15 Minutes and a Red Book

Every restaurant in the world is managed by a little red book. The Managers Red Book. Simple. Right?

Every day you’d open the red book to find two pages for that day. It was broken down into every imaginable category and topic.

Shift problems, order notes, labor issues, etc. The very simple rule is that each manager takes 15 minutes to jot down, check boxes, and leave clear notes for the next manager and shift. 15 minutes.

If you take 2 minutes after each client or prospect meeting to make notes and hand out assignments in your CRM you will create a seamless and thriving practice. And just like the restaurant business, investment clients have hundreds if not thousands of choices.

Don’t make it easy for them to drive away from your kitchen, never to return; good news travels fast, bad news is already there!

Easy to forget

Right now I need a filter for a riding mower. I need to get a printer hooked up in my office at the house. I have a leaky faucet. I have a pipe fence that needs a rail welded back in place. I have two windows that need the screens replaced. I have a scratch on a truck bed lid that needs repainting. I have a door doing into my game room that needs to be replaced.

Why you ask do you need to know these things. Why you ask am I listing out the things that I need to do, haven’t done, and must get done or I will be sleeping in the dog house. O, that reminds me, I need to move the dog houses around the back….

What’s the point?

Some of those things I can do. I should do. I need to do. But, some of those things require a service person to be called out. Parts need to be purchased. In short, I need to spend money with people and businesses to get my “to-do” list done…

Almost every person you have met with over the past few months STILL needs to finish what they talked to you about. Every prospect you have ever met with, is just like you. They have 10,000 things on their plate that is screaming for attention. Don’t assume that just because they didn’t call you back, drop off that statement, or return your email that they didn’t have a good experience, or thought you were incompetent, or simple thought you were a horrible human being. No, 99% of the time life got back in the way and they had to put out the next brush fire.

Do this.

Look back over the meetings you have had over the past 90 days that did NOT produce business. Those meetings where you just knew they would come back in and move $500,000 of new money into that wonderful account they seemed so much to love when you first showed it to them.

Pick up the phone, call them, tell them you wanted to revisit that first meeting and wanted to know if they had time to get back together for coffee next week.

News flash.

They will either say yes or no. If they say yes, you book the meeting and ride off into the sunset rich and famous. Or, they say no, which might mean one of three things; no not right now (make a note to get back in touch in a few weeks), no I a) never won’t to talk to you again b) found a better looking advisor in LA c) I decided to put it all in gold bullion in preparation for the next zombie apocalypse (make a note in your CRM to send a birthday card or whatever appropriate zombie card Hallmark has created).

Either way, you have moved from wondering, to knowing.
Knowing is better.

The bottom line is this. All of know we need to get things done. Sometimes it is as simple as changing out a light bulb in the lamp. Sometimes it is getting a new transmission in the truck. Sometimes it is rolling over that old 401(k) that has been sitting in that orphan account at your old job, that you left three years ago.

Be that person that risk rejection to get back in contact with those that you’ve had contact with, that still need your services.

Go easy if the zombie guy says no.

The 1,000 yard stare

The phrase was popularized after Life magazine published the painting “Marines Call It That 2,000 Yard Stare” by World War II artist and correspondent Tom Lea, although the painting was not referred to with that title in the 1945 magazine article. The painting, a 1944 portrait of a Marine at the Battle of Peleliu, is now held by the United States Army Center of Military History. The phrase somehow was cut down to simply, “The 1,000 yard stare”.

In no way, shape, or form is the life an investment advisor any where near the sacrifice, hardship, or honor of a military man or woman; not even within a 1,000 yards.

However, the idea of being so “battled scared” and exhausted may in many ways describe anyone, in many different lines of work who finds themselves hitting the wall. As a financial advisor you may have found yourself in that awful place where you are being depended on by employees, clients, and not the least of which family, to provide insight, inspiration, and income. Only to realize you are staring at your computer screen wondering where the next client, prospect, and sale will come from.

It’s that 1,000 yard stare that locks you into thinking you have finally hit the wall, for good.

So, what do you do to avoid, come out of, and never go back to that place?

Take simple steps to build a system that carries you every day to a place where leads, prospects, referrals, and new money flow like a river. Where does this well spring come from? Consistent, tiny, measured steps, taken every day; regardless of how you feel, what you see, or if you think it will get you recharged.

I once had a close friend tell me this powerful mantra, “Do the next right thing you know you need to do, and the feelings will follow.”

I don’t care if Dr. Phil, Oprah, Grandi, or Donald Trump first coined that phrase! It works, every time.

Imagine right now if you had kept every single conversation in simple retrievable note form, with every prospect and client. What if you had that in a place with easy tags and links where you could click a couple of times and group, grab, and gather and build out a line of action steps to revisit those same folks. What if you could drip emails, letters, and invites to those same groups that you KNOW still need good planning. Your what if days are over. Wealth Advisor CRM can’t remove the pain of past mistakes, but we can provide a tool to help shorten that stare from 1,000 yards, to maybe 1,000 feet or even inches.

Keeping Your Promises

There is one thing that separates great financial services professionals from the rest. Do you know what it is? Follow through!

On average, people attempt to do what they say they are going to do less than 5% of the time. WOW! 95 times out of 100, we don’t even ATTEMPT to make good on our promises. In a business that is built on trust, keeping your promises, following through, is huge. If you can consistently do that, then clients will flock to you because you are different.

That’s why we created the Promises module in our Client Reviews. That’s also why we created “Checklists” right on our dashboard. First thing you see when you get in the office includes the promises you have made to your clients. We want you to be great, not average. Check out what other tools we have to help you elevate your client experience, and with that your business’ bottom line.

Turning into a Farmer

When most of us got into the financial services business, we were taught to hunt down our friends, relatives, anyone who would listen in order to sell them something. Once we culled that herd, we were taught to “dial for dollars”. Remember? Then there was the thrill of that first big case, the “elephant”. It might as well have been a unicorn: elusive, sneaky, just glimpsed but never really able to touch it. For most, what I just described is a mixture of sheer joy and absolute terror. We were taught to be hunters always looking for our next meal. After visiting with thousands of agents and advisors from 40 to 85, I started to see a pattern, and it scared the hell out of me. A lot of advisors close to retirement can’t retire. Why? Because they were always hunting. They ate what they killed, and they were always hungry for more. Worse, they always thought they would be able to hunt.

Farmers are much more successful. They cultivate their crops. They nurture them, giving them what they need to grow. The harvest always gives them seeds for the following year. If they take care of their farm and tend their crops, they will have an abundance of food for years to come. Funny thing is, I have known plenty of both hunters and farmers. I know a bunch of farmers that are good at hunting, but I know very few hunters that know how to raise a crop.

Wealth Advisor CRM was designed to help you turn your practice into a business. To give agents and advisors the tools to turn into good farmers that still know how to hunt. Want to learn how we help you do it? Sign up for a Webinar today!

How I Made $4000 per Hour (Not how you think)

Agents and advisors are busy. On a daily basis, we are constantly bombarded with e-mails, phone calls, Webinar invites, etc. It is a miracle we don’t just sit paralyzed at our desk with all the different inputs we receive every day. We also have bad habits. Yes, me included. We get distracted. We check our e-mail “real quick”, take 5 minutes to look up something on the Internet. Next thing we know, 30 minutes have gone by and we realize we haven’t even found what we originally were looking for.

Sound familiar? I thought it would. Guilty as charged. Well I took some of that time back and made it very profitable. For five minutes a day, first thing when I get in the office, I review my scoreboard and opportunities on my dashboard. The scoreboard tells me where I am for the month, and where business is getting bogged down. The opportunities tracker keeps what is important, my clients and their needs, front and center as I go through my day. I have done that for the last 3 months religiously, and as a result I have increased my production by at least $200,000 per month each month for the last quarter. With my business mix, that is an additional $8,000 in commissions for two hours of focused time per month. That’s $4000 per hour! No distractions. Just business. Take control of your business and your time back.

Eliminating Distraction

We are all so distracted today. We can only take in so much information and remain useful. Yet, today as advisors we are constantly bombarded from every side with information. Each piece has to be examined and either acted upon or discarded. We do this automatically and, in some cases, subconsciously.

If you are like most advisors, e-mail is one of your biggest distractions. Go in to check your e-mail, and BAM you are pulled 14 different directions, from Web ads to the latest e-letter or daily data dump that actually comes twice a day (more on that later). Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to take back your ability to be productive?

Wealth Advisor CRM was designed, unapologetically, to be uncluttered and void of distractions. If you use the scoreboard and the calendar interface, the opportunities tracker and the checklists, all right there on the dashboard when you log in, you can get right to work on things that matter: meeting and talking with clients and prospects face-to-face or on the phone. For example, if you need to send a client an e-mail, you can click on their e-mail address from within Weatlh Advisor CRM. Your CRM starts whatever your native e-mail application is without all of the distractions, and allows you to communicate with that client or prospect, and then leaves the rest of the program shut off. Productive! NOT distracting.

By giving you only the tools you need to drive business and client connections, Wealth Advisor CRM can make you much more productive, increasing both your client experience and your bottom line.

Mine Tags in Your Financial Advisor CRM

Most advisors who have been in the business for any length of time know that service levels are essential to delivering value your clients. Segmentation allows us to focus our time and efforts on those clients who can make the biggest impact on our businesses, either directly or indirectly. Additionally, it allows us to tailor our products and services in a way that actually focuses on issues clients face at certain income and asset levels. Every industry selling system tells advisors and agents to break their clients into A, B or C, or Platinum, Gold or Silver, etc.

Here’s the problem, most advisors and agents are constantly hunting for more clients and business. We categorize clients once and then rarely, if ever, adjust that classification. We at Wealth Advisor CRM believe that to truly take a business to the next level with your Financial Advisor CRM, advisors need to not only hunt for new clients, but actively farm, or mine, their current clients and prospects for deeper, more profitable relationships. To do that, we have added the ability to dynamically “tag” your clients and prospects. No, not Twitter-like hash tags, but flexible ways to group your clients that can change as their needs or your relationship does.

Can you look at your book of business and tell us how many clients with $250,000 to $500,000 of investible assets have referred 3 or more new clients to you? Can you easily tell how many clients have adopted children or grandchildren? Can you tell us how many of your clients volunteer during retirement in some capacity? Our advisors can do all this and much more because they have their clients tagged in meaningful ways that fit their business.

When you become a Wealth Advisor CRM client, we start you out on your first tags. Don’t stop there; expand your use of tags and get creative. You know your clients and your business better than we do. What makes sense for you? What will work in your Financial Advisor CRM?

I remember struggling with client categories, mostly because I was afraid to make a mistake and then have to completely reclassify my clients. Tags took away that fear for me. Once I realized it was client identification as much as it was segmentation, the light bulb went off in my head. As my clients change, I can easily adapt how I interact with them based upon those changes. It also gave me a way to make some “B” and “C” clients into “A” clients, all because I was able to identify trends and then communicate effectively with those clients that could be affected most by X or Y.

Once you tag your clients, you will see the huge change it can make in the way you communicate with your clients, and I firmly believe it will help you adapt to and grow with your clients’ changing needs within your Financial Advisor CRM.