As we begin another year, creating goals, defining objectives and executing action plans are on everyone’s minds. But there is one area you must not overlook in order to make this year a banner year. I call it the power of prevention.
Most business challenges build over time. Take, for example, not having any new prospects in the pipeline. You do not just wake up one day and realize you went from a full pipeline to an empty one. Rather, you likely slowly decreased your prospecting efforts and either closed what you had in your pipeline or confirmed those names did not have potential client status. This was a progression that probably took place over several months.
If you knew how to prevent the slow down or emptying of your pipeline from happening, then this would not be a challenge in the first place.
Let’s take a look at four common business challenges and how to prevent them:
Challenge No. 1: Preventing a Production Plateau
The production plateau can be a real threat to anyone’s business. I briefly touched on the slow progression of this in my initial example. You must make prospecting the very first activity you do each business day and you must link a reward for taking action or a punishment for not doing so. Even something as simple as not letting yourself get your first cup of coffee until you speak to 10 prospects can offer a motivating effect.
Challenge No. 2: Preventing a Prospecting Bottleneck
Every adviser has a bottleneck in his or her prospecting system. For some, it is the initial contact, for others it is getting the second appointment and still others it’s the closing. The solution is to be completely honest with yourself and determine what your bottleneck is. Then, sharpen your skill sets to turn your greatest weakness into your greatest strength.
Challenge No. 3: Preventing Client Miscommunication
Your current client base, as well as any new clients, must understand your value. If they do not, they will eventually replace you. The solution is to have a client servicing system that systematically keeps you in contact with clients via phone calls, quarterly reviews and similar methods to make sure that they know what you are doing for them and your reasons why. Keeping the lines of communication open ensures your client base is informed.
Challenge No. 4: Preventing Business Burnout
Let’s face it, you can easily get burned out in this industry if you just keep working harder. So, the solution is to work smarter! The best way to do this is to evaluate every aspect of your business and ask this simply question about each of your processes: Is this an effective system that is helping me see positive outcomes? If the answer is no, ask colleagues or mentors what they are doing that you might want to integrate into your systems, as sometimes, there is no sense in reinventing the wheel.
Finally, schedule time for yourself, plan vacations or take a day off when you achieve your goals. Preventing business burnout is better than experiencing it.
If you are interested in scheduling a complimentary consultation with Advisor Solutions to learn how to manage your business challenges, email Melissa Denham, director of client servicing, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel C. Finley
St. Paul, Minn.