Duncan MacPherson

Branding, Customer Service / Loyalty, Entrepreneurship, Management, Marketing, Sales

Travels from British Columbia, Canada

Duncan MacPherson's speaking fee falls within range:
$10,000 to $15,000

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Duncan MacPherson Profile

  • MacPherson has been coaching financial professionals for over 20 years throughout North America and around the world.

  • MacPherson is the founder and CEO of Pareto Systems, a firm at the forefront of improving productivity and practice management in financial advisors.

  • Packed with concrete strategies, MacPherson's programs will help you differentiate yourself from the competition, increase client retention and referrals, and run your business more efficiently so that you have more free time to enjoy your life.
  • Professional branding and client acquisition expert, Duncan MacPherson has been coaching financial professionals for over 20 years. His company Pareto Systems is at the forefront of improving productivity and practice management in financial advisors.

    As CEO of Pareto Systems, Duncan travels extensively throughout North America and around the world, conveying dynamic and fact-rich presentations that have made him a popular spokesperson for the knowledge-for-profit sector. Along with his team of coaches, he has developed and refined several one to-one consulting programs including The Pareto System, The Fee-worthy Advisor, Succession 360, and the Advisor Flight Plan.

    Duncan’s expertise in demystifying business development and marketing in the financial world has universal appeal; from the high-level advisor to the successful wholesaler, to corporate financial institutions. His primary goal is to help Knowledge-for-Profit Professionals achieve liberation and order in their businesses through step-by-step methodology and execution.
    His new book The Advisor Playbook focuses on how you can sharpen your practical management skills to generate sustainable growth while restoring more time and order to your personal life.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      Duncan MacPherson is co-founder and co-CEO of Pareto Systems, an industry leading business development firm dedicated to the elite professionals and companies within the financial services sector. Duncan and his team of consultants are in constant demand for speaking engagements and for assisting Financial Services Professionals create predictable, sustainable, and duplicable businesses. Pareto Systems is well known for its approach, which is based on best practices and for its focus on implementation.

      Duncan travels extensively throughout North America, conveying dynamic and fact-rich presentations that have made him a popular spokesperson for the financial services industry.

      Duncan’s expertise in demystifying business development and marketing in the financial world has universal appeal. From the high-level advisor to the successful wholesaler, to corporate financial institutions, Duncan’s primary goal is to help Financial Services Professionals achieve liberation and order in their businesses through step-by-step methodology and execution.

      Duncan is an industry author and has written the best-selling books: Breakthrough Business Development – Take Your Business to the Next Level and The Promise of the Future: A Financial Advisor’s Guide to Effective Marketing.

      He is also co-creator of the web-based Pareto Platform CRM powered by Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which combines the essential CRM tools with an all-encompassing array of time-tested practice management and business development processes that ensures Pareto Platforms’ revolutionary platform will take one’s business to the next level.

    Duncan MacPherson Speaking Videos

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    Duncan MacPherson's Speech Descriptions

    Duncan MacPherson packs every presentation with proven strategies and tested approaches to break through plateaus in your business. Duncan focuses on articulating your value and building strong two-way communication with your clients so that by understanding their perception of you better, you can craft an experience for them that will generate referrals and boost client retention. You will leave with the tools to differentiate yourself from the competition, de-commoditize your services, and unlock a sustainable system of acquiring and retaining clients.

    Breakthrough Business Development
    How to Crack the Code for Consistent Client Acquisition

    Duncan MacPherson, co-founder of Pareto Systems, works closely with some of the most effective professionals in North America. This presentation is filled with actionable, proven strategies that can be deployed for measurable results—quickly and predictably.

    In this presentation, Duncan addresses 5 universal issues:

      • Outstanding Branding—to ensure you are perceived and described as a consultant with a process rather than as a salesperson trying to close sales
      • Client Acquisition—so that you can consistently attract high value clients rather than endlessly chasing them
      • The Fee-Worthy Consultant—a proven approach to ensure your clients focus on what you are worth rather than what you cost
      • Organization and Structure—so that you can run your business like a business and restore liberation and order to your life
      • The Next 5 Years—to strategically plan your ideal life and business so that ultimately you are positioned for anything

    This presentation is ideally suited for:

      • Financial Advisors
      • Insurance Specialists
      • Consultants
      • Accountants
      • Lawyers
      • And any other knowledge-for-profit professionals

    The Advisor of the Future—Transitioning to a Fee-Based Model
    Pareto Systems has consulted with some of the most professional and effective financial advisors in the business on how to transition to an advisory platform. Using a sequential and proven 3-step process, you will discover how to make this transition predictable and productive.

    Step 1—The Ramp Up

      • Purpose and Process—Gaining Clarity on the Why and How. In this module you will understand the issues that can undermine your full potential. The foundation of meaningful relationships is trust and Duncan outlines our process referred to as The 4-C’s.
      • Outstanding Branding—Communicating Your Value. Being aware of how you are perceived by prospective clients and how you are described existing clients and strategic partners is essential. You will also learn the importance of creating a meaningful value proposition.
      • Defining Your Ideal Client—Beyond Client Classification. In this module Duncan discusses the importance of a panoramic Ideal Client Profile and how establishing rules of engagement and knock factors can ensure you consistently attract clients that are a perfect fit for your business.
      • The Service Matrix—A Process that Ensures You Allocate Your Time Effectively. Your ongoing objectives are to competitor-proof your best clients, gain their full empowerment and earn their endorsements.

    Step 2—The Launch

      • 3 Numbers in the Combination—Cracking the Code. There are 3 steps in the process that create awareness, interest and trust for your client.
      • The Agenda Driven Meeting—Contrast Takes the Client from Predisposition to Buy-in. In this module Duncan outlines the distinctions between salesmanship and stewardship and how they impact the outcome of this process.
      • The Re-Framing Approach—Explaining Your Evolution and its Impact on the Client. In this module Duncan outlines a compelling and sensible communication approach that ensures clients see the merit in this approach.
      • Establish a Fit—Clients Will Buy-into a Process Instead of Buying a Product. How you re-set a relationship will determine how it unfolds in the future.

    Step 3—The Follow-Through

      • On-board the Client—Validate Their Decision With Elevated Service. Duncan provides an outline for how to fast-track a client to Advocate status in order to improve your refer-ability.
      • Maintain Fee-Worthiness—Deploy a Consistent and Proactive Service Process. Duncan discusses an approach to ensure clients continually focus on what you are worth to them rather than what you cost them.
      • Continually Support Your Value-Proposition—An On-going Process for Value Awareness. Capture money-in-motion with ongoing communications.
      • Respond to On-going Moments of Truth—Value-added that Your Client Will Value. Put processes in place to ensure that a relationship never plateaus or declines over time.

    The Multiplier Method
    In speaking with financial advisors, there are two groups we often see. The advisors aged 50+ who are looking down the road at the eventual sale of their business. These advisors have been in the business many years, achieved much success, and are now three to five years out from embarking on the next chapter in their lives. Then there are the ambitious advisors aged 30+ who want to light the after-burner in terms of business growth. But these advisors don’t want to rely solely on organic growth, they want to acquire a business (or two), ideally from someone who has patiently and methodically built a durable business and is looking to exit.

    We’ve also seen many of these same advisors investigate the idea of partnering with another advisor but rule that concept out for a variety of reasons. When not done properly, 1+1 often equals 1.5, along with an increase in overhead and hassle factor.

    In the Multiplier Method presentation, Duncan focuses on a process to help advisors be best positioned to multiply the value of his or her business upon selling, as well as helping advisors be best positioned for a predictable and profitable acquisition and transition upon buying a practice.

    1. Don’t Sell a Book, Sell a Business

      • Look beyond simply ‘trailing 12’ for key performance indicators
      • What is the quality of the client relationships?
      • Put time on your side—deploying a process ensures there is minimal opportunity leakage
      • There are more sellers than buyers—organization, structure and sound best practices unlock value, and differentiates you from others
      • Acquire a real asset, not just a collection of assets

    2. Establish a Fit—Identifying an Alignment of Interests between the Buyer and Seller

      • Accelerating grow through acquisition is great, but the focal point should be on the quality of the clients not the quantity
      • Consistency is crucial—advisors who tend to consistently attract the same type of clients in terms of average asset size and attitudinal qualities is a great indicator of fit
      • Maverick talent vs. documented procedures
      • How did they start their client relationships?
      • Fees vs. Commissions
      • Be prepared—preparation will help both parties squeeze more juice out of the orange

    2. The 3-Step Process to Execute the Transition

      • Client buy-in and perception is critical
      • Step 1—the Ramp Up. Six to 12 months is best
      • Step 2—the Launch. A client relationship re-framing process is key
      • Step 3—the Follow-through. A predictable and sustainable process to meet and exceed the expectations set for the clients involved

    Note: This presentation can be delivered as a high level step-by-step overview in 45-90 minutes at an industry conference, or drilled down in more detail in a one or two-day boot camp format.

    Ultimate Client Experience
    Ultimate Client Experience is one of Duncan’s newest presentations. It was designed specifically for elite advisors that want to achieve a breakthrough with his/her top clients, and deploy a proven process to consistently attract high-value clients going forward.

    Part 1—Develop a personal branding strategy to ensure you are perceived and described as professional consultant with a process

      • be consistent and have your actions be driven by process
      • stand out from the pack

    Part 2—Deploy a family investment legacy process to ensure you are well positioned within the family tree

      • discover your sense of purpose
      • securing multi-generational family legacies/clients is powerful and deeply fulfilling

    Part 3—Gain full empowerment- capture money in motion

      • uncover hidden assets by converting partial customers into fully empowering clients.

    Part 4—Be positioned for anything—a sequential approach to create a trajectory that is aligned with your goals

      • your time is your most valuable asset. Create organization, structure and process to maximize efficiency
      • be consistently refer-able

    Fast Track to Referrals
    Today’s financial advisor understands that it costs far more time and effort to convert a prospect into a client than it does to convert an existing client into a flag waving advocate. But consider the personal fulfillment involved as well. It can be draining and anticlimactic to be perpetually convincing new people to work with you. Why not work more effectively with the people who are already convinced and let them do the convincing on your behalf? The real value in a client relationship is not in the initial commissions you earn, it’s in the commitment the client demonstrates to you over the lifetime of your relationship.

    There are no silver bullets when it comes to referrals. They are not realized because of clever phrases or by asking your clients well-timed questions. Most referral approaches are transparent and make the advisor look needy and put the clients on the spot. Top advisors attract a steady stream of referrals because of reciprocation felt by their clients, not because of obligation.

    In this presentation you will learn how to:

      • Address the unspoken resistance that prevents your clients from referring
      • Survey your clients for their referral awareness and predisposition
      • Install a consistent and congruent process that earns trust
      • Project a degree of scarcity that enhances your perceived value
      • Train your clients why, to whom and how they should be referring to you
      • Position referrals as a service to your clients rather than a benefit to you
      • Attract referrals like a consultant rather than chase them like a salesperson

      Total Client Engagement: Become their Personal CFO
      With the commoditization of the financial services industry, and the volatility in the market place there has never been a better time to be more relevant to your clients. In uncertain times, clients have anxiety and apprehension, and you need to help them look to the future with anticipation. Duncan MacPherson's process will unlock your full potential when it comes to consistent client acquisition and sustainable client retention, by dialing in a combination of proven strategies that elevate you above the competition and empower you fully with your clients.

      This presentation will help you to:

      • De-commoditize your core solutions
      • De-personalize and professionalize the client experience
      • De-mystify how you are perceived and described

    Duncan MacPherson on Speaking

    I want audiences to learn how a consistent client experience will competitor-proof your favorite clients.

    SPEAKING.COM: What do you want people to learn/take away from your presentations?

    MACPHERSON: I want audiences to learn how a consistent client experience will competitor-proof your favorite clients – and how process, positioning and communication will convert clients into referral generating advocates.

    SPEAKING.COM: What kind of special prep work do you do prior to an event? How do you prepare for your speaking engagements?

    MACPHERSON: I review my core critical path, and align it with any research I’ve done on the clients and any input they provide for me.

    SPEAKING.COM: Have you had any particularly memorable speaking engagements / unusual situations arise while on the road?

    MACPHERSON: One of the most memorable was when I presented in Malaysia to 7,000 financial advisors – and having it translated into eight different languages, live, as I presented.

    SPEAKING.COM: What types of audiences would most benefit from your message?

    MACPHERSON: Any knowledge-for-profit professional who’s striving to maximize their client relationships and drive enterprise value will benefit most.

    SPEAKING.COM: Which of your keynote speaking topics are your favorites and why?

    MACPHERSON: I’d probably say Cracking the Code, because it’s an actionable, predictable process that leads to predictable results.

    Early in life I was exposed to some world-class coaching and speakers. I implemented what they taught me and it impacted my life and business.

    SPEAKING.COM: What inspired you to start doing speaking engagements?

    MACPHERSON: Early in life I was exposed to some world-class coaching and speakers. I implemented what they taught me and it impacted my life and business. I found in turn that speaking provides me with a high degree of personal fulfillment and sense of purpose.

    SPEAKING.COM: How do you keep your audience engaged and actively listening during your keynotes? Do you use case studies, personal stories and/or in your speeches?

    MACPHERSON: I use lots of stories and lots of sequential questions. The presentation builds upon itself and has a natural crescendo at the end to inspire action.

    SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the successes you’ve helped clients achieve?

    MACPHERSON: I’ve helped clients predictably and measurably increase the quality and quantity of referrals they get from clients and strategic partners, restore liberation and order to their lives, so that the business is serving their life and not the other way around and reduce friction in their efforts so they are more efficient in their time. Exclusive Interview with Duncan MacPherson
    Transforming Your Business through Practice Management, with Sales Speaker Duncan MacPherson
    In this interview, Duncan MacPherson discusses:
  • The confusion surrounding "practice management" and why most firms fail at it.
  • How skilled practice management can transform your firm.
  • The keys to building competitor-proof client relationships.
    Read the Full Interview
  • "Practice management is a network of interrelated skills, processes and strategies that build value in a business while making it manageable, scalable and ensuring the owner runs the business - and not the other way around."
    - Duncan MacPherson

    What People are Saying about Seeing Duncan Speak

    Rating Entries

    Great speaker with incredible insight into relationship management and business devlopment.


      “I′ve received such a positive response from our event held last Thursday that I′m beginning to wonder how I will top it next year! Your presentation was most certainly a highlight of the day for everyone in attendance. After listening for two hours, I′m sure there was not one [who] could claim leaving without a new idea or simply a “new-found” enthusiasm to put to use in their business.”
      — Mutual Funds Branch Manager, Manulife Securities, London, ON

      “Duncan, I just wanted to thank you for coming to speak to us at the Greater Oakbrook Chapter of the FPA. Your talk was exceptional! My hand still hurts from taking so many notes that I′m convinced will raise my service to my clients. You were exactly right when you wrapped up your comments. You provided me with insight to new ideas as well as validated some of the things I′m already doing. Thanks again, it was great seeing what a Canadian looks like.”
      — Waddell & Reed, Naperville, IL

      Selected Clients:

      Wells Fargo Advisors
      Raymond James Financial
      Merrill Lynch
      Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
      LPL Financial
      Franklin Templeton Investments
      First Trust Portfolios
      CIBC Wood Gundy
      RBC Dominion Securities
      HSBC Securities
      American Funds
      Fidelity Investments
      Principal Funds Distributors
      Lincoln Financial
      American Express Financial
      Bank of America
      Prudential Securities
      Sun America
      John Hancock

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    Books by Duncan MacPherson:

    The Advisor’s Playbook

    Practice management is often misunderstood. The Advisor Playbook will take the mystery away.

    Practice management is confused with marketing, or is limited to strategizing about branding, or simply equated to old-school salesmanship.

    Practice management is how you build an organized toolbox of all your processes – branding, marketing, service activities, core functions – and constantly tune and keep that toolbox efficient and effortless. It’s a network of interrelated skills, processes and strategies that build value in a business while making it manageable, scalable and ensuring the owner runs the business and not the other way around.

    Duncan MacPherson and Pareto Systems have been in the forefront of practice management in the realm of the professional advisor for a quarter-century. Chris Jeppesen of First Trust brings his own decades of professional knowledge to the table. The processes in The Advisor Playbook have grown over those years, through constant refinement and improvement. They’ll help you to perform that same refinement and improvement on your business, and regain liberation and order in your personal and professional life.

    Breakthrough Business Development

    Breakthrough Business Development: A 90-Day Plan to Build Your Client Base and Take Your Business to the Next Level
    Increase Profits, Be more Organized, attract a Higher Quality and Quantity of Referrals, Run Your Business so That It Doesn’t Run You, Take Your Business to the Next Level… With Breakthrough Business Development!

    Breakthrough Business Development shows you how to attract and keep great clients, while running a profitable and efficient business. It helps every knowledge-for-profit professional to maximize your most valuable client relationships, and to develop a personalized business development plan to mine the untapped potential in your business.

    Praise for the Pareto System, Featured in Breakthrough Business Development.

    “I am just beside myself on the results gathered so far from instituting the Pareto System. I use an agenda for meetings now and have formulated a standard package given to new clients. Already I have sent out twenty thank-you cards to new referrals. I even got a referral from a referral if that makes sense. Some clients didn’t know that I was still expanding my business. I am also finding advocates that I didn’t classify as such. Opening twenty accounts in this short time span is amazing but already I have another ten leads in the pipeline. You guys were right, it does work.”

    “We have been building client relationships for 45 years… Pareto Systems successfully helped us to pause and then guided us through the process of defining the appropriate business structure and systems which will strengthen and enhance our best client relationships. We are now focusing on a comprehensive, systematized program for select clients. The results have been amazing-client satisfaction is way up and so are revenues.”


    Take Your Business to the Next Level: A 90-Day Plan for Achieving a Breakthrough
    Pareto Systems’ co-founders, Duncan MacPherson and David Miller, have created and refined a process that entrepreneurs can implement with precision and certainty. And what is most exciting is that, minor adjustments can lead to major improvements. Readers are given a full array of actionable tools to actually translate ideas into results immediately. This approach is time-tested and proven to help make meaningful and measurable progress.

    Readers are also prompted to take action at the end of each chapter using the corresponding templates and samples on the included Actionable Tools CD-ROM. Learn how to attract a higher quality and quantity of referrals; use stewardship rather than salesmanship to attract high-value clients; competitor-proof clients by consistently using a service matrix; ensure clients focus on what you’re worth rather than what you cost; build a more profitable practice; restore liberation and order in your personal life; and run your business so it doesn’t run you.

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