There’s an old saying: “People who don’t have goals will find themselves working for people who do.” And most financial advisors have goals. However not every financial advisor achieves his or her goals.
This highlights a flaw in this old saying, and the concept of goals in general. It should read, “People who don’t have goals will find themselves working for people who have developed the habit of setting and getting goals.”
What purpose do goals serve if they’re not achieved? Hence the Financial Advisor Q1 Goal Audit / Goal Getting Plan. It’s been my experience in over 40 years of coaching financial advisors that what happens in Q1 is a strong indicator for the rest of the year. At this stage in the calendar year, most financial advisors have worked between 8 to 10 weeks. This is more than enough time to establish an execution trend of the specific activities that are directly linked to those 2019 goals.
In the spirit of simplicity, let’s say your 2019 new asset goal is $35 million. And you’ve committed to executing the activities our research tells us give you the best chance of achieving this goal:
- Source one name a day from a top 25 client
- Get personally introduced twice a week
- Have one social lunch per week with a top 25 client
- Have one lunch per week with a potential referral alliance partner
- Attend at least two social events a month
Now I’m going to cut you a bit of slack in this example. Our coaching tells us that if you source three-to-four names a week and get personally introduced to the person you sourced, the result will be in the neighborhood of 19-20 new clients and $20 million plus new assets over a 12 month period. Using the low numbers associated with those two activities and corresponding figures alone (omitting the rest) you’ve …
- Sourced between 24 (eight weeks) and 30 (10 weeks) names of potential prospects
- Met with 60 percent of these prospects; which translates into 16 to 20 personal introductions
- You should be knocking on the door of $5 million in Q1 new assets, with another warm $20 million or so in your pipeline
When the other activities are added to the mix (client social lunch, referral alliance lunch, social events), Q1 results will be more along the lines of $8 to $10 million in new assets with $35 million in the pipeline.
Do you see where I’m going with this? Tracking activity leads to tracking results, tracking results leads to financial advisors achieving their annual goals. Granted, those yesterdays of Q1 2019 are already a canceled check. However, it’s been my experience that a Q1 goal audit, combined with an activity adjustment for Q2, Q3, and Q4 will create a high-octane fuel that will propel you to achieving those 2019 goals. If you’re on track, this serves as a motivating reminder to keep up the good work. If you’re ahead of your target, rather than relax a bit (a tendency), raise your goals. If you’re behind, make the necessary activity adjustments.
The following are seven simple steps that should help you achieve your 2019 goals
Step 1: Review progress to 2019 goals
Step 2: Review your execution of activities linked to your 2019 goal.
Step 3: Make the necessary adjustments:
- Increase activity commitment if behind
- Maintain activity commitment if on track
- Raise goal while maintaining activity commitment if ahead of schedule
Step 4: Get an accountability partner; spouse, another goal-focused financial advisor (must be goal-focused), manager, or personal coach
Step 5: Track activity execution daily and pipeline weekly
Step 6: Track results monthly
Step 7: Make any necessary adjustments
You want to begin activating these steps immediately. The idea is to get on track, stay on track, or raise the bar. Whichever path you’re on—the magic occurs when you develop all the above into a process—a habit.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But if it was, every financial advisor would be a goal getter. Go for it, and you’ll be the goal getter who’s doing the hiring.
Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent Clients. www.oechsli.com