Ops Summit: Optimizing Your Financial Practice for Success

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Impact Partnership’s Operations Summit (Ops Summit, for short!) is a conference geared toward financial advisor training and teaching operational support staff about improving efficiency and office management, so the practice runs like a well-oiled machine! If you didn’t get a chance to attend, or are interested in an event like this, read on for an overview of what Impact’s Ops Team covered at this year’s boot camp!

Building the Infrastructure of Your Vision

The early talks of Ops Summit focused on adopting fruitful mindsets. Just as the unconscious mind informs the conscious, your mental approach will inform your physical actions.

Ideas to Execution

The essential first step is to get your ideas in order, preferably on paper. What’s the big picture view of what you’d like to add to your financial practice? Which of those ideas can you start working on immediately, and which should you implement over the next 12 months?

From there, Impact’s Ops Team offered strategies for turning those ideas into action plans.

Customer Service vs. Customer Experience

Customer service is one personal interaction, whereas customer experience is the sum of all interactions with a client or prospect. Both can make or break a business. Customers tend to choose one business over another based on one poor customer service experience. Neglecting the more long-term customer experience risks someone taking their business elsewhere, and your investment of time and effort is lost to your competitor. How are you maintaining a positive experience for your clients and prospects?

Our team shared their philosophy on making memorable experiences, referable moments, and provided industry standards (as well as Impact’s own tips) for boosting your customer service practices.

Your Role in the Customer Experience

As a whole, maintaining a healthy customer experience comes down to company culture: how you build it, what shape you want it to take, how you express it, and how cohesive it is among your staff. If your team is in a position to succeed internally, that energy will make its way into your external efforts and influence your customer experience for the better!

Best Practices for the Best Practices

What are the best financial practices doing to make them the best businesses? Which mindsets are they adopting to improve their behaviors? What are the best financial advisor training approaches to help build your operations? Impact’s Ops Team discussed their own behaviors and habits, and what makes a good practice a great practice.

Right People, Right Seats

While it’s important to establish a healthy company culture, it’s just as important to find and maintain a circle which reinforces that culture. Our team stressed defining your circle: what roles do you have on your team? Do those roles have clear descriptions? Are there enough roles, or do you need to hire some new people? Are there too many roles which muddle your practices?

Businesses need to be sure they’re hiring to their core values. Would you hire someone with a sloppy-looking resume? While the criteria within may be satisfactory, their lack of organization and execution may hint at an underlying compatibility issue.

Identifying Core Processes in Financial Advisor Training

Your core processes are the functions within your business, without which you wouldn’t be you. Could you describe yours to a stranger right now — or even name them yourself?

There are four steps to developing a core processes:

  • Meet About Them
  • Name Them
  • Agree on Them
  • Document Them

Generally, you should develop around five to seven core processes under which everything falls. With these actionable steps, you’ll have a great process in hand, and with that, you’ll know what your end result is.

Writing an Effective Process

But what does it mean to write an effective process? Why should financial advisors bother to outline their processes? Should written processes be a part of financial advisor training?

Without clear and concrete processes, you’re relying on the memory (and motivation) of everyone involved to get things done right. This is not sustainable for your business to grow. Teammates leave, go on maternity leave, have emergencies, and suddenly you find yourself “rebuilding” and learning the job as you go. Skip the headache — begin with the end in mind, create a consistent layout, and have your processes where everyone can reach them.

Out of the Head, Onto the Page

To conclude Ops Summit, we discussed the processing functions of an operations team. From underwriting and exams, to licensing and contracting, and CRM and client management, the moving parts can get tricky if you don’t have the right procedures in place.

Moving Money

As with the behaviors discussed above, you need to be mindful about how and where you’re moving money around. What are the various sources of the types of funds being used? Are you keeping track of the money before, during and after the transaction? Which business are accepting e-signatures? This is not an area to be passive in, so stay involved!

Licensing, Contracting and Financial Advisor Training

Impact’s Operations Team has years of licensing and contracting experience and make productivity seamless for our advisor partners. They discussed the advantages they provide, whether it’s their efficiency in auditing licensing requests, their comprehensive approach to requirement inquiries, or their support pre- and post-sale. They also showed real-life examples of communication exchanges and how each could have been improved to deliver faster and better results! Ask us for those!

Back to Basics: The Importance of Fundamentals

On the last day of the summit, our Operations Team reiterated the basics in financial advisor training: stick to your principles, remember your training, and focus on your strengths.

New Business & Annuity Suitability

Keeping the basics in mind helps tremendously when submitting new business and determining annuity suitability. Remember your processes! Wait for the green light from licensing before submitting and stick to the facts when checking suitability. The more specific you are in your preparations and explanations, the better.

In Conclusion

A great operations team is a present operations team. They know, can produce, and understand their processes; they keep diligent records of what they do, when they do it, and why; they maintain their procedures and recognize the strengths therein; and, throughout all of this, communicate clearly and regularly with each member of the internal team and external partners. Ops Summit helps identify strengths, areas for improvement, and offers solutions and support so our attendees go back to their financial practices equipped with what they need to exceed their unique goals.

If you want to learn more about the training events Impact Partnership hosts for our advisors, reach out to us! You can also check out our Marketing Summit recap for veteran wisdom on contemporary trends from our Marketing Team to help grow your financial practice.


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Stephen Odom, CEO of The Impact Partnership


Chief Executive Officer

Stephen started in the insurance marketing business in 2001 as a new business consultant. In 2002 he was promoted to Director of Sales and built a 200 million book of business from scratch. By 2005, he was one of the top wholesalers in the country, working with some of the top financial advisors and insurance agents across the USA. In 2008, Stephen was promoted to Co-President of one of the largest IMOs in the country.

In 2011, Stephen continued his entrepreneurship path and co-founded The Impact Partnership, an INC 5000 company. Stephen is responsible for the strategic vision of Impact and is laser-focused on creating a culture of growth for both internal teammates and our amazing customers.

Stephen lives in Kennesaw, GA, with his wife of more than 20 years, Kendra. They are blessed with three beautiful children Katie, Tyler, Anna Brooke, and Laya, their German Shepherd and Luna, their BernieDoodle.