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“Teresa came to our business planning on Saturday.  She added value on our marketing ideas, every plan we had she enhanced with some tweeks to make each interaction a bit better in our marketing efforts. It was a great business planning weekend. She is an asset to the Megabranch. Thanks for your efforts.”  

--Brett Macauley, CRPC

Article: Motivate Your Advisors with the Right Questions

By Teresa Riccobuono

In Alice and Wonderland, there is a part in the story where Alice approaches a fork in the road. Unsure of which path to take, she asks the Cheshire cat, “Which way should I go?” The Cheshire cat in turn asks Alice “Where are you trying to get to?” “I don’t know” she replies. The cat responds, “Then it doesn’t matter.”

If you are feeling like your advisors have lost their way or are uncertain of which path to take, it could be time to have a different conversation with them and ask them some pertinent questions.

When advisors first get into this business, their primary goal is twofold. One, learn about the products and strategies. Two, market, market, market. And, do both as quickly as possible!

No one bothers to ask the advisor “Where do you see the future of your business headed?” Nor does anyone place any importance on this notion of a future vision. These advisors are just trying to make it to next week.

“Just get as many clients as you can, learn as much as you can and at some point in the future, you can work out the details. Your business planning session will address this. Wait until then.” This may be what you, as their training manager, had told them.

But what happens? They get caught up in running the business and don’t take the time to determine what they really want. All of a sudden it's ten, fifteen, twenty years later and the advisor still has not sat down and thought about what they really want, where they truly would like to take their business.

Without a clear vision, it is nearly impossible for the advisor to get certain things accomplished. Things like developing a clearly articulated value proposition or a marketing plan that is tailor made to the advisor’s talents and interests.

Without a clear vision, how does he answer these questions? Should I hire another team member? Should I buy a practice? Should I retire and enjoy the fruits of my labor? Who should I develop a strategic alliance with? They may tell you that they are just fine with the way things are. In reality, going through the motions has become a habit for them. And, all of this touchy-feely stuff is a distraction for them. Does any of this sound familiar?