Posts Tagged ‘Step Approach’
Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
In business and in life, you are constantly managing projects. You could break your projects into three categories:
- Personal Projects
- Family Projects
- Business Projects
To achieve happiness, you must have a good balance between these three projects. A couple of my friends wrote a great book, Juggling Elephants, which describes this process really well.
By taking a project management approach to each of these categories, we can get more done in less time and achieve the correct balance.
As a financial advisor, you juggle way too many tasks. One big complaint that I have been hearing lately is “If I took inventory of all of the tasks that I need to complete, I would be totally overwhelmed and would not get any of them done.”
Just do the math. Let’s say you have 100 clients who meet your ideal client profile and you are delivering a comprehensive wealth management experience. To properly execute the strategy, you need to review, find solutions, implement and monitor:
- Estate Planning
- Insurance or Risk Management
- Children’s Education
- Business Succession
Some are more complex than the others, but it is safe to say that you are juggling a pretty big number of tasks for each client. Multiply by 100!
Your ability to manage these tasks will determine your level of client satisfaction and eventually your client retention and growth rates for your business.
Advisors have traditionally tried to use CRMs to manage these tasks. Unfortunately, it is like trying to use a your putter for driving.
Here is a step-by-step approach to taking a project management approach for managing your clients‘ wealth management projects:
- Stop trying to do wealth and financial planning in intensive multi-hour meetings. It wears both you and your clients out, your clients become overwhelmed and it does not generally lead to complete implementation of all aspects of the financial plan.
- Break you wealth management program into the categories above and either adapt your planning software or develop a discovery process for each category.
- Set up a schedule of meetings over a 12 to 24 month period for each client with a goal of having every aspect of the financial or wealth plan fully implemented and monitored.
- Set up a series of Milestones to be completed. A typical Milestone is completion of discovery, selection and implementation of solutions or strategies and identification of the best way to monitor the solutions and strategies.
- In each meeting, identify tasks that need to be completed and link them to the Milestones. Assign tasks to an individual – you, a team member, another professional advisor (accountant, estate specialist, etc.) or a client and set a due date. Assigning tasks in an organized way will increase client engagement and improve satisfaction.
- Stress to your team members the importance of completing tasks on time and reporting completion status. Have daily meetings to discuss the project lists and any problems to help team members to complete tasks on time and to everybody’s satisfaction.
By taking a project management approach, you will definitely identify more work for you and your team but you will be able to achieve more in a fraction of the time. Imagine that all you need to do each day is to come in to the office, fulfill your client contact and task obligations and go home.
We have developed a technological solution – Client Roadmap to help you manage this process. Visit www.clientroadmap.com and watch our 2-minute video on how to how to more effectively collaborate with your clients.
Get more done, better satisfy your clients and get back on a positive growth track.
Bob Simpson is President of Synchronicity Performance Consultants. Bob can be reached on his direct line at 905−502−0100, toll free at 866−646−6002 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Bob Simpson
Synchronicity Performance Consulting has been coaching financial advisors since 1998.
Bob Simpson, president and founder of Synchronicity has been involved, directly or indirectly in the financial services industry since 1981. He has been a very successful financial advisor with Nesbitt Thomson Inc., a major Canadian financial institution. Between 1981 and 1989, he built a business with more than $120 million in assets under management, was branch manager and SVP National Sales for Midland Walwyn and has been coaching financial advisors since 1998.
Tags: Advisory Business, Business Advisors, Business Projects, Business Succession, Children S Education, Client Profile, Client Retention, Client Satisfaction, Correct Balance, Education Business, Family Projects, Investment Retirement, Management Experience, Management Projects, Managing Projects, Personal Projects, Project Management Approach, Retirement Estate, Risk Management, Step Approach, Wealth Management
Posted in Advisor Collaboration, Synchronicity | Comments Off
Thursday, April 1st, 2010
Over the past six months, I’ve spent lots of time talking to advisors, both individually and in groups.
A key conclusion: Never have so many advisors struggled to maintain even the most basic level of activity and show up in the morning with a modicum of enthusiasm.
Yes, some advisors are stepping up to the challenge and ramping up activity and communication with existing and prospective clients — but they’re the minority. More typical are those advisors who struggle to do much more than show up at the office. And even when in the office, some advisors confess there are days when they fight to make more than four or five calls.
As a result, in some cases, a different approach is required to stay motivated.
If you find yourself among those fighting to stay motivated, you might want to consider a recent New York Times article on a three step approach to competitive dieting that is paying results, particularly among guys. While this article focuses on dieting, the principals can be applied more broadly to any difficult task.
In the intial stage of this competition, you and one or more colleagues each set weekly goals. For example, it could be to have three face to face client meetings and six phone formal appointments to review portfolios with clients each week. And you might toss at least one face to face or phone conversation with a prospect into the mix for good measure.
Next you agree on how long the competition will last — a reasonable length might be anywhere from six to twelve weeks — and set a time for a “weekly weigh-in”, where each week’s results are reported and recorded.
One group of Toronto investment bankers who embarked on a 13 week weight loss competition last fall raised the ante by having the weekly tally posted on their firm’s intranet. (To make things fair, success was measured by the percent of weight lost rather than absolute pounds.)
In the final step, you agree to the stakes.
There are lots of different ways to reward the winners and punish the losers in this kind of competition. Each participant could put $100 into a pot, with anyone failing to meet their objectives over the competition forfeiting their contribution; the proceeds could either be shared by those achieving their goal or fund a party at the end for everyone who participated.
You could have a winner take all structure, where whoever has the most meetings and makes the most calls walks away with the proceeds. Alternatively, you could set a weekly penalty of $20 for anyone who falls short of their goals, so that even if someone falls behind after a couple of weeks, they have an incentive to keep trying.
Or you could go the anti-charity” route described in the New York Times article, where losers have to write a cheque to an organization completely at odds with their values. (Depending on your political point of view, for example, the losers might have to write a cheque to the Conservative Party, the Liberals, the NDP or the Bloc Quebecois — as I write this, I can imagine bemused party officials from the Bloc wondering what’s prompted a flood of new contributions from English Canada.)
As an aside, if you don’t entirely trust other advisors in your office when it comes to self reporting meetings and activity level, you could always keep score by commission levels or new accounts opened.
Remember, desperate times call for desperate measures. If everything you’ve tried to stay motivated has failed, consider giving old fashioned competitive spirit, greed and humiliation a try. See if you can enlist some of your colleagues to join you - to paraphrase Karl Marx, by uniting in a friendly competition, you have nothing to lose but your sense of drift and lack of direction.
For those who want to read more, the full article is below:
HEALTH / FITNESS & NUTRITION | February 05, 2009
Fitness: Dieting? Put Your Money Where Your Fat Is
By PAMELA WEILER GRAYSON
Internet sites that facilitate diet betting have seen an increase in use, and recent studies have supported the idea that such wagers work for many people who couldn’t seem to shed pounds any other way.
Tags: Appointments, Client Meetings, Colleagues, Conclusion, Good Measure, Investment Bankers, Last Resort, Modicum, Motivation, New York Times, Phone Conversation, Portfolios, Principals, Prospective Clients, Six Months, Step Approach, Tally, Weekly Goals, Weight Loss, York Times Article
Posted in Dan Richards | Comments Off
Thursday, March 18th, 2010
A couple of weeks back, I got a call from an advisor who found himself way behind on contacting clients, felt overwhelmed at the prospect of tackling this and was paralyzed by procrastination as a result.
We all suffer from procrastination — the only difference is the magnitude of the problem.
For advisors looking to overcome procrastination, here’s the three-step solution I suggested to this advisor.Step One:
At the end of each day, identify two things you’ve been procrastinating about.
Each should be something that can be addressed in fifteen minutes or less — a prospect or client to call, email to write or admin problem to resolve.
If the issue can’t be dealt with in fifteen minutes, then carve out a fifteen minute slice to at least start.
Having identified the two issues, write them down on top of your to-do list, in your day-timer or on a piece of paper.
Then carve out 30 minutes in your calendar on the first free spot the next morning — ideally the very first thing in the morning. If you don’t have thirty minutes available, then you’ll need to come in early to get some other things done to free up the time to address this.
Resist the temptation to avoid tackling the two issues. Resolve to deal with them — if you haven’t tackled them by lunch time, then put off going for lunch until you’ve addressed them.
I got a call early this week from this advisor thanking me for my suggestion. He’d put my idea into practice — while he still had clients to call, using this approach he’d begun knocking overdue client calls off his to-do list (and in fact had increased the number of these calls to four a day). As a result, he feels much better coming into the office and his overall productivity and enthusiasm level is a lot higher.
Lots of us are feeling overwhelmed these days. If you can relate to this, consider using the two item a day, three step approach that worked for this advisor.
Tags: 30 Minutes, Address, Advertisement, Calendar Free, Day Timer, Fifteen Minutes, Logjam, Lunch Time, Magnitude, Next Morning, Piece Of Paper, Procrastination, Productivity, Step Approach, Step Solution, Suggestion, Target, Temptation
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off