Re-Visiting Your Habits

Re-Visiting Your Habits

Atlanta:  “We’re moving into the dog-days of summer and I’m afraid we might fall into some bad habits,” Jerry remarked and then posed his question, “What’s your advice for keeping things moving forward during the summer?”

This topic seems to always crop-up during holiday seasons, and summer is the biggest of all.  Yet, a quick glance at any local hospital or medical facility provides the answer.  These facilities don’t miss a beat.  Granted, the medical world is dealing with our personal health while financial advisors are handling their client’s financial health.  But do financial issues of the affluent take the summer off?  Of course not, especially when today’s elite advisors have become the financial physician of their affluent families’ financial affairs.

It was in that spirit that I answered Jerry’s question, which involved an exercise that I suggested he and his team work through.  It included a 30-day challenge.  You might find it helpful as you re-visit the success habits within your practice.  The summer months are the ideal time for this type of self-assessment; it’s the halfway point of our calendar year.

Using our elite team 21st model as a template, I then used statistically significant performance factors as a guideline for re-visiting these success habits.   


Practice Management

  • Weekly Team Meetings – are team meetings held in a timely manner each week, that includes having a written agenda, full participation (vacations, business travel, illness excluded), clear action steps for each participant at the conclusion of each meeting?  If not, why and how can this be corrected?
  • Communication – are team members open and honest with each other while being careful not to waste time with idle gossip or engage in some form of negative communication?  If not, what can be done to improve communication?
  • Clear roles & responsibilities – is every team member aware of their areas of responsibility and the specific tasks associated with their responsibilities?  If not, how can this be corrected?
  • FedEx Level of Efficiency – is every administrative and operational task performed at a high-level of efficiency?  If not, what needs to be improved?


Client Loyalty

  • Socializing with clients – are we getting face-to-face with our affluent clients in non-business venues?  Are we including both spouses?  Are we tracking our personal interaction with both spouses of our affluent clients?  If not, what is one initiative that can help you get more social with your affluent clients?
  • Surprise & delight – are you making certain to surprise and delight each affluent client 1 – 2 times a year and tracking these personal touches?  If not, how can you incorporate this into your team’s weekly meetings?
  • Intimate events – are you conducting regular intimate small events for clients and prospects at a minimum of a bi-monthly basis?  If not, why?
  • Family profile – do you have a current profile of each affluent client household; children ages, significant dates, passions, pets, hobbies, etc.? If not, when will you begin gathering this type of information?


Wealth Management

  • Financial planning – are you providing comprehensive planning for every affluent household and helping execute their plan?  If not, why?
  • Investment expectations / risk protection – do you and your affluent client’s (both spouses) understand their risk tolerance, invest accordingly, and adjust accordingly?  If not, why?
  • Annual review – do you conduct an annual review that involves both spouses for every affluent client?  If not, when are you going to start?
  • Financial organization – are you providing a system for your affluent client that helps them organize all of their financial documents and keep them up-to-date?  If not, when can you begin this process?


Business Development

  • Client acquisition – have you brought onboard 5 or more new clients that fit your ideal profile as an ideal affluent client?  If not, how can this corrected?
  • New assets – have you acquired 50% of your projected new assets (not market generated) for 2013?  If not, how can you pick up the pace?
  • New services – are you offering new financial services that would enable you to fully monetize each affluent client?  If not, why?
  • Growth projections – are you on target for your 2013 growth projections; revenue, new assets, new clients, etc.?  If not, how can you pick up the pace?



  • Vision – does every team member know your team’s long-range vision (business plan)?  If not, how are you going to make sure they do?
  • Annual goals – is every team member aware of your annual goals?  Are they linked to your long-range vision, does everyone on your team see the connection?  If not, why?
  • Value proposition – can every team member articulate your team’s value proposition in a natural manner?  If not, why?
  • Accountability – are you inspecting what you expect regarding the performance of every team member?  If not, how can you begin this process?

Elite teams have developed all of the above into policies and procedures; i.e., success habits.  They no longer have to think about their execution, it’s simply how they operate on a daily / weekly basis; whether during the summer or late December, it’s “how they roll.” 

So here’s your simple 30 challenge:

  1. Identify 1-2 areas  (no more than 3) you want to improve
  2. Develop a specific plan of action for each
  3. Communicate details (areas and action plan) to your team
  4. Assign specific responsibilities for execution to team members
  5. Inspect at weekly team meetings


Now don’t get overwhelmed, Rome wasn’t built in a day and no elite team that I’m aware of developed their success habits overnight. It’s one or two, maybe three habits at a time – and over time, voila – success habits are your new normal.


The Oechsli Institute does ongoing research and coaching for nearly every major financial services firm in the US. To take the first step towards coaching with The Oechsli Institute, complete the pre-coaching business profile for a complimentary consultation.

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