It’s no secret that the world is extremely complex – especially the financial world. In today’s volatile market, people are bombarded with advice about how to manage their portfolio, what products to purchase and where to invest. Collaborating with a team of professionals can be a wonderful solution to help clients cut through the noise. Working with excellent attorneys, accountants, investment professionals, bank trust officers, valuation experts, etc., can produce extraordinary results and move projects along quickly, completely and confidently. A great planning process should include reliance on collaborative teams when designing and implementing effective solutions for clients. To put together a strong team of advisors, try these tips:
 Evaluate Client Needs to Assemble the Appropriate Team Members
A successful team starts with first understanding a client’s needs. Excellent professionals share similar characteristics. For example, they are competent – they know what they are supposed to know. They believe in continuing education – they have the appropriate designations and are active in professional associations. Top-flight professionals have integrity – they always act in the best interests of their clients by providing valuable advice and ongoing service. It’s important for collaborative teams to do what they say they will do, to know what they are supposed to know, to communicate in an easy-to-understand manner and, most important, they should always put the client’s best interests ahead of their own.
 Get In Front of Quality Professionals
Advisors must demonstrate that they are competent by building their resume. This can be accomplished in several ways, e.g., earning their Chartered Financial Consultant and/or Accredited Estate Planner designations. They should also become active in industry organizations such as the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) and their local estate planning council. These associations will increase their visibility, help them build relationships with other professionals, and confirm that the advisor is trustworthy and reliable. Writing in financial trade publications and speaking at industry conferences are also great ways to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.
 Maintain Relationships
In order for collaborative teams to effectively meet their objectives, they need to articulate their goals and set deadlines. If team members don’t communicate, they are not going to get the stellar results they promise their clients. All team members need to stay up-to-date on their priorities, attend team meetings to ensure that everyone understands their unique role, and continuously stay in contact with clients to keep them abreast of any changes that would impact their financial plans. The creation of well-organized and highly effective teams also includes clients as key partners and team members.
A truly collaborative process enables clients to make well-informed decisions for themselves, their families and future generations. When appropriate plan design has been achieved, collaborative teams have a responsibility to ensure flawless implementation. This often requires the overlapping knowledge of the team members and the tenacity of each to make sure all the “i’s” are dotted and “t’s” are crossed – with each team member being 100 percent responsible for the well-being of the client. When that has been accomplished, all participants can sit back and take pride in their work.
Enjoy the journey as your practice moves to the next level!