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Best practices of the best advisors

As a young hockey player growing up, we all wanted to be our best. We defined the best at that time as the “Great One” Wayne Gretzky. As we studied and watched Wayne weave his magic, we realized that he plays a different style of game, which is not for everyone. Wayne and his team had an offensively aggressive style of play that worked well for them and led them to 5 Stanley Cups. But not every team that played that style, had success. Understanding your team your business model and the style that you have success with, does not work for everyone. Be careful of the trap of following other successful advisors and expecting similar results. In business it does not work that way. Wayne Gretzky had unique abilities that contribute to the overall team success. I will repeat myself “the hardest part is knowing yourself and understanding what success triggers work in your business. Here are some success triggers that work for top advisors. First, they have an ideal client profile, meaning they know where they want to spend 70% or more of their time and enjoy working with this group of people. Defining an ideal client, age status income and net worth is important but the critical key is the annual recurring revenue that you generate to help them reach their goals. What is the annual recurring revenue you want to generate for your ideal client? Is it $3000, $5000 or $10,000 or more per year? Top advisors who have the processes to deliver the most comprehensive financial services command the highest fees, and are the most valuable to their clients. So the question is, how can you become more valuable?
The second key that top advisors do is understand the difference between ideal client and non-ideal client. Everyone deserves service, but not everyone deserves the same level of service, so top advisor segment their client base. According to Business Health Pty Ltd., advisors in the United States that segment their clients earn 33% more than advisors who don’t segment (Source Business Health Pty Ltd. 2014 US Advisors Key Value Drivers USA* The Value of Practice Management). The question is, how many ideal clients can you manage in a calendar year? The second question is how do you manage or service non-ideal clients?

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Make more time

How can you have more time to attract and service more ideal clients? Know the time you spend with ideal clients and non-ideal clients. When I was an advisor, I would look back at last year’s calendar and figure out three critical numbers. First the total hours I worked in a year, which was approximately 2000 or 45 weeks and 45 hours per week. Next I would look at the total number of appointments for ideal clients and non-ideal clients. Then I would add up the hours and plan out what I wanted to do the next year. Then I would look at how I can find time to attract and service more ideal clients year after year. The math was amazing, the more I spent with ideal clients, the better I felt the better they felt and the more my business would grow. I never felt guilty about not servicing non ideal clients enough, but always felt guilty about not seeing ideal clients enough. According to Business Health, only 38% of advisors contact their “A” or ideal clients more than 10 times per year. (Source Business Health Pty Ltd. 2014 US Advisors Key Value Drivers USA* the Value of Practice Management). It is fair to say that some “A” clients are being underserved. Wouldn’t you like to find them!

What is your ideal lifestyle?

When planning your year for 2016, did it start with your lifestyle first? Top advisors know they need to take breaks and recharge in order to be successful. Taking time off makes you more successful. Did you plan out your lifestyle first, then the business or is it the other way around? If I make x amount of money then I will have the lifestyle I want. You cannot delegate lifestyle. You cannot delegate family time and you cannot delegate exercise. Bill Bachrach taught me (www.billbachrach.com) that you need to live life on purpose. It is the pay yourself first philosophy, if you invest in yourself, lifestyle education etc., then you can help others. The three metrics to measure the best advisors are 1. The value delivered to their clients through their value proposition. 2. Financial success they personally have. Their own financial plan works and their financial house is in order 3.They have a quality of life which other aspire to and not a workaholic. Success leaves clues, and find someone who has the ideal lifestyle the ideal business model that could work for you and ultimately the ideal client list that gives them the greatest satisfaction. Make 2016 a great year!