Remember that well-developed marketing plan that filled you with positive energy and visions of success? Yet somehow, someway the wheels came off and you got derailed? It’s happened to all of us, even elite advisors—and we all hate it!
The secret is to recognize when you get derailed and get back on track as soon as possible. This is what sets top performers apart from everyone else. They get back to tracking the $1,000 per hour activities that drive their dream. They’re keeping their dreams alive. Most people, once derailed, remain that way for far too long. They develop bad habits, and the longer these exist, the more difficult it is to habitually track high-priority activities.
I’m going to share with you a process that will make activity tracking a habit. It will enable you to determine what’s working, what needs to change, and the behavior and skills that you need to improve. You should think of activity tracking as a form of internal accountability. After all, we’re really only accountable to ourselves.
Step 1: Determine Your $1,000 Per Hour Activities
You only need to track high priority activities. Why? Because they are the core of what drives your future success. Without consistently executing these activities you will be hard pressed to ever accomplish your goals. However, before you can track them, you must first determine what these high-impact activities are.
Usually they involve a combination of relationship management—activities associated with professional and social interaction with your affluent clients, and relationship marketing—activities associated with getting affluent prospects into your pipeline.
Step 2: Plan Your $1,000 Per Hour Activities for Each Upcoming Day
No two days are the same. By planning your $1,000 activities for each day, you will ensure that amidst the hub-bub varieties, you will be still executing components of your core activities every week.
Also consider that your $1,000 activities may change day-to-day. For instance, you might aim to have two personal introductions with a prospect per week, but maybe you were light on introduction targets and only had one. It’s still a good week if you were able to execute the majority of your other $1,000 activities throughout the week.
In this example, your ability to source names (uncover introduction targets) will then impact your other $1,000 activity: getting personally introduced. The point here is that these relationship-management and relationship-marketing activities are interdependent—one leads to another. This is why your $1,000 activities will be somewhat different on a daily basis, and need to be planned in advance.
Step 3: Track Daily & Keep Score Weekly
Nobody’s perfect. The best laid plans can easily get sidetracked by events totally outside of your control. What we’ve found to be quite effective in dealing with this conundrum is assigning point values to each $1,000 activity. This enables you to establish a point goal for each upcoming week, then tally your score at the end of the week.
In the spirit of simplicity, let’s say that you plan to execute five $1,000/hour activities a day for this upcoming week and your total goal for the week is 25 points. If you fall short, determine which activities weren’t executed as planned and why.
What we have discovered through our coaching is that combining daily tracking with a weekly score is much more realistic for the daily unpredictability that financial advisors face. It also helps keep one bad day from ruining the week.
Step 4: Evaluate Monthly
Once you’ve been tracking your $1,000 activities for a month, it’s time to look back and determine what is working and what isn't. Here is where you need to take an honest and heartfelt assessment of your past month by asking questions along the lines of…
- How many affluent prospects did you meet?
- Who did you add into your pipeline?
- How many top clients did you meet face-to-face?
- Who have you moved closer to becoming a client in your pipeline?
- What’s your pipeline’s asset total?
- Have you brought in any new clients?
- Are there any $1,000 activities that you’re avoiding because they are outside of your comfort zone?
- Do you need to work on any aspect of your affluent sales skills?
As you answer these questions, you will essentially be reassessing the $1,000 activities you’ve been tracking. Depending on what you discover, you might drop one and replace it with another. You might come to the conclusion that socializing with your affluent clients is more fruitful than you’d previously thought, so now you’re going to double down on those activities.
For those of you who are serious about growth, applying the four simple steps outlined above will provide all that you need. Dream big, track your $1,000 activities, and great things will happen.
Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent Clients. www.oechsli.com