Focus on What’s Important
If you want to reach the top of your profession as a financial advisor, you need to focus on the basics. Dedicate your time to prospecting, asking for commitments and managing client relationships. Success will only come your way if you think gathering assets rather than DOL rulings and falling fees. So stop getting distracted. If you want to build a successful business, focus on what’s important.
Here are six things to focus on, starting today.
Focus on improving your time management
According to recent research just 13% of financial advisors feel like they have total control over their time. So be a cut above them and get focused. To ensure you only focus on important tasks prepare yourself a ‘to do’ list for the start of your week – or even each night – so you know what you need to prioritize the next day.
Focus on prospecting
This is a task you cannot delegate. People don’t buy products, they buy into whether they like and trust you. Prospecting is the absolute backbone of your business so it’s no surprise that elite advisors are usually excellent prospectors.
Make sure you prospect a little every day. And don’t fall into the trap of preparing to prospect – this can eat up so much time that there’s no room left in the day. If you’re not prospecting because you’re afraid of being rejected or don’t know how to prospect effectively, then turn things around. Find a way to overcome your fears because if people don’t know about you, they cannot buy your services.
Focus on following up
It’s surprisingly easy to fall into bad habits and lose focus when it comes to following up. This could mean not calling when you say you will call, or even letting things slip so far that you stop following up on referrals.
Following up is often allocated to unstructured time – it’s just ‘something you will get around to’ at some point – a point that often never comes. Don’t fall into this trap. Stop and refocus because following up is as basic as it gets.
Focus on asking for the order
Whether you term it ‘asking for the order’, ‘implementing the process’ or anything else, the bottom line is if you don’t ask, you won’t get. Asking the question can be uncomfortable because you’ll be risking rejection. If you’re not focusing on asking the question – ask yourself why. Is it because you don’t believe in your products or even yourself? Make changes now to address this because asking is a priority – if you don’t, you will never win new clients.
Focus on the client experience
Don’t let your attention wander when it comes to clients. Run your business like a business-owner and provide clients with impeccable service. When a client takes you on, they’ve committed to a long-term relationship with you. They have shown you they are comfortable with you. Don’t insult them by failing to communicate regularly, to ask them for feedback or to generally treat them like the VIP clients they are.
Delegate routine tasks
Non-revenue-generating activities include staff management and compliance, and while important, these tasks should never take priority over activities that bring money in the door.
These days most of the details involved can be delegated or performed by technology. Very few tasks require your involvement on a daily basis. Don’t feel you have to do everything yourself or need to be in control all the time. This will only hold you back.
Identify things that don’t require your core strengths – what could someone else be doing? Then identify who could do them for you. How about hiring a virtual PA or virtual assistant?
Advisors who succeed understand what they need to do with their time. They focus on client-facing activities rather than on routine administrative tasks. If you haven’t yet achieved success, it’s not because you don’t know the right people or don’t have enough knowledge – it’s because you haven’t focused on the right things.