The number one challenge for busy financial professionals is capacity. Knowing what your capacity is critical to your success. But you don’t have time to segment and manage capacity, your too busy with day to day meetings. I get it, I struggled with capacity as an advisor for years. Now as a practice management expert, I juggle between providing content, coaching financial professionals, speaking and training and consulting for financial firms on practice management. I want to share an aha moment in working with financial professionals that can help you get more out of your day and your week. Your follow up process.
After you have a meeting with an ideal client or ideal prospect, what you do immediately following the meeting is critical to your day. First, do you schedule time at the end of meetings to do follow up? Most elite advisors I speak with do not schedule follow up time after ideal client meetings. It is as simple as booking 15 minutes in your calendar after every meeting and getting into the habit of boking the time and completing some of the follow-up. Start booking it today to see the difference.
Your meeting ends, the clients walk out the door, and what happens next is critical. Do you check email, get interrupted by staff waiting to talk to you, have another client waiting or other fires happening? Sound familiar? You go onto something other than the follow up from the meeting thinking you will catch up at the end of the day. The day goes by thinking you will catch up sometime this week. Then when you finally sit down to follow up, you struggle to remember the conversations from the day because this is one of three or four or five or more conversations.
Follow up is not scheduled for most financial advisors. What does a doctor do when a patient leaves. notes are dictated in services such as Copytalk ( www.copytalk.com) or Dragon dictation ( www.nuance.com) or similar software after every meeting or every call. Even though it is not scheduled, the habit to dictate notes is there. Scheduling it after meetings reminds staff that this must be done first, so do not disturb. Full disclosure, I too struggle with follow up notes. I think I will do the follow-up notes later and catch up, only to get additional emails and tasks and not feel caught up. The longer you leave it the bigger the task gets in your mind and eventually, you get task paralysis. Without time blocked for follow-ups, you are mentally draining yourself.
Another time management hack some financial advisors use for follow up is to have their staff in on the last 5-10 minutes of the meeting to go over paperwork, administration and follow up. This is dependent on your firm's compliance rules of course, and licensing of staff.
Imagine if every meeting you had, you scheduled 10-15 minutes to complete the follow-up notes, tasks and administration. Then at the end of the day, all meetings had the follow-up process in place, tasks delegated and scheduled by staff. How would you feel going home, confident? Start scheduling a time to do follow up for every ideal client meeting. You schedule a time to do preparation, why not schedule a time to do follow up?
While each financial advisor's practice may have a different approach, advisors need to understand where their practice needs help, and will they get the right help for the right part of their practice. What areas does your practice need help with? Get a copy of our comprehensive practice management checklist by clicking here.