The E.N.C.O.R.E. approach to practice management is our system for helping advisors continuously move to new levels of success.
These 6 steps for sales, service and business development help our clients earn “encores” from their clients, prospects and teammates.
Our process focuses on both the “big things” and the “little things” that go into achieving world class status.
After all, you may be a highly skilled financial planner, but when you don’t have a consistent method for spreading the word, not enough people will know and your business may flounder.
Or, your ability to acquire new clients may be unparalleled, but if your client management process doesn’t truly help your clients achieve their goals, all of your sales and marketing work may go for naught.
Put another way, when you consider the day-to-day challenges and inconveniences of managing your business, suggestions of striving for world class status may seem unrealistic.
How can you be world class when your internet connection is down or your assistant is taking a sick day? How can you be world class when your calls aren’t quickly returned or when a major appointment is repeatedly postponed?
“The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones.” – Somerset Maugham
If thoughts like these sometimes permeate your thinking, you need to be sure you remember these 6 daily success habits of E.N.C.O.R.E. advisors:
1. Plan and prioritize
The most important 15 minutes of each day is the time you spend planning. It doesn’t matter if you do it at the beginning of the day for the current day or the end of the day for the next day, this activity sets the stage for daily success.
Sure, planning could take more or less time depending on outside influences, but you need to build at least 15 minutes of daily planning into your schedule.
2. Schedule time for you
We all have a tendency to schedule time for others (clients, prospects or teammates), but neglect setting aside time we may need to prepare a proposal, build a list, write a letter or develop a marketing campaign.
As part of your daily planning process, look at your upcoming schedule for major events requiring advance preparation and block off time to allow yourself to get ready.
This simple step will help you avoid the procrastination and last minute cramming which often-times lead to work that doesn’t meet your highest standards.
3. Clients come first
In this step, we are not suggesting you become reactive and always drop what you are doing when a top client calls. At the same time, we know that the more time you spend in client-facing activities, the more successful your business will become.
World class advisors are spending two-thirds or more of their time in front of clients and prospects on a daily basis. Keep this vital statistic in mind as you prioritize your day.
Could you leave time for a few extra client calls today? Could your assistant schedule a couple extra prospect appointments later in this week or early nest week?
4. Plant some seeds
To our way of thinking, client-facing activities, as referenced in the step 3 above, include time with prospects – your prospects are your “future clients.” With this in mind, your daily planning should incorporate a degree of client acquisition activities to keep your new business pipeline flowing.
If you are a successful veteran advisor, this could be a very small amount of time, perhaps even delegated to a member of your team. If you are new to the industry, this might be your primary focus.
All world class businesses require a consistent level of commitment to future opportunities. It is best not to ignore this activity until it is urgently required.
Plan your day to include activities which plant new seeds.
5. Don’t let the “dishes” stack up
For most of us, each day brings a certain number of “dirty dishes”, those small tasks which require little time and are easy to “leave in the sink” for the next morning.
These “dishes” could be a return call, an unanswered email, a thank you note to a client, or any number of other minute details of daily business life. Leave time in your day to polish these tasks off, this will allow you to start each day with a “clean sink.”
6. Evaluate your progress
Finally, at the end of each day, measure your progress by asking yourself a few simple questions: Did you stick to your plan and priorities? Did you keep your appointments with yourself?
Were you able to maximize the amount of time you spent with clients and prospects? Did you plant some seeds? Will you be able to start the next day with a clean plate?
The complications of daily life sometimes feel as if they have taken dead aim on our best intentions to be productive and successful.
You may not always like your own answers to these questions, but keeping an eye on your daily success habits will have a major impact on your ultimate achievement.
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