FA Magazine May 2023 | Page 20

Philip Palaveev & Mark Schoenbeck THE BIG PICTURE
Philip Palaveev & Mark Schoenbeck THE BIG PICTURE
activities , perhaps because they are leery of becoming too “ salesy .”
What Works
Now that we ’ ve taken the mistakes into account , it is time for us to turn to the strategies we believe can work best for training future business developers :
Create a business development culture . Ideally , firms can develop a culture that acknowledges business development as
one of their vital functions . In any organization most people tend to focus on what they believe is valued by their leaders . So when business development is seen as a “ dirty deed ” that we all do but don ’ t talk about much , there are not a lot of young professionals who get enthusiastic about it . If it were instead a highly regarded function of being a good advisor , then of course every professional would seek to improve . Celebrate when it happens . Recognize the wins .
Believe that business development is for everyone . If this job is regarded as some magical activity that only naturally gifted people can do , those who think they have no talent for it will never dare try . Have you ever watched a marathon ? If you have , you ’ ve likely seen all kinds of people cross the finish line — older and younger , bigger and smaller , those who are graceful and those who are plodders . They have all completed what appears to be a nearly impossible feat by devoting effort to it .
When business development is seen as a “ dirty deed ” that we all do but don ’ t talk about much , there are not a lot of young professionals who get enthusiastic about it .
Cultivate referral channels . Referral channels include custodian programs , banks and credit unions , CPA alliances and even relationships with property and casualty insurance firms where one firm systematically refers clients to the advisory firm . Firms that cultivate such referral relationships create a rich ecosystem of leads , which once again is the critical resource for developing young professionals .
Make it easier for clients to refer . You want to make it easy for your clients to brag about you . This means supplying the right words to describe your firm and pointing at the right resources ( such as a website ) where prospective clients can do some research on their own .
Build your reputation in niche markets . When younger professionals get involved in well-defined niches , they can more easily find their way through the publications , forums , organizations and people that matter .
Create content . This is the modern marketing weapon of choice . If you can write great articles and produce great videos , you can reach and impress thousands , because these are items that can be easily forwarded and shared . Once again , if your content is specific and unique to a niche , you will likely be more successful , and these are talents often suited to young professionals .
Invest in the channels you already own . The Wall Street Journal may not accept an article from a young professional in your firm , but your website will . The channels you own ( rather than the ones you have to pay for through advertising ) are a great platform for helping your younger professionals build their reputations . Still , those channels need an audience . To bring that audience to you , you still need to market .
Every organization needs to find a way to grow organically . Otherwise , it will not be able to replenish its resources and attract the talented people needed . Growth requires a systematic effort , though , much like any other business activity . It requires a combination of dedication , the right method , the right tools and the right amount of perseverance . The younger professionals can bring the effort and dedication , but advisory firms need to focus that energy on the right methods and tools .
PHILIP PALAVEEV is the CEO of the Ensemble Practice LLC . He ’ s an industry consultant , author of the books G2 : Building the Next Generation and The Ensemble Practice and the lead faculty member for the G2 Leadership Institute .
MARK SCHOENBECK is the executive vice president of advisor engagement for Kestra Financial — a financial advisory organization with 1,700 professionals throughout the country .