I figure it is never too late to start treating your practice like a business. Just focusing on a few key activities can produce huge returns.
Struggling advisors tend to go with the flow and not have a structure to their most important asset: their time with clients. The multimillion-dollar advisor knows being in front of clients is the top indicator of annual production. Successful advisors have a systematic, structured activity plan and stick to the plan.
Time is our inventory—our most important asset.
Just the way an auto manufacturer knows the more efficient its process, the more profitable it will be—the same applies to us. We think of our business as very high-touch, high-service manufacturing. My time, and the team’s time, is our inventory and our most important asset. It must be managed effectively to make the business more efficient and profitable. The team clearly understands that the more time I spend in front of clients, the more profitable the business will be and the larger their bonuses.
When it comes to putting numbers to this concept, we keep it simple. The issue for us is how many first meetings do we have with targeted “A” prospects/clients per month? I know if we meet with three of them per month, we will meet our annual goals.
I don’t bother to track second, third and fourth meetings because when you treat this like manufacturing, the most important thing is what is coming into the pipeline. If you have enough raw materials going in at the front of the pipeline, you will get cars, or in our case, happy, satisfied clients coming out the other end.
Right now, I am the only advisor who can meet alone with clients. This will change over the next year as we have three advisors in training. I am the only one whose primary tasks are prospecting, meeting with clients and securing the relationship. Everything else in the business is delegated to our ace team.
I am spending about 75–85% of my time face to face with clients. Our COO came to me recently and said: How do we get you up to 95%? He clearly understood if I could spend 10% more time with clients, the revenue would be up 10% and everyone’s bonus would also be up.
Here are some of the metrics, or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), we track to insure my activities effectively manage our inventory and meet our goals:
First meetings, A and B. How many first meetings with prospects, As or Bs, do we have on the calendar per month?
Our goal is three per month. If we meet this goal, we will make our revenue and bonus goals. Everyone on the team knows this goal and they are all tasked with helping to get these meetings on the books.