Making the most of your ACES website
We encourage you to list other people, such as people to whom you refer work, on your website. Having a large team pre-assembled means your practice (ie not necessarily you personally) can say ‘yes’ to any request for assistance from a client or a prospective client.
As the practice owner, you concentrate on ‘getting work in the door’ and managing the client relationship. The clients ‘buy you.’ But you assemble a team of independent practitioners to get the work done. Each member of this team earns you a profit. We recommend 25% of the total client fee be retained by you – but you can of course organize some other percentage with your team.
To see what we mean, have a look at the following example website, developed with yours truly as the practice principal. We have developed it to show you how the system works.
As you can see, I have positioned myself as the managing director of the business. I have a team of ten people providing a much larger suite of services to clients. Any work that needs particular registration, such as legal work, would be done appropriately. The specific arrangement can be explained to the client at the time the service is provided.
The point is that a solo practitioner like me can actually show that I have ten staff working for me. In this particular case, that ten includes nine financial planners, three qualified accountants, four practicing lawyers (from five law graduates) – and even a psychologist! The team is also well-balanced in terms of age, gender, background, etc. It is a great team (what a pity this is only a demo site and I am not actually using them in a financial planning practice! – Although Dover advisers can nominate each or any of these people. See below).
When the work comes in
Once the team has been assembled, here is how the strategy works:
On day one my practice is not that busy. A client comes in needing superannuation advice. On my team there are two other people who do this work (Sharlini and Shi). But I am not busy so I do the work myself and keep 100% of the fees. That makes sense.
Someone else comes in wanting assistance buying property. I am not qualified to do this work, nor am I sufficiently experienced. So, I pass this work to my team member Ethan who is able to do it. He provides the assistance through the real estate buying agency that he is involved with. I make 25% of the fee for the work that Ethan does. And I help a client.
The client is so happy they tell their cousin about me. “Adrian’s practice does it all.” A few months later, the cousin rings. They need some super advice. By now I am really busy. So, rather than do it myself, I organize for a team member to do it instead. Our arrangement is that the client will pay me and I will pay my team member 75%. I still bill the client, and the SOA that is developed is still developed under the banner of my practice.
I also get goodwill on 100% of the fee, and I keep the client as mine. As well as making an immediate 25% on a fee for work that I don’t have time to do myself. This is the best money I will make all week!
Putting your team together
Most of the staff here at head office at Dover are qualified financial advisers, as well as qualified in areas like law. So, if you are a Dover adviser you are welcome to nominate any of the Dover team as your team. This gives your practice particular gravitas and you know that you can trust all of the nominees.
Alternatively, have a look through the adviser referral tool and identify people you think would be good. Contact them and see what you think. We can then easily include those people on your website.
As a third alternative, you can DIY your own network.
I realise that many Dover advisers set up their own practice because they want to personally provide the full suite of services. But trust us: clients will be impressed if they see a substantial team behind you. Especially the discerning clients that you really want anyway.
You might still do the work, but having the team assembled means you will impress potential clients who visit your site – and remember, ACES will be working hard to deliver visitors to your site (look back over your other updates to see how).
So, when you get an ACES website, make sure you use it to show you have a competent team behind you.
As ever, please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss how ACES will work for you.