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Embracing Technology for Next-Level Wealth Management With Reed Colley

Reed Colley

Reed Colley is the Co-founder and CEO of Summit Wealth Systems, a firm specializing in assisting advisors and their clients by utilizing innovative technology to cultivate mindsets and keep them on track. With over 20 years in the tech industry, he began his career with Black Diamond Performance Reporting in 2003 — the first cloud-based portfolio management system. Reed has also founded, invested in, and provided advisory services to multiple technology companies.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Reed Colley introduces Summit Wealth Systems and how it helps people

  • Creating a human-centered platform 

  • How financial advisors are leveraging Summit Wealth Systems 

  • Reed explains how they categorize their platform

  • The role of technology in financial advising

  • How to build a company’s culture

  • Reed talks about his leadership style

In this episode…

The wealth management technology industry experiences constant evolution. If you want to take your practice to the next level, it's time to embrace the power of modern technology and explore its benefits. 

According to Reed Colley, modern wealth management has transformed in recent years with the rise of new technologies and the changing demands of clients. Unfortunately, many of the legacy systems that have been in use for decades have not kept up with these changes, leaving advisors struggling to meet the needs of their clients. Discovering this challenge, Reed shares his journey of creating a platform to replace these outdated systems to offer greater efficiency and growth.

In this episode of The Customer Wins, Richard Walker sits down with Reed Colley, Co-founder and CEO of Summit Wealth Systems, to discuss how advisors can leverage technology. Reed shares his journey of creating a human-centered platform, how financial advisors leverage Summit Wealth Systems, and the role of technology in financial advising.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Episode Transcript:

Intro 0:02 

Welcome to The Customer Wins podcast where business leaders discuss their secrets and techniques for helping their customers succeed and in turn grow their business.

Richard Walker 0:16 

Hi, I'm Rich Walker, the host of The Customer Wins where I talk to business leaders about how they help their customers win and how their focus on customer experience leads to growth. Some of our past guests have included Parsonex Securities, Advisors Excel and Future Capital. Today I'm speaking with Reed Colley, CEO Summit Wealth Systems. And today's episode is brought to you by Quik! the leader in enterprise forms processing. When your business relies upon processing forms, don't waste your team's valuable time reviewing the forms. Instead, get Quik! using our Form Xtract API, simply submit your completed forms and get back clean, context-rich data that is 99.9% accurate, visit to get started. So before I introduce today's guest, I want to give a big thank you to Mike Betts who referred me to Reed and who also works at Summit. Now Reed Colley is the co-founder and CEO of Summit Wealth Systems. Launched in 2019 Summit is the culmination of Reed's experience in FinTech and passion for innovation. Summit is built on a foundation to elevate technology for modern Wealth Management advisors, who have a higher expectation than what incumbent solutions and integrations deliver. With over 20 years of experience in the technology industry, he founded Black Diamond Performance Reporting in 2003. And was it CEO through acquisition by Advent Software in 2011. Reed is a family man at heart and lives with his wife and four children in San Francisco. As an adoptive and multiracial family he and his family are deeply committed to eliminating the wealth gap and seeking racial equity in their community. Reed, welcome to The Customer Wins.

Reed Colley 1:51 

Thanks Rich, so happy to be here.

Richard Walker 1:53 

I'm excited to talk to you today. Now, if you haven't heard this podcast before I talk with business leaders about what they're doing to help their customers win, how they build and deliver a great customer experience and the challenges to grow in their own company. Reed, we want to understand your business a little better. How does your company help people?

Reed Colley 2:10 

Yeah, thanks so much for having me. And so excited to be here. Because so much of what we do, as a business is about helping both advisors and their clients and doing it through a human connection. So oftentimes, you have advisors working with their clients, and it's really in the mode of understanding what's happened in their portfolios, what's meaningful, and the changes in the portfolios. And ultimately, the client is walking in sometimes a little bit on it sometimes with a scarcity mindset, but trying to understand like, am I going to be okay, and the number of zeros after their balance often doesn't dictate their mindset when they're coming in. And most great advisors are talking to them in a way of, we'll take care of you, but tell me what's important to you. But they can't get past that a lot. Because of the challenges of what they're working with today. So what we've done is we've taken a human base approach, started with design thinking from the beginning. And understand that there's a lot of behavioral, financial, and we call wealth psychology built into how an advisor works with their clients. And typically, most of this is built around kind of dry numbers and charts and graphs that are very hard for people to get their heads around what happens. Fortunately, for some people, when you generate wealth and success, the numbers start to get a little bit more abstract. So it makes it a little harder to understand what it means in your day-to-day life, as the numbers just change, and they can change sometimes fluctuate, volatility, of course, we've seen that the last couple of years. And we've seen that over the years for many of us before. But ultimately, what you're trying to do as a client is understand what can I do to help me and my family ones I care about, achieve the things that they want and do in a way that's in line with my values. And so much of technology that's built, legacy technologies in place today is built to serve a different, really a different problem around when we slice and dice returns for you or show you different projections or breakouts of different types of tax analysis, when most humans are just saying just helped me do what I want them. So we've taken the approach. Let's start with the human let's start with the client experience and start with what advisors want to do with their clients and put that in the lens of how an advisor really talks to their clients about their investment philosophy about their value proposition and kind of their secret sauce that is generated that human connection with their clients in the first place that really drives the strongest connections, alignment and collaboration that then lets the clients make the best decisions that they can in concert with their adviser or wealth manager about the things that really matter to them. So it all starts with this human design thinking approach. That has been paramount and we package that into a platform that is our summit wealth operating system and that allows advisors to change the conversations they're having with clients for the better around the things that are most important. So that's a huge part of what we're doing.

Richard Walker 4:59 

I love that I love that. And it's funny because I don't know if you knew, but I became a financial advisor, after leaving a tech career in the year 2000. And I remember one of our clients, they had three times as much money as they needed for retirement. And they spent like they had 1/3 of their retirement, right? Yeah. And we get so interested in the numbers like, Oh, let me show you this graph. Let me show you this performance, return, etc. And finally, my partner who was my mentor said, look, let me make this real for you. When you go buy a car, get every feature you want, then you go look at airplane ticket, always go first class, you're never going to run out of money the way that you live. So when you talk about humanizing, I mean, what does that translate to in the software itself?

Reed Colley 5:40 

Yeah, so what we've done is we've taken the focus off of starting with like, here's your allocation, here's a line chart of your performance over time and a table of your holdings are categorized by asset class or subclass. And we start with the human themselves in the middle of this wheel that we have around the things that are most important to you. And it starts with their values, and something we call their wealth mission. And that's completely up to advisors to be able to configure or customize that however they like to, but what's most important, so you mentioned me with my family around, driving success for those we care about driving success for people in our community, and in solving things that we see are problems, such as the wealth gap, and racial equity. So these are the things that are the center of our wealth mission, and what we want to be able to do in our lives as people but then connecting our wealth to our values as people. So we have a feature that we released, I guess it was late last year, called our wealth journey, and it's in it's full of milestones that are important to you, as well as your values that you have in your life as humans, and how do they connect to things that are important to us, such as the basic things like planning for retirement and making sure your kids can go to college, but then it's also around, what experiences do you want to create for your family? Who are those others that you want to help around you? What are those community things that you want to be involved with, or things around the world that you can be helpful with? And putting it all into a lens and seeing how it flows over time, so that, first of all, the client and for me as a client experience, it's great to have that lens, we don't get that anywhere else in our lives of tracking it all. We don't do that for ourselves, typically. But it is a great alignment tool for me to see back what the things we've talked about that are important. But then for the advisor, it's really lean in. And to ask the next question, we know it's that extra question around the thing that's important to the client that drives the strongest relationships and deepens the connections as much as possible. And those always lead to more efficient services. Because you get to the heart of what matters quickly, that leads to internally understanding them better to get them to a higher level. And we think of things like Maslow's hierarchy of basic needs and moving up the pyramid. And then the last thing, typically, if you're doing that role with me, you have this great alignment, collaboration and strength of connection. They're telling other people, and it drives growth. So we see this virtuous cycle really take form. But ultimately, it's all around making sure you're focused on what's most important to the client. And as an advisor, putting things in front of them to have discussions on how you can help them get there. And then any decision points they have are laid out in front of them, as opposed to wondering what do I do with X, Y, or Z that I haven't even told you about? Because we're looking at this kind of legacy way of how we might interact as an advisor?

Richard Walker 8:22 

I've always thought of the role of financial advisor is like nine-tenths psychologist and 10% financial. And I don't know if that's just me and my thinking, because I wasn't around a whole bunch of other people and following them. And I always thought that, ask them, what's your retirement goal? I want to retire at 55 with $5 million. What does that mean? You have to go backwards and ask all these questions like, how many vacations do you want? What kind of lifestyle do you want to live? Where were your kids be at that point? What kind of house do you want to live in? So I guess my question back to you is, do you think advisors are naturally geared towards this conversation that you're showing them how to do? Or are you teaching them how to do this better?

Reed Colley 9:01 

Great question. And I put this in a kind of a slotted category, where typically, if God kind of 20% of the advisors in the market, are actively pushing, they're trying to have these conversations with their clients here. They're putting together spreadsheets and PowerPoints and all of this offline materials that is challenging as manuals, customize, slows down their process, but they're really trying to dig in to have those conversations with their clients. And they're doing it with limited tool sets and a way that it's really inefficient for them and also inhibits their ability to grow scale. So that's one shot, I would say there's the next 20% it's looking at, like I'd love to be able to do that I may be resource constrained or I don't know quite how to get started. And it's really those top 40% that we typically do a great job with because we're empowering the things that a top 20% is already doing, and then we're enabling the next 20% to do the things they never could have started. I would say there's another segment of the market that is really focused on well, let's just keep showing you the things we've shown you It's not broken, we're not going to fix it a little bit entrenched. But typically we're very much a growth mindset company, when we find advisors that have that growth mindset for them, and for their clients, we really engage in it. So I think it would depend on the mindset of the advisor, and the firm, the one that's looking to drive more efficiency is looking to deepen their connections and strengthen interactions with clients, and then ones that are seeking to grow their business in a meaningful way over time, organically and in organically. But those are the ones that we typically find, are leaning into this. And when we show them the wealth journey, which were fortunate enough that won an award from wealth, this past year is the new application feature of the year across our entire space, they look at it, I'm gonna spend 80% of my time, because it's human, that's about that. And it's graphical, and it's visual, and it is really driving them to have the right solutions or getting the conversations and then getting the set of things you can decide on and then making those decisions together in a meaningful way. And that is where clients and advisors feel great when we can do those things together.

Richard Walker 11:04 

Now, I got to tell you, as an investor client, that's what I want from my advisor. I want them to look at my world and say, I see these opportunities, I see these deficiencies, I see these things coming up these milestones coming up, that let's focus on that. Let's figure out how to get there. Exactly. Do you feel like your clients, your customers are buying your product? Do you think that they view your product as giving them a competitive advantage?

Reed Colley 11:28 

Typically, yes, I mean, ultimately, you know, especially when you're on the earlier stage that people haven't seen it as much, but they're looking for this great solution to interact with their clients to give to their clients to do it on mobile to do it in a way that is intuitive and organic in their clients lives. But I think it gives them a huge advantage. And not only in terms of the conversations with the clients they've had for five, 10 20 years plus, but also the clients that they're building relationships that haven't yet become clients or prospects. So we see it as a opportunity to really drive value because we don't have a single template that we push out, every single one of our firms looks different, because it's built around them. And it's built around an engine that we've done a bunch of technical things, and it's no code deployment, I can talk about a lot of the technical things, but all of the technical things we build, I'm a product, person by nature, but I coded all of Black Diamond from the beginning, out of necessity, but it's all in service. And that's why I love your podcast it's all in service of benefiting the advisor and helping the advisor helping their clients and helping the investor win, everything we're doing and is in that lens. So that then, the advisor can really shape our platform shapes around their practice and becomes their practice. So even if two advisors have it, it's differentiated based on their value prop, but it's done in a way that is very human that reflects their firm and what they can do for their clients. So it is a is a huge differentiator, and even more so potentially on new prospective clients that they'd love to work with. Being able to just submit this is how you work with us is a huge thing for them.

Richard Walker 13:03 

Well, I think it's important because in how you categorize your user base that 20%, who would be obvious adopter, because it matches who they are. And that next 20%, who has been looking for this and wanting to enable who they are, they haven't driven there yet. I asked you the question, because I think you're driving a competitive advantage. And the ability for an advisor to serve their client and engage with their client more is the one that wins, in my view, at least from another provider service writers I've been talking to. So how do you categorize your company then in your product? Are you in the engagement world? Are you in the portfolio world?

Reed Colley 13:39 

That's a great question. And as we were building this, we were thinking because we have this wealth journey we have in the core of it is portfolio and billing and asset classification, performance reporting, all those things that are kind of the DNA of where this space is grown up where I grew up, but it's really around. It's a collaboration platform, alignment and collaboration platform that then drives that engagement, right? It's very difficult to just say, hey, I just need something for you to engage on. These are usually pithy, small things that don't last, it's really making sure that you're reflecting back what the client has told you they are and showing it without having to scroll through CRM meetings. And listen, nobody sees or often our clients refer to their CRMs as black holes, because the data goes in, but it can't get out. And we're leveraging all that. So we actually separate from the client experience. So I'll get to answer your question in a second. We're connecting all of the back-end systems for them as well. So that CRM data is used with sometimes outside planning data or risk data or data that they have. And it's brought into a place this kind of data home through a system we have to really drive the right outcomes for advisors with their clients, but it is all driven around, understanding kind of that client needs, you've reflected back to them, what's important to them, and then you're laying out this decision path in front of them. So then now you can ultimately be in a position where you're driving success in their life each day and you have that differentiated mechanism but you're really deepening every step of the way by knowing them reflecting it. And then you're starting from this point, which is much further along than typically spending when we reeducate you for half hour about your portfolio in which clients are like, moving such a big shift from active to passive, we understand that portfolio is more become fuel than differentiator, the portfolio performance. So now it's moving around what's most important are life. So that's what we really built the system around that. So for us, it's all about creating a differentiation around each individual client and doing that in a way that's automated, and scalable. And that's the big trick within our space is driving innovation that's human-driven, that's around the relationship, and doing that in a very scalable way. And that has a lot of automation and configuration behind it rather than bespoke processes.

Richard Walker 15:49 

There's so much more in-depth and concrete, then I put up a blog article and I send it to you, you should call me because I did that. Right.

Reed Colley 15:59 

Exactly, exactly. And there's so many, the great thing about our space, which I love is that there's so many platforms that can help with pieces of it, whether it's a state plan, there's trust, whether it's a specific thing around driving outcomes for philanthropy, there's all of these things that have put the visor has been left in the middle to pull it all together. And so when you talk about the customer winning, I love UI and design, and in a pixel pushing just to get it just right, and to make sure it looks the way you want it to do. But I love efficiency and data systems. So when I see the adviser being put in the middle, as a person having a hole, all of that tech spread, or their tech stack, they're just kind of trying to hold it in place together. It's not the right thing, because it's not why anybody got into this business, nobody said I'm gonna get into it to build a great tech stack, they said, I want to help our clients in this way. So for us, we come in and we help with that foundation. So when you don't have to do it on your own anymore, the adviser you kind of turn most of that over to connect all these different pieces. That is great technology out there. But now you'll find a real foundation for how you want to serve as your clients and in that tech stack. But the biggest thing kind of to your point is engagement should be the outcome of how you're doing this with your client, because you can get them engaged by clicking on a quick survey or pulling up a TikTok, and they'll engage. But it doesn't mean it's actually creating this alignment or collaboration, strengthening that connection. That's why we're so excited about is building that connection in a really meaningful way to drive the right amount of connection based again, on the things that are most important to them and doing in a way that they can do and very scalable versus traditional, you can take notes, you can put on PowerPoints, and every time you go to a meeting, it's eight, 12, 20, 30 hours of meeting prep, that is really hard to scale. At the end of the day. And we've heard this over and over again, we've heard that there's a lot of burnout inside of financial advisors, especially on those supporting advisors and what they're doing. And it's really challenging because the jobs changed and changed for the better. I think it's around the human but the tools haven't kept up. And that's where we're sitting is saying there's a huge opportunity for us to be able to help you with that and doing it in a way that moves that next level. And we know that technology follows leapfrog right? Technology is not a linear stack. All the improvements or leapfrog improvements. And so we're excited about the clients we can work with and the clients to come help them do that to their clients.

Richard Walker 18:22 

I want to summarize something that I think you said that's super important. I'm not sure everybody caught it. And that is building a tech stack is kind of like building tech for the sake of building tech. That's not the goal. The goal is to have tech enabled the performance, the process the people in your team, to accomplish the goal of what you're after. Nobody said their financial tech planner, their financial advisors, right? Yeah. 100%. So I want to ask you a slightly different question. Because you've been in business a long time you started several companies, and I have to imagine somebody as passionate as you. And as clear as you must also have a clear company culture or ethos. What is it at your firm? Because I met Mike, I love Mike, and if he's representative of your company, which I'm seeing more from talking to you, you must have a really awesome culture too.

Reed Colley 19:12 

Well, Mike does a great job of encapsulating kind of what we're about and how we think about things. Our culture is human first. And when we built Black Diamond, it was very culture-centric at that time, when we had 10 people, I started a culture team of four-person culture team just to maintain what we had is we don't want to lose it. But that ended up pulling so much out of it. And so we focus a ton on culture and everything I've done has focused on that. With Summit, it's all about being human, and bringing your humanity and whatever that is. And over the last few years, we started the company pre-pandemic, seeing that in the pandemic and being human through that is huge. You have to be human, you're going to make mistakes, you're going to screw up, you're going to do great things, you're going to need help from others. And recognizing that has been one of the I think most empowering things for us and our team is getting to a point where we see the humanity. And that's a big part, again, of what we're doing is we're trying to create this human relationship and outcome and connection and alignment and collaboration, we have to be human ourselves to be able to get to a point. So being human, knowing better, doing better, keep pushing ourselves each day being innovative, continue to be problem solving, that's what we love doing every day is solving problems. And if you could get a peek into, our office on a day to day basis, people are just energized by helping people and solving problems and doing it in a highly collaborative manner, where you really just show a ton of appreciation, gratitude, thoughtfulness, or your interactions with each other on our team. And that then spills out to our interactions with our clients. It's a cornerstone of our interactions with our clients. Because, for us, we believe you have to be a partner, there's no way to do this and help with a text to get the help that every firm truly needs at the end of the day, without being highly collaborative and partner-centric. And so instead of when a client has a question, we don't point out to an FAQ, we answer the question and fix it right away or deliver something that they didn't know they could do. So and that's such a big part of this business that I think gets lost as more and more kind of, quote, unquote, pure tech gets pushed into it is you have to have partners that are helping you along the way, it's the same thing, you're telling your clients, you're not telling your clients to try Robo on their own, you're helping with these things along the way. So having that nice virtuous cycle. And loop is a key part of making sure we have that connection. But it does start with us being growth mindset, human-based design, thinking, and really valuing each other and our strengths with each other. And then being honest sometimes about our weaknesses and what we don't do well, and we will tell that to clients and prospective clients of ours, hey, you're looking for XY and Z. That's not probably not what we do. But ultimately, we think we can help a lot. But it starts with that culture of being human. Having a growth mindset, and really having a strong desire to solve problems every day.

Richard Walker 22:00 

I love that Reed. And I feel like we have so much in common with our company cultures and things. And I think there's some irony in this because a lot of companies are trying to serve financial advisors. And what are financial advisors trying to do? They're trying to help people. So if you are in the service business to an advisor, but you're not trying to help them help people, right, what are you doing?

Reed Colley 22:22 

You're trying to make money? Let's be clear. Yeah, right. But that's another key part is from us having a human connection with clients and advisors, this is what I love this space, I love working with great advisors, they're there to help their clients. And they know if they help their clients, well, they will share in that value is great, they will share. And that's success. But that's what drives them. It's not there to make as much money as possible at every client. And we've even seen this. So sometimes with our wealth journey, a client puts in there, I really want to support somebody I care about and potentially help them or maybe their child's go to college. And can I do that. And the advisor to your point looks at the three extra money they need spending a third of what they need, think, yes, do that as much as you want. Because you have that ability to do that. And then the client leaves, it could be a small amount, it could be $50, it could be $500 5000, they leave feeling so empowered, like yes, I've done something with the success I have. And it's really about connecting people to those things, that is a huge part of what makes us click so we can create this virtuous cycle around helping clients around helping advisors help their clients, because we want to be in that human connection, as opposed to, hey, here's some tool that you can just learn to be an expert yourself. Again, that's not the core competency of most financial advisors, even though they've been made to be kind of accidental CTOs. You can do incredibly empowering things with a great partner. And that's where we're really excited just to continue to make advisors great every day. And for us, we talked about the way we deploy that as human way is with simple, elegant solutions and delivering something to you around what's most important for you, your clients in your business, but in a simple way, but no simpler. So has its elegance and its complexity in this work that's behind it, but it's delivered in a very human and accessible way.

Richard Walker 24:15 

So going back to yourself in your company culture as a leader, have you ever faced that conundrum and fear of how do I open up to my team? How do I be as human as I want them to be? Because as a leader, don't you have to hold up some kind of status or ego or something? How has that been for you?

Reed Colley 24:31 

It's the hardest thing, right? I mean, at the end of the day trying to be somebody who's pushing and moving forward and then kind of admitting, hey, I'm struggling with something here is huge, but I think the thing that I've been blessed with is to have an incredible set of team members that is so talented, thoughtful. The trust on our team is so high that I do feel they're the ones telling me hey, let us take things off your plate at a time. But that's I said, it's my job, I want to take things off your plate. So you'd have this virtuous cycle, but you have to model it. And you have to be able to say, these things are hard at times, and how do we solve them together, because otherwise, you're not bringing your humanity to that. And I think the biggest way that I tend to do that is just by showing gratitude. Because I know none of us can do any of this by ourselves, we have to be able to do it together. And I think in showing that gratitude, you're able to signal it in a way that really says, I just appreciate you as a human and who you are and how we work together. And also that you're being such a great teammate, because there are things that are hard for each of us that we should be taking off each other's plates or helping each other with that is the cornerstone of really great collaborative connected cultures. And the saying, if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far go together. So I think ultimately, you have to bring that humanity and to me, it just start so much of that gratitude, and then honest conversations about things that are hard. Those are cornerstones of a great culture, in my opinion.

Richard Walker 26:03 

I've personally found it hard to accept gifts, I love to give, I don't like to take. And so to set an example of family first, and I give that to my team, and I would tell him, no, no, no, go be with your family, go take care of the things you need to take care of. So I've learned that when it's my turn, I've got to do the same. Yeah. All right. Guys, you got to go handle yourself, I've got to be with my family right now.

Reed Colley 26:27 

Even today, I've got later on today. Today I've got four kids, my oldest is a freshman in college, and I've got a junior in high school. And my youngest are twins that are turning, they're 14 today. And I've got their birthday today. And I had to reschedule a call with a client later on today around this because I had to put it first I had to make sure my son's got a basketball game. So I said, I've got to be there 3:30 on his birthday. So it is important, but I think if you do set that as, these are times we're taking or making sure that you're carving out the right balance. We know that balance is so hard over the last few years with remotes and things happening, really trying to design balance for people. And I've always said, if you're working off hours later than you think you should, or somebody else might think you should make sure you're doing it because you're excited to do the work. Because I know there's times where I'm energized to go do something to solve a problem. But instead of you're doing and because you need to we have to have a conversation. And I've kind of told my team, if you don't have time to be strategic, it's time to be strategic. And so they're like, yeah, they kind of say, it's a great little pithy thing to say. But hopefully we all remember that. And I think it's I said, hey, say that back to me as well. So we're all on the same page.

Richard Walker 27:46 

I love that. I'm going to start using that. Oh, let me ask you one of my favorite questions about artificial intelligence, how do you see AI impacting you, your business, your team, or even your own customer journeys that you're putting on?

Reed Colley 27:59 

It's the question in front of everybody the last six to 12 months plus, and where's it all going? I think AI ultimately, is going to be great as an enabling tool for what is possible for driving more efficiencies, and hey, help me rewrite some email to somebody I've got to send or to help me check this code to make sure it looks right. In marketing language, there's tons of ways you can do it. One thing that we really see AI as generative, and then there's model and machine learning. So generative AI, I do wonder what impact doubles have because it's going to create a lot more volume. And in that volume, you're going to have to cut through more and more volume and noise that will come with it to get signal. So in terms of differentiate, so I think if you're able to do that extremely well on right and very authentic voice that will come through. But ultimately, I think the challenge is, this is specifically for us and the business that we're in and working with advisors and their clients, it is all about that human connection. So anything we do with AI or gender that needs to be in service, of making it more human. And sometimes I think when we see things that come out of AI-generated things, whether they're content with images, you look at it, like that's cool, and then you look a little more closely, and it just feels off something.

Richard Walker 29:17 

Something's wrong with those pictures.

Reed Colley 29:20 

It's like the CGI that's used in like, the new Indiana Jones and Star Wars, like looks like them, but it's not them. So, there are parts of it, that you're expecting the parts where you aren't. I do think for us, there's still a lot of data that's sitting there that we're working with modeling and machine learning to drive better insights and drive better outcomes for clients. So I think it's in the nascent stage. I think ultimately though, the connection that a client has with their advisor, it is just human and then you're with somebody because of the relationship. So if there's anything that happens in general AI and also machine learning, it needs to be in service of strengthening that human connection because a second that starts to turn into let me auto bot any response back out to you. You're losing that connection battle with your client.

Richard Walker 30:06 

Yeah, I totally agree with that. In fact, one of the most recent things we did is we added a custom GPT to our technical API guide, API guys. 360 pages. And it's rich with information, but it reads like a tech guide. Yeah. And we found by putting a GPT in front of it a generative model in front of it, when you ask a question, you get a better written answer than what we wrote. Because it's now more human-readable, more understandable. And then of course, it links to the details, which is great, right? So we didn't necessarily do it to try to defer our work to our customer. But the result is that happens. Instead, we were trying to figure out how do we make it more accessible? How do we make it easier for them to get to the answer they want so they can move forward with what they're doing.

Reed Colley 30:48 

Consuming a broad amounts of information, and generating responses back that are easier consumers would spell for, I think what we're starting to see is, depending on the content, I say this is when Google started replacing other searching way back in the day, you just started Googling things. And same thing, you're gonna start chat GBT questions and answers. And I think it's a perfect use case for it. And we know that everybody's hiring prompt writers, so they can understand how to leverage it better. And all sudden, we now have a prompt writer and or vernacular, like we had social distancing a couple of years ago, starts to go. But it is I totally agree. Anything that can make the experience more human will win.

Richard Walker 31:28 

Yeah, yeah. Oh, this is awesome. Look, we're gonna have to wrap this up. But I do have another question. Before I ask that question, what's the best way for people to find and connect with you?

Reed Colley 31:37 

Yep. Great. Visit us at is our website. You can also check us out on LinkedIn on you'll see Mike there, you'll see a lot of us there on LinkedIn under Summit Wealth Systems. But, we always love talking to great advisors, and anything that you want to ask us or connect with us about we're super excited about looking to connect with great growth mindset people and really drive our industry forward. So excited to connect with everybody.

Richard Walker 32:04 

Yeah. And if you're in that second tier of 20%, who wants to be enabled, you better be calling on Reed and team.

Reed Colley 32:10 


Richard Walker 32:11 

All right, so here's my last question. Who has had the biggest impact on your leadership style? Or how you approach your role?

Reed Colley 32:18 

Yeah, great question. years ago, it turned out to be about a year ago, nine months to a year before I started Black Diamond. I had met at a company I was working before he came in and started as head of sales. Jeff Cool, he's a great guy lives in Nashville, I started BlackDiamond in Nashville. And Jeff was somebody that just understood what we could do, potentially as a team really saw an opportunity for us in the markets on opportunity for me and be involved in that with him on a very close basis that we would go talk to people about the opportunities are out there. But mostly, he talked to me about just what good business looks like and appreciating others and how to interact with others. He gave me a ton of books to read that I just poured through over and over again. And I asked a bunch of questions, Jeff, he kind of chuckled back because he was 20 years older than me. And he said, well, a lot of this is intuitive to me. But as a 25-year-old, I understand why you're asking these questions. And Jeff was just he was amazing. So the I owe a lot of my leadership style to him and seeing what a really solid leader looks like and, and he was thoughtful, and that was what I really appreciated. He was authentic, he is authentic. And I just I carried that with me the whole time. Just being authentic is a huge part of it. Being human being authentic is really what's really empowering for me and how I want to work with everybody else. So I really appreciate Jeff for that.

Richard Walker 33:42 

It's amazing. We don't realize the impact these people have in our lives at the time. And it's when we look back and just yeah, I love that. Thank you for telling us. Absolutely. All right. So I want to give a huge thank you to Reed Colley, CEO Summit Wealth Systems for being on this episode of The Customer Wins, go check out Reed's website at and don't forget to check out Quik! at where we make processing forums easier. I hope you've enjoyed this discussion. We'll click the like button, share this with someone and subscribe to our channels for future episodes of The Customer Wins. Reed, thank you so much for joining me today.

Reed Colley 34:17 

Thank you Rich, I really appreciate you having me.

Outro 34:20 

Thanks for listening to The Customer Wins podcast. We'll see you again next time and be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes.


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