Fasten your seatbelts, folks. The next 90 days will represent the most critical and demanding time of your year, says Sara Gilbert, founder of advisor consulting company, Strategist, in Montreal.
Whether your year-end falls at the end of October, or in December, you are likely going to be pushing hard over the next few months to meet your yearly revenue goals.
Add to the mix those annual client meetings and you’ve got a recipe that screams stress.
“Advisors have to just hammer on that nail for the next 90 days,” says Gilbert.
Gilbert suggests you follow these three tips in order to help you make the next few months run as smooth as possible:
> Stay organized
You’ve been working with your clients, Mr. and Mrs. Smith for over a decade. You’ve had meetings, exchanged voice mails and flipped back and forth many emails over those years. But, in a pinch, would you be able to easily find a piece of correspondence from 2005?
If you can, then great. You are already ahead of the game. Unfortunately, Gilbert says, many of your fellow advisors don’t maintain the same level of organization.
“It’s a challenge for advisors to stay organized,” says Gilbert. “They have 10 years of client notes scattered on different pieces of paper in a file that is a foot and a half wide.”
The best way to avoid this organizational pit, Gilbert says, is to centralize all your information in one place.
For example, consider using an electronic database to digitize your documents. It will be easier for you to search them by keyword and won’t take up as much space in your office.
Says Gilbert: “It will also help the [client] relationship process because the advisor will have more time to meet and talk with clients.”
> Add structure to your meetings
Much as you do with segmenting your clients into different groups, it’s important to have a methodology around client meetings, says Gilbert.
The best way to do this is to have an agenda for each client meeting. It
should blend common elements, such as a basic discussion about what has changed in the client’s life since your last meeting and particular needs that have been identified.
For example, you might notice in your preparatory work, that Mr. and Mrs. Smith are under-insured. So, be sure to add this element to your “meeting flow,” Gilbert says.
Also, be sure to put your agenda in writing.
> Do your “prep” work
As you enter these rounds of year-end client meetings, decide which products or services you want to highlight in the coming year. For example, you might see significant growth opportunities in the long-term care insurance market.
It’s best to pick one kind of service you want to improve upon, says Gilbert, and make sure that you discuss this area with your clients.
Knowing your goals, and having a strategic plan to help guide you towards those goals, will help you build a strong and sustainable practice, Gilbert says.
This is the first instalment in a two-part series on ‘Crossing the Line.’
Tomorrow: Unearthing new growth opportunities.