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Case Study: Succession Planning & The Need to Shift to an Entrepreneurial Mindset

My client, an experienced advisor, has always been considered the “rainmaker” of his well-established financial planning firm. As he began to consider his retirement, he reached out to a small group of top advisors at his firm about taking over and buying the practice from him. The only problem was that they lacked the level of skill he had for business development and client attraction. That’s where I began my work with them: to support them with a plan for succession, solidifying their branding, and improving their sales skills.

We began by narrowing their focus and defining their niche. This was challenging at first because they feared that by doing so they might lose out on potential clients outside of their niche. However when we looked at their top clients, they realized that one hundred percent were either business professionals themselves or the spouse of a business professional. With that realization, it became easier to own their niche.

From there, the focus was on defining their area of specialization and creating a Branded System. Once these details were in place and they had a clear idea about the overall value they were committed to delivering to their client base; this also shed light on the business model the team of advisors would need to have in place to maintain the sustainability of the company.  

Next I assisted the team in creating a marketing plan that included a variety of channels to attract their ideal clients. From there, the focus became implementing the plan consistently and measuring for results. I am also working with the advisors who will be taking over the practice on enhancing their sales skills and closing ratios.

Another area of focus with my work with this team has been transitioning their employee mindset to an entrepreneurial mindset. When hiring new employees, it would be great if they happened to already have that mindset of taking ownership for results, however what I have found is that not everyone is innately “wired” that way. Oftentimes owners of financial advisory practices hire solid employees who can work with clients and deliver effectively, though they might be missing the entrepreneurial mindset which requires the ability to think bigger, take risks, and a drive to produce results. The transition to entrepreneurial mindset includes the willingness to not only see responsibility that is at hand but to take responsibility for the sustainability of the business.

This team is now in a much better position to effectively transition and take ownership and implement their succession plan.

The entrepreneurial mindset requires pushing when there’s a project that needs to be completed, and releasing the “clock in/clock out” mindset. With ownership, there’s a whole new responsibility of management for the functioning of the company, the team, management of finances, clients, and a commitment to maintaining a sustainable business.

Supporting this transition to an entrepreneurial mindset is an area that I find is powerful for financial advisors, and one where I excel at creating results for my clients.

If you have an upcoming business transition or would like to empower your own mindset, I would love to speak with you. Email me today: susan@susandanzig.com

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