Happy New Year! To continue to capitalize on the momentum you gained last year, start this year off right by making sure you have your teammates in the correct roles within your firm. Having the right person in the wrong fit role (the “wrong seat”) substantially detracts from any efficiencies and scale you have achieved.
In our work with firms across the country, we see top candidates not be able to deliver top-tier results because, sometimes, they are in the wrong spot. In this month’s article, we describe the various activities that new financial planners can do for you, so you can ensure your people are operating at their highest and best use.
Originally coined by David Maister in his book Managing the Professional Service Firm - Finders, Minders, and Grinders are a great way to identify new planners into the various skill groups that are needed in your firm. Here is an overview of each:
Finders - These are your business development people; their job is to find prospects. Consider this a front-stage role. These people usually show up as High “I- Influence” on the DISC profile, and/or “Woo” on the Strengthsfinder personality assessments. This is the type of person who has never met a stranger that stays a stranger, and would likely be upset if they went to a networking event and didn’t meet most of the people there! They are at their best use when they can meet a lot of people, sell a product or service, then turn them over to someone else in the firm to deliver on what was promised.
Minders - These are your client relationship people who are people-focused and can be Mindful that clients are always being taken care of. This can also be referred to as a front stage role. These types can show up as High “S - Steadiness” on the DISC profile, and/or “Communication” on the Strengthsfinder personality assessments. This person enjoys being the main point of contact for clients, loves the aspect of coordinating all client planning activities, brings together all of the resources necessary to ensure a positive outcome, and takes the lead as the quarterback of the client situation. These people can sometimes develop business as well, but are more likely to get their new clients from existing client referrals, since they have taken such good care of them, versus prospecting for a cold lead to convert.
Grinders - These are the people in back stage roles within your firm who may not be client facing, but are responsible for grinding out much of the work that needs to be done behind the scenes for the Minder to effectively manage the relationship. Generally, they are task focused, and the types that put their heads down and diligently work what has been assigned to them. These types of team members can show up as High “C - Conscientiousness” on the DISC profile and/or “Analytical” on the Strengthsfinder personality assessments. This person may prefer to interact with people less than Minders and Finders, and instead want to perform research, calculate numbers, develop planning scenarios, and handle a lot of the technical planning aspects when planning for a client.
Some of you may have one person performing all of these aspects, like you may have yourself when you started out, but we caution that as firms grow, these roles are better separated, as putting people outside their ideal-fit role leads to higher turnover rates. In other words, if you have a group of Grinders in your firm and you start asking them to generate leads and close business, they are going to leave and join a firm that will put them in a position that lets them focus on the service work they enjoy (because it better matches their skill set so they can succeed).
You should be able to get a good sense of where potential new hires fall within these categories, but if you find yourself in the interview process and aren't sure, you can always ask them where they see themselves!
We hope this was helpful as you review your organizational chart and human capital assets for the coming year.
Reply to this email and let us know how you did last year and what you have planned for this year. We would love to hear from you!
Caleb & The New Planner Recruiting Team