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Scale Up Series #9 – Hayley Knight – Transcript

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Hayley Knight

XY ADVISER

Podcast

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

advisor, sla, client, planner, power, outsourcing, feedback, essays, question, fantastic, long, work, software, advice, deadlines, simple, studies, important, people, case

SPEAKERS

Hayley Knight, Fraser Jack, Clayton Daniel

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome to the x y advisor podcast. A global community of financial advisors sharing and learning with one another to drive the positive evolution of financial advice. To get involved, go to x y advisor.com. Or simply download the XY advisor.

 

Clayton Daniel 

portfolio construction of risk management tasks that take you away from where you need to be building relationships with your clients. Aberdeen standard investments can support you by creating bespoke investment solutions, outsourcing portfolio and risk management creates efficiencies enabling you to focus on fulfilling the ambitions of both your clients and your business. This podcast has been prepared with tears based on sources believed to be reliable and opions Express honestly held that the applicable day however it is general information only and we accept no liability for any errors or omissions. Just be prepared without taking into account the particular objectives financial situation or needs of any investment investing involves risk including the risk of losing capital. It’s important that before acting investors should consider their current circumstances objectives and financial situation the information is appropriate and is to them and consult financial and tax advisers investors should consider PDS valuable evidence standard.com before making any investment decision products issued by Aberdeen standard investments Australia limited ABN five nine double zero to 12336 for episode number 204263.

 

Fraser Jack 

Thanks for joining us again on the Expert Advisor podcast. My name is Fraser Jack and I’m joined with me today by Haley Knight Welcome.

 

Hayley Knight 

Hello Fraser. Thank you for having me.

 

Fraser Jack 

Oh, you’re very welcome. That’s your second appearance on the advisor podcast a couple of years on you’re back in Episode Number 127.

 

Hayley Knight 

Oh, really? I didn’t realize that was number. Yes, I have learned a lot since then. So hopefully this one has a bit more fresh

 

Fraser Jack 

value in content for you. And I’m sure it will, I know it will impact. Now this is of course, an episode we’re talking about the scale up series. And we’re talking about all things scale and advisors being able to grow a business or increase their capacity or their efficiency or their effectiveness. And today we’re talking about doing that through the concept of outsourcing from a staff point of view or a task point of view and really looking at how can how can advisors make the most out of their own time by doing that the tasks of this, you know, should they their income producing tasks, which is spending time in front of clients, and and utilizing other staff in a really efficient and effective manner. So thank you for joining us today. Quickly, I thought we might just quickly start if you want to give the listeners a quick overview of you and your business and the moment and how you’ve set it up.

 

Hayley Knight 

Yeah, absolutely. And so I’ve been in power plumbing for probably 15 plus years, started off just as most paraplanners. During my study, Junior working full time and completing my studies and after about eight years of power planning, decided to get into sub contracting. That’s when I started working for CPS when it was first founded by Leisha Dell. And about a year later, I took it over and that was back in 2013. So we’ve grown a lot since then, over the last eight years, we’ve got a huge team and about 26 contractors and to admin staff now. And we service advisors all over the nation with a lot of them on the east coast. So hello to any advisors who are listening, who are also our clients today.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. Yeah, so 2026 profiles, that’s quite a lot. And as you said, grown fairly well. And I love the step that you’ve done over 4000 statements of advice for advisors.

 

Hayley Knight 

Yeah, yeah, I’d like to take credit for that. But I haven’t written many for quite a while. So my team are very good at it, which is a big part of the recruitment process with them. But yes, they are very good. We have seen all spectrums of advice and essays and that kind of thing. So it is definitely our jam.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yes, fantastic. Now we don’t get into the intricate details of the essay at the moment. We could talk about that all day, I think we really want to explore the concept of finding the right stopping and, you know, going through that process of how do you actually, you know, outsource what’s the one of the one of the ways that work, I guess, one of the ways that don’t work, and I know you put together a bit of a guide with sort of five main points and if they can read through those.

 

Hayley Knight 

Yeah, absolutely. And so we did find that a lot of advisors and this can apply for both outsourcing and in house recruitment of power planners, and lot of advisors just weren’t sure what to look for in a power planner when they were recruiting. So this is what the guide kind of steps you through the things to really look for. So the first step is to you need to really pay attention when you’re doing those initial interviews in your recruitment. So Make sure that you pick the right person. So that’s a lot easier said than done. But picking the right person, we’ve broken that down to a couple of micro steps. And the first one is your software skills. So this is pretty much a given. Now the things to look for with software skills. So people could have used a particular software for a couple of years and not really know what. So we software skills, we try to ask very specific questions in scenarios. So saying, Can you talk me through the process of how you would merge out an SLA and what tools you would use? Or what happens when this kind of error comes up in the modeling? What does that normally say? And that will give you an indication of their understanding of the software and its capability, because you want someone who really knows it to get the most out of it? Because I know that it can cost a fair bit in subscription.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, absolutely. So this is a really interesting point, spend some time in the interview or with the person and making sure that they go, they can demonstrate to you what their software skills, when it comes to the specific software that’s being used. How do you go about that, like, in a practical journey, you did a little test or test their skills in some way? Or was it just your technique?

 

Hayley Knight 

Yes, um, so you could do it verbally. But what I’ve seen done before and it which I think works quite well, is that you can either screen share with them, say on zoom or open at your software, or if they’re in there, you could do that on a projector, if you wanted to do that. And just say, here’s our test client. Can you do it insurance comparison, give them a little case study to work on, and just watch them as they work through it. And you’ll you’ll be able to see how quickly and how much ease they work through it. It’ll give you a pretty strong understanding for what they know straight up.

 

Fraser Jack 

So just watching where they click and help us to be able to get to the next part of the process. Yeah, fantastic. what’s what’s what’s next after that?

 

Hayley Knight 

I said, the next one is their writing skills. So this one, it’s really quite important. And I know that everybody set has done their, you know, year 12. English at high school, this is a little bit different, because good PowerPoint and knows how to communicate the advice and explain it to a client who doesn’t have that technical knowledge. Right? So an easy way to see this is ask for an example. So away from them, which PowerPoint is can do if they take all the identification stuff out? If you can’t get that, are there ways that you can have a look is is there a ratio may very simply, is it easy to understand? Can you capture what they’re saying quite quickly? other things, look at their LinkedIn bio. Are you rereading sentences? Is it hard to understand? You know, is it communicating very well, when it comes to how they run it, because that’s how it’s going to come across as well on the fly. So you want someone you can clearly explain something in written text so easily so they can easily communicate that to the client who’s receiving the advice?

 

Fraser Jack 

This is a really, really important skill, isn’t it? It’s sort of one that comes with a bit of experience, but also, it could well be in correct me if I’m wrong here that often somebody who’s very big on the detail likes to explain things in a way where they’re very big on the detail. And the person often is reading it that’s wanting to know the outcome to be quite a misalignment.

 

Hayley Knight 

Yeah, that’s, that’s exactly right. And like it also people learn different ways. So if if you’re kind of finding that the client isn’t understanding that advice, it could be a case of saying, I’m going to do a flowchart as well as written text, and making sure that we are kind of writing to both types of learners. But it is very, that’s the main that’s the main point of it of PowerPoint, it is to be able to break down that technical jargon, and explain it to a client because an advisor is doing that in the meeting verbally. We need to document that.

 

Fraser Jack 

And this is where a lot of I guess, advisors and planners will want to have their own sort of text and certain things that describe a strategy in a particular way that they’d also be correct.

 

Hayley Knight 

Yeah, yeah. So a lot of advisors tend to what they have is they have preferences in the way things are worded. So you would have the licensee template, and then sometimes advisor go, I use this strategy all the time, I found that this type of text works really well with my clients and it kind of represents them quite well. So advisors do have, you know, some advices do have specific preferences in the wording of the text as well, which I can help help you with how to communicate that to you. PowerPoint a later down in the series. But yeah, it is important to really understand the language that you’re going to use in the survey to make sure it’s clear.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. So and then understanding the software then being able to articulate themselves in a manner or they will display the information in a manner which the client can understand. What’s the next area?

 

Hayley Knight 

Yeah. So the next one is your strategy experience. So this kind of ties in with your software skills, and the way that you communicate? But tech, you obviously have to have some kind of technical knowledge, right? And so obvious ways of finding that is through what studies or qualifications they have. But you could be like me, and there are PowerPoint is out there, like me who have done, you know, a fair bit of study. And if you asked me a technical question today, I’m probably not the best person to ask. So you could use this in your case study. So with your, when you’re running through the drill with your power planner in the meeting, and you’ve got you run through of the software, you could say, let’s start off with this case study. Here’s Tom, he’s 50. He’s doing x, y, z. What do you think at a high level would be a good strategy for him or things for us to consider initially. And that will give you an indication for what their technical skills are like, with that case study as well. If you are, say, primarily a retirement advisor, and you don’t do much risk advice, make it have your case study that’s kind of geared towards that to see if they do specialize in that area as well. Because that will help you down the track as well.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, so there’s a lot of, you know, it’s very common for advisors to specialize in certain areas. Is that was that the same for paraffin?

 

Hayley Knight 

Yes or no. So you’ll find contractors at the moment. They’re, they’re pretty much experienced across the board. And the reason they do that is to pick up the most amount of work. But we’re starting to see a specialization in paraplanners. And because advisors are also starting to really neat, have a niche. And so it’s kind of just adapting with the market. But at the moment, most paraplanners, you’ll find is still experienced across the board, technically.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. Fantastic. Now, the next step in the process, you’ve got here, a comment about first impressions, the interview?

 

Hayley Knight 

Yes. So this, I actually think this is really important. Because sometimes paraplanners do have face to face interactions with advisor, I’m sorry, no devices, clients, depending on if they’re in house, or outsource, obviously, but I think you really need to ask yourself the question, is this someone who I would be comfortable talking to my clients, and interacting with my clients? And a way to get a good gauge of that is when you first meet them? How did you actually feel like, were you like, Oh, this is someone who’s really trustworthy? I feel like they know what they’re talking about. They kind they listen? Or is it? Do you feel like you’re kind of pulling back a bit when you’re talking to them? And you’re not quite sure. So first impressions, really, to me, I’m really important, because I feel like they’re the basis of that relationship between the advisor and the power planner.

 

Fraser Jack 

And talk to me about the the idea when assessing their skills, and we’ve just sort of been through the the main things that they should have, but how do they? How would an advisor go and sort of ask a paraplanner to demonstrate those skills?

 

Hayley Knight 

Yeah, so apart from doing a case study, you can also ask for examples of their work, like their actual work. Sometimes they you can have a look at their assignments from their studies, that could give you an indication. But I think another thing that we do in our interviews with our power planners is we actually get a gauge for their experience as a whole by asking you a few simple questions. And one of those questions is, how long would a superman risk? soI take you? And I know it’s a question is How long is a piece of string? Right? There’s so many variables in that. But the answer will give me a strong indication for how much they actually know and what their experience overall is. So say, for example, if I had someone come in and say, oh, I’ll have that done in two hours. To me, it’s like, okay, I don’t know how much attention to detail they actually have, or are they actually asking the right questions? I’ve had other people respond to me saying, Oh, it’s probably about 10 plus hours, and you’re like, Okay, you know, that also gives you an indication of how they work. Do they overestimate things Do they think too much about things? And then finally, the other response I typically get, and it’s very much a paraplanner response is, I’m going to need more information. Can you tell me bla bla bla bla bla. And that gives me a strong kind of feeling as to what their experiences and what they’re going to be like to work with overall.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, cuz a big part of this is obviously, you know, the asking questions to start with. And with a short question around, you know, how long would that take? And obviously, the answer is, it depends. Always, the answer is always it depends. Yeah, very interesting racing. What sort of timeframes would you be looking for in something like that?

 

Hayley Knight 

Yeah. So firstly, been riskiest away, and I’m going to give away the answer to any potential paraplanners. So soon, I’m gonna have to change the question slightly. So they, although they will get bonus points for listening to this, so I’m just letting them know. I would be probably looking for the answer I’d probably be looking for is around four to five hours, given I’ve got x, y, and z to get these things done. That’s, that’s, for me the ideal answer, but a variation of that, to me, also gives me a good indication.

 

Fraser Jack 

You’re fantastic, depending on the complexity.

 

 

Yeah, that’s right.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. But so that’s, that’s, that sort of sort of sums up what you sort of say about trying to find the right person, there’s obviously there’s a lot, there’s a lot to it. It’s not just as simple as just, oh, you’re the right person for this job. But what’s the what’s the next step in your process?

 

Hayley Knight 

Yeah, so Step two is to create a clear vision. And there’s two components of that. The first is the strategy. So really understanding technically what this is? And what the advices and then the second step is aesthetics. So how does it look in the soI? Yeah, and what does the advice a like? So when you’re looking for a power planner, and we’ve already spoken a bit about technical knowledge, and those kind of things, so we won’t go back over that. But then the second component here is the aesthetics. And this is where we see a lot of to and fro, between the advisor and power planner, regardless of whether it’s in house or outsourced. And the reason being, is that a licensee has a template, and then we typically see each advisor has a variation of that, that they like, over time, it may slightly change. So they might change some colors of things, or they might like certain things scented or those kind of things formatting. And then by the time it comes to you, as a power planner, if you don’t have that refined, very clear set out of how exactly you want it formatted and all of those little simple things that add up, it can become frustrating for both you the power plant and the advice are communicating that. So we’ve we came up with a CPS, we came up with a way to kind of bridge that gap and reduce that to and fro. And we call it a style guide. So essentially, when a new client, a new advisor signs up with us, we spent about an hour with them, I seen them questions, all different questions about how they like things set out? What are their preferences? What kind of spacing do you like? What colors do you like? How do you like it? What names Do you like us to use with the advise their clients? Is it nicknames? Is it full names? Like all these types of little questions, what is your licensees split all those simple things, we document them because they stay the same for every single soI. And it’s like a reference guide for the power planner to go. Okay, so I’ve got the foundation here in my style guide, I know, I just need to put together the strategy and get into the soI. And as long as those two things marry up, the advisor will be happy, right? So you can do the same thing with your power planner, sit down and really think about what are the things that are important to you in an SLA in terms of how it looks and how it’s laid out. Even just bullet point it. And then each time if you’re getting an SLA, and there’s something in there that you don’t quite like, just add it to the style guide and say I actually prefer it like this. So each time the power planner, even if you’re changing your power planner, you’ve got this standard reference guide. So you don’t have to go over every single time when you when you’re reading through that feedback and reviewing the essays.

 

Fraser Jack 

This is a really good tip to for each advisor to have their style guide, as you said, even if they’re changing their paraplanner to be able to say that this is what we want it to look and feel and you know the look like in the clients so experience. So that also when we’re going through with the client, we can actually we know our way around it as well. How did they create a style?

 

Hayley Knight 

Yeah, so we’ve just kept it really simple. It is literally a Word document. And we have just bullet points. So if any of your listeners out there any anyone out there wanting to look for it see an example of this, just contact me and I’m happy to send it through give you an example of ones that we, we use, but it’s literally just bullet point. And then sometimes if it needs further explanation, we’ll put a little blurb underneath. So we don’t try and overthink it, it will be a couple of pages. And so it’s just a kind of quick reference guide, which will cover off the entire US that way,

 

Fraser Jack 

it’s a really good tip to help you if you’re looking for that. Now, the next thing, just just on this clear vision concept, we sort of skipped over the idea around strategies. And, you know, a lot of the time advisors will have their philosophy on the way that you know, their investment philosophy or their their insurance, you know, needs analysis, philosophy, or whatever might be, is it included in the style guide? Was that something you’d go through separately?

 

Hayley Knight 

Yeah, that’s a really good question. And I’m glad you asked it, because that is an important point of the style guide. Once again, advisors do have their preferences that they like certain products in certain situations and those kind of things, they like to see certain things, and then in the modeling and assumptions and that kind of stuff, all of that can be captured in the style guide. So kind of look at the style guide as in, it’s pretty much it’s not going to change per se, it’s going to be the same standards with every soI, the only thing that wouldn’t go in there is something that would change that specific to that client. So anything else that’s general goes in a style guide, anything that’s specific to the client, and that stays separate in a file note.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. Thank you for clearing that up. So that takes us through the clear vision, what’s the next part of the process.

 

Hayley Knight 

So the next one is step three, and that is to agree to clear deadlines. Now, I know that sounds really simple. But in practice, we often see this blows out, right? And the worst case scenario, and we’ve seen, I’ve seen this, I’ve done this personally, myself when I was a paraplanner is you are printing an SLA just as the client has walked in for their meeting. And it is chaos, like chaos. And what it means is that you’re not taking the time to make sure that you have paid attention to those details. And the things it’s when I’ve made the most mistakes is when I’m rushed. When as soon as that advice is ready. So you’re like you both agreed that we’re ready to go to an SLA. You have me in the conversation with the power planner, and you’re communicating that to them. A big part of that conversation is when do you need this back by as in? When is the client booked in? And it’s not Can I have it back that morning? It is Can I have it back two days prior, at least it needs to be finalized. Because it gives you breathing space means the advisor is ready for that meeting. But as always good and done. And it’s also giving the power planet some a little bit of space, if anything does go wrong, there’s a little bit of space to fix it up. So what I mean by finalized is the essay is written, it’s been checked by the adviser. The final proof has come through everybody’s happy and we’re good to go. And setting those clear deadlines also can be broken down further. So when is that first draft going to get to the advisor? If there’s information that is still required to write that SLA, When is that going to be completed by and what are the consequences? If it’s not. So as soon as you set those clear expectations, everybody’s on the same page. And you’ll avoid those times when it’s just rushing into client meetings, where all the mistakes generally happen.

 

Fraser Jack 

It’s it’s the worst feeling, isn’t it walking into a meeting?

 

Hayley Knight 

I know. And I like there’s been so many, like, I remember when I was a power plant, and you were printing as the client was coming in. And if you see a mistake on the printout, and you just go do I, this is a question Do I like fix this now and then make the client Wait, or will they see it? Or do what I mean? And it’s just it’s awful. feels awful doing it?

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. Yeah. And the answer, of course, is does it depends? It depends. It

 

Hayley Knight 

depends. That’s right. That’s what always comes back to isn’t it?

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. So talk to me about deadlines, for example, because I mean, the turnaround time for essays has been, you know, we’ve got loads it seems to have got longer and longer over time. If it were right there. Oh, yeah.

 

Hayley Knight 

It gets longer with the length of the essays that I’m sorry with it to give you an indication. So in house obviously, it depends on the workflow of that advisor It depends, but outsources it, you will tend to see that they should turn around within a week. I feel like we should guarantee a tenner. On time for advisors, which is why CPS does it. And if you’re not getting that deadline from your outsourcer, ask for it and just say, Can you tell me when I’m going to have this back? Because I have a client meeting booked two days after, you know. So make sure you set that expectation even with your app. So uh, so from the, from the start, and have that conversation about cool. So were agreeing that this is going to be the first draft will be done by then I will have these things done by then, you know, so that everybody knows what to expect from the outset. It’s really interesting. You mentioned the guarantee were there. Did you say you do you do go? Yeah, we do. So we have a seven business day guaranteed turnaround, which our advisors really like, and it doesn’t mean that they always take seven business days, it just means that you will have a back within seven business days. So and I feel like advisors need that. It’s so difficult to plan and get clients and when you don’t even know when that works coming back. It could be two weeks. It could be six weeks. Who knows? So with with the best outsources, I would actually hold them to a delivery date, at the very least.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, I guess that means that the advisor can make the call in the in the first meeting to whatever meeting they’re up to, to say, right, we’re going to provide you the advice come back in two weeks from now. And we’ll book the date and right now, and knowing that the SLA is gonna be back in time.

 

Hayley Knight 

Yeah, absolutely. Booking the client in when they’re still warm. Like if you if you know, your outsourcer takes a week. If you still got the client in the office, just like you said, a cool, I’ll book you in for two weeks, and we’ll be set. We’ll be good.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Fantastic. Alright, so that’s the agreeing the deadlines. Step three, talk to us about step four.

 

Hayley Knight 

Yes. So this is also really important. So you need to develop a really strong relationship with your power planner. And this is in house and outsourced, I know that there’s kind of this idea that outsourcing is not really a part of the team. And it’s like the separation because they’re not physically there. outsources, our power plan is right. And it is a very isolated role. And to have that kind of interaction and engagement and feel like a part of the team is when you will get the best out of your paraplanner. Because they will feel also a stronger accountability for their work and towards you and their team. So just keep that in mind. In that, in developing that a big part of it is taking into consideration what it’s like for a power planner to first start in the new role, whether it’s outsourced, or in house, you go through the same thing. So you could be as experienced as you like as a power planner. But if you start working with a new advisor, you have still a lot of things to learn. And that is specific to that advisor, their systems and processes, who their team are their products, you know, developing that style guide, those kind of things. So take the time to make sure Firstly, that they’re confident in that role as in, do they have everything that they need. It could be simple things like logins for all the software’s, if they’re going to be in house, setting them up with an internal email, have that sitting in ready for them. Having a list of frequently asked questions in your in your business or things that you go the paraplanner blast PowerPoint, I found this really useful, you might here’s here’s a couple of reference points, making the training as seamless as possible, but also taking time with them just to sit and get to know them as well. And it probably sounds a little bit weird with an outsourcer in particular, like getting to know them. But these could be simple things like having a 30 minute chat with them when you first meet them and say cool, this is how we work, you know, what are the things that you like to do, and I like to do these things and just kind of developing that over time, I think is really important. Because then you’ll tend to see that your paraplanner will stick around for a lot longer because they feel like they’re, they’re more included in that in that team. And finally, a really good couple of examples of essays is so valuable to a power planner, because we that’s the way that we’re setting the clear expectations to go this is what we want. Ideally, this is what we’re working towards. And I can use that as another reference point to create the same work that you’ve been accustomed to as well.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, it seems fairly obvious to me that you know, having that longer term relationship with the power planner or the power plan, having a long term relationship with the, with the advisor that they’re looking after and getting to know all those just a little things about how they like things and, and or whether it’s their their lack of file notes or the lack of whatever it might be that they get understanding what that person means. By that, that phrase, but I just want to ask you a question this because it’s it’s simple if I guess it’s a lot simpler. We’ve got one pair planet advisor. But of course, how do you do this? If you’ve got, like two or three different pair of hands? Because obviously, you know, maybe, you know, from time to time some people want to go on holiday and take some time off. But how do we work that with more than one pair plan?

 

Hayley Knight 

Yes. So it really, I was just going to say it really depends. But essentially, what I found worked quite quite well, if you are outsourcing, I would use an intermediary company like CPS, there’s other ones like cadoola, where you’re where you’re working, there’s an intermediary them, so they can help manage that relationship as well. So the power planner also feels remains a part of a team, if it’s not your team. If it’s in house, you’ve got multiple power planners, I would really consider having like a team, mentor, Team Leader, power planning leader, someone there who the other paraplanners can kind of work with and look up to as well to build a secondary relationship. But primary, it needs to be a good paraplanner adviser relationship, I think, because even when you’ve got multiple power planners, you’re going to see different variations of the same work unless you have that direct relationship with the advisor, and the power planner. So try and get someone else have someone else in a bit of a leadership role in that team, whether it’s a manager or not, you know, depends on the situation. But in any instance, every power planner needs to have a good relationship with the advisor to make sure that if someone’s not there, the senior is not there. Or, you know, there’s changes in the team. There’s always one solid foundation.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. And of course, some of the a lot of the building that good long term strong relationship evolves around amazing communication. And, you know, both ways, I guess that leads us into the fifth point here.

 

Hayley Knight 

Yeah, it does. So this is a quite important, which is to give regular feedback. So as a power planner, it can be quite tough. Because the SLA can be subjective, even though there’s obviously the standard stuff, what you phrase are wanting an SLA and what I want an SLA could be completely different things, even if they’re both compliant, right. So the feedback is the key here, and giving consistent and clear feedback is what is going to save your life in the long run. So initially, it is going to take a lot more time. Absolutely, you’re going to have to invest into the process. But over the long run, you will see the fruits of your labor, essentially. So a couple of tips on here. I’ve seen a lot of different ways that feedback have has been provided before. Working with so many different advisors and the most effective feedback that I’ve ever seen. And if you want to, I will throw out an Amen. It’s Cory Walsall from verse wealth. He’s the king of this. I’ve been on the receiving end of this. And it was just, it was like a magical experience getting this feedback, I look forward to it. I’ll give you an example what actually happened. So what happened was Cory would review the document himself. So he’d go through it, he’d turn on track changes on the Word document, so you could see any work that he was doing changing in the soI. Then once he’d gone through it, he would then turn on loom, some kind of screen recording software, you could do it in zoom, whatever floats your boat, had the document, document up on the screen, pop a little face in the corner, so we can see who’s talking and you know what your facial expressions are to get that feedback as well. And talk them through it, scroll through it, say I change this because x, I don’t like it this part. But I’ve done this, here’s an example. And then he always ended it saying, Can you add these things to your ref? We had a reference guide. So can you add these things to your reference guide? You know, they’ve changed slightly, I want to do this now. And what it meant was a couple things is we had a video. So if I couldn’t quite pick up the feedback straightaway, I could go back and watch that part and get it explained again. And then I also had a document that had it written in there, what his changes were in his example for it. And then over time, you’d find because of that it was so clear and effective. He’d only have to do it once. And then you’re cutting down that to and fro. So take the time to give that feedback. But you’ll find that after five or so essays, you’re probably only looking at a couple of key things to check it and make sure it’s right, which is where you’ll start to see the reap the rewards of your work. And finally also have that that meeting or the phone call with them just to say Just wanted to have a quick chat with you. Here’s my video. But overall, I thought this, let’s focus on these things. And it’s also an opportunity just to check in and say, Yeah, cool, I’m overall happy because it’s hard to tell. It’s hard to tell written. Like, it’s hard to tell what advisors actually thinking and feeling. And then finally, if you want to seeing consistent things being repeated, even though you’ve given that feedback, I think you need to approach it in a different way. And so think about it from a vision of like, what can we change so that this stops happening? Because PowerPoint is don’t do it on purpose? It could be just something simple that’s tricking them up could be the software, the template? Who knows? So kind of changing that conversation saying, what what can we change to stop this from happening in future, which is where the most effective feedback comes in. But if you’re finding that you’re constantly to and fro all of the time, and it’s the same stuff, and it’s frustrating, everyone’s getting frustrated, take the time to really think about how you give the feedback to make sure it’s clear. And it’s well communicated to your paraplanner.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. And shout out to Corrine, it doesn’t surprise me at all that it was very good, because he does love a loom video and just jumping off explaining things. And you’re absolutely right. If you write some feedback, it can it can be taken in the way that the person will the mood of the person isn’t at the time when they’re reading it. Where is that video? Nice, softly spoken way. And this is what we this is what I’ve changed. And this is what I like, and can you update your, um, style guide, or whatever we want to call the document. That’s fantastic. So that’s a really good tip well done. And of course, I’m also thinking around the concept of, of regular times in the diary, where you actually do these feedback conversations, if you’re going to do a quick catch up, even if it’s just to say, I’m really happy with everything.

 

Hayley Knight 

Yeah, I love that. Because we still at CPS, we have a an SLA rating. So it’s like Uber, you know, they give you that they go, how is your driver straight after you finish, we do pretty much the same thing without every SLA. So we’re getting kind of a real time feedback as to how an advisor feels about that quality of that SLA. But it needs to extend further than that. So we could be having a power plant and getting four or five stars all the time. But until we actually have the conversation with the advisor, we don’t really know, you know, what they’re thinking they could just be being nice. And so having that conversation with the power planner, they would love that. And it just kind of re reaffirms that relationship that you have for them as well.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. So those are those are your your five points, finding the right person assessing them, you know, checking the skills, creating a clear vision, agreeing to the deadlines and the outcomes, and who’s going to do what by when developing strong relationships and giving regular feedback. Thank you for sharing that with us. Just Well, I’ve got you know, I wanted to talk about some of the objections, what are some of the objections people have to using outsources, and how do they sort of get their head around it? Yeah,

 

Hayley Knight 

so a consistent one we get is concerned over confidentiality in the in the protection of the information. So as you can understand, there is a huge transfer of data, the right our sources don’t actually own that data. So what actually happens with most of the bigger out sources is that we will use a log into your software, and you have full control over what we do and don’t see. And you’ll you also need to look for security policies of that company. So, for example, we have in place saying call when the SLA is finished, the paraplanner needs to go through these five things to make sure you know, no data is kept on their computer for that particular client. We only access things in these times. So the protection of the data makes complete sense to me, as well as making sure that everything is safe, fair. And I think there’s kind of this reservation of using onshore and offshore like offshore is more is riskier. I don’t know if that is actually the case, because my kind of thought is like, it’s all over the internet. So I don’t know why a location really does matter. I can see like certain points, but I think as long as you’re working with a reputable company, or a reputable outsourcer, that’s probably the key thing in terms of protecting your data. And the only other thing that would the other thing that we find commonly comes up is the cost of outsourcing and SLA. So most providers either work in a per plan basis fee, or they’ll work on an hourly basis, I recommend working with a per plan basis, because what it means is that it’s an incentive for a power planner to work faster if they’re working with the same advisor every time. And then secondly, you know exactly what it’s going to cost straight out. So sometimes things will blow out sometimes so always take twice as long. As you initially think, but the power plant away, is it because they probably have learned something from that as well. So you’ll get to understand the cost straight up if you have a per person basis as well. So those are probably the key things is like the cost and you know how to factor that in. And the security?

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantasy. Yeah, the cost per plane is obviously really simple for when you’re pricing your advice, process to understand if it’s going to cost approximately this, therefore, I can easily price that into my process, I don’t have to worry about how long it’s going to take or not take. I’m just on the location, though, because I find this really interesting. You know, he mentioned, the data is on the internet, not, you know, necessarily in a secure location, like we always used to keep information in a locked filing cabinet. Well, now it’s in a, in a global area, even though it might be stored on servers in Australia, it’s still accessible from anywhere on the web. And this is something that’s really important, that’s been the structure of your growth in your business, as well as a, you know, as a contract paraplanning business to be able to grow and scale your business from, say far north Queensland.

 

Hayley Knight 

That’s exactly right. So in Canada, like, we’re obviously quite limited in terms of not only as a power planner, your career options, but also there’s not many people who live here. So having that kind of limitation with your location, makes it difficult, I wouldn’t be able to have the business this size, if it was just facing cans like this, there’s no question. And the other thing as well, is that scaling, if you’re looking to scale, considering outsourcing, or just having someone remote working, opens up the possibilities in your candidates, right? Because you could have someone amazing over in Western Australia and you’re on the East Coast, you then have that option if you are open to remote working to scale. And it may make your recruitment process easier, because you’ve got a much wider net to cast there.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, I would imagine that’s definitely the case with firms, but a lot of original places in Australia Anyway, you know, to to find great staff no matter where they are in the country. And you’re absolutely right about the remote working. It’s some it’s if, if 2020 has told us anything, it’s how to how to be how to move your employees to a remote zone and be able to either work from home or work from anywhere in the country doesn’t really matter. Yeah.

 

Hayley Knight 

I and I love that. Because some of the some reservations I think with though I’ve kind of heard with like remote working and when you have a salaried team member is like are they just gonna slack off and watch Dr. Phil all day or whatever. And it’s actually not like that. A lot of the studies suggest that the people who work from home are more productive than they would be if they’re in the office. And I think people really appreciate that flexibility as well. So I get my recommendation is just to be open to it. Because my entire team, my entire team is remote working. And I wouldn’t just hire a candidate because they’re in cans, I would need to see like, they would have to also be amazing just happened to be in cans as well.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Fantastic. All right. Well, thank you for sharing that. That wisdom with us. Of course, you’ve been able to grow, scale and grow your business over the past eight years to be quite a large organization and servicing advisors here in Australia, or I guess, anywhere, wherever they are. Tell us. What are the plans from here? What What do you hope for the future to hold for you?

 

Hayley Knight 

Yes, so we, I’m loving the size of the business. But we are definitely looking to scale. So just recently, we’ve seen a bit of a change in our team, I’ve had a day to day manager just leave her role. And what it means for me is that I instead of filling that role straightaway, I’m looking to see what we can do with it. To bring it back, does it need to be a full time role? I don’t know. So that’s the process I’m going through at the moment is reviewing it and understanding it. And then see if we can use systems to replace some of it. I don’t think we can do with all I still think you need the client face to face stuff. So our focus, were really interested as well in innovation and kind of pushing this to the limit with the essays. I think there’s a lot of movement with essays at the moment, people are starting to explore other options and, you know, technology and that kind of stuff. So essentially, we’re looking to grow, but we’re also looking in other areas in terms of innovation as well.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. And so you’ll be able to type it innovation to the existing causes that user

 

Hayley Knight 

Yeah, yeah, so that’s where we pretty much just, uh, testing things to see how they work. And that’s, to me that’s what a big part of a power plant is, is to understand. What is out there to make the advisors life easier because I think advisors their time is best spent with their clients and the power planner needs to take the back office and really do what they can to make the advisors life easier and and do what they’re good at as well.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. I think that was very well put and we’ll probably leave it there. So thank you so much for coming on the Expert Advisor podcast really appreciate it.

 

Hayley Knight 

Thanks, Fraser. It’s been an absolute pleasure. Well, there

 

Fraser Jack 

you have it, another episode of The X Y advisor podcast and now we are i’m joined with Emily. Hey, man.

 

 

Hey,

 

 

Fraser, how’s it going?

 

Fraser Jack 

It’s tremendous. Thank you for asking. And the really cool part of the week when we get to do some shout outs and talk about some x y members.

 

 

Yes, you know, my favorite part of the week. So today’s shout out goes to 2x y legends, and Nita mccoo and Cathy case, so in Nita, posted into the platform, saying she needed some help to compare a direct insurance policy, couldn’t figure out how to do it on risk researcher, Kathy came in, they jumped on a call, Kathy was able to walk NIDA through it, and neither then did a screen share video to explain it to everyone else in the xy community and shared that video, there’s been comments in there to say thank you so much for sharing got lots of value out of it. Just a real classic case of peer to peer collaboration and being able to solve a problem and get to that quicker than we could try to figure it figure it out on our own so amazing stuff a meter and Kathy, thank you for collaborating and more importantly, thank you for sharing it with everyone else on the platform. Really appreciate it.

 

Fraser Jack 

Hey, that was really well said well done. Anita. Well, then Kathy that was you know, perfect conversation to put on x y into and to get that that video across. Awesome work. Well done. Good. Shout out.

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