When to Learn and When to Solve Problems

Submitted by Elizabeth J Mower on Sun, 07/01/2018 - 6:00am
High-angle view of many people sitting at various long tables in a library

BEI works with advisors of all stripes—from lawyers and estate planners, to financial advisors, CPAs, and beyond—but they all share one thing in common: They have a voracious desire to learn. This desire to learn is something that brings advisors to BEI in the first place, because they know that by learning new planning methods and strategies, they can begin to solve problems for business owners that they couldn’t have solved before. This ability to solve more problems almost always leads to more business for these advisors.

As the only single-source provider of Exit Planning training, marketing materials, and planning tools, we know how important it is for advisors to have the right tools and training to help their business-owning clients solve problems. But one question newer Exit Planning Advisors often ask is, “When should I focus on learning, and when should I focus on solving problems for my clients and prospects?”

We talked to some of our most successful Advisors, and the consensus was clear: Successful Advisors solve problems while they learn, and learn while they solve problems.

In the Exit Planning realm, Advisors constantly need to stay on their toes and learn new methods to solve their clients’ problems. An obvious example is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This tax law required some of the most seasoned Advisors to learn which implications and effects the law would have on their clients’ business exits. Fortunately, because BEI Advisors are diligent studiers and have access to experts in tax-relevant fields, even the most monumental changes can turn into vigorous learning experiences.

One of the roadblocks that new Exit Planning Advisors face is taking what they’ve learned and applying it to help solve problems. Recall that most Exit Planning Advisors have expertise in a certain field and constantly apply that expertise in the real world. For most of these experts, some the nuances of Exit Planning are out of their comfort zone at first. Because they feel uncomfortable applying new information, they sometimes hesitate to approach clients about solving their problems, assuming that they haven’t learned enough yet. The solution to this reticence comes in the form of a simple phrase.

The Phrase That Connects Learning and Solving

When business owners ask Exit Planning Advisors questions that they don’t know the answer to on the spot, successful Exit Planning Advisors use the phrase, “I don’t know the answer to that. Let me look into that and get back to you.”

Creating and implementing an Exit Plan often takes several years and always requires collaboration among professionals in different fields. When successful Exit Planning Advisors come across problems they don’t know how to solve on the spot, they tell their clients as such and commit to learning how to solve that problem with the tools and strategies they have from BEI. Thus, the act of solving problems often turns into a learning experience. 

Advisors who extend their knowledge base while working with clients on real problems and solutions make their expertise that much stronger.

Advisors who use BEI tools form a strong and collaborative community. They talk to each other about client issues, both large and small. They help each other solve problems, and they learn while they’re doing it. No Advisor is ever done learning when they commit to Exit Planning, and as any successful BEI Advisor can tell a new Exit Planner, “You learn while you solve, and you solve while you learn.”

From Virtual Practice Groups to BEI Boot Camp and the National Conference, the most successful Advisors are pursuing parallel paths of learning and solving client problems simultaneously. We encourage all advisors considering Exit Planning to talk to a BEI Advisor, whether they’re near you or across the country but in your professional background. Making the connections and enhancing the knowledge available in the vast expanse of Exit Planning serves everyone—including new Exit Planners, seasoned Exit Planning veterans, and business owners—well.


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