Talk about the ultimate networking trip. That’s what financial adviser Glen Wright II takes every March, when he goes to the NCAA Final Four host city to recruit new clients.
He works with basketball coaches as part of his business, CoachNetWorth, a division of Charlotte-based Worth Financial Advisory Group.
It’s a distinct business niche that’s not for everyone. But Wright says the annual trip underscores one of his key principles of business networking: “Go somewhere where you want to be seen.” He also plans to recruit at the women’s Final Four for the first time, in April.
Wright says he works with about 20 coaches on navigating the tax benefits of working for institutions that are nonprofits. Clients include Orlando Vandross, assistant coach at UNC Charlotte. Other clients listed on his website include head coach Rick Ray at Mississippi State University and head coach Kareem Richardson at University of Missouri - Kansas City.
“It’s a very small group. All of the coaches know each other,” says Wright, who is 38. “Once we do a good job for one coach, word spreads like wildfire.”
He credits Sy Pugh, who played college basketball at Northern Oklahoma and Limestone College in Gaffney, with making the coach connection.
“My operations manager is 6’8”,” says Wright, who is 5’11”. “I figured out early on…I better hit these books.”
Here’s more about how he works:
Morning markets check: He gets up at 5 and checks the computer to see what's going on in Europe and what happened in Asia.
Daily sites: “I look at points blogs and travel blogs every day” for rewards earned through work travel.
Tech anywhere: Three offices in Charlotte, Nashville and Detroit stay connected through Salesforce, the cloud-based customer relationship management platform, and Google apps synced with phones and tablets.
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Last download: DocuSign for digital signatures: “Phenomenal in saving a lot of UPS charges.”
He advises people… To get identity theft protection. “I went through a terrible ordeal with identity theft. It took me years to get out of it…I couldn’t sleep without it now.”
You never know when you’ll get a big client: Wright tells of a client who started with only $600 in yearly investments. After her husband died, she received $300,000. Then she got a multi-million dollar windfall from an asbestos settlement related to her husband's death. “You don't know what door is going to open. Be kind, be nice to everybody, and help wherever you can.”
Everybody works differently. Know a savvy Charlotte-area professional with interesting ways of getting things done? Email Celeste Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.