becomes overwhelmed and stretched too thin to meet the demands.
Reasons to Hire and Transition Clients
- Free you up to be an entrepreneur - If your goal is to remove yourself from the client fulfillment activities associated with working directly with clients and into other things such as leadership, management, business development to grow faster, etc., you need to find yourself one or more people who you train to handle the client relationships just as well (or even better!) than you did, as your focus shifts to other things. If you are truly a technician as Michael Gerber describes in the E-Myth Revisited, and you enjoy working with clients, and don't want to do any of the other stuff that comes with being an entrepreneur and running a business, then you will need to make a few other professional management/executive hires to fill the void. However, you will still need to have someone working under and/alongside you to free you up to work on the most complicated and profitable client engagements.
- Scale your firm - Even if you wanted to do it all, you can’t grow a firm and have everything go through you. The best way to serve more clients, grow your revenue, or free you up to work on areas that are better suited for your Unique Ability, or take more time off is to develop someone, delegate, then get out of the way. Based on our work with hundreds of firms over the years, the firm owner entrepreneurs who understood they were the biggest bottlenecks in their businesses and made the tough decisions to stop becoming the bottleneck have experienced a lot of growth and success.
- Create learning and career opportunities for newer planners - Hiring new financial planners is becoming more difficult with each passing year. To retain the planners you fought hard to hire, you must constantly challenge them. Once they have learned the foundations of the business, they want larger challenges. What better way to do this than turning them loose on solving client problems under your mentorship.
For firms that say “we aren't set up to train/aren't good at training”, though, you don't need to be a professional training firm. You can move the needle a long way by simply showing the new hires what you do, bringing them into the meetings, and letting them get involved in each aspect. Assuming they have been fully vetted and are capable, the more repetitions they get to take they get, the faster they will develop into a great client- facing planner.
The firms we talk to are overwhelmed with new clients and are being stretched thin to meet their demands plus the needs of their current clients. The senior level planners cannot do it all. Here are some tips to keep in mind when developing your plan for developing a next generation planner and preparing to transition your clients to thema newer planner.
Stay tuned next month for part 2 of this series: when to transition clients, how to transition clients, and how to overcome pushback from clients.
Contact us if you would like to ensure everyone on your team is the right fit for your team, in the correct role based on their personality and preferred work styles, and aligned with your mission and vision.