You’ve all met this guy, at an industry conference or at the bar afterwards.  Perpetual sceptic.  “I don’t see that doing more planning helps an advisor sell more.  I know lots of top producers who do no planning, and advisors who do lots of planning but are middling producers.”

Of course, his rant begs the question of what happens if any advisor does more planning.  And data can improve our understanding of the link between the planning process and how much business an advisor does with clients.

The Kehrer Bielan proprietary data in this case encompass performance, demographic, and planning activity information on 1,366 individual advisors from 33 banks and credit unions – essentially almost all of the measurable factors that one might expect to influence how much an advisor produces.

Kehrer Bielan has demonstrated that, using statistical analysis, we can predict an advisor’s GDC with a high degree of accuracy.  And, for our sceptic, we can isolate the impact of planning activity from the other factors that influence an advisor’s production, so we are not attributing gains in production to planning activity when the gains were really due to some other factor, e.g., advisor tenure, client base, business mix, etc.

You can check out our findings—the study is available for free on our website.  Spoiler alert:  planning activity definitely impacts advisor GDC, but the impact varies depending on where the advisor is on the journey toward holistic advice.

We’ll be demonstrating what else we can learn from this data at our study group on developing holistic advisors Sept 22-23, including how planning drives asset acquisition and advisor retention, and ways to assess the quality of financial plans. If you are looking to capture the benefits of planning in your firm, you should ask for a seat at the table.