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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Too busy reinventing the wheel to get things done?

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Are you looking for the fast track to reaching your goals, the latest and greatest lead-generating idea, the no-fail marketing strategy? Aren’t we all?

Successful business-building strategies are already in place all over the industry. And, if a seminar, direct mail, advertising or referral strategy is working for someone else in a similar business environment– if done the same exact way– wouldn’t it work for you?

Our first instinct is to take what’s working for someone else and envision how we would do it just a little differently. The reality is that often we take those successful strategies working for someone else and rewrite and tweak the strategy. This can make strategies more effective, but more often changing a successful strategy can have disappointing results.

The key is to identify strategies that are working and implement them. Ask other advisors or your broker/dealer, network with top advisors, read industry magazines, and seek out the ones having noticeable success. Find out what is working and do it as they are doing it. Instead of spending time recrafting ideas, spend time to find businesses that look like yours and beg, borrow and offer to pay for the ideas that are working. Look for strategies that fall into three areas of sustainable success.

1. Identify a system and process for acquiring referrals. Some advisors generate all of their new business through referrals. Find out what’s working for them, how they ask, how they promote referrals, how their staff asks, and how they thank those that give referrals. Inquire as if you’re an investigative journalist who wants all the facts for the story. If others can build a successful firm from referrals only, you can, too.

2. Find a seminar marketing strategy. Look for advisors conducting successful public seminars, niche seminars, and “bring a friend” seminars. Find a proven seminar marketing firm that will help you with the invitation, the list, the mailing and the registration. Use the exact system that has worked for others. As long as you’re not in the backyard of a successful seminar marketing advisor, he may just share his best ideas with you. Ask what seminar marketing firm he uses; ask to sit in on one of his seminar presentations; find out how he is doing follow-up. Don’t change it, just implement.

3. Hire and train staff to deliver your experience. Advisors hire staff to service and find new business, but because of very real financial and time constraints, training may not be a top priority. However, if you are expending the resources to employ someone, make sure his efforts are maximized so your dollars are well-spent. Find out what systems other advisors are using to direct their staff, how they hire, what classes they send staff to, how they compensate and how they quantitatively evaluate performance.

Ask yourself: “Will other advisors will really give away their secrets to success?” You never know until you ask.

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