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Unlocking growth through effective team meetings

Bryan Powell, Senior Director, Practice Management, outlines a five-part structure that advisors can implement for more effective team meetings focused on sustained growth.

Bryan Powell, PCC, CPBA, CPMA

Bryan Powell, PCC, CPBA, CPMA

Senior Director, Practice Management

Apr 29, 2024
4 minute read

Key takeaways:

  • Many meetings are ineffective because they lack a structured framework, defined purpose, and clear goals.
  • Advisory teams often struggle with planning and executing effective meetings. As a result, they risk missing out on opportunities to strengthen their client base, develop new business, and achieve growth objectives.
  • To help address this challenge, we outline a framework advisory teams can use to optimize their time together during strategic growth meetings.

Meetings are an integral part of running a business. Whether it’s a corporation with thousands of employees worldwide or a four-person office, virtually any type of company holds meetings on at least a semi-regular basis.

While meetings are ubiquitous, they also tend to be regarded with mild annoyance, if not outright contempt. Some view them as an unnecessary waste of time (hence the popular lament, “This could have been an email!”). Others find meetings to be an unwelcome interruption of a too-busy workday.

The fact is that much of the negative connotation around meetings is based on truth: A lot of meetings are a waste of time. But that’s not because they’re inherently ineffective. Rather, it’s because meetings often lack a structured framework, defined purpose, and clear goals.

Meetings are key to driving advisory team growth – if you do them right

Just like any other business, financial advisory teams often struggle with planning and executing effective meetings. As a result, they risk missing out on valuable opportunities to strengthen their client base, develop new business, and achieve growth objectives, which can ultimately hinder the success and sustainability of their practices.

To address this challenge, advisory teams should start by establishing a framework that dedicates a significant portion of each meeting to growth-related discussions. Agendas should be clearly defined and cover areas such as client acquisition strategies, updates on advisors’ prospecting pipelines, and client relationship management tactics to focus on top clients’ consolidation, retention, and referrals.

With that framework in place, below is a five-part structure that teams can use when planning their monthly meetings. (Note: For the purposes of this piece, I’m defining the monthly team meeting as a platform for advisors to strategize, plan, and execute their vision, with the goal of expanding their client base and achieving sustainable growth).

  1. Define the meeting’s purpose: Begin by articulating the specific objectives and goals of the meeting. Ensure the purpose aligns with the broader business and growth goals of the advisory practice.
  2. Set clear goals: Identify the key outcomes you want to accomplish during each meeting. These goals should be specific, measurable, and actionable.
  3. Establish an agenda: Create a detailed agenda for the meeting that outlines the topics, discussions, and activities that will take place. Structure the agenda to ensure it supports the meeting’s purpose and goals.
  4. Prepare materials and resources: Gather any materials, data, reports, or resources that will be needed during the meeting. This may include market research, client profiles, performance metrics, and competitive analysis.
  5. Schedule the meeting: Choose a suitable date and time for the monthly growth meeting and add it to the team’s calendar. Consistency in scheduling is key to maintaining the meeting’s effectiveness.

Within the framework outlined above, be sure to incorporate the following when conducting monthly team growth meetings:

  • Strategic planning: Use this structured environment to develop and refine client acquisition strategies. Advisors can assess the current state of the practice, set clear objectives, and outline action plans for acquiring new clients and nurturing existing relationships.
  • Alignment: Ensure that all team members are aligned with the practice’s growth objectives and are working collaboratively toward the same goals. This fosters a sense of shared purpose and direction.
  • Accountability: Advisors can assign responsibilities, track progress, and hold each other accountable for meeting their targets.
  • Continuous improvement: Use monthly meetings as an opportunity to share best practices, lessons learned, and success stories focused on promoting a culture of continuous improvement. This fosters an environment where advisors learn from each other and adapt successful strategies.

The final key ingredient: Commitment

For the structure and elements above to be effective, teams must commit to tracking progress toward their collective stated goals and ensure they are holding each other mutually accountable. This will allow all team members to share in the successful growth of the practice and have an impact on creating wealth for the families they engage with.

By adopting these solutions, financial advisors and their teams can optimize their time together during strategic growth meetings so they continue to drive growth and client acquisition, with a focus on efficiently managing their practice’s expansion efforts.

To that end, I strongly recommend the book Traction by Gino Wickman for teams seeking to grow their business. The bestseller outlines the secrets to strengthening the Six Key Components™ of your business and discusses how to conduct what Wickman calls “Level 10 meetings.”

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