Advice from one Financial Professional to Another
At IFP we’ve developed a coaching program to help Financial Professionals (FP’s) take their business to the next level. We connect some of our senior FP’s to our junior FP’s for a mentor session to get more insights and tips for their business. Below are some key takeaways from one of our top producing Financial Professional.
MUST HAVE GOOD HELP
- You must have employees that can answer the phone and give clients warm fuzzies. They must also be capable of filling out forms without making mistakes. If you are missing good help, you cannot grow. Some say they cannot afford good help. Well, you will never be able to afford good help if you do not start with it.
- Eventually, you will need a team member to handle smaller clients. It can be a licensed admin or another advisor like you, just know that eventually you will need help.
- Delegate everything to your team that is not driving revenue (setting up meetings, preparing for reviews, confirming reviews, trades, disbursements, contributions, follow ups, etc.)
EMAIL IS A TIME SUCK
- Check it twice per day (morning and evening)
- If it is too tempting, make a rule that all new emails go into a separate folder (not your inbox) and be sure to turn off the pop-up notifications
- Forward all client requests that can be handled by an admin to the admin (i.e., client sends an email to set up a review, forward that email to admin to set up)
CLIENT CALL INS
- Do not take calls throughout the day
- Have a set time for you to call clients back at the end of the day or have them set up a time for review (this way you are not doing a phone call today for 30 minutes, and then your review next month for 30 minutes).
- Have a video and/or email preprepared to calm fears during the next down market. This can be sent as an email blast to reduce the number of panicked calls you receive during the next downturn.
- Do not give your clients your cell phone. If your business ever grows, it will become a huge problem. I had to tell all clients to delete my cell phone number, get a new phone number, and set up myrepchat on my office line so they can text me. This way I control when I receive texts, and I only get the calls at the office.
- Your team should have an automated process for setting up reviews
- Your client meetings should be back-to-back for 30-60 minutes
- Do not schedule downtime in between. Make your notes and delegate all tasks (trades, disbursements, contributions, etc.) to your employees
- You can easily do 15 meetings per week, and cramming them together like this will allow you free time to prospect. There is a reason why doctors have back to back meetings, and you should too.
- Zoom is nice, but phone calls and in person can be more efficient for your team and clients (especially for those clients that are not tech savvy). It is hard to do back-to-back meetings if you and your client are spending 10+ minutes figuring out how to get in through zoom.
- Let the client know before the meeting starts how much time you have and ask if that is sufficient. It sets the expectation that you will not be chatting for an hours without end.
- Try to use one custodian and automate with models whenever possible.
- If you have accounts all over the place, make a plan to consolidate to make your team and you more efficient.
- Do not give a client what they want. Give them what they need. Do not suggest anything you would not put in your own account or your mother’s account.
- You must have a well thought out prospecting plan that you enjoy.
- Client appreciation event – Invite clients and their friends. It can be a sunset at the beach, bbq, picture with Santa, etc. Figure out what works for you and your clients. Invite everyone and have a blast.
- Frequent small group – One advisor said that he invites a client to play golf at an exclusive country club and requires them to bring two friends. He does this every week. I hate golf, but it made me realize, I can do the same thing with my boat. I am going boating every Friday morning with a client several of their friends.
- You must find a way to get referrals from CPAs and/or estate planning attorneys. If you are not getting referrals from them, then you need to try going about differently.
- Hire a coach (i.e. Carson Group) OR seek out other successful advisors to evaluate your business and make suggestions. Chances are someone is doing it better than you, and you should listen.
- Delegate everything that is not driving revenue to your team
- Scripts for everything (client reviews, down markets, referrals, how team answers phone, etc.)
- Maintain a set schedule to stay in control
- My mornings start late because I drive my daughter to school.
- Monday is prep day with call backs in yellow
- Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday are client meetings back-to-back with openings for prospects.
- Friday is prospecting day with call backs at the end of the day