7 Steps to Growing Your Practice

Adding advisors to your practice can lead to significant growth—if you bring on the right advisors. While you could add an advisor simply by calling as many financial advisors as possible, finding the right one is an intentional process that requires forethought. You can’t just make phone calls. You have to define what you are looking for and the value you provide, and then go out and find the prefect match.

The effort is well worth it. Bringing on the right advisor increases revenues and can even reinvigorate your practice by giving you more time to do what you love, whether it’s business development, investment management, or meeting with clients.

The right advisor is out there; here are seven steps to recruit him or her to your practice.

1. Build your list.

Start by listing everyone you—and everyone in your office—know in the business. Bring in lunch for your staff and start brainstorming names. The list should include both advisors as well as others who are in complementary business such as insurance salespeople, property & casualty agents and centers of influence including CPAs, estate planning attorneys, and wholesalers who likely have advisor contacts you can tap into.

Electronically maintain this contact list. You can use Microsoft Excel or more advanced tools such as Salesforce. What’s important is that the tool allows you to track emails, phone calls, and meetings with contacts on your list and maintain notes about each interaction.

2. Develop your ideal candidate profile.

Recruiting the right advisor is critical to the success of your practice. This is your opportunity—with input from your team--to envision the perfect advisor. A new advisor should fit into your practice’s culture, share the same values and advisory philosophy, and get along with you and the rest of your team.

Get specific. If your ideal candidate should enjoy football or outside activities, add that information to your profile.

Be clear and specific about the skills and experiences that a new advisor should bring to your practice. Are you looking for a seasoned advisor or to bring on a younger advisor as part of a succession plan? Are you looking for an advisor with a minimum production? Are you hoping to add services such as managing 401(k) plans for small businesses, tax planning, or working with women in transition?

3. Define and then refine your offering.

To attract your ideal advisor, your offer has to be attractive. Define exactly what you are providing to a new advisor. Review your list and ask yourself, “What would I want to see and know if I was being recruited?” Your answers can help you refine the value you offer.

Be sure to include the following information as you define your offering:

· Physical location: Describe the location, exterior, and interior office space. Is there ample parking? Are there any amenities such as valet parking or an onsite cafeteria that would be on interest to them or their clients?

· Branding: Can an advisor use custom branding or must he or she follow your branding guidelines?

· Marketing: Will an advisor have access to a practice website, social media profiles, and other types of marketing?

· Affiliation: Will you share your book of business or will the advisor simply rent space from you?

· Benefits: Do you offer a company match for your retirement plan? What’s the vacation policy?

· Staff: Do you have the staff to support an additional advisor, or will you allow the advisor to bring in (and pay for) his or her support staff?

· Added value: Is there anything you can add to the list to make your offer more attractive? This includes intangibles such as flexibility and independence.

4. Develop your script.

The script will guide you in each of your phone calls. Your script should include an introduction, a brief explanation of why you are calling, and what you are looking for in an advisor. If you are calling a prospective advisor, your script should prompt you to ask if they are interested in learning more about the opportunity. If you’re calling a center of influence, you should ask if he or she knows of someone who may be a fit.

5. Call your list.

Make these calls part of your weekly or even daily routine and schedule them just as you would any other meting or important task. Put away distractions, close your door, and start calling.

If you contact an advisor who is interested, schedule another phone call or a meeting while on the phone. If the advisor hesitates, offer to send additional information. Record the advisor’s email address so you can send this information and then follow up to see if the advisor would like to schedule a meeting.

Be sure to record what transpired and any next steps you need to take in your call tracking tool. If the contact referred you to others, add them to your list.

Send a physical thank-you note to any contacts you had a productive conversation with. A nice touch is to include a photo of your office staff.

6. Meet your prospects.

It’s typically best to meet interested advisors in your office. This way, they can see the environment they will be working in, meet other team members, and get a feel for your practice’s culture.

The objective of the meeting is to discuss the value of joining your practice. First impressions count. Spiffy up the office and ensure it looks professional and well taken care of. Stow files and paperwork. Dress as you would for an important client meeting and give staff a heads-up a few days before the meeting so they can also put their best foot forward.

If an advisor seems to be a fit, use FINRA’s BrokerCheck to review any complaints against the advisor, his or her credit and criminal background, and other material background issues.

7. Use FiNet resources.

Adding advisors can be a big boon to your practice’s revenue, allowing you to grow much more quickly than you can by adding clients. However, with the day-to-day demands of running a business, it can be difficult to carve out the time you need to focus on this important task.

You’re the expert in your practice, but an experienced coach with a proven track record can help you put all the pieces—recruiting, list building, due diligence, and more--together. It’s like having a personal trainer for your business: You could go it alone, making mistakes along the way, or you can bring in an expert to achieve your goals quickly. Wells Fargo Financial Advisor Network can help you build a contact list of advisors who are interested in joining an existing practice, assist you in crafting a script that clearly articulates your value and encourages an advisor to want to know more.

Once you secure the meeting, Wells Fargo Financial Advisor Network can facilitate the meeting and answer questions about the Financial Advisor Network model and the Wells Fargo Advisor platform. If you make an offer to an advisor, Financial Advisor Network can even provide transition capital for qualified advisors.

Once you agree to bring on an advisor, Wells Fargo Financial Advisor Network highly successful transition team can assist with onboarding and moving accounts over to the platform.

To get more details about how the experienced team at Wells Fargo Advisor Financial Advisor Network can support your business growth by adding advisors to your practice, contact them at Call 866-485-5383 or visit wfafinet.com.