At a recent presentation, I conducted a blind survey asking advisors to name the three biggest improvements they would like to make to their businesses. Here are the results (in percentages:

  • Increase revenue; make more sales: 23
  • Focus on A & B clients, estate planning, group insurance, larger cases, high-net-worth clients: 18
  • Focus, organization and time management: 17
  • Expand client base: 10
  • Add an associate; hire more staff: 9
  • Write a business plan: 7
  • Acquire new revenue lines/increase product knowledge: 6
  • Customer service: 6
  • Renovate office: 1
  • Sell less products: 1
  • Improve use of technology: 1
  • Increase vacation time: 1

What are the three biggest roadblocks preventing your success?

  • Time management: 26
  • Fear, lack of discipline, laziness, lack of motivation: 19
  • Lack of staff and resources to provide quality customer service: 16
  • Clutter, disorganization, distractions, focus: 14
  • Prospecting: 8
  • Fear of asking for referrals: 7
  • Center-of-influence marketing: 4
  • Clients calling with personal problems: 1
  • Compliance: 1
  • Money: 1
  • Product knowledge: 1
  • Selling too many products: 1
  • Tax burden: 1

What is my conclusion based on the results? While advisors may want to increase revenue and sales and concentrate on A and B clients, they appear to have a problem with a lack of time, motivation and support. This can be solved by writing a business plan, which can help advisors have more focus, and manage time and resources.

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Simon Reilly of Leading Advisor Inc. is a financial advisor coach, speaker and writer. Simon writes a daily blog and can be reached at www.leadingadvisor.com/blog.