Selling Up: Are You Prepared for Succession?
You’ve worked hard and spent time, effort and money to build a successful financial advice business with an impressive book of clients. You might be considering selling - whether it’s to begin retirement, merge with another practice or to simply take on a new career path. Regardless of what route you’re going to take, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the right price for your business. That’s where your plan for succession comes in.
As a financial advisor managing the future plans and expectations of clients daily, you know the importance of forward planning. It’s this diligent approach you should take to the way you manage your book of business. How you organize and manage your contacts might work for you right now, but what would happen if for any reason you needed to hand the controls to someone else? Would they know what to do? You may be busy right now, but it pays to start planning ahead.
So you’ve decided to get to grips and begin preparing your succession strategy. But before you get started, you’ll need to consider the following:
- How are you currently managing your book?
- Is it systematized and organized in a specific way?
- Where is your data currently stored? (Email, CRM, rolodex, filofax, Excel. Your own server or in the cloud?).
- Would someone, other than yourself, know how to find their way around your book of clients?
- Have you segmented your client list?
- Do you follow the same processes for each client?
These are all questions you should consider. If you have answered ‘no’ to most, if not all of them, chances are your book of business is crying out for some structure.
Implementing Your Strategy
Now that you’ve established why you need a strategy for succession, it’s time to consider the practical implementation of it. This might seem a bit biased coming from us at Maximizer, but a CRM solution is integral for this. In its most basic form, a CRM solution is a place to store contacts, but in reality CRM is the foundation of all successful advisors. Let’s take a look at the steps you should be following:
- Move your contacts into a CRM. First things first, it’s time to store your book in a uniform, standardized manner.
- Organize your data. You’ve got your client data inside a CRM, now it’s time to organize it in a structured way that fits your practice.
- Segment your client base. Next, it’s time to identify client sub groups through segmentation. This might be by age, net worth, the products they have purchased - essentially any number of client behaviours.
- Implement Consistent Processes. It’s likely that the processes for onboarding new clients, setting up accounts or the purchase of products already exist, but for the purpose of business continuity and succession planning it’s all about documenting these so that someone other than yourself can pick up where you left off.
The Tools You’ll Need
An effective CRM solution is fundamental to your succession strategy, which probably seems like a biased opinion coming from myself, but the benefits certainly outweigh those of a managing clients through your email account or Rolodex.
Nearly all CRM solutions have cloud based deployment options, which means you can access your client data almost anywhere you want - perfect if you’re selling your book to your successor on the other side of town.
Then there is the added functionality that comes with CRM solutions -. It’s more than just a place to store your contacts. Some like *ahem* Maximizer CRM for Financial Advisors, come loaded with pre-built workflows common to the everyday activities of advisors. There’s also handy reporting tools too which makes managing your clients a breeze. Plus you can track all client interactions through email, appointments and over the phone.
So if you’re thinking of starting your succession plan, the first thing you should do is check out the CRM options available. Why not start with ours and take part in a 15-day trial?