Practice Management

Three ways a coach can help advisors

By Beatrice Paez |

If you find that your business is stuck in neutral, a coach might help you kick it back into growth mode, says Michele Soregaroli, CEO of Transformation Catalyst in Vancouver.

"If you're [only] maintaining, then you're operating to satisfy, as opposed to operating to enthrall," Soregaroli says.  

After several years in the advisory business, it's common to feel a lack of purpose and progress in your work. Many advisors who seek out Soregaroli want to build on what they have accomplished, but need a little "external motivation," she says.

"They might have arrived at a level of success, felt a degree of satisfaction, but [now] they're not interested in growth for the sake of it," she says.

Whether your business has peaked or you want to focus on specific targets for growth, here are three ways that a coach can help you develop your business:

1. Find clarity
An outside perspective can help you map out the bigger picture, Soregaroli says.

Through one-on-one sessions, coaches work with advisors to clarify their intentions and understand the goals that motivate them, says Evan Thompson, coach and founder of Evan Thompson and Associates.

Both Thompson and Soregaroli prefer not to take a "boot-camp" approach, in which coaches dictate the steps you need to take to improve your business.

Instead, their style of coaching is largely driven by the specific needs of their clients. What is important, they say, is ongoing communication between the coach and the client.  

Before you commit to working with a coach, Thompson says, you can "test" his or her services to decide if a coach is the right fit for you.  

2. Motivate your team
The backbone of many advisory teams is built on co-operation among team members, who can help each other stay on track. Some advisors turn to coaches for guidance on how to be a better leader, Thompson says, so that they can keep staff engaged, delegate tasks with confidence and ultimately, run a more profitable business.

Coaches can also help with personal growth. The more you practice self-awareness, the better attuned you are to how well you relate to others, says Thompson. For example, he helps clients develop their emotional skills, so that they can connect more effectively with people from different walks of life.

3. Align your business to clients' needs
With many advisors under pressure to prove their worth, the need to structure businesses to suit the interests of prized clients has become more urgent. There are coaches who work with advisors to focus on this goal.

Much of Soregaroli's practice focuses on pulling out the "unique components" of the advisor's business so that they can directly appeal to the clients they serve well and want to work with. 

Similarly, Thompson says he works with advisors to tweak or improve their messaging on products and services. Those conversations act as a "litmus test" for sniffing out what advisors have trouble communicating to their clients, with the goal of simplifying explanations for clients about products and financial planning strategies and identifying the appropriate demographic for each type of offering.

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