As you gather feedback from advisors on their needs and formulate training and coaching programs to support them accordingly, the method of delivery becomes an important strategy. There are several ways to deliver coaching, content and support to advisors in order to help them achieve their goals. The delivery channel you use will vary depending on what you are delivering and to whom. Financial institutions can work with their advisors in four ways:
Zero-to-Many refers to self-service delivery. Content is available on-demand for anyone with access to the system that houses it. Articles, process templates, checklists, guides, white papers and recorded training sessions could be shared via a network drive or web portal accessible with login credentials. The content is usually static and isn’t tailored to specific users; rather, it tends to be designed for consumption by a wide range of users.
One-to-Many communications are delivered by one coach to many learners simultaneously. Content is delivered in a participatory setting, such as live training, webinars or conference sessions. This method is designed for consumption by a wide range of users, though customization may occur during delivery as the leader reads audience reactions and answers questions during the session.
One-to-Few refers to content that is delivered by one coach to a small, focused group of learners. Content is delivered at a set time and place to a select few, such as study groups or pre-conference workshops. Subject matter is carefully tuned to the needs of this select group and may be extended or shortened depending on their progress and interest throughout the session.
One-to-One refers to content that is delivered by one coach to one learner. Material is available at a set time and place and reserved for one specific person. Coaching meetings and annual or semi-annual reviews are examples of one-to-one delivery. Content is tailored to the needs of one specific practice. The coach typically follows up and provides accountability and transparency to the advisor.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT CHANNEL
As an executive, your role is to be a steward of the financial institution’s resources and allocate them effectively. One channel isn’t better than another; each has unique strengths and weaknesses. Segmentation along with a multichannel delivery model allows financial institutions to account for these variations and more effectively leverage existing resources to Accelerate Advisor Success. Best practice is to take a “surround sound” approach that leverages all four channels based on advisor need and other factors, including:
Different advisors have different learning styles. Some will be more visual and benefit from training that permits them to see concepts as they are presented. Others will be more auditory and benefit most from reading or hearing information; while others are more kinesthetic — or in other words, they prefer to experience the material/exercise to gain buy-in. In many cases, the same content can be presented in a variety of ways.
New advisors will have significantly different needs than those who are experienced and reaching mid-career. An advisor working for a practice with many clients may benefit from training on increasing wallet share; an advisor at a financial institution with a high-quality client base could create significant opportunity by delivering a more holistic wealth management experience. Advisors will gravitate to content that is most relevant to their current situation.
The more people you need to reach, the more important this factor becomes. One-to-one delivery is the most expensive and needs to be allocated strategically. At the opposite end of the spectrum is zero-to-many, where delivering to everyone you want to reach is entirely hands-off and costs very little. For any content you need to deliver, there will be a tradeoff between control over the quality of the learning experience and your ability to train many people simultaneously.
In summary, the delivery method you use will vary based on several considerations. No matter which channel you choose, following through with training and coaching that aligns with advisor feedback will play a critical role in Accelerating Advisor Success.