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Start your New Year’s business plan now

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The holiday season gives everyone a chance to reflect on this past year’s marketing efforts. As you do, you may possibly give thanks for continued prosperity, and make plans to enter the New Year with a new resolve.

Because it’s true: nothing happens unless we make it so.

See also: 32 goals for insurance advisors in 2016

Have you decided to allocate adequate funds for marketing in next year’s budget? Have you decided on a specific direction for your practice? What do you want to accomplish for your clients? If you have decided to sell more product than last year, how much more, and do you have a defined plan to go forward? Is such a plan in writing? Do you know how much you earned in 2016? Are you satisfied with the production? If not, why?

Here are some other questions to consider as you look to the New Year:

What will your production be in 2017? Are you satisfied with your work ethic? Is your spouse satisfied with your work ethic? Can it be improved? How much improvement can be made? Is your quality of life what it should be? Does it need an upgrade or a renewal? Are you or your spouse driving a 16-year-old car because “it’s paid for,” and you ‘e proud of it! Would a new Lexus or Mercedes be more appropriate or comfortable? Does the old homestead need new furniture, or maybe you need a new homestead? Is it time to go after that dream home?

Have you succumbed to the negativity of the DOL fiduciary rule debate or presidential campaign or worrying over the economy or any other crutch that may be holding you back?

Look, whatever circumstances you have been hiding behind up until now need to be discarded. It may be time for a serious inventory of your motivations, your current status, your habits, and even your direction.

Are you proud of what you do for a living? If not, either declare the reasons to be proud of your work or change direction completely.

When creating your New Year priorities checklist, it is imperative that you are honest with yourself. You must decide on the parts of your practice that are satisfying to you.

Does what you do truly serve your clients and do you enjoy your practice as it is? Be careful to begin this process now, instead of procrastinating. If you just stop and plan only and don’t begin your new year now, you may hit a wall when it comes to executing your plan. Lost momentum, however small and slow, is hard to regain.

I personally would love to sell more term life insurance policies to young couples. I have two applications this week. That’s without really trying.

When I meet a young couple, I ask the husband one question: “In the event of your untimely death, how long would you like your wife to be able to wait before she must replace the love of her life and the father to her children?” This single question almost always gets a favorable answer. Selling young couples is very fulfilling to me as far as work is concerned.

However, I would have a very difficult time selling the required two policies a day to sustain the lifestyle that Carol and I are accustomed to unless I use payroll deduction. Then I would eliminate the fun of personal interaction as I help young couples with essential protection. So, I have been focusing on caring for old people, arranging their assets and using products that secure their assets from catastrophic annihilation due to declining health. I like my clients and I enjoy the challenge of the work. It is satisfying when victory is the result of a successful plan.

So my New Year is organized and prepared. I know who my prospects are and I know where to find them in large quantities. I know that I must locate people who have a sense of urgency to act and tenderly walk them through the discussion of asset protection from declining health. I have a target income that exceeds last year. A target schedule, a target product line, a target prospect demographic, a target budget, and a targeted and specific marketing plan. Based on past performance, everything should go as planned.

If you put your practice together this way, you are controlling the outcome. If you don’t, the outcome controls you.

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