It’s critical for financial advisory firms to have an A-player administrative manager to help build and serve a community of ideal clients. Your admin manager may not have the courage to speak with you directly about your unproductive behavior, but how would it help you if he or she did?

Whether it’s your goal to build a community exclusively of ideal clients or to simply elevate your client value and grow your business, you will find my response to this administrative manager’s question valuable.

Admin Manager:  I need some advice on how to get our advisor to follow his calendar of high payoff activities and NOT get distracted by low payoff activities and other issues. What do you recommend?

Answer: The primary role of an effective administrative manager is to completely own all of the administrative responsibilities, projects and tasks of the business so that the advisor is physically and mentally free to focus on his or her primary task: to grow the business by adding ideal clients as quickly as possible. (Our core business is to help successful financial professionals build an “ideal client community” with about 50 clients and deliver an extraordinary client experience that commands $20,000 - $50,000-plus of annual recurring revenue per client.)

“As quickly as possible” varies, depending on whether your advisor is a less experienced business-builder or a veteran whose goal is to finish strong by building an ideal client community later in his or her career. That said, it usually means one to three ideal clients per month because that’s about the capacity of the team to process those clients. Part of the administrative manager’s job is to create this capacity by being on top of every task in the process of on-boarding a new ideal client.

If less than one to three ideal clients are being added per month, it’s an indicator that one or more things aren’t working. What might some of those things be?

It could be that the advisor has to be involved in the administrative work because it’s not getting done well enough and he must tend to it himself. It could be that the advisor is choosing to do administrative work because he has not yet developed the habits to execute a larger volume of client acquisition activity. It could be that the advisor has some irrational fear about doing client acquisition work and is finding refuge in administrative work. We call this work avoidance. It could be that the advisor has not yet organized his scripts, talking points and processes to confidently execute an ideal client acquisition plan. It could be a variety of things, but none of them are acceptable. What you have control over is truly owning the administrative manager role to eliminate any administrative-related excuse for your advisor to avoid priorities. You have some influence over the advisor’s other behavior.

The advisor’s second priority is to do his part of ideal client service. Only when the advisor, as the owner of the business, accepts that his primary role is to grow the business by adding ideal clients will things at the business really begin to happen and perform at a high level. This does not mean that ideal clients are unimportant or relegated to a backseat. They get taken care of at a world-class level, as promised. It’s sort of like loving one of your two children more than the other. They are both loved a lot, they both get all the love they need, and they never know that one was loved more than the other. It’s about managing two high priorities. In fact, building an ideal client community leads to great service because only when that community is complete will those clients get the highest level of focus and attention. At that point, none of the firm’s energy is being diverted away from serving ideal clients. What a great day that will be!