Financial Services is a relationship business. The bond between a financial advisor and a client is very personal. The challenge for financial advisors is to extend that relationship of trust and personal connection to include the other people in the firm who work with clients.
Dave is the head of a financial advisory firm in Jackson, Michigan. His vision is to build a multi-million dollar financial advisory firm. For Dave, the thing that gets his juices flowing is building a business that makes peoples' dreams become reality. This is true not only for the clients of Richmond Brothers, but also for each of the people who work in the firm. Dave expresses the challenge of growing the business in this way:
‘We are asking the question: Can we become world class in Jackson, Michigan? The challenge is to ensure that as we grow, our culture and the people we hire have the same philosophy and the quality of the client experience is not diluted. We need to step outside the normal box to realize the impossible is attainable. We constantly address the issue: Is our vision going to test out over time? Clients want the same quality of service and ongoing relationship from every member of our team. As an example, a client told me that each time he has been in our office, he has met a different person and the client experience has been outstanding every time. To build a world class business, your people have to convey what you are about as well as you do. The client left me a voicemail message: “Every time I walk out of your office, I say to myself, I should call David and tell him that your people are living your vision. I called to leave the message that your dream is a reality.”
Through our work together, Richmond Brothers has enhanced their client experience. Dave describes it this way: “We want to ensure that they have a great client experience. To do that, you have to have A+ people on your team. It is the interaction that your people have with clients that make a difference. It is also a great way to do business because it is fun and expresses where our passion lies”.
The firm is constantly asking: “Have we made a difference in someone’s life today?”
Dave's job is to allocate human resources and capital to execute the firm’s Vision and Mission. It is to put their people in the best position to succeed.
“We hire people who are excellent at doing what we don't do well. We not only empower people; we enable them to focus on their unique ability. We give them the resources to execute decisions that make a difference. On the relationship side, everyone in the office has the capability to give something to clients. If something happens in a client’s life, they can send flowers to them that day. The power of sending flowers that arrive in two hours is so great. Each person on staff has the power to do it. We track random acts of kindness. Our people are expected to find ways to make a difference in peoples' lives. In each staff meeting, we ask: How did you make a difference in someone's life?
It is humbling to listen to David and see the changes he has made through our work together. One of the characteristics of great leaders is generosity of spirit. Dave is warm and generous by nature. That is also true of Matt, his partner, and each member of his team. Earlier this year, my father died. I learned of his death while facilitating a workshop that Dave and Matt attended. The next day, a large bouquet of flowers was delivered to my home from their office. These acts of kindness raise the human spirit and bring out the best in us.
Dave Richmond is realizing his vision of building a world class business every day and having fun doing it.