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Dreamforce – The Best Conference Ever

Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA

I have been to a lot of conferences around the world in the last 10 years. Through these conferences I have met some great people, made some life long friends, had some good meals, listened to the odd useful speaker and picked up some good insights. I would generally say this is the same for many people.

BUT, how many times have I walked away with that WOW experience. Never! That is until I attended Dreamforce last week put on by Salesforce.com at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.Saying this strategists like me can be highly critical of events and find them draining with our introverted, results based and need for information nature.

From the moment I arrived with 5 members from my team, I was fully engaged in the whole event. So was my team. Salesforce have truly mastered the art of putting together a conference which is very connective, business social and full of high quality content. It is not often in 3 days you get to hear leaders like Richard Branson, Colin Powell, Jeff Immelt and Tony Robbins and other innovative executives from multinational businesses speak. With 90,000 attendees the atmosphere was electric and buzzing. Yet it was all very friendly and logistically easy. Then add on the amazing night time entertainment with open bars at no cost (other than maybe a headache in the morning for the hard party goers).

Red Hot Chili Peppers concert at Dreamforce 2012

There is no doubt that Salesforce promoted their business which they should be doing. However, it was all done through real life case studies which showed the future of business and how we all will need to operate in a business is social environment.

As I have said to many business leaders in the past week if you are looking to learn how to expand your business, get new ideas, meet different thinkers and place yourself in the future look no further than Dreamforce. Add on, you will have a great time on the business and social side. This is a great event to go and explore how you can tap an amazingly big business ecosystem and entertain your team and clients with a once and life time experience for a very low cost and little logistical management.

See you at Dreamforce 2013!

Are You Considering More Than Just Investment Risk?

Traditionally when the topic of risk comes up financial advisors and wealth managers think of investment risk. How much loss can my clients tolerate when the market goes down? How aggressive or conservative should the investment strategy be?

Then there are advisors who have focused less on the investment side and gone to the life planning side. This too is important in the context of knowing the client and helping them achieve their goals.

However, what sits between whether the client creates and protects the wealth to achieve their goals is their behavior.

In a nutshell, there are many more risks than only the clients current investment risk tolerance that need to be known in building a long term financial plan and investment policy statement. What must also be known is the clients natural hard wired risk behaviors, their financial behaviors (eg spending and financial habits) and their relationship behaviors which if not managed can cause financial risks.

To learn more, watch the interview Advisor TV.

Visit www.financialdna.com for additional information or contact us at inquiries@dnabehavior.com.

Dealing with Financial Planning Risk

The financial services industry around the world is changing fast with the significant challenges of turbulent markets, commoditization, suitability, regulation and advisor client trust being at the forefront.

To be successful in this new environment the financial advisor has to become more client centered and demonstrate a higher degree of competence.

The new normal of providing financial advisory services will now more than ever need to start with a highly robust process to knowing the clients financial behavior which enables a highly customized life long experience to be delivered. Further, to get buy in from the client the process will need to offer value for the client and be educational.Financial Risk, Risk Profiling, Client Portfolio, Investment Risks

Knowing the clients financial behavior is more than guessing or having a shallow understanding of their current investment risk appetite. It is only by understanding the client from the inside out and, in particular, the mismatch that arises between risk propensity and risk tolerance as well their attitudes to spending, trust and adherence to goals, can an advisor truly know his client.

Dealing With Financial Planning Risk White Paper

Our recently released white paper on Dealing with Financial Planning Risk provides research, insights and actionable solutions supporting an advisor going beyond a superficial understanding of their clients investment risk behavior to also knowing all of their investment, financial and relationship risk behaviors which directly and indirectly impact wealth creation.

The future is in the advisor becoming the behavioral guide of their client using cutting edge technology platforms to drive efficiencies in the provision of advice.

Please click here to access the white paper.

Also, if you would like to discuss how you can implement a behavioral approach in your business, please contact us at inquiries@dnabehavior.com.

4 “Must Have” Apps for Financial Advisors

Advisors wear many hats. Advisors need to be great networkers, great money managers, great bosses, and a great wealth mentor. Salesforce can help with some of these activities inherently just by keeping you organized, but the real ticket is inside the Salesforce Appexchange where independent software providers have developed apps to make your life easier.

I have selected 4 cutting edge apps to help with your marketing, client service, workflow management, compliance, document creation processes, and keeping a watchful eye on your clients portfolio.

Communication DNA | Customize your marketing and client service activities

Communication DNA is a customer engagement app used by advisors to discover the emotional decision-making patterns of clients to allow for the real time customization of marketing and client service activities. You as an advisor, use this information to understand what drives your clients decision making, and help establish the environment that your clients need in order to financially perform.

Communication DNA delivers your clients communication keys, preferences and contact details directly to your Salesforce account without you lifting a finger.

More about this app

How Communication DNA works:

Process Composer | Workflow Management for your Advisory Team

Process composer is a smart engine to build and automate simple or complex repeatable processes. Create a firm-wide consistent client experience, enable visibility by seeing the status of client requests, & drive Salesforce adoption by imbedding routine processes in CRM.

CREATE CONSISTENCY: build sales, service, HR, and compliance processes so they happen the same way every time.

CREATE VISIBILITY: empower employees with the ability to graphically see the status of client requests.

DRIVE ADOPTION: imbed your routine processes inside Salesforce CRM to create dependency and drive usage.

More about this app

How Process Composer works:

Conga Composer | Easily generate your documents for Compliance
Easily generate custom proposals, account plans, contracts, presentations and emails with content from multiple objects and related lists. Works with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF forms and HTML email in single, batch and scheduled operations.

More about this app

How Conga Composer Works:

Sycamore | Client and Compliance Manager
A simple, easy to use application designed specifically for a financial advisor. Automated workflows, Client communication and seamless data integration help you manage your customers more efficiently and effectively.
A complete client balance sheet is tracked. Assets include bank accounts, financial accounts, holdings and insurance policies. On the liability side, both short term debt like car loans and credit cards are tracked as well as long term debt such as mortgages and home equity loans.

Plus, Sycamore provides checks & approval processes to ensure you stay compliant.

More about this app

How this app works:

Why Customers Don’t Complete Your Survey

Trying to get to know your customers better?? Welcome to the New Behavioral Economy.? So are most companies.? But their approach differs dramatically.

In The Center of the Universe, I wrote about how happy I was to complete a survey for BestCoffee.

Within a week, I got another request after I just completed a phone call with my insurance company.? But I must admit, I wasnt so excited about this request:customer service experience, client engagement

Thank you for placing your trust in Popular Insurance Company. ?Your feedback is very important. Please let us know about your recent Customer Service experience by answering a few questions using the link below. The survey takes about 3-5 minutes to complete. We look forward to receiving your valuable feedback as we continuously strive to improve your experience with us.? We appreciate your business and thank you again for choosing Popular Insurance Company.
How did I feel?? The opposite of special: part of a mass production email that was? sent to millions of other customers.? Boring! This must be a parallel universe where they have good intentions but are missing the personalization concept.

Did I take the 3-5 minutes to complete the survey?? No.? Why?? There was simply no excitement or motivation for me to take the next step.? Even when I got another reminder (same type of wording), I hit the delete button.

The lesson?? You need to customize each communication to your clients in order for them to take action.? Clearly, this message was lost on my style.

How do you learn the communication style of your customers to create more meaningful, customized experiences?? Explore the Communication DNA website.

Management Principle: System-Wide Thinking

One of the most rewarding activities for staff is when they come up with ideas that are then implemented in the firm, as an added process or service.

The reason it doesn’t happen as much as it should is because people are not thinking system-wide. To fully leverage our resources, we must encourage this competency and mindset. I hope you enjoy this week’s principle.http://www.dnabehavior.com/about-dna-for-businesses.png

System-Wide Thinking. Organizational leaders face complex challenges to integrate people, process, systems and resources to deliver firm products and services. Teamwork, collaboration and system-wide thinking are needed, yet many leaders fail here because they are not effectively employing professional management skills. Strong managerial leaders develop system-wide thinking in others when they empower people to think and act. They do so by utilizing appropriate levels of freedom to ensure quality of output, all resulting from a big picture view. It involves inculcating a high-level vantage point so that direct reports “think it and see it,” before they have to be told. Delegation is used as a tool to create system-wide thinking using employees’ brains as “scratch space.” They push the thinking down and insist that their people to do the critical thinking and problem-solving. They will ask intense, penetrating questions rather than simply providing answers when polled by their staff. This process may take more time initially, but will pay huge dividends over time.

Coaching questions: What deliberate steps are you taking to develop system-wide thinking in your employees? How can you create a laboratory in their minds by asking questions, running scenarios, and insisting that they process complex issues?

Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.