The last few months of the year can be the busiest for many people, leaving financial advisors and clients alike feeling overworked and less motivated to increase their efficiency for the new year.
That’s why it is pertinent that we take a step back to reflect on our growth, both as business owners and advisors. Distinguishing between productivity and business allows you to create task-based goals, which will allow you to regain control of your schedule and skyrocket your efficiency in the new year.
Defining True Productivity
Advisors often concern themselves more with the number of clients they are serving, rather than the quality of service they provide. Though there are benefits to having a large client pool, if you are not able to offer your best advice to each client, then you are putting your team – and yourself – at a disadvantage.
When you are unable to thoroughly fulfill your clients’ needs, they have no reason to continue working with you, let alone refer you to their contacts. Limiting your client base and ensuring you’re able to fully serve your clients allows you to take intentional time to yourself to recharge and determine how you can achieve your long-term goals.
The best way to ensure you’re at peak productivity going into next year is to become more discriminatory with your time. It can be easy to say yes to every unscheduled client or staff meeting, but that may interfere with the time you’ve designated to a growth-related item that needs attention.
For example, let’s say an employee is struggling with something that they say needs your immediate attention, but you intended to spend the rest of the day honing your marketing skills.
It’s important to have the discernment to know what is truly urgent. Can it wait until the following morning, or is it a dire situation? Always having something on your plate can cause more problems as your practice continues to expand. Learning to say “no” can be difficult, but it is important to spend time refining your craft on all levels.
Setting New Goals
Goal setting is typically results-based. For instance, identifying 10 prospects. Though this type of goal sets a concrete framework for where you would like your business to be, achieving it can depend upon factors beyond your control, which can leave advisors feeling like they’ve failed.
But what we do in attempt to reach these goals, such as broadening prospective markets or providing outstanding service to existing clients, is within our control.
Task-based goals are achieved once a specific task has been completed and can set a positive trajectory towards achieving what is most important. For example, let’s say you set a results-based goal of acquiring $50,000 in fees by the end of the year. There is no way to guarantee you’ll achieve this goal, so it is more feasible to set the task-based goal of spending two hours a day meeting with new clients.
In doing so, you will spend dedicated time on your clients and strengthening relationships rather than focusing on the income, which could still potentially come as a result – but if it doesn’t, you haven’t failed. Advisors are tough on themselves and can be their own worst critics, so don’t put too much focus on the destination. Success is the same as compound interest – intentionally completing more tasks that move you in the right direction will give you more freedom in every aspect of your life.
When you are not at your top performance, it can be hard to set new goals while old ones pile up. Taking time to perfect your craft does not make you a negligent advisor or boss – this allows you to be sure that you are able to supply both your employees and clients with the best version of yourself.
Being discriminatory with your time and setting daily, task-based goals will allow you to improve your overall business structure for the next year.
Scott Fligel, CFP, ChFC, CLU, AEP, is a 22-year MDRT member with nearly 30 years of experience. Scott is the owner of Fligel Financial Services, and a wealth management advisor with Northwestern Mutual. Contact him at email@example.com.
© Entire contents copyright 2021 by InsuranceNewsNet.com Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted without the expressed written consent from InsuranceNewsNet.com.