Friction: conflict or animosity caused by a clash of wills, temperaments, or opinions.
Here are some steps to deal with friction in your firm/practice:
I am all about growth for financial advisors and the most consistent obstacle I face when working with individual advisors and/or teams of advisors is…friction. Rarely, is animosity involved, but, there is always friction when growth is the goal.
Friction is present in individual mindsets, interpersonal relationships on your team, while navigating change with clients and through the ever changing regulatory/compliance shifts within the industry we love. Those are just a few examples.
1. Accept it as a reality. If you decide that you are going to move away from the dominant mindset in the financialservices profession (passive growth) towards a more active and resilient one…you are going to experience at least two types of friction: internal and external. Internally, you are going to be facing friction from changing your mindset towards action. This is good, but, it still will create resistance and you would be advised to take that into account when formulating and adjusting your plan for growth. Additionally, whenever someone begins to make changes, other people connected to them notice the changes and not all of them will be happy (some people just don’t like change). You need to anticipate the effects of your change on other people (don’t forget to look positive and negative here) and think about how you will communicate with grace to then while you forge ahead.
2. Reduce friction through system design and preparation. If you know that you are going to be updating/changing your business model, for example going to subscription based financial planning as your dominant revenue source, you need to make sure to design not only the model, but, more importantly work thoughtfully through how you are going to communicate this with your team and your clients during the design phase, implementation and delivery over time. One of the key reasons people that could get massive amounts of referrals do not is because of their lack of awareness of friction and how it adds time, risk and uncertainty to a multiple person communication process. Design and prepare.
3. Reduce friction at work by increasing your growth personally. Prospective clients and team members are able to sense when you are losing your way. If you have gotten out of shape for example, you have added friction. The less physically fit you are…the less energy and more resistance you have added to everything you do. You won’t sleep, think and connect with people optimally. Prospective customers are evaluating every aspect of you that they can perceive to try and figure out if you are trustworthy. It is a cold hard fact that the evidence of how you apply discipline to your care of your body is going to be noticed and have an effect, positive or negative, on their perception of your ability to manage their portfolio and life decisions. There are many more examples of how you can make work harder on yourself by what you do when you are not at work: basically, are you living a life that is aligned for performing as well as you can wherever you may be?
4. Improving your systems and how they integrate with each other can massively reduce friction. One of the greatest things about hosting The Financial Advisor Growth Show podcast is getting to learn some of the things that seem common when it comes to how advisors grow their business. One of those things is this: they are continually innovating and refining their operations. Deciding not only what technology and systems to integrate into their firms, but, also how those variables are going to improve customer experience and be explained that way to customers.
Where is the friction? How can you identify the best ways to reduce it? My recommendations is to start with you. What can you do to make it easier for the folks you depend upon and the people you want to meet…to enjoy working and meeting with you?
Need some help? The first step is having a conversation about how you have grown your practice and how you wish to grow in the future.