New Orleans – This year, MDRT unveiled a new segment at the annual meeting: MDRT speaks. The three-hour segment showered the 10,000 attendees with a quick-hit explosion of ideas, advice and knowledge from nearly 20 speakers from around the world. 

Here are a couple of the ideas attendees heard: 

More meetings, more sales, more referrals 

Alessandro Forte offered a client scheduling strategy that has been successful in his practice. 

“Most financial advisors make the mistake of allowing their businesses to run them and not the other way around,” he said. “Once we allow our prospects to dictate when we see them, we have a business that runs us.” 

Each week, Forte fills his planner with 10 yellow boxes and one red box. The 10 boxes are times set aside for client meetings. He says 10 is an important number because there is a direct link between activity and success in financial services. 

When a prospect suggests a time that doesn’t match one of your yellow boxes due to a previous engagement with friends or family, you must negotiate to find an acceptable compromise. If you maintain this discipline, Forte says you’ll come to find that nearly every prospect will be flexible

Another benefit? Those boxes are motivational because your brain wants to do one thing: fill them. 

Once you have filled in the 10 yellow boxes, you are left with the red box. This is the prize box. Whatever money you make on red box, spend on yourself. 

“If you want to be more motivated, increase your activity level and take control of your businesses instead of allowing it to take care of you,” Forte said, “then this is a great system.” 

Tools and tips in 10 minutes 

Adam Solano admitted that his presentation normally takes 40 minutes – today, he had 10. In that short time, he lobbed ideas at attendees as quickly as they could jot them down. Here are a few:

  • Two of Solano’s three office assistants don’t work in his office. When his practice began to expand, he couldn’t afford to take on extra office space so he turned to virtual assistants, and he has been using them ever since. Resource: assistu.com 

  • Once a month, Solano goes fishing for new business using NAIFA’s Client cast (free with membership). 

  • Solano created a lifejacket for prospects who are scared or reluctant about working with an advisor. He calls it his Offer Of Help. He borrowed the concept from someone else and asked other advisors to take the idea from him. 

  • Hand write notes for your clients. It will greatly enhance your client bond. 

  • This business is all about ideas. Solano bought a leather three-ring binder when he was early in his career and he has filled it with his favorites sales ideas and concepts that he brings with him to all his appointments. 

  • 22 years ago, Solano bought a pack of 3” x 5” cards filled with personal goals, ideas, phrases and quotes. He has kept it near for 20 years. “You can have the greatest systems, staff, processes and products in the world, but sometimes you can be overwhelmed with life and need to be uplifted.

Check out our coverage of MDRT 2015 here.