How Symphony Financial Scaled Their Billion Dollar Sales Team with Keith Spengel

How Symphony Financial Scaled Their
Billion Dollar Sales Team

Keith Spengel, CEO and Private Wealth Advisor of Symphony Financial’s Ensemble team within the Northwestern Mutual Private Client Group, takes professional superpowers seriously. During the past 33 years, all candidates wanting to join the team are screened first and foremost for attitude and “superpowers” – what they are skilled at and love to do. 

That’s just one of the disciplines being applied to building the exceptional team that has become Symphony Financial.  Keith’s staff hails him as the strategic mind behind the sales team’s breathtaking success and growth.  With over 3.3 billion in life insurance promises and another billion in assets under management, their ensemble strategy is working.  

The strategy, Keith explains, was driven by adversity. 

Initially a solo advisor, Keith’s only employee his first few years in business was his wife.  When their first child was born extremely early, he found himself struggling to keep his one man operation afloat and simultaneously give his family the attention they needed. 

He made a vow never to be in a position to face business adversity alone again.  He was determined to build a solid team that would support clients and each other through the troughs and peaks of life.  

He wanted a team, but not just any team.  A team with superpowers. 

When Keith started building, the teams model was just gaining momentum in the financial services industry.  Keith studied it, learned everything he could about leadership, hiring and the concept of working in your “zone of genius”.  He brought in outside coaching, took his time when considering partners and put his heart and soul into planning and forecasting.  All of these tools were invaluable in creating a roadmap of what could be, and person by person he strived for a superior organization.  

Hiring people based on their strengths for various roles put the cornerstones in place for a strong foundation for the company.  So strong that business is growing at an exponential rate. 

As the company grew, the hiring process became more refined.  One thing has stayed steady – hiring based on the core strengths plus the attitude of the individual joining the organization. 

His top recommendations for building a sales team powerhouse? 

  • Don’t wait until you know everything.  Just start.  Doing it without knowing exactly how is part of the leadership growth process. 
  • Be prepared to learn as much and as fast as possible. Keep tweaking as you go.
  • Hire for attitude, test for aptitude and train for required skills.  In the beginning, there is a lot of growth, and you need a team with the attitude that can make pivots and keep up with the learning curve.  You can train for skills. Refine this process as you grow. If you are a more advanced team, hire for expertise/skills, test for attitude and confirm collaboration tendencies.
  • Expect hiccups.  There will be tough moments.  Stick to the vision and commit.
  • When hiring Partners, think of it like getting married. Date via joint work experiences.  Have a long engagement.  Take on a project or two together.  Take it as seriously as you would a marriage. 

Shifting to a teams model can remove the lid off of financial ceilings and time constraints, while creating unlimited opportunity for team growth and client service.  If you want to create a full service, truly generational wealth management business, the teams model is the future. 

Are you ready to fast track your company’s potential?  Let’s see what we can do this year!

Schedule a High Performing Teams Strategy Call with to map out what scaling a high growth sales team looks like for you!

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Kelli McCauley

Kelli McCauley is the President of McCauley and Co
Helping Good Leaders Become Great



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