Double Your Business in Three Years or Less

Daniel Collison
Managing Partner at Advice2Advisors
December 14, 2022

In this week’s episode, we sit down with industry expert and managing partner at Advice2Advisors, Dan Collison, to discuss what it takes for advisors to achieve this goal.

Not just any advisor can double their business in 3 years or less.

Are you willing to find out what it takes?

In this week’s episode, we sit down with industry expert and managing partner at Advice2Advisors, Dan Collison, to discuss what it takes for advisors to achieve this goal.

Dan shares a comprehensive look at the measuring tools used in vetting the advisors he works with and the methodologies top producers in North America have used to gain success.

Dan and Lara discuss:

  • Proven tools for measuring character strengths and grit
  • The 3 confidences of top producers
  • Setting a growth plan and the four methodologies of prospecting
  • The science of referability


Website: Advice2Advisors

Maximize your efforts → and become an expert in your area with White Glove ONE.

Connect with Client:

LinkedIn: Daniel Collison

About our Guest:

Dan has over thirty years of experience in the financial services industry, having worked for many years as a practitioner. His primary focus and passion has been on the education and development of financial advisors with a specific emphasis on ensuring a comprehensive, holistic approach to financial planning. Dan has developed and delivered hundreds of programs for training, mentoring, and coaching advisors of all tenure – using a combination of positive psychology coaching and goal-centered coaching. He regularly presents seminars and keynote addresses to prospects, clients, advisors, and management teams. Dan teaches Personal Financial Management in the MBA Program at Schulich School of Business, York University, and is the acclaimed author of The Financial Advisor’s Guide to Excellence, Carswell Publishing. His forthcoming book, Building Bigger & Better: Growth Strategies of Top-Producing Financial Advisors, will be out early next year.  

Podcast Transcript

Voiceover: [00:00:00] Welcome to the FAST Podcast. Financial Advisor Strategy Talks with Lara Galloway, SVP of Financial Education at White Glove. Lara provides advisors with an opportunity to hear from some of the best minds in the business, follow along to learn quick tips to help you grow your business from gaining new leads, to keeping current clients engaged and everything in between.

Now onto the show.  

Aric Johnson: Hello, and welcome to the FAST Podcast with your host Lara Galloway from White Glove. Lara, how are you?  

Lara Galloway: I'm great, Aric. How are you?  

Aric Johnson: I am doing fantastic. I've got to say something to the audience before we even get started here. If you don't know that this is also on YouTube and you're listening to this in your AirPods, your phone's, whatever you got to go on YouTube and check it out.

Lara is dressed really well. She has a guest who is equally dressed fancy.

Lara Galloway: Absolutely. We are going right into today.  

Aric Johnson: You've got Dan Collison on the show. What are you and Dan talking about?  

Lara Galloway: Dan is going to tell us how to make lots of [00:01:00] money. Our topic is doubling your business in three years.

I'm really excited to hear this.  

Aric Johnson: Wow, I can't wait.  

Lara Galloway: So let me tell you a little bit about Dan today. Dan Collison has over 30 years in the financial services industry. He is the co-founder and managing partner in the financial education firm called Advice2Advisors, which mentors and coaches advisors of all tenures.

Dan is a CFP, and has taught personal financial management in the MBA program at the Schick School of Business since 1998, and he's the author of The Financial Advisors Guide to Excellence and the soon to be released building bigger and better growth strategies of top producing financial advisors.

Dan regularly presents keynotes and trains advisors across North and South America. He is a longtime friend to White Glove. He is one of our premier coaches and he is a good friend of mine. Dan, welcome to the FAST Podcast.  

Dan Collison: Fantastic. [00:02:00] Thank you very much, Lara.  

Lara Galloway: I am so excited to have you on here. I know you've been in the office today doing some training on state planning.  

That's right. For our team. Ugh. So great. Such a great topic. But I get you all to myself now for the FAST podcast. Perfect. Beautiful. So Dan, before we jump in, why don't you just tell everybody a little bit about you and your 30 year illustrious career.  

Dan Collison: Sure, sure. So I started like probably everybody listening to this as an advisor fell into the business, didn't anticipate actually ever getting into this business.

I've got degrees in history and political science. Just didn't make sense, but luckily I fell into it. I survived the first couple years, started to really learn the business, began to thrive, and then just fell in love with the business. I built a book of business. I got into the management side. I just wanted to help more advisors do a better job.

I ran a branch, trained, hired, and after several years you mentioned schlock. [00:03:00] I went off and started teaching personal finance at the MBA level, and ultimately, along with my business partner, Tina Carthigaser decided we were going to spin off our coaching business Advice2Advisors, and that's where we are today.

Lara Galloway: We have a common thread running through all these podcasts. I just seem to attract people who love to educate other people. I'm so passionate about it. I know you are as well. Absolutely. And the coaching that you do has been just the key to such success to so many of these advisors, and I've heard you speak many times Dan and I learn something every time.

Terrific. I should be a financial advisor now by proxy. I really should. Okay. But tell me a little bit about Advice2Advisors, specifically. Talk to me about that practice.  

Dan Collison: Sure. So, well, when Tina and I were thrashing out exactly what we would do, we thought it initially would be coaching two individual advisors, and that's how we started the business.  

And we continue to do [00:04:00] that. But as time went on, we started to actually coach and train to bigger groups. We had a lot of fun doing it. And then we were being pulled that way. COVID hit. We had to go virtual like everyone. But boy, are we glad to be live again.

Coaching, mentoring, financial advisors face to face. There's nothing like it.  

Lara Galloway: Absolutely. And you have several different programs. I'm familiar with your estate planning, MBA and your referral programs and all the different things that you have. So I'm going to ask you at the end how we can hear a little bit more about some resources.

Sure. I'd love for people to tap into certainly any clients here at White Glove to get access to you as a coach, but you do a whole lot more even outside of that. So I do want to make sure you get a chance to plug some of that, because it's important stuff. We're talking about a very sexy title. Double your business in three years?

Yes. Okay. Tell me more. So what are we doubling here? Are we doubling AUM or what? [00:05:00] Tell me a little bit about what this looks like.  

Dan Collison: Yeah, and it really comes down to the individual advisor on that. It could be AUM, you know, assets under management, and it's dependent usually on how far into the career the advisor is.

If they've got a smaller book and they want to double it quickly, totally doable if it's the number of clients that they have, and we always talk to the ideal clientele. So we could find that, you know, you've got a mixed book of business, different types of clientele, and you want to focus on an ideal client that's who you want to double.  

You might have 20 different ideal clients and you say, I now need 40. So it's whatever the advisor wants. We'll help double it.

Lara Galloway: Okay, So I could double AUM. I could double my fees. I could double my total number of clients. I could double my total number of ideal clients.

You work with the advisor to determine that [00:06:00] target. That's right. Okay. And have you seen success, I mean like I'm guessing this has been successful, but can just any advisor double their business in three years? I'd love to say yes. I'm really glad to say no. Because I'm going to trust you a lot.

Dan Collison: Yeah. The reality is you have to want to, you know, and the one thing we do say at Advice2Advisors, and we only work with financial advisors, we don't work with any other professionals. But we also say secondly, you have to be in growth mode. We're only interested not that you know, you're retiring and you don't want to be in growth mode, that's your choice.

That's not our decision. So we want to work with financial advisors who are in growth mode. So can you double your business? Yes. If you want to. If you're willing to. And truly, if you've got the mindset, and quite often whether it'll work or not, because we can measure it scientifically. You know, we'll do some testing [00:07:00] and it'll tell us it's possible.

It's not probable. Can everybody learn? Yes, they can, but not everyone will.  

Lara Galloway: Sounds like a nice mix of math, and then art.  

Dan Collison: Totally. No, that's a great way. I haven't put it that way actually, but yeah, that is exactly what it is.  

Lara Galloway: Well, I think you know that I'm a business coach as well. And so I remember one of the funniest things that would happen, just every so often, I'd have a client who I was working with and maybe she'd say to me, “Can you coach my husband?

My husband needs you. He needs you so badly.” I'm like, Huh, No, I can't. Unless your husband comes to me. She's like, “No, no. I want to do this as a gift. I want to buy it for him.” No ma'am, you cannot buy it for him. You know? He has to want it. That person has to want it. And that's where the magic always happens.

Always. It can't be that you want someone to succeed more than they want to. Right? Absolutely. Ugh, I love that. Okay, so what does it take for an advisor like I heard you [00:08:00] mentioned you can, you can predict that, that sounds very scientific, so tell me a little bit.  

Dan Collison: Yeah, and we do use different types of measuring tools right out of the University of Pennsylvania actually, to look at what their personalities are.

One is the grit scale. Have they actually ever done anything long term successfully that would suggest that they could do it again, maybe in different opportunities such as doubling your business, but we want to know that it's a possibility. Again, you can grow your grit, passion and perseverance for long-term goals.  

As Angela Duckworth out of University of Pennsylvania would call it. So it's, Have you done this? Are you likely to do it again if you haven't done it? Teachable. Are you trainable? Will you learn? And most importantly, do you want to? So that goes down to a growth mindset.

Lara Galloway: I could go down a rabbit hole with Angela [00:09:00] Duckworth and grit all day. Beautiful, isn't it? That is so very exciting. And so what? But I really find it amazing that you're actually using her concept and applying it as a measuring tool to help determine success. So are you saying that advisors come to you and this is like part of where you start with them as doing a bit of a personality?

Inventory or assessment?  

Dan Collison: Absolutely. Okay. So we'd look at first all their character strengths. Again, we go through the University of Pennsylvania, look at what their top five strengths are because we always want to lead with our strengths. We can change our strengths if we need to or want to, but we want to know what they are so that we can optimize them.

And then to the grit. Are you a gritty type of person? Do you have passion? Do you have perseverance for any long term goals? Is this something you've done, or haven't done but willing to do? So we can look at that and get a pretty good indication. And given the fact that I was in management for 26 years, hiring and training, [00:10:00] you know, you get a good sense that someone will do or won't do, but if you don't have actual tools to back up that gut feeling.  

You know, you can be wrong so many times.  

Lara Galloway: Well, and it's nice to be able to rely on some tools that can also perhaps help the person you're evaluating self-assess and understand.

Dan Collison:Yeah, absolutely true. Because they don't buy into your gut feeling necessarily.

Exactly. But if third party tools show them they're far more open to talk.  

Lara Galloway: So, I mean, can you paint a broad brushstroke of a success story that would be maybe inspirational for some of the advisors? Listening today, where have you had someone take the model, take the coaching that you're presenting and double something, some part of the business?

Dan Collison: Sure. And we only started doing this back when we were asked to quantify our results as coaches, as trainers. And we were wondering how to do that [00:11:00] because it's hard to pull that information from advisors and definitely from firms. Many of them want to hold that in their own security.

But I think it was 2021. An advisor, a top producer.  He's no slouch. His book was about three quarters of a billion dollars he was writing. Impressive. Bringing in over $20 million a year and he came to us for coaching, for individual coaching, and we had gone through 2021 was the better part of our full coaching.

And I went to him in December in 2021 and George, I'll call him George. Not his real name, but I said, George, where are we in terms of what you want to do? As I said, the previous year he had brought in 20 million of new assets. He had wanted to double that, and he said, Yeah, I'm at 63 million, and this was the very beginning of December, 2021.

He said, I'm at 63 million. So he hadn't doubled it. He had tripled it. And [00:12:00] we work with four different methodologies of prospecting and these are all based on what top producers across North America use. And he had focused on one targeted introduction. He'd focused on his ideal client.

Business owners. And he just drove that business throughout the year. That's impressive. It truly is impressive.

Lara Galloway: I would think as you were saying that, I thought, well God, somebody is already bringing in 20 million a year. Isn't there a law of diminishing returns? Isn't there a point where you just kind of drop off a cliff and you can't really get much more growth, but I guess not.  

Dan Collison: Well, no, and I got to tell you, it shocked both of us. I mean, he saw it rolling in. I didn't see it, you know, hour by hour, day by day. I knew he was growing it to where we thought we'd get it doubled. But, yeah, it was beautiful. It tripled it. That's amazing.

Lara Galloway: So in some of your videos and presentations, I've seen you talk about the three confidences.

Can you discuss that a little bit for me? Sure. I think that's a really pivotal concept.  

Dan Collison: Yeah. And we do [00:13:00] talk about it in my new book. That'll be out in January or February.  

Lara Galloway: The Building Bigger & Better: Growth Strategies of Top-Producing Financial Advisors, that's right.  

Dan Collison: Very good. Yes. What I've seen over the last 30 plus years of being in the business that all top producers have are these three confidences, all of them. Number one is a confident mindset. You know, and this is probably the part that I struggle with as a trainer. In my early management years, because I went to the technical side, I thought if I taught a technical advisor, Oh, let's just talk about that right there.

Is it all technical? Is that where the success is? No and that's the important part. What I didn't put together until several years ago was that it takes all three, a confident mindset, a confident business structure, and then a confident business or growth plan. It takes all three and this is what we do, we talk to top producers, and [00:14:00] they've all got all of them.

They don't all necessarily have the same elements within those confidences to the same degree, but they all have the three confidences.  

Lara Galloway: Interesting. So those three elements, and then I know you do some math. There's a numbers game. I mean, all this is numbers, right? This is just straight numbers when we're measuring.

Absolutely. Right. So talk to me a little bit about some of the measurements that you're doing there. The 10,3,1, what is that?  

Dan Collison: The 10,3,1? That's, that's a great old Grantham who had been in the insurance industry way back at Northwestern and put out books on training and such, he used ten three one as a model for prospecting.

For every 10 prospects you got three meetings, discovery meetings, you get one new client. 10, 3, 1. So that was the math. Then it's always different. Everybody's got their own ratios. You have to know those. What ratios you [00:15:00] work with or will work with? Looking at as we say, the top four methodologies of prospecting.

So we look at the growth plan and we say, Okay, here's the top four methodologies you've got. And we suggest never asking for referrals unless you're so good at it. That it's natural and you're winning with it. Most advisors aren't. The research shows, it makes them uncomfortable. It makes the clients uncomfortable.

When you ask, you know, “Who do you know that can use my services?” It makes the advisor uncomfortable and then they stop doing it anyway. So we say don't ask for referrals, become consciously referral, and then we back that up with the science of referability. But we do ask for targeted introductions targeted to your ideal client.

So you're collecting names from your clients, from your centers of influence. As you go a long day by day in meetings and such, you're holding those names in advance until a point at [00:16:00] which you have a plan to actually use those names to get introduced or set self introductions as George had used then to triple his business.

The third methodology is having and building a personal networking group. So surrounding yourself with other experts who are focused on the same type of ideal client that you are. And finally, it's seminars and webinars. It's getting yourself out as the expert in front of a group of people. Better focus on what you want to talk about.

You're seen as the expert and you've got that huge opportunity to talk to and influence a larger group of potential clients. So when we say how do you double your business in three years or less, we look at those four methodologies. and we say, “Okay, which ones are you willing to work with? Which ones are you good at?”

And I've got to say, if you're not good at referability, everything else starts to fall [00:17:00] off. Unfortunately because referability means they like you, they trust you, everything we need anyway. But what of these four methodologies, or in fact, do we take all four and then mathematically break them down, spreadsheet them basically, and say, how many hours a day?

Do we have to put in to actually double our business? When we look at what it’s going to actually take physically to double this business, whether it's AUM, number of clients, whatever the measurements are going to be, how do we do it? And then it's just the math.  

Lara Galloway: That's pretty incredible.

So what I love about the coaching approach is you start with the individual. You don't have a one size fits all consultation blueprint, right? Right. You have elements that you of course can then once you understand the individual that you bring in or the group that you bring in, you work on that, you help tailor that to whatever their approach is because asking, and you mentioned, seminars.

[00:18:00] Some people aren't good public speakers. The number one fear in the world is public speaking. Not everybody should do it. Not everybody can nor should do it. Absolutely. And if that's not the best thing for you, then we need to find another prospecting methodology that you can do and that you'll commit to and be successful at. Right? Yeah. Love that.  

Dan Collison: But what we do see is most top producers will have if it's not two, three, or four, you know, they're almost always using multiple methodology.  Most will. They get older clients through referrals, but the reality is they're doing something else.  

Lara Galloway: And that's probably just patting themselves on their back. So let's be honest, at the end of the day, that's my goal. Absolutely. We'd like to say that because it sounds like a badge of success. Right?  

Dan Collison: But then again, we've also seen top producers who are out there with seminars the most public of all because they want to be that public.

So those ones will win with seminars. Easily  

Lara Galloway: It’s [00:19:00]so scalable. That's what I always think. Seminars are so scalable. I mean, how many networking opportunities, how many new people can you add to your group that you're expanding and that you're surrounding yourself by?

How much more referable can you make yourself? All those are important and critical factors for sure. But the scalability of the one to many approach in a public setting is really good.  

So if I wanted to learn more, if I wanted to find out more about you and your books, what would I do?

Dan Collison: Oh, sure. Go to our website, Advice2Advisors.com. And just if you need to talk you can connect with us there. We’ll make sure we put it in the show notes.  

Lara Galloway: But guys, that's Advice2Advisors.com. So yes, I appreciate it. Before I let you go I want to hear a little bit about your definition of success, Dan. So how do you define success for yourself?  

Dan Collison: So I would say certainly from a business perspective, [00:20:00] and this is the beauty of doing a lot of the group coaching when some advisor hears something, it's that aha moment. First of all, if you're looking right at them, you see it in their face.

They light up and then they'll tell you, It's a great idea. I'm going to implement it. If we're actually working on an ongoing basis and we get to see them implement it now, that's, to me, the success hits me when they've hit that successful point. And as I said, Advice2Advisors is all about growth.

So that's what we're looking for advisors to do. So that's the payoff for us. That's the success when we actually talk to an advisor that's had that opportunity to implement a strategy that got them.

Lara Galloway: That's not hard to understand at all. Getting to see those people succeed that you're putting out there and helping them grow.

That sounds fabulous. Absolutely. What about a personal mantra? Do you have a personal mantra or motto?

Dan Collison: Yeah. And actually it's one that [00:21:00] I think is funny because I didn't ever think of it as personal, because I've always used it in business. Since I first heard it came from a business owner who actually grew a huge business and I was reading about it in an article and he said about his business, either you're growing or you're dying.  

And I immediately took that and I started using it with advisors and then I recognized that's how I feel personally as well. It's business, it's personal. It's become my mantra. I love to share it because when people hear it, they kind of understand it.

When it comes to advisors in their business, if they're not growing, they truly are dying. It's a natural death of the business because your AUM tends to level off and then it starts to decline. So when there's succession planning, they still have to be growing.

There's no neutral, there's no foot off the gas. Absolutely. And it's true in our personal lives as well. You know, when we stop growing, when we stop thinking, [00:22:00] stop learning, that's a death now. So either you grow or you die.  

Lara Galloway: I can see why that resonates with you.

That makes perfect sense. It does mean it's just on a very personal level, but the way that you do your business, I can see you putting that back out through all your coaching. Dan, it has been an absolute pleasure. Thank you for sharing your secrets with me today. Thanks very much.

Aric Johnson: Lara this has been fantastic.

Dan, I love your heart, man. I mean, just the fact that success to you is when others find success. You know that obviously that's a great feeling. Lara, I know that you've been a coach for a very long time and I know that you feel the same because you and I've talked about that. Lara, if people want to get a hold of you, I know that there are advisors listening to this show, and they maybe want to change.

They need to change in their business, a change in their life. And all the tools and resources that you guys have are amazing. How do they get a hold?

Lara Galloway: You can always reach us on our website, whiteglove.com, or send us an email to info@whiteglove.com. We'd [00:23:00] love to share all kinds of information about how people can reach out to Dan since he is also one of our partners here at White Glove.

We have a lot of ways to connect with him, and you can also reach out on his website as he shared about his book and all of the great resources that he has.  

Aric Johnson: Fantastic. Dan, again, I'm just going to echo what Lara said. Thank you so much. Fantastic guest, Lara, of course. Thank you for facilitating this and being an amazing host.

And our last thank you always goes to the listening audience. Thank you so much for tuning in and listening to the FAST podcast with Lara Galloway. If you have not subscribed to the podcast yet, please click the subscribe now button below. This way when Lara comes out with a new podcast, it'll show up directly on your listening device, and we humbly ask you to share this podcast, rate it and leave a review as this actually does help others find the show.

Again, thank you so much for listening. For everyone at White Glove, this is Aric Johnson reminding you to live your best day every day, and we'll see you next.

Voiceover: Thank you for listening to the FAST Podcast Financial Advisor Strategy Talks with Lara Galloway. Your go-to. Designed to help you grow your business. [00:24:00] Have questions about the topics covered during the show? Visit our website at www.whiteglove.com or email us at info@whiteglove.com. Don't forget to click the follow button to be notified when new episodes become available.

The information covered and posted represents the views and opinions of the guests and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of White Glove. The content has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional investing advice.

Always seek the advice of your financial advisor or other qualified financial services provider with any questions you may have regarding your investment planning.

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