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3 Steps to Turn Busyness into Business

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 melissa@advisorsolutionsinc.com to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dan Finley.

Dan FinleyDaniel C. Finley
Advisor Solutions
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®. 

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Email Prospecting: 4 Tips to Make the Most of 2.7 Seconds

email-on-ipadOne of the biggest challenges for advisers when prospecting is to secure that initial meeting. Often the preliminary outreach to a prospect may take place via email and in that case getting a positive response—or a response at all—can be an arduous mission to accomplish.

According to The Radicati Group, a technology research firm, 1.9 billion non-spam emails are sent every day. To stand a chance to be acknowledged, email messages must be smartly crafted to grab recipients’ attention and motivate them to respond. Other consumer studies also revealed that it takes only 2.7 seconds for an average person to decide if they want to read, delete or reply to an email. This is in part courtesy of our increased use of handheld devices, which currently represent a preponderant portion of all email interactions.

A couple of industry statistics will help you gauge the impressive growth and usage of email on mobile devices:

  • 53 percent of total email opens occurred on a mobile phone or tablet in Q3 2014, from 48 percent in Q2 2014.
    (Experian, “Quarterly email benchmark report,” Q3 2014)
  • Mobile email opens up 180 percent in three years, from 15 percent, Q1 2011 to 42 percent in Q1 2014.
    (Campaign Monitor, “Email interaction across mobile and desktop, Q1 2014)

What are some of the key factors that prompt prospects to delete emails? Key culprits traditionally include convoluted language, use of industry jargon and failure to make a strong case for value—are you worth your prospect’s time? Will you be for her or him a valuable source?

Ultimately, it is not the service or product that you are pitching that will prompt your prospects to take action. Rather, your capacity to convince them that you understand their challenges and that you can help them achieve their goals will be the deciding factor. This is what will persuade them that getting additional information or requesting to meet with you will be a good investment of their time.

Here are some of the crucial factors you must bear in mind when crafting an email:

  1. Grabbing Subject Line: Use concise language. Do not exceed 50 characters. Be clear, consistent, use action words to inspire and, when possible, consider adding the recipient’s first name
    Length: The statistics above make a compelling case for prospects reading emails on mobile devices. Consequently, keep your emails short—preferably under 100 words
  2. Personalize: According to HubSpot Science of Email research, personalizing an email increase click through rates by 14 percent. So, conduct some specific research that can help address the recipient’s challenges and openly quote it in the text.
  3. Credibility: Do not shy away from name-dropping. If the prospect was referred to you by a third party, mentioning that individual’s name may significantly increase the odds of a response
    Value: The first couple of sentences should unequivocally state what you are offering and why it is valuable. To accomplish this goal, clearly state your value proposition. Also, go the extra mile by sharing any educational material you may have on the topic and clearly enunciate to the reader the benefits she will derive from reading such material.
  4. Closing: In closing your email, remember that your goal is to establish an ongoing conversation. Include a call-to-action and word it in a personal and engaging manner, be it a meeting request or a telephone call.

Claudio PannunzioClaudio O. Pannunzio
President and Founder
i-Impact Group
Greenwich, Conn.