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As a top financial advisor, How do you spend your time?

The difference between an average producer and a top producer is how they manage their time. The chart below gives us some important keys to success, as we all have the same 24 hours in a day.

Average time spent versus Best practice time spent
Allocation hours per day Allocation hours per day
Client service ..................16%........32%

Client acquisition.. ..........10%........17%

Employee training ...........4 %........12%

Practice mgmt. processes .6%..........8%

Portfolio management.. 12%.............7%

Research............................ 12 %...........5%

Office administration.. 10%................4%

Back office operations.. 8%................1%

[Source Advisor benchmarking Inc. an affiliate of Rydex Investments / Practice Made More Perfect Mark Tibergien and Rebecca Pomering – Bloomberg Press 2011]

I have spoken with many advisors that say they want to build their practice to a certain level, then slow down. What happens when you are driving along a busy freeway going 60 miles per hour (or 110 kilometers per hour in Canada) and you want to slow down to 30 miles per hour ( or 60 kilometers per hour in Canada) ? It is more stressful driving at half the speed than full speed. You eventually have to get completely off the freeway as you are putting yourself and everyone else at risk. The financial business operates on the same principal. Slowing down is harder and more stressful than going full speed.
What are your key practice management processes?
The advisors who have more processes are more successful than the advisors that lack key processes. But which processes are critical to your business success? In researching practice management for financial advisors, I wanted to find strategies to help them. I came across some startling facts about advisors and practice management.
 85% of advisors have NO formal client feedback system or process
 75% of advisors have NO formal definition of ideal client
 73% of advisors have NO written service agreement or processes
 43% of advisors have NO documented unique value proposition
[Source USA FPA Research and Practice Institute study - Future of Practice Management -December 2013]

What is holding you back?
Human behavior holds advisors back from accomplishing their goals. It is the same thing that holds clients back from achieving their financial goals. Advisors’ behavior affects their practice. When advisors follow their natural instincts or habits, they tend to apply faulty reasoning without research. Should I go 100% fee based? What does the research say? Why do I need a comprehensive value proposition, I know a lot of advisors that do not have one? What questions keep you from growing your business? How many client relationships can you handle in one year? What is your ideal capacity? I know that most people rationalize business decisions based on facts, but you should implement business decisions based on feelings. This is where practice management needs to tap into your subconscious motivations.
What are your subconscious motivations? Do you want more time off? Do you see tremendous opportunities you want to capture in a certain market? Build a dream home? What is important to you in your practice? What are your internal and external motivators? Why do you do the things you do? What are you passionate about? What is the story you want to tell the world every day? What drives you, motivates you and invigorates you more than anything else? What is your why?

Top advisors have one thing above all other advisors, clarity.

Darren Hardy of Success magazine shares and interesting story. (www.success.com) Imagine a race between three people to complete a 1,000-piece puzzle.
Person No. 1 was given one with the picture on the box.
Person No. 2 was given the box with no picture on it.
Person No. 3 was given a box with the wrong picture on it.
Who is going to win?
Exactly, person No. 1.

You need a clear picture (vision) to complete the puzzle of your life.
Envision that you have already accomplished your most important goal for your business today. How does that make you feel? Act as if it has already been done. The message is clear, the best advisors spend more time on servicing clients BECAUSE they have invested the time and energy to put their processes in place.