In a career exceeding 35 years in financial services, I have successfully navigated the many changes affecting planning and wealth management strategies. Earning the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation over 30 years ago taught me that in order to become, and remain, an elite financial advisor we need to be on the leading edge of our field with a consistent reevaluation, improvement, and upgrading of our practice model and service.
During my time with Prudential Securities, along with many years as a successful Financial Advisor, I was one of the first female Branch Office Managers for a major wire house. My experience in our industry has included recruiting, training, and mentoring Financial Advisors for new and existing branch offices. I have held FINRA licenses including series 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 24, 51, 53, 63, and 65.
Why do you coach?
When you are successful this is a very lonely business – It’s hard for most of your family and friends to even envision your earnings, much less understand why you would wish to accomplish even higher goals. Deep down your peers are envious, and it seems your firm asks more and more of you. Upgrading your skills to an elite status as an advisor is not your firm’s, or your broker-dealer’s, responsibility. Each company trains to provide the optimum profitability and compliance procedures for a large number of financial advisors with varying levels of skills, interests, knowledge, and experience; almost a one-size-fits-all approach.
As a coach, I offer you a “peek over the fence” at how other advisors around the country have taken advantages of opportunities, and overcome obstacles, which may be similar to what you are encountering. By having a coach who is engrossed in your skills and interests, advisors discover some amazing opportunities they have overlooked; that is the WOW moment for me as a coach.
How would you describe your coaching style?
I believe each and every financial advisor brings a personal and unique set of skills, life experiences, cultures, and interests to their practice. These skills don’t always conform to the investment product or market niche du jour but rather can be utilized to create a lifelong customized strategy for a Financial Advisor to deliver the services that speak to the expectations of affluent families.
Likewise, many of us are our own worst enemies and harshest critics. A good coach guides you in recognizing your strengths and the areas of the practice that are most rewarding to you. You learn to focus your time, attention, and energy on the areas you can excel rather than trying to be everything to everybody.
What are some of your personal interests and hobbies?
When not engaged in our respective businesses, you will often find my husband and I participating in and supporting local charities. We are frequently spotted at Motown Music or Blues Music Concerts and events, and occasionally singing in the volunteer choir at the Sunday Morning Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues! During quiet time, it’s yoga, a beach walk, and a good book with a cat on my lap.
What do your clients say about you?
She helped me look at my client segmentation in a whole new way. Rather than the colors our firm assigns, we talk about which clients have the potential to develop my business going forward and these have not necessarily been the largest clients! (KC)
I like the fact that I have a voice outside of the firm who I can work with. We have internal coaches that focus on the goals of the firm. They are GREAT and very helpful. But, I like having the ability to look purely at my situation, who I am as a financial advisor, and have the confidential ability to discuss challenges with someone who does not have a vested interest in my business. (AD)
It took a long time for me to “get it” … giving up clients to grow my business? When she pointed out the actual amount of my revenue that came from my bottom 30% of my book, I discovered I had to replicate ONLY 1 of my top 25 clients to match that revenue! It was a lot easier to have the time to spend with the larger clients when I no longer was responsible for the 58 clients I passed to another advisor. (PH)
Helping me to be more social with clients has been invaluable. Because I am an introvert, that has always been a more difficult thing for me to do. You gave me not just ideas but the language to use to get in front of clients and not be shy about asking for introductions. Introductions are so different from asking for a referral! (DB)
I always thought advisors who said they had strong relationships with CPAs and referral streams from them were exaggerating about them. I learned very differently working with Debra and now average 3 -4 HNW clients a year from 2 CPAs. (DV)
My coach helps me think through situations I may encounter and people I am likely to meet at specific upcoming events. For example, my coach recommends I research people I am likely to meet to have some ideas about them for potential non-business conversations. It’s also so important to have a social card, rather than business care readily available. (FM)