It is always helpful to see what other advisors are doing to make themselves standout from their peers. This year’s LINC conference had several breakout sessions led by TD Ameritrade Institutional experts so the attendees could learn from the best practices of others.

Having A Growth Mindset
“Growth does matter. It matters for our people, for our clients and for us, the advisors,” said Jay Wampler, VP of institutional consulting at TD Ameritrade, as he was reiterating what an advisor in a study group once told me.

In his presentation, “A Growth Mindset,” he spoke about “how advisors need to consider the market we are in, our business capabilities and your personal definition of success. It is very unique to each of you. It is important that you define your personal success.”

He pointed out that growth matters to the advisor for several reasons, including return on investment, economies of scale and business valuation.  A growing firm also has the benefit of attracting and retaining talent, which then helps with succession planning.

It even helps clients, as a larger firm is better positioned to handle changing client preferences and it can defend against disruption, keeping client continuity.

Focusing On A Niche And The Client Experience
Wampler recommended niche marketing. He said, “Target your activities at the right people at the right time. It gives you time back.” He gave an example of an advisor who focused in on women in transition that are going through a divorce or are widows. To help with the tough emotional time in their lives, he added, “In her office, she now has tissues and chocolates.” 

He advised that advisors shouldn’t strive to be all things to all people, but instead should be all things to the right people.

For a few years, TD Ameritrade Institutional has been talking about how important the “client experience” is to be successful. Wampler also did, saying,” We win on client experience.” He encouraged the attendees to think about a great experience and how they might have shared it with others. Then he asked, “Do your clients share the same way?”

Build An Organization That Can Grow
Eliza DePardo, a consultant for TD Ameritrade Institutional, also presented in other sessions, providing helpful advice for the attendees. Related to the key principles in organizational design, she sees that those that design the right structure are in a better position to deliver an excellent client experience.

Leveraging the roles of top associates of the firm allows the organization to achieve the greatest value for the firm. She recommended facilitating flexibility to best create a structure that uses the resources from across the business.  With clearly defined roles, there can be clarity around decision making. 

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