Some great tips on advisory boards from Marie Swift, and some lousy examples of value statements from RIABiz


I saw two articles worth mentioning  today – one for some good advice and one for examples of mistakes to avoid.

On the positive side, advisor marketing maven Marie Swift posted some tips on running a successful advisory board on the Garret Planning Network site.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  OK, maybe I would have said one thing differently: Marie recommends running your own advisory board meeting.  In my observation, that’s a direct route to losing a lot of the value in gathering the group together. The advisor should be sitting with the clients, be part of thir tribe, and give the facilitation over to a third party. Ideally a trained facilitator, but at least someone who is not the advisor. I just had another conversation with an advisor yesterday who had a mediocre advisory board experience and little value from the conversation because he ran the meeting himself – and couldn’t get one of his biggest clients to stop talking.  A trained facilitator would not have the same fears and conflicts, and could bring the other people into the conversation.

On the other hand, we have the article on RIABiz, How RIAs Describe Exactly What They Do in a Few Chocie Words, in which no one describes exactly what they do, and most take a lot of words to do it. In this article, Brooke Southall asks advisors to give him their elevator speeches.  He then dutifully prints them, but entirely without a critical eye toward their potential effectiveness.  Most discuss their role as a fiduciary, which is a great way to clear a ten-foot space around you at any cocktail party. And none offers any idea why the person they are talking to why they would be the best possible advisor for them. I am sure most of the respondents are professionals and provide great service to their clients. My objection is that all of their comments blithely ignore the central question on every prospects mind: What’s in it for me? For some ideas on how to do this better, take a look at my post of last week. Brooke, RIABiz is a great blog – you can do better than this!


1 Comment

  1. interview preparationMay 15, 2012

    Another tip. As a leader, be a role model by listening, showing interest, appreciation and confidence in members. Admit mistakes.


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