22Sep

Welcome to September’s Bullish on Business! After a current market update, we discuss how to Beat Your Competition as advisors. Just click below to play this month’s episode.

Principal Funds
Thanks to Principal Funds for sponsoring this month’s Bullish on Business episode! Make sure to watch the 3-minute video from Principal after the market update to gain some valuable insights. You may also download these resources from Principal (just click to see each one):

 

Bullish on Business is a video subscription series from Dynamic Directions providing on-demand expertise for financial advisors. More than 200 subscribers receive each monthly episode featuring a current market update along with an in-depth look at a specific topic such as Niche Marketing, Tax Savings Ideas, Investment Lineups and more.

Bullish on Business comes out the third week of each month. Join our subscriber list here to receive monthly market updates and recommendations, along with expert advice on the intricacies of running a modern financial office.

18Aug

Welcome to the new and improved Bullish on Business! As we strive to serve you better, we are moving to a pre-recorded format that will allow you to watch each episode at your convenience.

We plan to publish a video on the third week of each month (our normal webinar week). Each episode will still feature a market update from Investment Guru Drew Watson, along with a more in-depth look at a particular topic relevant to your practices.

August Episode
We start off with a market update before discussing recommendations on how to handle new asset allocation requirements in your practice. We then feature our semi-annual Investment Update, where Drew Watson helps you reset your investment lineup according to current market conditions.

Just click below to play this month’s Bullish on Business. A copy of the updated Investment Spreadsheet is also available for you to download below.

Mark your calendars for the next episode of Bullish on Business – it will be available the week of September 20!

Resources

Bullish on Business is a video subscription series from Dynamic Directions providing on-demand expertise for financial advisors. More than 200 subscribers receive each monthly episode featuring a current market update along with an in-depth look at a specific topic such as Niche Marketing, Tax Savings Ideas, Investment Lineups and more.

Bullish on Business comes out the third week of each month. Join our subscriber list here to receive monthly market updates and recommendations, along with expert advice on the intricacies of running a modern financial office.

26Jul

We usually take June and July off from the Bullish on Business webinar, but we produced a special July bonus episode to discuss new Asset Allocation requirements from your broker-dealer. We know many of you have concerns about how to implement the new requirements, along with questions about various investment vehicles.

To help you begin to get a handle on this topic, we asked our own D2 Investment Guru Drew Watson how his practice is adapting to the changes. He begins with a short market update before discussing his best practices.

We pre-recorded this episode so it would be available on-demand whenever you have a few minutes – just click here or below to watch!

Bullish on Business is a video subscription series from Dynamic Directions providing on-demand expertise for financial advisors. More than 200 subscribers receive each monthly episode featuring a current market update along with an in-depth look at a specific topic such as Niche Marketing, Tax Savings Ideas, Investment Lineups and more.

Bullish on Business comes out the third week of each month. Join our subscriber list here to receive monthly market updates and recommendations, along with expert advice on the intricacies of running a modern financial office.

10Jul

Every quarter, we are highlighting Ameriprise leaders who are working hard for the financial advisors of Dynamic Directions. First up is Brian Mora, an Ameriprise Field Vice President in Jacksonville, FL. Brian has been with Ameriprise for 14 years, earning the Ameriprise Outstanding Leader Award in 2013 and 2014, his CFP® certification in 2007 and being nominated for the Ameriprise Community Impact Award in 2013.

What’s your philosophy of leadership?
My leadership philosophy is “meet advisors where they are.” What I mean by this is that I don’t attempt to coach or lead advisors in a cookie-cutter way where everyone gets the same advice, resources or support at the exact same time. I try to assess what an advisor truly needs at that time and align my support around that need.

What resources do you have that advisors can use?
I think the single most valuable resource I provide to advisors is the talented human capital that is my Leadership Team. The areas of expertise that they possess combined with the sincere care and desire to help advisors grow their business is truly the difference maker for myself and my team in helping our advisors versus others in the industry.

What’s one piece of advice you can give advisors?
I think the most important piece of advice I can share with advisors is to ensure they know that their future success is largely dependent not upon their own individual excellence but based upon how strong of a team they build and how well they lead that team. Developing their leadership skills should be priority #1 into the future.

How have you seen D2 help advisors?
I’ve seen D2 help advisors in multiple ways, but the three biggest items I’ve seen them have an impact with are (a) advisors developing an exceptional menu of services and world-class client service model, (b) implementing a practical marketing plan that has led to major growth rates and (c) arming advisors with the leadership skills they need to build and lead a great team.

Why do you think coaching is helpful for advisors?
I think every advisor can benefit from coaching because it is very difficult for any one person to perfectly determine on their own: (1) the priority order of their goals, (2) the tactics needed to achieve their goals, (3) the methods for tracking those goals and (4) how to hold themselves and other accountable. Moreover, it’s often hard to anticipate ALL of the challenges and problems that might occur and/or how to get things back on track when one of those challenges presents themselves. I think the single biggest value coaching provides is the unbiased, unemotional third-party opinion (often times second opinion) on how to achieve a particular goal and/or solve a particular problem.

What makes you different than other leaders?
I think the thing that makes me different than other leaders is my commitment and my team’s commitment to follow through. It should be table stakes to be a leader but far too often leaders make commitments and don’t follow through. I pride myself on the systems I utilize to ensure that we follow through on each commitment we make to an advisor.

What are some of your interests outside work?
I’m interested in a number of things outside of work but my primary interests are spending time with my family (my sons Greyson (3.5) and Sterling (8 months) are occupying the majority of my time these days). I’m an incredibly active person with my two biggest passions being triathlons and yoga.

What else do you want advisors to know about you?
I would want advisors to remember to keep the focus on the big picture. Oftentimes, given the incredible amount of change we face in the industry, advisors will get emotionally off-track and forget that they get to make an exceptional living doing something truly noble while building relationships with hundreds of families who have entrusted them with their most important financial goals. That’s a pretty special club to be in.

Thanks, Brian, for everything you do. You can find out more about Brian here, or reach him at 606-335-8844 or brian.j.mora@ampf.com.

22Jun

In our last post, we looked at the traditional approach to marketing events and why it just doesn’t work. This week, we’re taking at look at the kinds of events that actually produce results …

HOLD EVENTS YOU WILL ENJOY

Most advisors view marketing as a necessary evil as opposed to an opportunity to enjoy themselves, show their clients a good time and funnel the right prospects to events for eventual client conversion. As you saw in the Traditional Client Appreciation Event, the extra work involved, little or no promotion on a one-on-one basis with clients, inviting the wrong clients, investing several thousand dollars with little or no return, and not developing a well thought-out game plan all led to a disastrous outcome. Your marketing does not have to be this painful.

When you put on an event that excites you, you will be willing to take the extra time in a review meeting with one of clients to personally invite them.Your enthusiasm prior to and at the event will be contagious to all those you touch. You will create an event checklist and timeline to guide your team to achieve a successful experience. Your guest speakers will be in harmony with the messages you want to send to your audience. You can simultaneously experience a great time and get results.

The Traditional Client Appreciation Event described above shows you (the advisor) sweating every detail and micro-managing the entire project, but you should not be involved with the details of the event – you should hand all those details over to one of your team members. If you don’t have a team, hire an event planner to manage all of the particulars. Develop check points for each event so you can touch base with whomever is managing the specifics of the project for you. In other words, do not micromanage the event. Use your time to focus your strengths on client relationships to boost attendance.

WHAT TYPES OF EVENTS SHOULD YOU HOLD?

If you don’t like playing golf, don’t waste any effort on planning a golf outing. Choose and plan outings based on experiences you would attend and enjoy. Consider conducting two large inclusive events per year and as many small exclusive events as you need to meet your revenue and client acquisition goals. The large inclusive events should have universal appeal for your Top-Shelf and Mid-Shelf Client base. These events are also an effective avenue to invite your Top-Shelf Prospects. Because you are trying to appeal to a larger number of clients, the larger events need to carry a broad base of attraction.

For your smaller events, you want to produce first-class exclusive offerings that limit the number of clients and guests who can attend. By limiting the number of participants, you are creating urgency for your clients to reserve their spot as soon as possible. These small venues are most effective when you create an event that appears private and difficult to get into unless clients or guests have an exclusive connection. With planning and effort, you can create marketing events that you enjoy and that bring spectacular results.

Contact Dynamic Directions for a more detailed strategy on how to make this kind of marketing work for you!

08Jun

Do you despise holding marketing events and asking for referrals? Probably. If you are like most advisors, you may find more joy in reading the last 10 pages of an investment prospectus than in building and executing a well thought-out marketing plan.

Here’s why most advisors loathe marketing and how to bring the joy back!

THE TRADITIONAL CLIENT APPRECIATION EVENT AND APPROACH

In order to grow your client base, you and your manager decide that you need to put on a marketing event. With vague instructions, your manager points you in the direction of a wholesaler. The wholesaler will help you underwrite the costs and deliver an approved but boring presentation at a (usually) run-of-the-mill restaurant.

You tell your staff that the event has to be planned as a team. Typically, the staff has little to no experience in planning a client appreciation event. You realize you need to play the role of event planner and financial advisor for the six weeks leading up to the big client appreciation dinner. Although your team is capable of writing an invitation and getting it approved through the home office, you decide this is too important of a task to delegate. You continue delegating to yourself the activities of lining up the restaurant, dealing with a catering manager, choosing the menu, coordinating the plans with the wholesaler and any other administrative task associated with your big event.

Instead of having your clients respond to one of your team members, you note on the invitation to let you know if they will be coming. You receive several phone calls which you view as distractions before you realize your top assistant can handle these calls and inform her to take all reservations. In all conversations with clients (either with you or your staff), no one asks or reminds the clients they can bring a friend to the event. In your client review meetings prior to the big night, you forget to discuss the event with the clients you want to attend most.

You show up at the event and notice that 1/5 of your prayers were answered. Your attendance shot up to 60 with five more clients and five more guests from the two clients who bother you most. You look around the room after you visit the buffet to locate the best clients to sit by to at least make the night as joyful as possible. You notice all of your best clients are sitting next to your worst clients. Your instinct tells you to go break up these strange arrangements, but logistically you can’t separate everyone. You locate the solitary open seat next to the best client you can find.

As the wholesaler dives into his talk, he suddenly gives a forecast on the market that conflicts with the economic outlook you delivered to your clients over the last month.  Clients seek you out with baffled looks.

At the end of the dinner, you try to personally bid goodbye to each guest and tell them you appreciate their attendance. What ultimately happens is that you meet the guests of the clients you wish would disappear. Three different guests tell you they do not need your advice because they spent all of their savings on a bass boat, a trip to Hawaii, and a 60” plasma television.

After the event, a few of your clients email you to say what a great dinner and presentation you orchestrated. Some clients who attended the dinner and had review appointments with you right after the event tell you they had a good time, but question you about the really different types of clients in your practice.

After all of the receipts are collected and the wholesaler signs the reimbursement form, you realize you are out $2,000 for the grand evening. A month goes by and none of the guests contact you about setting an appointment. You suddenly realize you lost money on the deal because you only heard from a total of six clients who enjoyed the night and the conversion of guests to clients is 0%.

Okay, maybe not all of the elements of this story happen to you in relation to your marketing efforts.  However, the above story represents many of the reasons why advisors may abhor marketing.

Stay tuned for next time, when we’ll talk about how to hold events that you and your clients enjoy – and that bring you a return on your investment!

26May

OWENSBORO, KYMay 26, 2017 – Travis Ray Chaney, CFP™, CMC®, a Franchise Consultant with Ameriprise Financial, has qualified for the company’s Circle of Success annual recognition program and was honored for this achievement as a Premier Franchise Consultant at the 2017 Achiever’s Conference in Nashville, Tenn.

While at the conference, advisors and Franchise Consultants shared best practices with peers and focused on how they can continue to serve clients’ needs with the most current and effective strategies, products and solutions.

To earn this achievement, Chaney established himself as one of the company’s top Franchise Consultants, achieving high levels in leading advisors in production, client service and client satisfaction. Only a select number of high-performing Ameriprise Franchise Consultants (10) earn the Premier Franchise Consultant distinction. Chaney has been affiliated with Ameriprise Financial for 22 years.  Chaney has been a two-time winner of the prestigious Franchise Consultant of the Year Award and coaches the latest two winners (2015 and 2016).

Chaney is also CEO of Dynamic Directions, a firm that specializes in coaching and consulting independent advisors with clients in 33 states; partner in the financial planning firm Align Wealth Management; and partner in Inner Circle Entrepreneur, a consulting firm specializing in developing seasoned entrepreneurs. He is also president and founder of Kidcentric Sports and secretary and co-founder of Kids Football League. Chaney graduated from Kentucky Wesleyan College and received his Certified Master Coach designation from the Behavioral Coaching Institute.

Chaney’s office is located at 2708 New Hartford Rd. For more information, please contact Ben Hoak at 270.663.7264 or bhoak@dynamicdirections-d2.com.

About Ameriprise Financial

At Ameriprise Financial, we have been helping people feel confident about their financial future for more than 120 years. With a network of 10,000 financial advisors and outstanding asset management, advisory and insurance capabilities, we have the strength and expertise to serve the full range of consumer financial needs. For more information, visit ameriprise.com or www.dynamicdirections-d2.com.

# # #

Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC

© 2017 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

21Apr
[This is the second part of a post on characteristics of highly successful entrepreneurs. Click here for Part 1.]

 

3. High achievers know how to effectively leverage resources.

High achievers have learned the best and highest use of their time, talent and resources. The idea is that you focus on what you can do based on what you are really good at. You perform the tasks that only you are qualified to do – the high points that drive results and hit your passion zone. On the flip side, you should know the jobs at which your team members excel so they can take the burden of those tasks off you. This reaches beyond mere delegation of grunt work to knowing exactly how your team works smoothly together and who does which jobs best.

You should also have a good understanding of when you need to reach outside your organization to make use of other resources – this could include vendors, consultants, colleagues and other trusted advisors. In short, you are a conductor bringing together the various members of your orchestra at just the right time to make beautiful music together.

4. High achievers make decisions quickly because they know who they are, where they’re going and how they want to get there.

Many entrepreneurs are equally talented in terms of the knowledge specific to their industry – financial services, heath care, construction, etc. One financial advisor, for example, may have 20 high net worth clients, while another has 100 of the same type of clients. Both advisors may know how to handle such clients and may be equally skilled in strategies that increase their clients’ wealth (and their own). The second advisor just knows how to attract more clients at a quicker rate. His advantage is in the speed with which he operates because of his certainty in what he’s trying to do.

High achievers know the values and principles that define who they are, they know exactly what they want and they are on a well-thought-out path to their goals. As different ideas and strategies emerge, they can quickly decide what to incorporate into their plan and what to leave out.

They are quick to make decisions to start something and slow to move away from the direction they set when their ideas meet challenges. Conversely, lesser achievers are slow to make decisions to start a new initiative and quick to change their mind when faced with challenges. At the end of the day, motion trumps meditation the majority of the time – so take some kind of action if you want to earn the status of high achiever.

So here’s the question:

When you look at highly successful entrepreneurs, what differences do you see between them and you? These four characteristics just might be the answer. They might be your way of climbing off the low end of the achievement spectrum and jumping on the fast track to the top.

Do you want to be at the top? Do you want to be looking up at others or see them looking up at you? Reaching that best-of-the-best level requires more than just thinking, “Oh, I wish I could be successful like her.” It requires full implementation and constant refinement of each of these four characteristics.

If you’re ready to strive for big results, centering your thinking on these four attributes can bring the motivation and traction you need. Your results will change when your behaviors change. Your behaviors will change when your beliefs change. Are you sure about who you are? Can you make decisions quickly? Are you willing to take managed risks and change quickly when necessary? Are you leveraging your resources in the best way?

Your business will truly succeed when you begin applying these entrepreneurial principles. Focus on these fundamentals and they will be difference makers for you.

Want to find out more about D2? Contact us here to set up a complimentary 30-minute consultation to find out what it will take to move your life and practice to the next level.

13Apr

06Apr

If you’re reading this post, chances are that you’re successful to some degree. But we all know, or at least have observed, wildly successful entrepreneurs who skyrocket their businesses to the next, next, next, next level and beyond – a level you marvel at and admire.

What’s the difference between achievers and high achievers? How do some entrepreneurs escalate their businesses to the top when they don’t appear to be any more skilled than you?

Your expertise in whatever particular industry you’re involved in is probably not that different from the top achievers in your field. The difference lies in your mindset and your level of mastery of entrepreneurial fundamentals.

Below are four key characteristics of outrageously successful entrepreneurs. Spend time developing these tenets and your success will soar as well. (We’ll cover the first two in this post and the last two in a subsequent post.)

Four Characteristics of High Achievers

 

1. High achievers process and implement change at a very rapid pace.

If your company is going to succeed, you must be ready and willing to change constantly. Wildly successful entrepreneurs maintain a rhythm of constant change. Change works best when it is planned, so once these entrepreneurs decide the direction they want to take, they are bold enough to launch themselves headfirst into the new course.

Many other changes are unplanned, so as an entrepreneur, you must develop the ability to roll with the punches and adjust on the fly. Stay committed to your vision and plan, but be ready at any time to adapt based on circumstances, new developments, and especially when faced with adversity. Flexibility is an undervalued trait, but a fantastic way to demonstrate your willingness to do what’s necessary to push through to the next level.

Wildly successful entrepreneurs maintain a rhythm of constant change.

2. High achievers know how to manage risk effectively, so they’re not afraid to take risks.

In order to manage risk, you’ve got to take risks. Because high achievers are so accomplished at managing the possible effects of their actions, they are willing and able to take more risks than everybody else. Here’s a helpful grid through which you can view risk:

Calculate the best and worst possible results of the proposed course of action. The end results usually fall somewhere in between (i.e. the more-than-likely), but high achievers are quick to decide if they can tolerate the worst thing that could happen as a result of taking a particular risk.

If you decide you can tolerate a bad result and the more-than-likely scenario will help you achieve your goals, move ahead with the risk – the possible good outweighs the potential bad. If you can’t tolerate the worst case scenario and/or the more-than-likely scenario won’t move you closer to your goals, don’t take the chance – the reward from the risk is not great enough.

The more you practice this method, the more you will develop your sense for finding the appropriate risk versus return ratio.

Stay tuned for more on entrepreneurship later this month …

Want to find out more about D2? Contact us here to set up a complimentary 30-minute consultation to find out what it will take to move your life and practice to the next level.