Is everyone in your firm working together? 

Ask everyone in your financial advisory firm that question, your partners, executives and your support staff.

The issue is consistency. Whether your firm is large or small, your clients should be able to count on enjoying a consistent experience.

Consistency can help you build a positive reputation, which can lead your clients to recommend you to their friends and families.

But delivering consistency requires substantial effort, even if you have only one office location. Everyone in your practice should be giving clients the same information, and I don’t merely mean administrative matters like office hours. I’m talking about your financial planning philosophy and methodology, and about all the services you provide.

Consistency is the basis of my firm’s business model, and has been since we started in 1986. You know that clients like predictability in their investments. They also want the same from their experience with you. This is why so many Americans traveling to Spain eat at McDonald’s—they know what they’re going to get. 

And the only way you can be predictable is to be consistent. Starbucks is successful because everyone knows what their experience will be when they enter one of its stores, regardless of its location.

No matter which of our 127 financial planners (in 42 offices nationwide) a client happens to talk to, that client will receive advice based on the firm’s fundamental philosophy, delivered with the same methodology. We think clients appreciate it, and knowing their friends will get the same treatment makes it easier for them to refer those friends to us.

After all, you can’t tell a friend to eat at a restaurant if you can’t be sure that their experience will match yours. Likewise, we know we can’t allow a client’s experience to be dependent on which of our financial planners they talk to. Instead, every planner in our firm has to work in sync with every other planner in the firm. There’s no easy way to achieve this. It requires careful recruitment, supported by rigorous, ongoing training and support.

We’re bringing lots of new advisors into our firm this year to serve our expanding client base, and all of them will be immersed in our philosophy and methodology before they meet with any clients.