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Episode 26: 
Individualists - Intolerant of Bureaucratic Inefficiencies
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Show Notes:
In this episode of The Ultimate Advisor Podcast, we jump into the sixth part of our 12 part series on the top characteristics of top financial advisors . In part six, we discuss the importance of talking to the right people, having the right conversations, being open to change, and setting the stage on all ends of your business. So, push PLAY and join us as we delve into how top advisors push past inefficiencies and forward toward success!


Read The Transcript Of The Episode:

Speaker 1: This is the Ultimate Advisor Podcast, the podcast for financial advisors who want to create a thriving, successful, and scalable practice. Each week we'll uncover the ways that you can improve your referrals, your team, your marketing, and your business operations. Helping you to level up your advising practice, bring in more assets and create the advising practice that you've dreamed of. You'll be joined by your hosts, Bryan Sweet, who has more than half a billion dollars in assets under management. Brittany Anderson, the driving force for advisors looking to hire, improve their operations and company culture. And Draye Redfern, who can help you systematize and automate your practice's marketing to effortlessly attract new clients. So what do you say? Let's jump into another amazing episode of the Ultimate Adviser Podcast. 

Brittany A.: Hello, Brittany Anderson here with your Ultimate Advisor Podcast. I have with me Draye Redfern, Bryan Sweet. We are diving into six, the the sixth week out of a 12 week series where we're talking about characteristics of top financial advisors.
 So to dive into today, we're going to talk about how the top advisors are individualists. And what that means is that they are intolerant of bureaucratic inefficiencies. Brittany, what the heck does that even mean? So we're going to talk a little bit about how this applies to your business as a top advisor and how you can ensure to embody the whole concept of being an individual.
 So when we're looking at not accepting inefficiencies, I got to throw that word out there, that big C-word, compliance, okay. Because for many of us, it can be a thorn in our side, right? Just when you're after this, this brilliant hot new idea, you get that big red stamp of disapproval. They're like, it is not going to happen. But here's the difference between a top advisor and anybody else. A top advisor is going to look at that and if they believe wholeheartedly that whatever they're trying to push through is in the best interest of their clients, it's going to help the practice to grow and thrive, it's going to increase their efficiencies. They're not going to accept the status quo.
 They're not going to accept that initial no and they're going to look at how they can push the bar, per se, and really get what they need done accomplished. So when you look at this, I guess compliance is an example, that's not it. It goes to every range, every aspect of your business. In working with Bryan, there's something that he has said that has stuck with me from literally day one when I first started working with him.
 It's that if you're not getting the answer that you want, you're talking to the wrong person. So I want you to think about how you can apply that concept in your practice. Because again, if you are trying to employ something that is best for your client, that's going to better your firm, and you're getting a no, it could simply be because compliance department, one of the servicing agents at your BD, whatever that is, maybe they just don't know. They don't know what they don't know. Maybe they haven't done the full research on it. It's up to you to do the due diligence.
 So that's what today's concept on individualism is about. So Bryan, I used you as an example, so I've got to bring you in here. You've really built a culture on what I just said. If you're not getting the answer you want, you're not talking to the right person. So I want you to just elaborate on that a little bit today.

Bryan Sweet: Thanks, Brittany. I think this is really an important key and something that not only you personally want to embrace. But it's exceptionally important to train your team in this thought process because they're the ones that actually should take the first several steps of the process that we'll talk about here in a second. And then only when they continue to run into roadblocks do they really need to get you involved.
 And I can give you lots and lots of examples, and just had one today. But what happens is something goes wrong or you get an answer that's not best for a particular client. And you're dealing with a home office person or an outside vendor or some service provider. And it can be a number of reasons why you're getting that answer in that one, that's just the answer that they've been told to tell. And so they say that answer all the time. Two, they may not be able to think out of the box and want to even do the work to see if that's something that they should do. Or three, it's something that they've never experienced and just don't know even what direction to go.
 So what happens is your team needs to keep pushing that thought or whatever your action you're trying to get accomplished down the road. So you talk to the first line of individuals to explain the situation, try to explain the rationale of why what you're trying to get them to do and understand makes sense. And if they give you pushback, we've just simply said this, "Is it possible to get your supervisor because I'd like to explain more detail why this is really important? And if you apply this in other circumstances with other people that you'll work with, you'll find that this will be very helpful, not only to you but also your other advisors."
 And so when Brittany said, "If you're not getting the right answer, you're not talking to the right person," I have just found that continuing to push it up the chain of command and having your team get to know the supervisors and key areas of your firm, your RIA, or whatever insurance company that you're dealing with, it's really, really critical.
 So our team has been taught to push it about three levels up. And if that isn't getting the accomplishment that they want, then I get involved and go up to the very highest levels. And that's when final things happen. But what you will do is you'll recognize that the team will actually get results a vast majority of the time. And it's amazing how it builds the team's confidence and ability to take a situation that you would normally have to deal with and they just continue to plow through it til they get the proper results. Obviously you want to reward the team mate and tell them, "Good work," and maybe give them something extra when they accomplish that because it does free up an amazing amount of time.

Brittany A.: I think you really touched on some important things there, Bryan. And one thing I want to highlight and bring out from what you said is you have encouraged the team at Sweet Financial. I mean you have not just encouraged it, but you've made it kind of a non-negotiable. Like this is our expectation. We trust you to act in the best interest of the client. We trust you to drive things kind of up the food chain, per se. So what I want you to think about though is that this isn't just in dealing with your back office. It's not just in dealing with that aspect of your business. It is across the board. So if you're listening to this as the advisor, as the business owner, what I would encourage you to do is to set the stage, not just with your team, but on the other end as well. And that's where you're going to get some traction.
 And what I mean by that is what Bryan has done, has said, whether it's our back office, whether it is outside vendors, down to utility companies, it's like, Hey, if you're speaking to X, Y, and Z on my team, it's just like you're having a conversation with me and I need you to treat it like that, right? So it's setting the stage on both ends, which really helps to create success for your team members. Because then they know they're being taken seriously. They know what the expectation has been laid out initially. So you can get so much accomplished in your business without having to get involved, without having to, what do we say? Let the bear out of the cave, right? Like you can keep doing what you're supposed to be doing, focusing on your unique inherent ability, and let your team handle the rest.
 So Draye, this is where I've got to bring you in, because one aspect that you have been so involved with in a really positive way is to help with some of the technology tools, automation systems softwares out there that is maybe a little bit new uncharted territory for a lot of the BDs. So you've been in a place where you're able to have conversations on how to get things approved, how to give them the full details that they need, and to really come to some sort of common ground. So Draye, I would love you to jump in and just talk a little bit about how you have aided personally in really driving the conversations that need to be happening with our broker-dealers.

Draye Redfern: It's funny that you bring this up because this is actually something that hasn't been talked much about. I've looked for other podcasts, episodes from other podcasts around this topic, and they don't really exist. And so I think in order to start initially broaching this topic with on the compliance side of things is you have to look at things through their point of view. So you're an adviser who wants to push the envelope. You want to grow faster, you want to do things that all of the other financial advisors out there are not doing. You want to do more than just hosting the steak dinners, all of these sorts of things. Well that's very uncomfortable. Because most people inherently don't like change. And the compliance departments are right in line with that. So you've got to first put yourself in their shoes.
 And so one of the things that, if you have a new technology or a new software or something that you know could help you automate more things, it can be one of 10,000 different things. One of the ways that we get things approved faster with more compliance departments is basically just saying, "This is what we want to do. This is the purpose of it." And this is like literally in an email to the compliance individual, "This is what we want to do. This is what is basically going to accomplish." And then immediately after we say that is, "These are what your concerns are going to be." Because they all have, I mean they're all going to usually say the same thing. We're concerned about privacy or information or how is it shared, yada, yada, yada. The whole nine yards.
 Are conversations that you've all had before. So these are the things that you're going to be concerned about. And then literally go step by step by step, bullet by bullet point by bullet, or one, two, three, however you want to organize your list. Allaying, destroying all of those fears. And so in order to do that, you usually have to do your homework on the software or the platform or the vendor ahead of time.
 But we've seen times with compliance, as far as like getting things approved, shrink in half or by a third, simply by doing a little of the work upfront and then handing it off to them on a silver platter. Because their job is to make sure you comply. And they would love it if you stayed in that pretty brown little box and you didn't jump outside of it and you didn't push the envelope, you didn't do anything new. Because that would make their job easier. But you were not willing to do that. You want to market more, you want to automate more, you want to do more things. But in order to do it and have more success with them, I highly suggest that you either hand it to them on a silver platter or you can work with a company, when you're working with them, they literally can craft your response for you.
 So a lot of our clients, we literally craft the exact response that they either just need to forward or write the copy and paste themselves. Because then it's going to make things so much easier on the compliance department. That being said, if you don't get the answer you like and you know that you've allayed their fears and you know that you've taken care of these objections, but it's still so new and they're still uncomfortable with it or they don't necessarily know, then that's where you follow those steps that Bryan and Brittany just mentioned. Where that's where you either kick it up the chain of command or that's where you more or less start the next steps as far as what needs to happen. So that being said, Brittany, I think that there's probably a pretty little bow that you could tie both of those worlds into in order to make it come together for us.

Brittany A.: Yeah. So as you were talking, Draye, I think you brought up an interesting point here. And I really encourage you in this 12 week series, like I mentioned at the beginning, we are on week six of a 12 weeks there is on characteristics of top advisors. I want you to go back and listen to you the first of the series. So the first week in the 12 week series. And I want you to listen to you the fourth week in the 12 week series. The reason for that is because it does exactly what Draye just said. It ties this together.
 So when you're looking at creating a vision of the future of your company, when you look at really deciding, deciding what it is that you want to accomplish in your business, that helps you to kind of back into some of the things we're talking about today.
 So if you want a business that has only a handful of employees, you want to utilize technology to the best of its ability, you want to become incredibly efficient at what you do. Well, there are awesome softwares and things out there that you can use to make that happen. But part of the problem with that is you have to make sure that they're approved. You have to make sure that you are following at least some aspect of the rules and compliance. But the beauty of doing that, of creating that future vision, is you can get started now. So if you have a three, a five, a 10-year vision for your future of your company, start right now having those conversations and working on, hey, this is what I need to get to this point in my journey. Let's start having a conversation now before I absolutely direly need it.
 So that is what I encourage you to do. Listen to the first of the 12 weeks series and the fourth episode in this 12 week series. It is going to help you kind of open your mind to what you potentially need and how you can start having those really important conversations.
 So before I round this out, Bryan, was there anything else you wanted to add before we wrap up this episode?

Bryan Sweet: Yeah, maybe one thing, take off a little bit on some things that you commented on earlier. First of all, one of the things that being a business owner and in the financial advisory space, it can get very frustrating dealing with bureaucracy. And we've all dealt with it. And it's probably never going to change.
 But a couple of things that you said I think are really, really critical. Is one, to get your team trained to execute and get things done on your behalf. You had mentioned that you need to inform whoever you're dealing with that when your staff member or your team member is calling, it's like you calling. And so they need to treat that with as much respect and energy as they would if you were personally talking. And you would be amazed by just informing whatever party that is of that comment. That result will improve greatly in the future and they will handle the situation differently down the road.
 It also makes it much better for your teammates because they've now been given the same authority to act on your behalf. So I would tell you, when you get to a point where your teammates get frustrated you needed to go over somebody's head, make sure that you go back to the last person they dealt with and have a conversation with them that says, "Next time Jean or John or whoever it is calling from the office talks to you, it's like I'm calling and please handle it that way in the future." So that has had remarkable success. So I appreciate your reminding me of that comment.

Brittany A.: Absolutely. It is what I am here for. To round us out, top takeaways from today's podcast. Number one, if you're not getting the answer you want, you are not talking to the right person. So take that, implement it not only for yourself but also your team. The second takeaway, absolutely go back, like I mentioned previously, listen to episodes one and four of this 12 week series for a refresher on getting really clear on the vision of your company. And finally, as Bryan just so eloquently alluded to a moment ago, give permission, have the conversations with your back office, with your outside vendors, etc and so forth, that if they are talking to your team members, it is just like they're talking to you. So that rounds out today's episode of the Ultimate Advisor Podcast. We will see you right back here next week where we carry on to episode seven of the top characteristics of top advisors.

 Hey, Brittany here. We hope you got a lot of value out of today's episode. To access the key takeaways, the show notes, and any deliverables, go to ultimateadvisorpodcast.com. And while you're there, check out the Ultimate Advisor Mastermind if you want to learn ways to maximize your income, your impact and your legacy through an automated practice, a self managing team, and a killer culture the clients can't stay away from. We look forward to seeing you back here in next week's episode.

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About The Ultimate Advisor Podcast:
The Ultimate Advisor podcast is a business podcast for financial advisors who are looking to grow their advising practices with greater ease and effectiveness. Ultimate Advisor was developed to help financial advisors master their marketing, sell their services with greater authority, generate repeat clients, and additional revenue in their business.
Each week, your hosts Draye Redfern, Bryan Sweet, and Brittany Anderson will share some of the closest guarded secrets from successful financial advising practices across the U.S.  

Draye Redfern

Draye is also the founder of UltimateAttorney.com which helps Attorneys go from “Surviving” to “Thriving” in their business.  In addition, Draye helps to provide insurance solutions to more than 8,600 law firms across the United States annually.

Bryan Sweet

Founder of Sweet Financial, CEO, Wealth Advisor, RJFS
Creator of The Dream Architect™
Co-founder of Dare to Dream Enterprises
Creator of Elite Wealth Advisor Symposium
Author of 3 books – Dare to Dream: Design the Retirement You Can’t Wait to Wake Up To, Imagine. Act. Inspire. A Daily Journal and Give & Grow: Proven Strategies for Starting an Running and Effective Study Group

Brittany Anderson

Director of Operations at Sweet Financial, Office Manager, RJFS
Co-founder of Dare to Dream Enterprises
Author of 2 books – Imagine. Act. Inspire. A Daily Journal & Dare to Dream: Design the Retirement You Can’t Wait to Wake Up To
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