Portfolio Management purple - icon

View Our Brand Assets

Access a suite of logos, fonts and media resources for the AdvisorEngine Brand. If you can’t find what you need, please contact us.

View Assets

Mike Byrnes: Growing your financial advisory practice

In the world of financial advice, the pursuit of growth is a constant endeavor.

Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting out, expanding your financial advisory practice requires a blend of strategic planning, client relationship management and continuous skill development.

In an earlier Action! magazine article, we took an in-depth look at the life cycle of a financial advisor - a career path that has its distinct stages, each with benchmarks and challenges.

One of the most imperative paths to growth is cultivating a strong referral network where satisfied clients refer friends, family and colleagues to your practice. Mike Byrnes of Byrnes Consulting believes this is one of the most important ways to grow your reach. I caught up with him to learn more. Click the video below to watch the full interview. 


Suleman Din: Thank you so much, Mike, for joining us today. We really appreciated your comments and your insights that helped us get a better understanding of the career cycle that advisors go through. You had some thoughts for folks who are at that beginning point in their career where they're looking to expand their business and obviously meet new prospects and just generally grow. Could you talk a little bit about the importance of relying on networks and using that home base, if you will, to help get yourself going? 

Mike Byrnes: One of the most important things in a relationship with a prospect and an advisor is trust. Starting with your own network is wonderful because anytime you get a referral it’s a transfer of trust, but if someone already knew you, that's a fantastic way to do it too. Another thing I would say early on is to build up your brand recognition and that could be getting PR and building up your expertise. The people in the press aren't always the smartest people in the world, but they, to the outside world because they've been published in a magazine, newspaper, on the radio, or on TV, whatever it might be, they just come across as experts and people naturally trust them even though they don't have a gigantic book of business yet. 

Din: What are the one or two things that folks can – especially in that early stage when they're trying to convince people to give them a boost – how would advise on how to approach someone for the first time and say, hey, I'm starting out, would love to get your help or your support, what are a couple of things that come to mind? 

Byrnes: I wouldn't phrase it like that, “I love your help and support.” The more needy you are, the less likely you are. people are gonna wanna work with you, they're gonna feel something that's wrong there. I really say know your target market better than anyone else and then talk their language, how do they need help, why do they need help? Then talk about your expertise and how you can help them. Literally, if you don't have a target market in the beginning, it's hard to have one because I always make that analogy if you're starving and drive up to the drive-through menu at McDonald's or eat anything. People are like that. They'll take any type of client in the beginning, but over time you wanna gravitate to a certain type of prospect, a niche, whatever it might be and then you can speak their language. So for example, a widow, I'd love to be there so you don't have to go it alone. That type of language is way better than, “I really need your help to grow my business.” 

Din: Somebody reads the Action! magazine and they see your thoughts in there, the article, and they're like, they get inspired. What's one or two pieces of advice – and I know you've been talking about this already – that you would kind of suggest to folks who want to get started, they're talking to people, they have a target market in mind. What else would you suggest to them as advice from your experience that would say, get these things in the pipeline to get moving? 

Byrnes: The more that you can research your clients, prospects and target market, the better you will be at servicing them, talking about them, which I just said, but also then customizing the message and everything. What keeps them up at night? What are the major services that they need? What are hurdles? Why have they left another advisor if they had a previous one before? And so on, the more you start to ask, the more you learn about them – what's their behavior, for example – the more you start to identify strategic alliances that you can partner with. Is there something that they do in their social life? Are they religious in some way? Are they charitable? What do they do for work? 

It's not just about what their income is and what their wealth status is, their assets under management. The more you know, the more influential people you can figure out who can get you introduced. Again, that's a transfer of trust. And so a new person that doesn't have a gigantic business can do really well that way. 

Din: Mike, I wanted to take a moment to again thank you for your contributions to Action! magazine. We are really excited to have you as part of the community. I hope we can have you back as an expert for a future article that we will be running in the magazine.

Byrnes: I love it, anytime. Thanks for all you do too. 

Din: No, thank you so much.

This blog is sponsored by AdvisorEngine Inc. The information, data and opinions in this commentary are as of the publication date, unless otherwise noted, and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered a recommendation to use AdvisorEngine or deemed to be a specific offer to sell or provide, or a specific invitation to apply for, any financial product, instrument or service that may be mentioned. Information does not constitute a recommendation of any investment strategy, is not intended as investment advice and does not take into account all the circumstances of each investor. Opinions and forecasts discussed are those of the author, do not necessarily reflect the views of AdvisorEngine and are subject to change without notice. AdvisorEngine makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or representations. As a technology company, AdvisorEngine provides access to award-winning tools and will be compensated for providing such access. AdvisorEngine does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.