No matter how big your firm your personal reputation is still everything. Third-party recommendations could the trick.
Toronto-based Elite Advisors has a three-step vetting process that ensures an advisor is providing the highest standard of service possible. The Elite Advisor designation is the equivalent of the Good Housekeeping seal of approval for consumer products.
WP spoke with managing partner Tom Reimer Wednesday to find out why advisors should be interested in enhancing their reputations externally. Industry recognition such as the upcoming Wealth Professional Awards
helps but those accolades come from within the industry with little regard for the client’s opinion.
The Reputation Institute routinely produces surveys
that show financial services companies are very unpopular compared to other sectors of the economy. As a result financial advisors have their work cut out for them when it comes to growing their book of business.
With something like 100,000 financial advisors of one description or another, how can you stand out from the crowd while also protecting and enhancing your reputation in the industry?
Elite’s mission is to take these opinions much like Angie’s List and use them to create a top-notch roster of go-to advisors. Two years in, Reimer admits it’s been tough convincing top performers that they need to change what they’re doing when it comes to marketing initiatives.
Nonetheless, services such as Angie’s List and Trip Advisor wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t a need for them. Elite Advisors isn’t any different. As Reimer states, “I haven’t talked to anybody in the two years that I’ve been involved with this that hasn’t said ‘Man, this is a great idea.’”
Another stumbling block for Elite Advisors in gaining traction is getting advisors to narrow their focus when it comes to marketing and content creation. “No one ever types ‘find the best generalist advisor in Regina’ when doing a Google search.” People are looking for specific answers to specific problems.
At the end of the day Reimer believes that its thorough vetting process is what ultimately will enable its business model to succeed and thrive. By surveying 100 percent of an advisor’s client base Elite believes it’s able to identify the best of the best.
“We want to direct investors to advisors who treat all their clients the same and when I say the same they have an expectation of the kind of service they are going to deliver to each and every one of their clients.”
The Elite Advisor definitely passes the sniff test.