How to Segment Your Client Base and Services in 4 Simple Steps

By Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media

Back in April, my colleague Barbara Kotlyar, wrote a blog entitled “Change the Nature of Your Relationship (Nurture Your Clients).” It touched on the advantages of segmenting your client base, and suggested that one good starting point for a segmentation strategy was to divvy up your clients by household profitability/ revenue generated. (There are, of course, many other criteria you can use, such as age bracket, level of influence in the community, length of the client relationship, and so on.) I’d like to follow up on Barbara’s blog by outlining a 4-step process that can help you successfully implement a segmentation strategy...Read More »

The Sky is Falling...or is it? Are Today’s Investors Playing the Part of Chicken Little?

Okay, so I am not a CFA, CFP, IMCA…but I have been in the financial industry for 20 years, including 15 years at Financial Advisory firms. During this time, I’ve seen what every investor and member of the financial services industry has seen: the market in all of its ups and downs. Yet in spite of the constant fluctuation, and the fact that the fluctuation is the one constant in the market’s behavior, we still hear a common refrain when the market takes a significant dip: “The market is taking a plunge,” the journalists and pundits say. “We are in the midst of an economic crisis.” And more ominously, they imply “If there ever were a time to press the panic button, this is it!” Somehow, the market always comes back.....Read More »

Advisors and CRM Technology: How Does your Firm Stack Up?

By Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media on Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media

Frankly, I’m a tough grader when it comes to measuring the value of my technology at the office. After all, I make tradeoffs in how to spend the marketing budget. That said, I would give my customer relationship management system (CRM) a B+ grade. It is critical to our success to have a CRM system that enables us to communicate effectively with clients and potential clients, integrates with the other software that we use, and supports us as we grow. But what about the financial advisors whom we serve (and those who don’t yet use ByAllAccounts’ services)? We were curious about their adoption and use of CRM technology, so we made that the topic of our Q3 ByAllAccounts survey. Our survey covered topics that include: Do the respective advisors use CRM? Why or why not? How do they use such a system? How much do they pay? Would they recommend their CRM system to a colleague?..Read More »

Surviving the Crisis: 5 Tips for Advisors in a Time of Market Turmoil

By D. Bruce Johnston, President & CEO, Advisolocity on Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Today's news coverage says it all: words like "plunging stocks," "massive volatility," "lowest levels," "looming recession," "double dip," and "rout" are liberally peppered throughout much of the media. In this environment, it doesn't take long for the pundits and talking heads to start discussing what an advisor should be saying to his or her clients. It comes with the turf, and is certainly no surprise. Because the fact is, as your clients struggle to make sense of a situation they can't control or comprehend, they will increasingly turn to you for context, calm and comfort. You need to communicate with them clearly and unequivocally. That's why I recommend that you make the following five pointers the guideposts of your "crisis mode" communications (they're good everyday pointers, too, regardless of a "meltdown")...Read More »

Inside the Mind of Madoff: An Interview with Diana B. Henriques, Author of the Bestseller “The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust”

By D. Bruce Johnston, President & CEO, Advisolocity on Friday, August 12th, 2011

On August 18th at 2PM EST I will be partnering with ByAllAccounts on a much anticipated webinar entitled “The Madoff Lessons: What Every Financial Advisor Must Learn From History's Biggest Ponzi Scheme” featuring New York Times Bestselling author Diana B. Henriques. While working on the webinar, I had a chance to sit down with Diana to ask her about her experience covering the Madoff story from start to finish.....Read More »

The Recent US Debt Downgrade: One Advisor's Approach to Addressing His Clients

Dear _______, After giving the Treasury advance notice around 1:30 yesterday, S&P officially downgraded US debt from AAA to AA+ at 8:00PM (Eastern) last night. S&P said the downgrade “reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government's medium-term debt dynamics.” It also blamed the weakened “effectiveness, stability, and predictability” of U.S. policy making and......Read More »

Two Ways to be an Approachable Expert Online

When searching for someone to do my taxes last year, I looked for three things: an expert, someone trustworthy, and someone I could easily approach. As a financial advisor, you don’t have to be everyone’s best friend, but it’s helpful for your clients to be able to find and connect with you in multiple ways when they need help. And where do many people spend a lot of their time these days.....Read More »

The Hidden Threat: Why Your Clients Will Leave You When They Retire

By Stephen Peters, Institutional Sales Director on Friday, August 5th, 2011

Many client relationships follow the same sequence of events: You have your initial meeting with your client. You discuss the client’s financial hopes and dreams. You establish long-term goals to accumulate wealth for the client’s retirement. You generate positive investment performance. You meet your goals. The client retires—and then, poof, he or she is gone to another investment firm. Just like that. What happened?..Read More »

The Top 10 Ways Advisors Use an Outsourcer (And Why You May Want to Consider It, Too)

By Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media on Friday, August 5th, 2011

Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media

Deciding what activities are “core” and what are “non-core” is one of the most crucial business decisions you’ll make, regardless of whether you are a sole proprietor or a financial advisor in a small RIA. If you are the “rainmaker,” you’ve probably thought about how to maximize the core time you spend with customers and potential customers and ways to minimize the time spent on some back-office functions......Read More »

Six Steps for Creating an Effective Marketing Plan for Your Practice

By Barbara Kotlyar, Senior Marketing Manager on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

I’m often asked questions about how to build a marketing plan, and how that differs from creating a business plan. First, let’s look at a business plan. It lays out what your business is all about, what services you offer, and what your major goals are. A business plan includes information on many areas that are not covered in the marketing plan, such as staffing, financing, partnerships, and of course, your company vision. In short, the business plan spells out the environment in which your marketing plan will exist.....Read More »