Symposium Spotlight: Q&A with Margaret Jordan, the Director of Business Development at KIKO Company
As we prepare for our Annual Symposium, we sat down with Margaret Jordan from KIKO Company to discuss common characteristics successful financial planning professionals share and her secrets to networking. Jordan is a speaker for our Symposium panel, Secrets of Networking from a Master Marketer at Diversitas.
This year’s Symposium is taking place on Thursday, February 8th. This enriching experience will be available both virtually and in person at The University of Akron’s Student Union Ballroom. Virtual participants can tune in from noon till 3:30 pm ET (in-person will start at 11:30 am ET). Whether you choose to participate virtually or in person, anticipate a vibrant celebration spotlighting the myriad talents and prospects within the dynamic realm of wealth management. Secure your free spot by registering now!
What characteristics or traits do you commonly see among successful professionals in financial planning?
In my experience, all the successful financial planners that I know share a few key characteristics including:
- Integrity: They do what they say they are going to do and their word is as good as gold.
- Professionalism: They are polished in their appearance. They dress, speak and write well. Their communications are carefully crafted. They are on time and exemplify order and self-discipline.
- Responsive: They are responsive to their clients and contacts. They maintain relationships by paying attention to needs and responding to them in a timely fashion. Additionally, they are good listeners and listen more than they speak.
- Confidential: being a wealth manager or financial planning executive is a position of trust and successful professionals in this industry are discreet and never share their clients’ secrets.
What is your best tip for networking with others in the industry?
Networking with your competition, your peers in the industry, may seem counterintuitive but it is essential to becoming a better wealth manager, businessperson, and overall individual. I always say that it is critical to run with better runners than yourself to become a better, faster, runner. This analogy translates to anything in life, especially your professional life. Having mentors within your industry as well as your own company and learning from others is one of the best ways to grow professionally. Reading industry periodicals, getting involved in professional organizations, attending industry specific conferences, and participating in online or in person peer groups are all great ways to get involved and to get the most out of your professional, industry network.
I also recommend networking with professionals in complimentary, professional service industries because they can refer you to their clients. Lawyers, accountants, bankers, real estate agents, and insurance professionals are professionals who can make helpful introductions and referrals. It is important to develop relationships with people who can be influential to you and to their network, which is why they are frequently referred to as centers of influence (COIs). To develop COI relationships, you should reach out to the people that you went to business school with, your own lawyer, banker, insurance agent and CPA and connect with them on LinkedIn and in person. Once you start networking with these people you will be surprised how easy it is to make these connections. However, developing meaningful relationships that lead to referrals for new business will take more time and effort. Make sure to maintain these precious relationships by staying in touch frequently and remember that you must give to get when it comes to these relationships.
Can you tell us about a time networking had a positive effect on your career?
Prior to my career in professional services marketing and business development, I was a nonprofit, fundraising executive. I did not have any corporate experience, but I was interested in switching from nonprofit to for profit to grow professionally and to increase my earning potential. While attending a fundraiser one weekend, I was seated next to a gentleman whose friend was the founder of an accounting firm and he mentioned that they were looking for someone to fill a marketing position. He asked me if I was interested in talking with the firm and as they say, the rest is history. I have spent the past decade working for professional service firms.
If I had not raised my hand to attend that event and if I had not engaged in small talk with my neighbor at the table, I would have missed out on this opportunity and I would not be where I am today, professionally. I never miss an opportunity to network and meet new people and I always follow up.
Can you share any tips for networking in a digital world?
Networking in the new, post pandemic digital world is different but more important than ever. To be successful one should do the following:
- Learn about LinkedIn and set up a great profile with a professional headshot.
- Make new connections by connecting with people from your alma mater, grad school, past employers, colleagues, people you meet at networking events , the gym or just about anywhere. Great connections have been made on the sidelines at kids’ soccer games.
- Get in the habit of checking LinkedIn every day or more than once a day and be an active participant:
- Read and share posts that you like
- Comment on your connections’ posts
- Celebrate birthdays by sending private messages
- Share content that you create or that is created by your company
- Post pictures from events that you are attending and share the name of the conference or event
- Attend online networking events hosted by your college, fraternity/sorority, professional organizations and make at least three meaningful connections that you follow up with at each event.
- Most importantly practice, practice, practice and always follow up with the people that you meet.
Margaret Jordan serves as a Director of Business Development at KIKO Company, working with estate attorneys, business consultants and commercial real estate brokers. With more than 15 years’ experience in business development strategy, lead generation, project management and revenue development, Margaret serves as an advisor and liaison to anyone who is preparing for, or experiencing, a liquidity event where they need to convert an asset to cash.
Margaret currently serves on the board of Directors for MACE Security International, a publicly traded manufacturing company headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. Additionally, she is a member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Foundation board and is the co-chair of their 2024 signature fundraiser. Previously she served on the board for the Association of Corporate Growth and was the chair of ACG’s Women in Transactions Committee for several years. She earned her J.D. from the University of Akron School of Law and her M.S. and B.A. from the University of Akron.