Time is arguably the most valuable asset one holds, yet the asset most often mistreated. Busier than ever, financial advisors are challenged with balancing the countless responsibilities required to run their business with the time constraints placed on a day. To help advisors free up some much-needed time, we’ve compiled the 5 top time wasters hindering financial advisors from growing their practice.
1. In-Person Client Prospect Meetings
Taking on new clients is vital to growing one’s practice but should not consume all of an advisor’s time. Historically, financial professionals conducted face-to-face prospecting meetings in hopes of gaining an advantage securing the client. These in-person meetings could take up to half a day’s time depending on travel, meeting length and preparation time. This limits the number of prospecting meetings an advisor has capacity for and takes valuable time away from other responsibilities.
Do this instead: hold all client prospect meetings virtually and limit them to 30 minutes. To save additional time, utilize an automated scheduling tool, such as Calendly, that allows you to send a meeting link displaying times that work with your availability. The meeting your prospective client chooses will be added to your calendar and can automatically generate unique Zoom video conference details.
2. Administrative and Back-Office Tasks
Advisors spend 22.1 hours on administrative and back-office tasks, accounting for 41.4% of the typical 53.3-hour advisor work week.1 These tasks can range from planning analyses and meeting preparation to office scheduling and general paperwork. By spending close to half your time on these tasks, you are limiting the activities actively propelling your business forward.
Do this instead: find ways to automate, delegate or outsource. Leverage new technologies to automate as much of your business as possible. Delegate teachable, repetitive tasks to an office admin. Lastly, join the wave of advisors outsourcing parts of their business including investment management, product analysis, and marketing.2
Looking to outsource? IFP’s Client Services team offers administrative and task-based support from account opening and paraplanning to document scanning and scheduling. Learn more by contacting [email protected].
3. Meeting Too Frequently with All Clients
A financial advisor’s book of business is filled with various client types, all with different needs. For the sake of this post, let’s consider two main client groups: “Tier A” clients and “Tier B” clients. Ones labeled “Tier A” are those requiring constant communication, extra attention and lots of handholding OR are those who actively work to increase your client base through referrals. Comparatively, “Tier B” clients have been established with you for years, rarely provide referrals and are unlikely to leave. “Tier B” clients, while incredibly important, should not consume the same amount of time as “Tier A” clients, especially when it comes to meeting frequency.
Do this instead: try scheduling annual or bi-annual meetings with “Tier B” clients and save quarterly meeting spots for “Tier A” clients. To fill in the time between meetings for “Tier B” clients, send out monthly newsletters with timely and informative content or hold quarterly group webinars that can reach a wider audience, reducing the need for individual meetings.
4. Inefficient Prospecting Activities
The thought of bringing on new clients is exciting, especially when in the early stages of growing your practice. This excitement and need for new clients can lead to a poor use of time spent on inefficient prospecting activities such as attending all open networking events and cold calling potential clients. This unproductive use of time could be better used on prospecting that produce a higher return.
Do this instead: be as selective as possible. In terms of networking, only attend a limited number of events and make them worthwhile by building strong partnerships with each meaningful conversation you have. Instead of cold calling, use that time to garner warm leads through your growing network of clients and partners. Don’t forget to keep track of these leads in your preferred CRM platform. Lacking a CRM platform in your business? Our advisors use Salesforce, RedTail and Wealthbox.
5. Manual Social Media Marketing Efforts
Social media can be a gold mine for financial advisors to attract new clients. In fact, 40-60% of investors have used information from social media when making investment decisions.3 However, as many advisors work to provide valuable content and post consistently on their preferred social platforms, the time spent on these marketing efforts can quickly get out of hand and end up costing the financial advisor even more valuable time.
Do this instead: prepare your social content ahead of time. Devote a set amount of time every week, month or quarter to devise a content calendar and batch the content you will be posting as far out as you can. Once you have your content, use a scheduling platform, like Hootsuite or Later, to automatically post your content on the specific date and time of your choice. Be sure to turn on notifications for any comments or messages you receive from current or future clients!
Want to learn the basics of social media for business? Check out this blog post.
With time being the most valuable asset a financial advisor holds, finding ways to optimize the time spent in a week will propel an advisor forward. By utilizing the recommendations above to eliminate the biggest time wasters advisors fall victim to, you can be one step closer to reaching your growth potential.
1 How Do Financial Advisors Actually Spend Their Time And The Limitations Of Productivity? 2 Why More Advisors Are Open to Outsourcing Investment Management 3 7 Easy & Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips For Financial Advisors