Greensboro: “I know, I should have done more in the last few weeks, but there was my vacation, the regional meeting, the visit from my in-laws, the bible school at my church……” We’ve heard this song and dance many times. This particular list of excuses came from a new advisor named Martin on a recent coaching call. Having just missed his targets for a third straight week, it was a great time for us to revisit his daily routine and marketing discipline.

There’s no secret about which marketing tactics work for financial advisors. There are countless books, articles, and white papers on referrals/introductions, networking, cold calling, professional alliances, and the like. In reality, with enough quantity, any of these activities can turn you into a Rainmaker.

Which begs the question – why do so many advisors, with such a clear set of success factors, end up failing out of the business? For some, it’s a skill issue. But for most, there is a lack of consistency and discipline on their marketing tactics.

The solution isn’t better time management; it’s priority management. We’ve got to make certain the right activities are being done every day, without fail, which is why it’s invaluable to have a solid routine. Our Rainmaker Focus Groups show us that rainmakers have consistent routines that include marketing, client service, family, and personal health. There are certain activities they just don’t miss.

If the summer has you a little unfocused, here are a few action steps for re-thinking your routine.

Re-Thinking Your Routine

1) Examine Your Current Routine

What time do you actually get into the office? When do you actually make time for calling prospects? Are you being consistent with your daily exercise? Recognition is 50% of recovery.

On a blank sheet of paper, write down your typical schedule, from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed. This is not an exercise in writing the ideal routine. What do you actually do?

Example:
7:00am - Wake Up
8:30am - Arrive at Office and Check Email
9:30am - Outbound prospect calls…

2) Outline Your Prioritized Activities

Which activities need to be done every day for you to be successful in business and in life? Make a short list of 2-4 professional activities and 2-4 personal.

Example:
B – Making 50 calls per day
B – Getting face to face twice per day with a prospect or COI
P – Going for a walk with kids and dog
P – Exercising for 60 minutes

3) Re-Craft Your Weekly Routine

Are there activities in step two (Outline Your Prioritized Activities), that were not in step one (Examine Your Current Routine)? As you’re re-crafting your routine, we suggest placing the highest priority items from step two in time slots that will not easily be missed. Planning your prospect calls for 4:30pm is setting you up for failure.

Example:
6:00am – Newspaper and online news
6:30am – Workout
8:00-8:30am – Review pipeline and make plans for daily calls
8:30-9:00am – Make calls to prospects
12:00pm – Lunch with client/prospect/COI…

4) Hold Yourself Accountable

We’ve all made big plans on paper that never became habits. Not this time! Print three copies of your new routine. Give one to your spouse, give another to your manager, and paste the third to your desk. Ask your spouse and manager to check in with you about your new routine as days and weeks progress. You’ll also want to keep a log of days that you did your routine, as well as the days that you didn’t. Try to see how many days you can consistently hold yourself accountable to your plan.

Routines are a work in progress. If you find that you’re consistently missing one of your action items, when else might you schedule it to make sure you actually do it? If you have a life event like a birth of a child, a vacation, or an illness, create a revised routine that you can execute until the dust settles. As for Martin, it’s time to get serious about growing his business – starting with a revamped routine based on his priorities.

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