Walt West - CEO West Advisory Group

December 05, 2023

Video Transcript

Speaker: Walt West, CEO, West Advisory Group

Why did you begin working with Pareto?

Walt West: The reason why we started to work with Pareto was simply because I didn't believe that we were giving it at all for the clients in which that we serve. We simply had it systems that were fragmented, that weren't necessarily the most efficient and they weren't documented quite frankly and they weren't fluent or, or dynamic in any, in any way, shape or form. It was very difficult for us to go back and look to determine where our strengths and weaknesses were within our delivery of not only through the acquisition process but also through the service model itself. In fact, I had clients come to me prior to the relationship with Pareto and ask me about services that I thought that they were well aware of and they simply weren't, you know, we simply took it, took it, you know, assumed if you will, that, you know, people knew that we were a holistic financial planning firm. But oftentimes, they simply just considered us their investment advisor, which was unfortunate and somewhat short sighted. So when I started to learn that people really didn't understand that I started to think, hey, we need some help here right. We need to, you know, hire a coach or get somebody to, to help us from the outside looking in to what we're doing, right and what we're doing wrong. So I was introduced to the playbook, , The Advisor Playbook and I read that book and I thought it was very dynamic and I thought it was spot on for where we were lacking and what we needed to do. So once I read that book, you know, I immediately reached out to Pareto and said, hey, I wanna learn more about how you can help us in our firm, be more efficient and be more dynamic and really build out processes that are, are proven, right? So, and here we are today and, you know, the relationship has been awesome and we're a little over a year into this relationship and we've really implemented uh quite a bit of what Pareto suggested that we should do. And it's been awesome.

Can you share your coach's name and describe your experience working with them?

Walt West: Once we were on boarded with Pareto we were introduced to our coach, Elaine. You know, I was very excited about our first conversation. First and foremost was because Elaine came across as a very patient understanding and just a tremendous listener to what it is that we were trying to accomplish. She really took the time to understand our challenges that we were having in our firm. She took the time to know our team members, spend time with our team members before we really started to engage in the Total (Client) Engagement process. So she had a really good background of who we were. So when we started to implement the processes with Pareto, she could provide a tremendous amount of feedback for us. She knew where our strengths were, where our weaknesses were, were and really be able to hone in on those to help us better design these processes that would make us more holistic in our approach, better communicators with our clients, give our clients and our perspective, clients a better understanding of who we were, what we're trying to accomplish and quite frankly, have it all documented. So she has worked with us every step of the way we meet every other week, we have discussions, we talk about what we should be building out for the next two weeks. And I'd send my team back to work on those for next two weeks and we would, you know, get back together and we talk about what we did and when we were having some challenges and she'd walk us through this, help us through that willing to talk to our team members, you know, at any time to make sure that they were well aware and keep them motivated to continuing to implement these, these programs. So she's been an integral part of the success that we have seen already in, in developing the, the Pareto System. So it's been an awesome relationship.

Can you describe the most significant challenge you've overcome with Pareto's guidance?

Walt West: When I start thinking about implementing the Pareto System, the first thing that came to my mind is what challenges that we would have as a firm in implementing this program. I was well aware that it was going to take some time, some effort. It was going to take the whole team to participate in putting this all together. And one thing that I am not afraid of is change, but not everybody feels the same way I do when it comes to change. And I knew that once I was gonna deliver this message to our team that it was probably gonna be some pushback and knowing that now they're gonna have to spend time in helping to build up this program. So that was a challenge that I would that I faced head on. And really, Pareto and Elaine, our coach has done a wonderful job of helping us um systematically build this out. So we've really overcome this challenge of buy in from our team for a number of reasons. One was very, very methodical in building out the process and each process had each step in that process um was very thorough. It was very detailed. And didn't take all that long for our team to buy in to saying, wow, this does make sense. They all participated in different pieces of implementation and we met every week to discuss this and we went back and everybody had a role in building this out, but very quickly, within the first couple weeks, people could see that this made a lot of sense. I mean, they started to understand that, you know, having a process, having a documented process just allows people to understand, you know, what their role is within the firm, which was, which was absolutely awesome. And as we started to build this out and we started to use the program in front of prospective clients and clients and seeing the results of that, you know, it really kind of helped to overcome the challenge where people were going to have to spend time in helping to develop this, right? Because this is outside the norm of what they typically do throughout their work day, right? This is extra effort, right? This is extra work in which I was asking them to do, but they start to see the value in it, they start to see the results and what we were doing and they became more engaged in that process. And it was just absolutely wonderful to see that take hold and today, you know, well into this program and and fully implementing um the processes, the acquisition processes and all the things that we've done, everybody is 100% bought into that and we're using it and we understand it, it just makes it a much better tool for us to be able to communicate who we are and what we're ultimately trying to be. So everybody is talking the same language. So we really overcame that challenge of that fragmentation of where who we are and what is our identity. And this Pareto System is given this, this opportunity to overcome that challenge and we really appreciate it.

Can you share a success story from your work with Pareto?

Walt West: Now that we've implemented much of the Pareto System, you know, there's been some tremendous success that we've already had even this early on in this implementation. And I would say the biggest success so far is the fit process. The fit process is designed to determine whether a potential client is gonna be a good fit for our firm. We often hear through Pareto, we're not trying to be all things to all people. We want to be all things to some people. Prior to engaging Pareto, we tried to be all things to all people, right? And we found that it was very challenging to do that and really took away from some of our ideal clients quite frankly. So the fit process now is a way for us to basically say no, right? We don't take on everybody that comes to our door or gets introduced to us, right? We go through this process and we have a meaningful conversation about what is it you're all to be trying to do and is it going to be a good fit? And it's a two way street you're gonna interview us, we're going to interview you and we're gonna come to an agreement, whether it makes sense to continue to work together. This has just saved us a tremendous amount of time and effort and anxiety, quite frankly because we were taking people on. We were going through what we had was somewhat of a process, but we would do a lot of work up front before we really had any type of commitment to a fit process. Right now. We'd no longer do that. It's amazing how much time we save, how much more efficient we are and how we can really spend more quality time with the clients in which that deserve our time. That has been a tremendous transformation for us in our firm. Now, our clients that deserve us, get tremendous service, new clients. When they do come on board, we know they're a good fit, they meet our three a challenge, they have the assets, they have a great attitude and they're really someone that really buys into a process, right? They're an advocate. So we go through this process today and they really understand what we're ultimately trying to accomplish what, how we're going to help them. And does it really make sense for us to work together? So that has been a tremendous transformation for us. And I can't tell you that um saying no to somebody um is tough, no doubt when you say it's just simply not a good fit, but it becomes easier uh when it happens right? Because it's just that you can't simply take on everybody. And when you get introduced to somebody and you tell that person who introduced you that we can't guarantee that this person will become a client because like you, we're gonna go through this fit process. We're gonna have a conversation to see if it's to see if it's a good fit, but I will be here to answer any questions that they have. We will be a sounding board to help them. But I'm not sure if it's gonna be a good fit for us from a client perspective and people respect that. So that open line of communication is also much different than what we've had in the past. And before any work gets done, we have these meaningful conversation and thanks to Pareto, we are doing a much better job at that.

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