Creating time to prospect new clients is vital if you are serious about growing your business and building a successful practice.
Derek Polson, financial planner at Polson Bourbonniere Derby Wealth Management, HollisWealth, said that in the current climate, advisors must focus on providing value rather than getting caught up in administration and transaction issues.
He will lead an upcoming Wealth Professional eLearning session on successful practice management, providing you with tools to create a strong strategy. The webinar will focus on: high-value activities and increasing profitability; tips for increasing efficiency in your workflow processes; creating a business structure that frees up time to focus on sales and client interaction; and processes and automation strategies to increase efficiency.
Hiring staff and investing in yourself and your business, said Polson, is crucial to scaling your operation.
He said: “In any business it’s a challenge to look at your bottom line and say that money is going to be gone, but you always invest in yourself and in your business. If you are serious about growth, at some point you have to take the risk of spending some money either hiring someone or on a marketing plan. Hopefully, the rewards are there when you do it.
“The risk is doing everything on you own. Then you’re not helping your clients to the best of your ability, so I think the risk is that if you are not seeing all your clients, if you can’t answer all your emails on time, whatever it may be, that’s a business risk right there.”
At Polson’s management firm, every planner has an admin assistant, while the company has just hired an office manager to take care of HR duties, checking commissions and working with compliance.
He said these are areas that can drag an advisor down on a day-to-day basis even though they are essential elements of growing your business.
“If you’re focusing on those issues every day, you are not really getting out there and seeing clients or seeing new prospects,” he said. “That time allows you to structure your day so it’s most beneficial to you, which gives you more time to grow your business.
“It’s pretty obvious in our practice that involves bringing in new prospects. If you don’t have time to do that, you can grow organically through market growth but you do need new prospects to come through the door as well.”
In a practical sense, this boils down to efficient scheduling, whether you’re seeing a client at the office or on the road, and making sure your week includes a “buffer day”.
He said: “Take a day or a morning every week that’s free, no client meetings … what I call a buffer day. This allows you to catch up on work, prepare for next week and answer emails and really just streamline your schedule so you’re not seeing a client in Mississauga and then in Ajax on the same day.
“Try to group clients together to make sure your schedule works for them; make sure it’s your schedule and you’re in control of it.
“We have access to what we call client onboarding, which is online paperwork, which you can send clients. I’m not too fancy when it comes to technology, picking up the phone or email is probably as far as I go but we do have some tools that the admin team uses to reduce paperwork and speed up transfer ins.”
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