Some of the material from this article comes from three sources:
Malcolm Gladwell suggests that specificity makes things more interesting. Other research supports this perspective, e.g., “...when reviewing your content writing strategy. If you try to net an audience that’s too broad, you might get a lot of eyes on your article—but what’s the point if those readers aren’t really interested in what you’ve got to say? Narrow your audience by getting specific and you’ll reap the rewards. Specificity in topics, headlines, and article copy will not only end with a more interesting and engaging article...”
Since I don’t know each of you and I want this article to be interesting to ALL of you, I need your help.
What is Follow Through?
Follow-Through is Important…Especially In Business! I don’t know about you, but to me a promise is a promise is a promise. If you make a commitment to someone to do something, deliver something, or help with something… good business dictates you follow through and do it. At this point, I am asking you to accept the principle that DWYSYAGTD (Do What You Say You Are Going To Do) is mandatory in sales and client retention. If our business is based on Know, Like and Trust, and it is, your commitments, your words, are your bonds.
Evidence of a Lack of Follow Through
We don’t have a problem knowing what we should do. The problem is that we just don’t do it!
When did it start?
Did you know it happens in major league sports as well?
In your personal life...
In your business life...
I could go on but you get the point. What do you know you “should” do but have not done? How can you get off the hamster wheel?
Look, you are not alone. I, and many others, are right there with you. Following through is a challenge for all of us. The questions are:
Let’s first understand:
Why We Don’t Follow Through?
Mike Lejeune in his article “The 7 Reasons People Don’t Follow Through and What To DO About It” says there is “a common thread in all of them (the reasons) that stops people from following through on their word or plans and defines seven root causes and 9 actions you can apply to overcome the causes.
The rest of this article will discuss the reasons and actions in context so you can be a more successful Financial Advisor.
Lejeune’s article identifies several related reasons for not following through including:
These are all good points. His article suggests 9 things you can apply right away to overcome this…
Your Business Plan and the process to develop the plan will address all seven reasons and all nine actions (things) you can do all in one approach. Yes, I know, you’ve heard it before and you hate doing business plans whether one-page or 50. Get over it. You want to be a better FA, build a business plan. The “secrets” are:
A good business plan can be done easily and quickly if you have a good team putting it together and take just one-day in an offsite location.
Your Business Plan
Your business plan defines where you want to go and how to get there. You can use the plan to monitor your progress, hold yourself accountable, and control your business’s fate. A written business plan forces you to review everything at once: your value proposition, marketing assumptions and plans, operations plan, financial plan, and staffing plan. A well-executed plan can deliver the results you promise yourself. Developing a business plan is an imperative!
The structuring of a wealth management team and business presents both challenges and opportunities. A well-run team will be efficient, achieve optimal workload and flow, fully understand the value of their time, and have a plan for long-term growth and sustainability.
What does your practice look like? Is it managed chaos or calm and effective? The key question is why are the calmer, effective teams able to manage their time more effectively and efficiently? The answer lies in the planning that these teams do in advance. These teams have a very deliberate business plan. They have decided whom they want to work with and how many clients they can serve effectively, and they have a clear service definition for exactly what they are going to provide for each client. They have a set of goals, strategies, tactics, and action plans. The calm, effective teams have decided they cannot run a practice without having a business plan and without planning their time well.
Purpose of Your Business Plan:
A full business plan is used to help run your company with a more cohesive vision. It is your roadmap. By truly analyzing your plan for marketing, sales, manufacturing, website design, etc., you greatly improve your chances for success. Our plan is primarily oriented to business development/growth, efficiency and effectiveness.
What is Included in Your Business Plan?
In its simplest form, a business plan is a guide—a roadmap for your business that outlines goals and details how you plan to achieve those goals. For many, if not most, FAs and planners, we suggest a base business plan should include the following sections:
How to Develop Your FA Business Plan:
Find a detailed example in “The Financial Advisor’s Success Manual.” It is a fairly simple and fast process that can be done by the advisor and her or his team in a planning session and fleshed out quickly. We believe it is an imperative to have completed a client segmentation analysis, dividing clients into appropriate service tiers and have a well-constructed service strategy.
We suggest your planning approach essentially be a marketing and sales plan. We suggest starting your process with a number of key questions so you know how to get from where you are to where you want to be. The focus in this plan is on client and asset growth. We start the plan with several base questions in the review of last year:
I previously identified the three “secrets” to building a business plan. The “secret” is don’t build it alone. The team should include all team members, including junior members. For all members it’s a great learning experience, junior members often have fresh idea viewed from differing perspectives and of course, it’s a bonding experience for all. An outside facilitator can also be an excellent addition whether a manager who has done this before or a business coach...yes, a shameless plug.
The plan should include enough detail to establish rough value for each marketing and sales strategy.
Does example 1 have a higher priority than example 2? Yes, in the near term. In the longer term, it depends. That’s a judgment the team will have to make when you do time planning which was mentioned previously. Part of the process is determining how much time you can and want to devote to each major task. For example, you will also want to define roles and responsibilities at a high level.
A Word (or Two) About the Stress Factor
A survey by psychologist and self-help author Robert Epstein found that the stress management technique that worked best, according to the survey: planning. In other words, “fighting stress before it even starts, planning things rather than letting them happen,” says Epstein. “That means planning your day, your year and your life so that stress is minimized.”
Let’s face another reality. If you have 100 to 150 clients (or are striving to get there), $100,000,000 to $200,000,000 in AUM entrusted to you (or are striving to get there), and you are earning $100,000 to $250,000 to $500,000 a year or more, your work is complex and stressful especially if you are a person subject to stress anyway. As Tom Hanks said in “A League of Their Own”, “It's supposed to be hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it.” Remember also, the June 2018 Median Household Income in the United States according to Sentier Research was $62,175.
There are many techniques to reduce stress and some to make your work easier but you know you have a lot of responsibility to a lot of people. As is said, it comes with the territory but having a solid plan in place, reviewing it with your team on a very regular basis, e.g., monthly and quarterly, will contain stress because it will help you know what you should be doing and whether you are doing it. Again, Gandhi’s quote, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Once the plan is in place, execution is critical, i.e., following through! As the old proverb goes, “There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip’”, meaning, "don't count your chickens before they hatch."
Now get to work with the same admonishment as before, “Don’t execute alone.” You have a team. We built in goals and objectives, developed a common understanding, had clear starting points, got everyone involved in the process, defined the value of our plans and strategies and set expectations and priorities.
Your last step is establish accountability for all tasks and assignments using the tools we put in place.
“Poor follow through – failing to keep important promises to ourselves and others – does a lot more than just threaten our health. It takes a toll on virtually every aspect of our lives. It prevents us from achieving personal, financial, and career goals that should be well within our reach. It damages our relationships, produces stress, and creates regrets. It robs us of credibility, self-esteem, and peace of mind. Poor follow through deprives us, our families, our businesses, and our communities of the full benefit of our intelligence, talent, imagination, and hard work.”
“I’ve learned that a good intention won’t work unless I can find a way to keep it on the front burner. That’s just the way it is.”
You can have an accountability person on your team who is rewarded for that work and is part of her or his metrics and success or again, consider hiring a coach, another shameless plug.
Michael Bannon is a golf coach from Northern Ireland. He is the current coach of the 2011 U.S. Open champion, Rory McIlroy, and worked with him from a young age. ... Michael Bannon left his job at Bangor Golf Club to work full-time for world number one Rory McIlroy in October 2012.
David I. Leo
David Leo is Founder of Street Smart Research Group LLC. He is an author, speaker, coach, consultant and trainer to financial professionals. David is an experienced business manager who works solely with Financial Advisors, Planners and firms who want to organize, structure & grow their businesses by attracting, servicing, and retaining affluent clients.
If you would like additional details or have any questions about his articles or an interest in coaching schedule a free 45 Minute Strategy Session @ https://calendly.com/davidileo or contact him @ David@CoachDavidLeo.com. Call 212-598-4229 (Office) or 917-379-1249 (Cell) and visit @ www.CoachDavidLeo.com
 The Power of Specificity in Content Writing by Alicia Hahn. https://www.skyword.com/contentstandard/storytelling/the-power-of-specificity-in-content-writing/
 Wilt Chamberlain set the single-game scoring record in the National Basketball Association (NBA) by scoring 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors in a 169–147 win over the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962, at Hershey Sports Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilt_Chamberlain%27s_100-point_game
 Also see “Why Accountability Is Critical For Achieving Winning Results”
 Following Through: A Revolutionary New Model for Finishing Whatever You Start by Steve Levinson and Pete Greider