Many financial advisors don’t know how good they can be, especially when it comes to client acquisition. Take Jack, a 10-year industry veteran. With slightly over $100 million under management, he set a goal of reaching $200 million in four years. He called it “Project $200 Million.”

His annual goal was to bring in $25 million of new assets each year. In the past, he hadn’t brought in more than $15 million in a year. Jack then began using our online portal that tracks high-impact marketing activities, or fixed daily activities.

His reward if he actually completed it? “I’m buying a second home at the beach.” He got a picture of his future beach house, put it on his desk and looked at it daily. Jack brought in $32 million last year. He still has $68 million to go, but now “Project $200 Million” and the beach home isn’t a stretch – it’s real.

The following are the five steps Jack followed and, if applied, will help any advisor reach their goals:

  1. Set Big Goals – The idea is to dream a little. Pretend that you’re looking into a crystal ball and envisioning your business five years from now. How would you envision your AUM? What revenue would you be producing? What would be your typical client profile? What services would you be providing to your clients? What would your team look like? What type of relationship would you ideally like to have with your clients? What would your lifestyle look like? What is your “Project $200 Million”?
  2. See Yourself at the Finish Line –You often read about athletes who have created a picture of themselves holding the winning trophy – long before winning the big game. This is no different. The idea is to make this achievement real. So if you’d love that second home at the beach, get a picture of it, along with the target date of your  accomplishment, and place it where you can view it regularly.
  3. Link Annual Goals to Your Big Goal – We’ve discovered that by coming within 10 percent of achieving an annual goal on any given year, financial advisors will achieve the big goal they’ve set. Annual goals are stepping stones to achieving your big goal. This allows you to further break your progress down into quarterly and monthly segments.
  4. Establish Fixed Daily Activities – Without daily discipline, no goal is ever achieved, much less a big goal. When advisors take the time to identify the high-impact marketing activities they must do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, it significantly improves the likelihood of achieving their annual goal. We refer to these as fixed daily activities even though some aren’t done daily. Jack’s routine consisted of 1) sourcing (uncovering a connection in a client’s sphere-of-influence), daily; 2) asking to be personally introduced to the prospect sourced, three times a week; 3) calling five top clients, daily; 4) meeting one top client face-to-face, daily; 5) attending a social event, weekly; and 6) hosting one intimate client event, monthly.
  5. Visualize Your Goal 10 Minutes a Day – Financial advisors who meditate on their goals achieve their goals. Stare at your big goal picture (office or home) for 60 seconds, then close your eyes and see yourself living in your dream beach home, sitting on the deck watching the ocean—whatever. The idea is to let your mind go into a relaxed meditative state that makes your goal come to life.

Commit yourself to these five steps for three months, and reassess how you’re doing. I’ll wager that you’ll be mirroring Jack and on the way to achieving big goals and the accompanying rewards.

Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent Clients. www.oechsli.com