Louise Pengilley’s business coaching helps a chartered financial planner through change and expansion.
Rachel is a highly experienced chartered financial planner. She built on her 25-year career in corporate wealth management and financial advisor roles, by moving to a self-employed role that would allow a healthier work-life balance, increased flexibility, and the ability to be responsible for her own destiny in terms of earning potential.
Rachel had joined a wealth management company that allowed her to work as if she was self-employed with the benefit of practice support. This came in the form of a team that included an administrator and a paraplanner.
As a highly experienced financial planner, she had a clearly defined goal – establishing a new client base that would allow her to build her practice’s value and lay the ground for long-term growth. Because she was starting her business from scratch, she wanted support to find new clients.
When Rachel met Louise, she was drawn to her practical approach and appreciated their shared corporate background. She booked a Business Development Review with Louise to gain an outside view of her business. This summarised Louise’s observations and development areas for Rachel to help her achieve her objective.
Motivated by the insights from the review, Rachel began fortnightly sales-focused business coaching sessions.
Learning about the comfort zone
One of the main challenges Rachel faced was leaving her comfort zone to approach prospects. She’d previously had a Business Development Manager (BDM) to help with forecasting and provide warm leads that she would then qualify. The lack of BDM felt daunting.
Louise coached her through this by sharing recommended reading, playing devil’s advocate and explaining the facts of the matter. Knowing the importance of relationships when choosing a financial advisor, Louise showed Rachel that many past clients would happily support her new venture with referrals and recommendations.
While still feeling slightly uneasy about approaching prospects, Rachel recognises the value of doing so and how it supports her business growth goals.
After working together for 18 months, Rachel encountered an unexpected change when the company she worked for was sold. The new company operated differently, with a majority of employed advisors and a few self-employed advisors like Rachel. As a result, she was asked to take on a retired advisor’s portfolio.
The power of purpose
Rachel’s sudden influx of clients meant more work such as building new relationships, understanding client requirements, and assessing their risk preferences. This impacted her working patterns and home life, resulting in overwhelm.
Louise’s flexible business coaching approach guided Rachel to take a step back and re-evaluate her ‘why’. Using the Wheel of Life tool helped Rachel reflect on different aspects of her life and identify changes that aligned with her life goals. Louise’s empathetic nature meant Rachel felt comfortable talking about her challenges which allowed her to confront what wasn’t working and identify her values. This provided her with a clearer ‘compass’, allowing her to be led by her values.
With three times as many clients, Rachel needed an effective system.
Louise helped by creating a master spreadsheet that listed clients, products, investments, and future opportunities as well as key actions such as follow-up dates.
This file acted as a central record for Rachel and her team, allowing her to manage clients’ details and investments, and track their progress. It also detailed where clients were based and what revenue they delivered. Louise provided Excel training to enhance Rachel’s skills and confidence to use the new spreadsheet effectively.
The spreadsheet also allowed Rachel to segment her clients by product and value to become more strategic. This was particularly helpful at allowing her to separate her clients from those she was advising on behalf of the practice. It also identified clients who were too distant for her to realistically serve and could be transferred to another advisor.
Through business coaching, Louise also identified quick wins to help Rachel regain control, such as organising her diary, identifying productive working patterns, geographically grouping her clients to save time on the road and synching various technology to make planning client visits easier.
Staying on track
Rachel’s objectives have expanded over the past two and a half years. As well as continuing to drive her own business’s growth and value, she also account manages clients for the firm.
Louise has acted in two capacities. Initially, she worked as a coach, helping Rachel with professional and personal opportunities. She also acted as a Business Development Manager, helping review Rachel’s pipeline regularly and ensuring focus on the overarching goal of establishing a valuable practice with strong client relationships.
With Louise’s support, Rachel has emerged from a period of change with a renewed focus on her values and purpose and a future-proofed business. In addition to new systems and processes that allow her to prioritise more effectively, she has a deeper insight into what she needs to do to achieve her goals and desired income. As a result, she is enjoying self-employment once more and feeling confident and organised, alongside achieving her longer-term goal.
I’ve really enjoyed working with Louise – she has a wealth of experience which is clearly demonstrated in her work. She is very approachable, and I’ve shared many personal experiences with her. I never felt forced to take a path that didn’t feel right, instead, she came up with an approach that worked for me. She also flexed our sessions to focus on my most urgent needs at the time rather than forcing a set method. Although she challenged me to do things I would have preferred not to do – such as approaching prospects – she did so gently and with my objectives firmly in mind.
I’m delighted with the way that she has helped me navigate the challenges.
Louise’s experience, flexibility, and commitment have set my business up for long-term success. I highly recommend working with Louise for a positive impact on your personal and business growth.Rachel