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The Power of Fixed Daily Activities

A set routine helps create good habits.

Recently, a friend of mine was telling me how his wife developed the habit of eating three structured meals a day and taking a walk after each meal. This might seem like a small feat, but it got my attention. We’ve spent decades helping financial advisors with habit formation and there are plenty of commonalities between exercise and business-building.

After a brief discussion, I learned she was instructed to check her blood sugar twice a day, morning and evening, before eating. This was a prediabetic routine as her doctor was monitoring her levels. This motivated her to conduct her own research, dramatically lower her carbs, make exercise a priority, and eat three structured healthy meals a day. An unintended consequence—she’s losing weight and feels better about herself. My hunch is that she’ll nip this diabetes scare in the bud.

Such is the power of fixed daily activities in life. They are what create habits, and when they’re intentional they’re usually good habits.

Bringing this all back into the world of financial advisors—I received a text the other day from a national sales manager asking about the specific activities I had mentioned when I presented for a national call with his advisors some 18 months ago. He went on to say he’s worried that the remote-hybrid working environment has led many of his advisors to develop “rather haphazard” daily routines— “they’re more reactive than proactive.”

I had to confess I wasn’t sure of the specifics from nearly two years ago as the environment has been, if anything, very fluid. But I knew what he wanted. He was searching for a way to help his advisors develop structure to their daily routine. He was asking for help accessing the power of fixed daily activities.

The following is what I shared with this national sales manager – they’re a compilation of fixed daily activities being used by today's elite advisors.

Today’s Fixed Daily Activities

  • Five client calls a day – Each of these should have strategic intent, whether it be strengthening the connection, sourcing names of potential prospects, consolidating assets or other important objectives.
  • Five prospect calls a day – Think in terms of mini-closing, nudging each prospect one little step further to becoming a client. There are plenty of opportunities created from today’s market volatility.
  • One call a day to a potential prospect – These are people known to the advisor, but who have yet to have a business meeting. Be pleasantly assertive, ask for a meeting, but be okay if they’d rather not at this point in time.
  • One to two non-business client lunches (social activity) a week – the purpose here is purely relationship building.
  • One COI lunch a week – The primary goal is to build the personal relationship; getting to know one another. The secondary goal is to help them understand the advice being offered in this environment.

Obviously, the numbers associated with each of these activities will vary from advisor to advisor. But you get the idea. We have witnessed advisors bringing in new clients from unsolicited word-of-mouth-influence, further penetrating their client’s spheres-of-influence, consolidating assets, getting more and higher quality referrals from COIs—all from committing to a routine. This is the power of fixed daily activities.

The secret is structure to the daily routine. There’s no perfect routine— if you don’t want to call “potentials,” just focus on your clients. There are elite advisors who are only in communication with clients and COIs (email, text, phone and in person) and as one explained to me, “We’ve been blessed with unintended consequences; consolidating assets and unsolicited referrals—we’re busier than ever.”

Either way you approach it, the fixed daily activities you execute will serve your business well, just as they will for improving your life. Within a couple of weeks, you’ll be experiencing the power of fixed daily activities.

Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent

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