In this week's episode of "Secrets to Scale," Alli speaks with Phil Buchanan, Executive Chairman of Cannon Financial Institute, an industry leader in training and education for financial advisors.
Click here to view Phil's episode of the podcast or read some highlights from Alli and Phil's conversation below.
Adapting During a Pandemic
In 2019, the Cannon team was on the ground in all 50 states as well as in 7 foreign countries. In 2020, that number was reduced to 14 states and 0 foreign countries. However, they actually had more education events in 2020 than in 2019 by switching to an all-virtual schedule, and they learned a lot in the process.
Phil and his team saw first-hand the level of grace extended to each other when our abilities are limited, for instance, on a Zoom meeting. They also noticed that the level of engagement that advisors were having with their clients was in many ways more genuine, and perhaps even more authentic, than a wood-paneled conference room in an office.
The Essential Advisor
Phil defines an essential advisor as a person who provides counseling advice that clients trust and proactively seek out for almost any mid- to major financial decision that they have to make. In his opinion, to be sought out is one of the highest compliments that an advisor can get.
Making an advisor’s business "essential" requires several things. Many advisors may need to introduce new services that haven't been offered before, such as philanthropy, estate planning, or risk management. Advisors who reorient their business to include expanded are able to increase the essential nature of their practice in the eyes of their clients and grow in scale.
Advisors may also need to focus on their critical conversation skills and deepen their understanding of behavioral economics. All of us make decisions based on the way that we view life. Advisors who have developed their understanding of how people make decisions can deepen their relationships with their clients.
Conversational competence is the ability to have a conversation in an area without being an expert in that subject matter.
One of the most important things that advisors can do is build out a multi-disciplinary team of experts. This allows advisors to speak to their clients and other people about a variety of topics, and have a network of people to include in the conversation when needed.
Phil's #1 Tip to Achieve Scale (and a bonus tip!)
Tip #1. Become incredibly proficient with all the tools and technology available to you; don't just understand what they do but make these tools core to the way you operate.
Bonus tip. Work on interpersonal conversation skills. There are various ways to do this. A client told Phil that she worked on her interpersonal communication skills by taking improv classes and learned how to keep her communications going. She ended up being a much better presenter and conversationalist.