Have you ever wondered why some advisers seem to be busy all the time but haven’t actually filled their pipeline or secured business closings? Maybe you are one of them. Having a constant list of tasks to accomplish doesn’t always equate to having a successful revenue stream. You need to ensure that your busyness translates into business. Here is the 411 on how to do just that:
1.) Be Honest with Yourself
If you find yourself constantly busy and yet not being productive it’s probably because you are avoiding something that you feel is, or could be, painful. An example would be when an adviser says, “I don’t have time to prospect because I’m too busy.” In reality most are choosing to accomplish activities that they deem pleasurable in order to avoid feeling the pain of rejection. In other words, they take on additional tasks to feel or be busy which enables them to say to others that they have a lot to do although in reality it really is only giving them an excuse to avoid painful activities—in this case prospecting.
2.) Face Your Fears
Recently, I asked a financial adviser client of mine, who owns an independent firm that he wants to grow by recruiting wire house reps, “Why aren’t you setting appointments with them and telling them about your firm?”
He quickly replied, “I’d like to but I don’t have time because I’m dealing with staffing issues and compliance all day.” By probing a bit, I found out that his past recruiting efforts consistently resulted in the advisers wanting to wait. Once I learned this, I explained, “Your challenge isn’t time management, the challenge is sales and being able to overcome objections and the feeling of rejection when you don’t close.” Once we talked about his fears, we began to focus on what actions could strengthen his sales skills. He’s still busy but now he is delegating many of his previous tasks because he feels more confident to be recruiting.
Successful advisers know that there are only three possible outcomes to any task; you can do it, delegate it or delete it which is rarely an option unless it is an unimportant and not urgent task.
3.) Understand the Art and Science of Task Management
Successful advisers also know that understanding what tasks to accomplish first is one part art and one part science. The art is in being flexible enough to know when it’s time to drop everything and “put out a fire”. The science is in having a process to determine which fire is the most important to put out first.
When Busyness Equates to Business
The best barometer to know if all of the busyness that you are experiencing is translating into business is to check your score card—your revenue. Is your business growing? If so, you’re moving in the right direction, but if you aren’t seeing an increase, then it’s time to go back through this article to determine what changes still need to be made.
If you read this blog and need help defining busyness versus business for yourself, email Melissa Denham, director of client servicing at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dan Finley.
Daniel C. Finley
St. Paul, Minn.
Editor’s Note: Learn more about successful time management in an FPA webinar titled, “RPI Time Management Study: How to do More with Less,” by Valerie Porter, CFP®.