Guest: Tom Rieman, the Founding Partner and CEO of Practice Intel, a company dedicated to empowering advisors to deliver truly impactful advice. Tom has held leadership roles at J. D. Power and Associates, Brinker Capital, and J. P. Morgan Asset Management.

In a Nutshell: Tom and I explore three themes that are crucial to all advisors’ success: organic growth; bridging the advice-experience gap between what your clients want and what you’re delivering; and what an ideal advice experience looks like from the client’s perspective. Our conversation is filled with actionable insights that challenge conventional wisdom about client satisfaction and business growth. And Tom’s perspective and experience offer a powerful roadmap for you to make a real difference in your clients’ lives.

Tom Rieman and I discuss:

  • The truth about the organic growth conundrum in our industry.
  • The pyramid I use with coaching clients to help them plan for organic growth.
  • Are your clients truly enthusiastic about the service you’re providing, or just satisfied for right now?
  • Why financial advice isn’t about complexity, it’s about connectivity.
  • To how many clients can an advisor deliver exceptional service, and Ric Edelman’s solution.
  • Brian Portnoy’s concept of client-centric advice vs. human-centric advice.
  • Making financial advice a collaborative process.
  • The four parts of an effective discovery inquiry.
  • Service, hospitality, and “the food.”
  • How Tom’s own financial advisor delivered an initial meeting that filled Tom and his wife with “gratitude.”

Tom Rieman Quotes:

Value Proposition Reflection:
“Organic growth is a reflection and a really good reflection of your value prop, how compelling, how valuable, how differentiated is it?”

Collaborative Advice Process:
“The advice process is a co collaborative. creative working alliance between advisor and client, and they navigate together down a path.”

Mutual Discovery and Empowerment:
“The goal of that process is for each other to discover mutually. So they both discover each other, and so the client learns about advice, the advisor learns about the client, and as they navigate forward, what you’re doing is equipping the client to actually make an informed decision.”

Satisfaction’s Inherent Flaw:
“Satisfaction is a flawed metric. And I’ve written about this recently in advisor perspective because satisfaction is a function of expectation. So you may be really satisfied with something, but once a better experience emerges, you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s what it’s supposed to be like.'”

Industry Misalignment:
“I think the other one is recognizing that our industry is well intentioned, but it may not be perfectly aligned to get us where we need to go in terms of really shifting the focus towards this ideal advice experience.”

Inquiry Seeks Truth:
“When we think about discovery, I like to use the word inquiry. So the meaning of the word inquiry is to seek the truth. And there’s four different areas. There’s a model out there that says you want to find the known, what you’re willing to share with me. The unknown, what you don’t know about yourself. The hidden, what you won’t tell me, and what you’re blind to. The real magic is the unknown.”

Advisor’s Essence:
“The attributes are really what the advisor is to the client in as much as it is what the advisor does for the client.”

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