Wirtten by: Dave Alison
Do you have big aspirations for your firm’s growth? Do you want to bring in $100 million in new assets in one year?
It was during a strategic coach class on Dan Sullivan’s concept of “Who Not How,” that CEO and Founder of Clarity 2 Prosperity, Jason Smith, decided to create a group of like-minded people pushing towards exactly that goal.
“As I sat there, I realized that we at my firm, the JL Smith Group, have some pretty big aspirations of exponential growth.” Rather than struggle to figure out how to double his firm’s assets on his own, the question became who Jason knew that he could pool together in a collaborative environment to learn from one another and to achieve this goal faster.
From there the $100 Million Dollar Club was born, a collection of the best minds from the firms that had already figured out how to bring in $100 million in new assets in a year, as well as those from firms who wanted to figure it out. Tapping into their collective wisdom, the Club identified 3 common commitments that each of their firms shared, and that any firm that might qualify to bring in $100 million in new assets would also need to commit to doing.
- Exponential Growth Commitment
- Purposeful Improvement
- Structure to Scale
Exponential Growth Commitment
Exponential growth means more than just doubling your current yearly assets. “Exponential growth is thinking about something that’s powerful, that’s bigger than what you can create with your current level of resources,” says Mary Sterk, Senior Vice President of Coaching at Clarity 2 Prosperity. “So basically once the momentum starts that the growth happens faster and faster and faster and faster.”
Of course, most advisers want to make more money and see their firms grow; however radical, exponential growth might not be right for all. What sets apart the leaders in the $100 Million Dollar Club is a deep level of commitment to putting the right resources and processes in place to create massive growth.
One proven way that C2P has already been able to achieve exponential growth is through their approach to marketing. Mary explains, “The reality is that in order to grow, you have to be able to market. You have to be able to find new clients to bring in new dollars. While there are a lot of different ways to grow, I think that part of the goal is always to be able to generate these new leads, new clients cheaper, faster and more efficiently.”
In order to free up more capital and also fill more leads into the top of their sales and marketing funnel, C2P was able to take their traditional, in-person seminars onto an online platform. The group went from spending $10,000 per event to fill a room of 50 people to $2,500 per online seminar. At a fourth of the cost, C2P is now able to put on four times the number of seminars they were originally hosting and exponentially increase the number of leads they can bring in to fill the calendars for advisers to work with new clients.
The second tenet of the $100 Million Dollar Club is purposeful improvement.
Mary explains, “What I love about this is the word ‘purposeful,’ and so many times you see advisers being very reactive when they’re trying to do better in their businesses or they’re trying to grow, and they implement like a scattershot kind of approach to things, where they get distracted by a shiny object and then go chase that for a little while. The whole way to go with purposeful improvement is to be very, very selective in what things are going to create the most impact and movement forward and focus on improving and fine-tuning those.”
For the $100 Million Dollar Club, this meant talking early on about the areas their firms needed to improve in order to be able to accomplish their shared goal. It also meant identifying all the obstacles they would need to overcome and then creating strategies to transfer those obstacles into opportunities to grow. The approach to marketing explained above was one of those strategies. Other strategies included:
- Implementing a new operating system that would enable their business to run in the most efficient way, like Gino Wickman’s EOS, and as explained in his book Traction
- Considering and assessing one’s unique abilities, as outlined in Wickman and Mark C. Winter’s book Rocket Fuel
- Being thoughtful about pairing yourself with other leaders who compliment your unique abilities and have their own
- Identifying the resources needed to develop best practices surrounding the client experience
“When we identified what are the challenges that we have to overcome, running a firm in an efficient manner was a huge challenge for offices to overcome. But the next thing that we recognized was also a challenge was how to create the best possible client experience,” says Mary.
Structure to Scale
In order to provide that unbelievable client experience, you have to have the right structure in place to understand, attract and service your clients. For the $100 Million Dollar Club this meant doing the following:
- Getting really clear on your ideal client and segmenting them appropriately
- Building a repeatable process that will create a unique experience your clients will never forget, one that rivals no other firm in your area
- Creating retention campaigns to stay top of mind
The financial planning, financial advisory, wealth management and insurance businesses are all part of the service industry. As Jason points out, “This is how the best companies are really growing and multiplying via really a referral culture, a new introduction. It is honing in on the client experience.”
Once you’ve determined this client experience, if you really want to scale, you need to be able to bring in and retain the right talent to help. Using the thinking of Philip Palaveev and his practice management book, “The Ensemble Practice,” Jason and Mary were able to double down on defining the “right fit” adviser for their business and to begin creating career paths and compensation models to plug those advisers into.
Mary points out, “So you have the resources to scale. You have the ability and the team members and the processes is in place that now you can focus on that greater vision. You’re not just trying to become a well-oiled machine. It’s now taking your well-oiled machine to do something a lot bigger.”
Once your firm is bringing in $100 million, then you can begin to think about developing multiple teams within your firm that are all bringing in $100 million of new assets in one year.
While individual factors like marketing are no doubt a huge component in increasing sales and growing your business, firms need to have their houses in order first to be able to achieve the goal of bringing in $100 million in new assets. Having the right team and the right processes in place, frees up resources to focus more solely on the vision at hand. You have to build the right structure to help your business achieve its goal, and you must have a deep commitment to the kind of radical, exponential growth that the $100 Million Dollar Club set out to accomplish. It’s also important to focus on purposeful improvement around those areas that are going to give you the ability to reach that goal and then collaborate with the right people who have the resources and commitment to make it happen.