As an advisor, you can run into a variety of personalities when working with clients. Having the skills to identify each different personality, determine what motivates them, and create a customized Exit Plan is what separates the elite from the average joe.
Know Your Audience
Some business owners are overloaded with projects. They are typically drowning in work and cannot fathom starting the conversation about Exit Planning. Other business owners have enough support and resources to be organized and on top of their long to-do lists. These business owners typically work long hours but have enough support to get through their top priorities.
Whether you find yourself working with an overloaded owner or an owner with a few extra minutes to spare, knowing what motivates them to act is key. A great way to encourage a business owner to make time to plan for their future and the future of their business is to tackle one project at a time.
Exit Planning can be overwhelming. Often there are many steps that need to be taken for an owner to reach their financial and value-based exit goals. The act of a business owner parting with their life’s work can also be an emotional process. When done correctly, the Exit Planning Process can take many years to complete. Ease the pressure on everyone by figuring out what is most important to the business owner and created a phased plan to complete their top priorities first.
For busy owners, it can be difficult to want to start or even know where to start an Exit Plan without proper guidance. However, if you help owners take the time to break the process down into steps, the plan seems much more manageable. By completing smaller steps, business owners get the satisfaction of completing tasks and are motivated to continue the process. Create momentum with these little wins to eventually complete the entire plan successfully.
Focusing on the most important aspect of the business, according to the owner, helps to keep them engaged in planning work that accomplishes their Exit Planning goals. They may have wanted to work on their business continuity plan for years, for example. By making this the first phase of the overall Exit Plan, this gives your clients the first taste of success. They are now able to move on to other areas of Exit Planning that may have been on their radar for years or that they didn’t realize they needed with your recommendations and guidance.
With a phased planning approach, you can scale your plan based on the most pressing needs and motivation of your clients. By understanding your client’s time, resources, and financial constraints, you can address the area of the business most concerning your client quickly and economically. Addressing a single phase of planning is a great way for advisors to prove their value to owners and is a gateway to more comprehensive planning.
Benefits to You
Learning how to understand your clients and adapt to their needs is a sign of a truly trusted advisor. Gaining this knowledge leads to other benefits as well. Advisors that are able to implement phased planning processes into their practices can also end up getting more work through referrals, generate more planning revenue, deliver better outcomes for their clients, and relieve pressure from both the business owner and the advisor team.
BEI Licensed Members develop stronger relationship with their clients, other advisors, and centers of influence with regular communication and content on the various phases of Exit Planning. These strong relationships can lead to increased referrals and stronger advisor teams for your clients.
When you introduce a strategic planning process like phased planning, you gain credibility as a knowledgeable advisor. You have a better chance of delivering valuable outcomes for your clients in an efficient and timely manner. Ease the stress of Exit Planning by focusing on top priorities, one phase at a time.
- Know what motivates your clients.
- Don’t overwhelm your clients with a long to-do list.
- Focus on top priorities.
- Your clients are looking to you for recommendations and guidance, don’t disappoint.