1. Accept that being a successful advisor is a state of mind. You simply understand that having a smaller client base, and offering exceptional service just makes sense (it does). So commit, and give it some time to take root and yield results.
2. Get Organized – set up a call rotation and meeting schedules using your CRM. Its amazing how advisors fly by the seat of their pants as far as when they choose to see clients. Never wait until a client needs to see you – you are the professional, and you dictate the process. Does your dentist wait for you to come in with rotten teeth? Nope. They keep you on a program to monitor. Same with telephone calls – imagine what kind of easy opportunities are just laying there, waiting for you.
3. Create Capacity – run the numbers on your business. How full are you? Too full? You may not need to trim your client base – but you have to make sure you spend the right time with the right clients. Based on 200 clients (individuals or families) and assuming 800 hrs to run your service matrix your allotted time should look like this:
i. Top 40 HH earn 50% of your income, and deserve 10 hrs of time per year.
ii. Mid 80 HH earn 35% of your income, and deserve 3.5 hrs of time per year.
iii. Bot 80 HH earn 15% of your income and deserve 1.5 hrs of time per year.
4. Clarity – Most investors have a very limited understanding of the role/value of an advisor, as well as what the advisor does – specifically. This is why most investors have more than one account, or more than one advisor. They know that advisors manage other people’s money – but most advisors get a failing grade when it comes to truly explaining all that they can do (education funding, will and estate planning, succession planning etc.)
5. Communicate more often – The more we are in touch with our clients, educating them, interpreting what is going on in the world, and how that may, or may not affect their portfolio – the better. When events seem less critical, less of a surprise, logic and reason have a much better chance of winning in the end. Is there anything more emotional than people’s fear of losing their future?
6. Profile and Take Action. It really doesn’t take much effort or money to demonstrate that you are paying attention and that you care. Set up some fields in your CRM to record any news your client tells you about her life outside of the portfolio. Maybe they are planning a trip to Napa – you can use Google to look up the “10 things you have to see in Napa” and send that along – its cheap, but cheerful and will go a long way to solidifying your relationships. Don’t spend a lot of money – just spend a little time.
7. Create Community by hosting a non financial event once per quarter – you can link financial with non-financial, but make sure the night is light, and lively. Your clients want to be your friend. They want to feel known – show them you care by hosting an event. Get them talking.
8. Ramp up your communication now and make sure you are in touch with your clients and LISTENING to what they are telling you.
9. Give it away – Nothing feels better (ever) than helping someone out. Its almost September, Thanksgiving and then the Christmas holidays are soon upon us – there are various charities that help families over the holidays who need money for dinner and gifts. Imagine getting your clients involved in giving? Imagine a giant toy mountain in your lobby and a fleet of clients driving around your city dropping off gifts to kids who need some love.
10. Sharpen your axe. How many business books did your read this year to help you be a better entrepreneur? Go on, get inspired. There are millions of entrepreneurs around the world who are thinking exactly what you are thinking right now – you don’t really think you are the first person to have this problem do you? Learn and be inspired from others.