As football fans know, one of the main tenants of the sport is the game plan. Every team has a defined plan for the plays they will run, designed to score and not to be scored on.

The focus of the game plan is getting into the red zone (the final 20 yards before the end zone) and then scoring. Every offensive play is designed to move in that direction, and nothing is done offensively that differs from the main goal.

How about you? Do you have a tightly focused plan to bring on new clients?

Maybe you already have a game plan — perhaps one that worked in the past but doesn’t seem to be getting you into the red zone or across the goal line as often as it once did. Maybe it’s because the same old plays you’ve been using for years just don’t work in today’s fast-paced, high-tech, constantly changing world.

Early 19th century author Sydney Smith once described a man this way: “He has spent all his life in letting down empty buckets into empty wells; and he is frittering away his age in trying to draw them up again.” Highly successful NFL coach Bill Parcells gave this message a different slant: “If the competition has laptop computers and you’re still using yellow legal pads, it won’t matter how long and hard you work, they’re going to pass you by.”

It may be time for all of us to toss out those proverbial yellow legal pads and start filling those empty buckets. Start today by developing a true cutting-edge playbook that will bring your practice winning records for years to come. Take a look at your website and social media presence. Evaluate the messaging you use with prospects and clients. Is it compelling? Plan to record some video.

A plan that starts with your mission, vision, values, goals, strengths, weaknesses, marketing strategy, budget and sales projections typically take weeks if not months to prepare. This plan, however, is completely useless when it comes to driving sales if it lacks an accompanying implementation plan.

An effective implementation plan, or marketing action plan, defines the following:

  • category of activity (i.e., website)
  • specific actions that need to occur inside that category
  • coordinating date due
  • individual responsible for implementation.

Without this, implementation is sporadic, undefined and there is little accountability. In other words, a plan is not worth much without the marching orders.

Financial advisors are great at adopting new marketing ideas. What many are not so great at is following them through to completion. The best marketing strategy is the one you can pull off completely.

The confidence that transforms one team into a Super Bowl champion — and that can change any business into a top performer — comes from developing consistent focus. Winning is the direct result of confidence. It comes from executing your game plan with precision. So, what’s your game plan?