Helping people do what they know...
Business Planning Ideas
Periodically it is a good idea to put together a business plan. The business plan should include items such as your mission, vision and objectives for the coming year. What do you want to get done in the next twelve months? What plans do you have with your family? What are your cash flow requirements?
How much business will you generate from your existing clients? How many new clients will you need to reach your production goals?
What changes in your practice do you need to make to reach your goals? Will you need additional staff; will you need to replace someone in the coming months? Do you plan to change your service model, add new products or services? Are you leveraging all your strengths? Where are your marketing opportunities? Click on the green underlined files below to download the documents you need to build your business plan.
A SWOT analysis is a good way to access your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and strengths. In addition to completing your own analysis, have your team members or clients complete a SWOT analysis about you and your practice. Don't overlook their perspective about you and your business.
To a certain extent sales is about the numbers; finding new prospects and converting them into clients. How many sales will come from existing clients and how many new prospects will you need to reach your goal? Use the Funnel to calculate what you need to do.
What level of activity do you need to reach your goals? Use the PAR sheet to measure yourself against the best in the business.
When will you get it all done? If you need to phone six hours per week, when will you do it? If you need to see ten people per week, when will you see them? Use the Perfect Week schedule to map out your week and then do your best to follow your plan on a daily basis. Click here to view and print an article about the Perfect Week (includes sample week).
The Daily Five
What are the five most important items you need to complete today? Click here to download the Daily Five Checklist to organize your day.
Keep it simple. Use the Business Planning form to keep focused. After it is completed, post it and give a copy to each team member.
Click to download the 2013 Business Plan document.
Ideal Client Profile
What does your ideal client like look like? If you can describe your ideal prospect to your clients, they will be able to introduce you to people who fit your profile.
Why not look for clients who match up with your top 20? They are probably generating about 80% of your revenue.
In order to clone your top 20 clients, find out what they have in common. Use the Top Client Commonalities form to uncover what you best clients have in common and then use the information to create your Ideal Client Profile. If you can clone your top 20 clients, there is a good chance that you can double your revenue.
Click here to download the Top Client Commonalities form.
Click here to download a Sample Ideal Client Profile.
Client Advisor Agreement
Are you doing everything you can to provide your clients with exemplary service? Are you meeting expectations? Do your clients know how to be “good” clients? Have you trained them to be?
Click here to download a sample of the Client Advisor Agreement. This is your opportunity to set the expectations for both you and your client. What should they expect from you and what do you expect from them? How often will you contact them? How often do they want to be contacted? Do they prefer email or regular mail? Are they comfortable with the Internet or not?
The Opportunity Management Workbook
Keeping track of new prospects, cross-selling opportunities, cases in the mill and centers of influence is easy when you use the Excel Opportunity Management Workbook. You can use the spreadsheet to segment your book of business, keep track of revenue growth and assets under management by client. There is a To-Do List to track team assignments to make sure that you are keeping your promises to your clients, family and prospects. Download a free copy of the Opportunity Workbook by clicking on this link.
To capture 100% of your client's assets requires that you and your practice have the capability to service 100% of their assets. Do you have all the resources you need? Attached is a list of the people whom you need in your network and on your team to do the whole job. Click on the link to download a copy of The Wealth Management Team
Advisors should not only segment their book of business, they also should segment their resources. This article is about wholesalers; understanding what they do and how they can help you leverage your time and resources. Click on the link to read about how to segment your Wholesaler Resources
Creating a Flow of Business
Have you thought about making contact with CPAs? How would you approach them? What would you say that would encourage them to work with you and eventually refer you to their clients? Click on the article below to learn more about working with CPAs. Click here to download the article.
Inbound service calls are opportunities to serve your clients and prospect as well as opportunities to uncover new sales opportunities and keep up-to-date with the transitions that are going on in people's lives.
Click here to download a service questionnaire that you should use any time you or your team receive a call from a client or prospect.
When was the last time your clients reviewed their life insurance policies? Are the beneficiary designations up to date? Are there any policy loans that are having a negative impact of the policy's performance? Are there scheduled premium increases on the horizon?
The need to review life insurance policies on a regular basis is valuable and rewarding client service.
Click here to download an article about how to add a policy review system to your service model.
Sometimes a 50/50 split does not work when doing joint work with another sale person. The MDRT Commision Split formula is a good way to break down the sale into five separate components to make sure that each person is being paid for the value they add to the sale.
To learn more about the arrangement, click here.
The Wealth Manager
The true wealth manager’s first task is to understand the client’s lifestyle, his/her hopes, dreams, needs, and wants. So rather than start with a balance sheet, start with a conversation about life. Where have they been? Where are they going? What events do they need to deal with now and in the future? What have they promised to their families? Don’t make the mistake of knowing more about your client’s money than you know about them.
Click here for an article about wealth management and download a copy of 20 Items that every wealth manager should discuss with his/her clients.
The Planning BluePrint Do your clients know what you can do for them? What will they have accomplished when you have completed your work for them? Have any of your clients ever worked with another advisor or purchased something from them becuase they didn't know you could have handled it? Here is a chart that outlines the scope of your work. It is a starting point. Click here to view and print the Planning BluePrint. Review it, make it yours and then have it Compliance approved.
The Wealth Management Team
Providing comprehensive wealth management services to your clients requires a team of experts. It would be impossible for one person to handle everything. First of all there is not enough time in the day to physically do every job and secondly, it would be impossible to keep up on the required knowledge and information. Some of the service roles could be handled by your employees and others would be outsourced.
Click here to download the article.
Firefighter or Arsonist?
As John Lennon said: "Life is what happens to you while you are planning something else."
Do you wait for things to happen, or do you go out and make things happen? Are you keeping track of what is going on in your clients' lives? Do you know what is going on, or will be going on in your client's lives that will have an impact on their finances?
Use the Life Transitions Checklist to be proactive. Rather than putting out fires, why not start some?
Click here to download the Life Transitions Checklist.
The FireProof FileBox
Help your clients keep the promises they made to their families and help them get the things done that they haven't done. Encourage your clients to put together a fireproof/waterproof file box. This box should contain all of the important information and documents that would be needed in an emergency, or in case of death.
Gift of Answers Workshop
Do you have a unique client event or seminar topic that will draw people? Consider the Gift of Answers workshop. It is a story about helping people do the things that they know they should do. It is a story about passing on tradition, knowledge and information to family members. It is about giving the family the answers to questions that they will have following the death of a loved one. When you match up the Fireproof FileBox, The Beneficiary Book, your Financial Planning tools with this workshop, you have a unique and differentiating story to tell your prospects and clients.
If you had ten minutes to evacuate your home, what would you take with you? If you could answer this question, would you be able to locate all of it in ten minutes? Click here to learn more:
If you had a medical emergency tonight, could you or your family locate your medical information for the hospital? Do you have powers of attorney, health care declarations, or HIPPA authorizations?
If you had a major fire or burglary, how difficult would it be to recall what was lost or stolen? Do you have a video or snapshots of every room in your home? Do you have purchase receipts?
We all know that we should get organized and have all our important papers in a safe accessible location, but many of us have not taken the time to get it done. Perhaps now is the time to make a commitment to do it.
Financial Rules of Thumb
How much debt can you handle? How much money should you pay for a car? What is the largest home mortgage you can handle? How much money should you save each month? To learn more about financial rules of thumb, click here.
One of the best ways to learn about your client's lifestyle is to understand how they allocate their income. What are the financial priorities in their lives? Use the Cash Flow Summary below. Start with yourself. What is important to you about money?
Click here to learn more about Cash Flow.
Click here to download the Cash Flow Summary Excel Worksheet
Talking about the 1040 Income Tax Return is a great conversation with a client. With the pending changes back to pre-9-11-2001 rates and the new healthcare tax, this is a golden opportunity to discuss the impact of taxation with your clients. In this article you will learn how to have a conversation about the various line items of the return. You will find talking points that will help you and your client uncover problems than will lead you to solutions (also known as sales). Click on the title above to download the document.
Prospecting Letters and Agendas
Do you need a new prospecting letter? Try these.
Letter #1 - Retire Debt Free
Letter #2 - General Prospecting
Letter #3 - Annual Review Letter
Letter #4 - Policy Review Letter
The Discovery Agreement Letter
The Discovery Meeting is the most important meeting in the sales process and yet many advisors are weak when it comes to thoroughly understanding the prospect/client and their circumstances.
The genius in a successful sale is in asking the right questions at the right time and having the right follow-up questions.
Following the Discovery Meeting, prepare a written summary of the meeting to highlight the main points of the conversation, clarify that you have heard the real concerns of the prospect/client and to verify that you and the prospect/client are dealing with mutual agreed to issues, concerns and objectives.
Click here to download a Sample Discovery Agreement Letter.