By now, the benefits of migrating to a high-net-worth business are well known. So, too, are the challenges of making the transition. Everything about targeting high-net-worth clients spells change, specifically:

  • Continuing one's day job (the old way) while working on a transition to a new business model.

  • Repositioning old clients while working to attract new ones who meet a new set of criteria.

  • Replacing the instant gratification of daily transactions with goal achievement that evolves over a much longer time period.

All this occurs one day at a time, one repositioned old client at a time and one new high-net-worth prospect at a time. It does not happen overnight. But you need time in every workday to devote to the effort. To find time, it is essential to have fixed daily activities.

Proactive, Not Reactive

Without clear goals and focused activity, advisors tend to spend their days reacting to whatever happens. Creating fixed daily activities enables us to become proactive about everything we do, because everything now has a purpose.

Here's how fixed daily activities can help us deal with the realities of maintaining our day jobs while successfully building a modern financial practice:

Your Day Job

Many million-dollar producers have told me they could operate their current business in three to four hours a day. That's all it takes to review client portfolios, look for appropriate actions to take (bonds maturing, etc.) and make appropriate client calls.

Client Upgrade/Repositioning Contacts

Before this task can evolve into a fixed daily activity, you need to examine your entire client base. Determine which clients are worth the effort of an upgrade campaign, which clients are already high-net-worth and need to see the new and improved you and which clients do not qualify. Once you have completed your inventory, determine a minimum account size (say $250,000) and an ideal account size (more than $1 million). At this point, you can commit to specific fixed daily activities. Keep them simple and doable. One client upgrade appointment daily is an example.

Asking for Referrals and Introductions

Engage in some activity that will stimulate word-of-mouth influence on your behalf every day. This is very important when targeting wealthy clients. Begin with your current HNW clients, the ones you identified during your inventory of your client base. Then tap family, friends and other acquaintances.

HNW Prospecting

This also requires preparation, but you will be able to piggyback on the work you have done to evaluate and upgrade your current clients. At this point, your activities can take many forms: adding a name to your high-net-worth prospect list, talking to a center of influence, asking a high-net-worth client for an introduction or contacting a high-net-worth prospect. The objective in each case is to arrange a high-net-worth face-to-face contact. One face-to-face meeting a day with a high-net-worth prospect is the equivalent of 300 phone calls of yesteryear.

This fixed-daily-activity strategy dispels the myth that your business will go down when you convert your business to fees. After all, the name of the game is gathering high-net-worth assets. After following these guidelines, your day planner should be filling up with purposefully selected, goal-linked fixed daily activities that will enable you to proactively support your family(by working your day job) while building your desired future. One day, not too long from now, you will be writing down your fixed daily activities for the upcoming week, and you will realize that activity drives the dream.

Writer's BIO: Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent Clients.