How to Position Yourself for Opportunity

How to Position Yourself for Opportunity

At Indiana University, Coach Bob Knight’s rules of defense were mostly based on being able to recognize the situation. Players had to always be aware of what was happening on the court – just like we must always be aware of what’s happening in our businesses. 

The Ball-You-Man rule means you stay between the ball and the player you’re guarding. You may think it would be easy to stay close to your man, but that isn’t effective – you’ll just do a lot of extra running around to chase him down. Instead, you want to stay closer to the ball so you can help support your teammates. 

If the ball is on the opposite side of the court from your man, you want to stay on the same side as the ball, keeping your man in peripheral vision. If the ball swings over to the top of the court or to your man’s side, you can immediately try to deny the pass. Everyone on defense must be constantly moving and adjusting their position, looking for any opportunity to get the ball back.   


Defense for Your Business

In financial services, each client represents a new possession. We must react to their unique needs and objectives. More importantly, we must move to different positions as their goals change throughout their life’s journey.  

Looking at the bigger picture, we have to recognize any opportunities the new fiduciary rules will provide us. Yes, the rules will force us to change our practices, but those of us who can recognize and react before the ball arrives will succeed in making the transition. 

You can defend your business by taking some basic steps:  

  • Create written policies and procedures – this will provide protection against possible litigation by showing you follow a documented process that leads to agnostic solutions and client-centered recommendations

  • Have a partner with providers that remain independent of conflict, allowing you to find financial recommendations that are in the best interests of your clients without regard to carrier-specific incentives

  • Do what you’re likely already doing: Delivering education and advice that’s built on trust and expertise – if you do that, the compensation won’t matter 

These things might be adjustments to what you’re doing in your financial practice today. But, moving before the ball moves will place you in a better position to win. The pending rules will open the door to many opportunities that our industry can capitalize on … as long as we’re in the right position.  


Winning Strategy

Good defense requires you to recognize the situation on the court and place yourself in the right position. Make sure your business is in the right position for the fiduciary standards of the future.  

About the Author

Mike McGlothlin is the Executive Vice President of Annuities at Ash Brokerage. His strength is helping advisors become more efficient and effective in their businesses. He and his team provide income-planning solutions focused on longevity and tax efficiency, and they also assist advisors with entering defined-benefit termination planning and structured settlement markets.