Todd GreiderAs you read this article, you are probably receiving a barrage of emails or phone calls offering you the next greatest marketing approach, sales/planning strategy or product to offer your clients.

Each promises to help grow your business, but at what cost to you and your clients? Often, these endeavors take you off track from what is working in your business and waste time and money in the process. How can advisors avoid some of the pitfalls?

For starters, before making any decisions, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Will the new approach make me more efficient at generating leads to grow my business, provide better service to my clients, or improve the way in which I communicate with my clients?

2. Does the new idea replace something I am already doing? Or will it supplement current marketing activities?

3. How does the new approach fit into my overall business plan, and where does it fall within my short-term and long-term goals?

4. What is the cost of the new idea, and at what point will it become a profitable endeavor for my business? We tend to overlook the true costs of chasing something new. These costs extend beyond marketing or software costs. They can include the opportunity costs — the time and money that could have been invested in activities better suited to your business plan. There is also one cost we must consider but often overlook — the loss of a client. Distracting new endeavors can consume too much of your time and affect your ability to provide the level of service your clients have come to expect.

Before you make any decisions, ask yourself the four key questions, take time to think through your choices and get a second opinion. The most successful advisors have a business plan and set goals to help keep them on track. Many also have a business consultant or colleague they trust — someone to share ideas with and help them make important decisions for their business. Finally, do your own due diligence. Research advisors who have had past success with the approach, software or idea you’re considering and learn from them.

We all have a tendency to want something new, regardless of what it is. But what makes us truly successful with new endeavors is our ability to reason with ourselves and decide if the idea is truly right for us.

Todd Greider is the training manager at Asset Marketing Systems, a leading Independent Marketing Organization (IMO) based in San Diego. With over six years experience in the financial services industry, his primary focus has been offering independent financial advisors comprehensive training programs designed to help them grow their business. He is active in social media communities and has written content for more than 100 e-mail marketing campaigns, websites and event promotional materials.

Connect with Todd on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/tgreider.

For more advice on business decisions, see:

Financial Software: Life Insurance Challenges in Marketing to Boomers

The broker-dealer dilemma: To change or not to change

The power of mentoring