Time Wasters


 

Time Wasters Definition: Someone or something that causes you to spend a lot of time doing something that is unnecessary or does not produce any benefit to you. Here is a list of time-wasters:

Not delegating.  Doing stuff that needs to be done, but not by you.

Interruptions – the average person is interrupted once every eight minutes, about 1.5 hour a day. Drop -in visitors, phone interruptions.

Trying to get too much done.  Unrealistic time estimates that lower the quality of work.

Feeling overwhelmed.  This feeling can put you in a freeze frame so that nothing gets done. Take a break, recover and then get organized. Stop and think about what you have to do. Focus on the important things and do your best to deal with the urgent later.

Lack of focus.  Daydreaming maybe be a good thing at some point, but don’t make a habit of it. Create a sense of urgency. Make a weekly plan, set priorities, time block your calendar, create a routine that will produce the desired results. A great thing to do is create working timed blocks. Once you finish your block of work time, give yourself a reward. So, if you work for 45 minutes take a 15-minute break.

Not Valuing your own time.  Your time is just as valuable as the next person. Stick to your plan as much as possible. Do your best to fit people into your schedule and don’t compromise your own day if you can avoid it.

Lack or priorities. jumping from one crisis to the next. Putting out fires is usually caused by arson.

Lack of planning.  No objectives, priorities, deadlines, or a daily plan. Create a vision, have some long and short-term goals.

Setting Annual Goals.  Annual goals are too far out. They encourage procrastination and end in a rush to meet the deadline.  Set shorter 12 Week goals.  12 weeks is long enough to get things done and short enough to keep you motivated and making the most of your time.

Cluttered desk.  Constantly looking for stuff. The average person spends 1.5 hours a day looking for things; it may be a file, a computer document, an email, or just googling?

Multitasking.  The brain can only work on one thing at a time. When you are trying to do more than one thing at a time, your productivity decreases by 40% and your IQ drops ten points.

Lack of self-discipline.  Inability to say no to self and others.   Are you saying “yes” for the right reason?

Procrastination.  Ability to postpone doing the important stuff, usually finds it easier to do small tasks and avoid the ones that will really make a positive impact.  Sometimes things look too difficult or might take too long.  Think about your goals and decide what you need to do to get where you want to go. It may be difficult, but the reward will be huge.

Lack of communication.  The natural result of communication is misunderstanding.  Make sure people understand words the same way you do – double check.

Lack of staff.  If you have no one to delegate to, you may have a staffing problem.  If you make the most money doing your primary job, why are you working for less pay or no pay doing administrative tasks?

Lack of record keeping.  No records, no progress.  When you get “lost” it is because you don’t know where you are.

Failure to listen.  Operating on false assumptions.  Make sure you know what is expected; double check to make sure you heard correctly.  Repeat things to make sure you understand.  Doing the wrong things right does not help you get where you want to go.

Lack of Skill.  If you are not good at something, either learn it, or get someone else to help you with it.  You can’t be the expert at everything so surround yourself with a network of people who can help you deliver on your promises and save you tons of time.  Talk to me about the Planning BluePrint and I will help you build a network of professionals.

No journal or documentation.  Write things down so that you remember to do things.  Periodically you will need to defend yourself when challenged.  Use email and notes to protect yourself. It will save you much time in the long run and keep you organized.  Remember the “E” in email stands for “Evidence.”

Lack of Upgrades.  Working with old computers, old hardware and software.  Not keeping up with modern technology or processes.  Not using a state of the art client management system (CRM) and using outdated equipment.  No cloud storage or cybersafe systems in place.

Constantly checking your email or other online sites.  Some people check their email over 30 times an hour.  The average person receives about 120 emails a day. Turn off automatic notifications.  Do you really need to check status updates every time they pop up on your phone?  Do you really need to check your email every time one comes in?

Lack of electronic media.  Are you effectively using linkedIn, Facebook, websites, messaging or communication systems with clients?  More and more things are bought online; more and more communication takes place online.  Are you still using two cans and a string?

Snap decisions.  Measure twice, cut once.  Double check the consequences of every decision. Make sure you will experience the intended outcome.

Not finishing what you start.  How many projects are partly completed or could use a re-write.  Are you always doing A+ work and getting answers to people in a timely manner? If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

Over preparing.  Doing more than is really necessary to get the job done.  You could over prepare for a meeting or you could over prepare to make outbound prospecting calls.  Perhaps you have some call reluctance issues that you are not aware of?  You could call my friend, Connie Kadansky, (602-997-1101 or connie@exceptionalsales.com) and get it fixed?

Meetings.  Do you need to attend every meeting?  Which ones are necessary and need your involvement?  Will your attendance make a difference?

Outside activities.  Are you Involved in things that really do not align with your real goals and vision?

Traveling.  Are you going to too many appointments outside the office? Commuting can take a lot of time, not only for you, but for your clients and prospects.  Consider doing more appointments online such as Skype, Go-To-Meeting, or Zoom.

Surfing.  Spending too much time on social media or reading emails, trivial activities.

Lack of Recovery time.  You need to take some time each day away from work, from people, from food, from computers, from social media, from being awake.  You need to sharpen the saw every day.

Inability to overcome and recover from disappointment.  Every day we are disappointed by some thing or some event. Brush it off and move on to the next thing. Don’t dwell on the negative. Life brings rejection regularly.  We are usually grieving about something.  We are in denial, anger, bargaining, depression or acceptance about something.

Lack of Exercise and balanced nutrition.  Exercise is part of the recovery process. To be your best mentally, you need to be your best physically. Work out six days a week.  Get a copy of Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge and get in shape.

Are you aware of any other time wasters? Let me know and I will publish them in a future blog.

Give me a shout; let’s talk about changing your thinking, changing your actions and your results.

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It’s About Time


 

Over the years there have been numerous speakers and books about Time Mastery.  Here are a few thoughts from my archives…

Time is life.  It is irreversible and irreplaceable.  To waste your time is to waste your life, but to master your time is to master your life and make the most of it.  Time is something we all have the same amount of and therefore the key is what we do with it.

There is enough time to do the really important things.  No one has an edge of you time-wise.

Evaluate your daily routine from time to time to see if you can eliminate unnecessary effort or streamline essential functions.

Make a list of the five most important things you have to do and put them in priority order.  Don’t skip over items on your list; stick to your priorities.

Do the first things first.  Don’t let the urgent get in the way of the important.

Learn to say “no” to projects and tasks that will take you away from your intended activities and goals.  Do the things you need to do.

Close your door and shut off email when you need time to focus.  Multi-tasking is not effective or efficient.

Set up a schedule to help you achieve your goals on time.  Have a cut-off time to terminate every activity that could interfere with your schedule.

Enlist help and delegate all you can to others.  You will be amazed at how capable others are at providing support and assisting you in your efforts if you let them.

Handle each piece of paper only once.  Take pride in your ability to be decisive and efficient.

Organization is essential to time management.  Much effort is wasted if you are forever looking for something that isn’t where it should be.

Other people can be big time wasters, especially when you don’t think about it.  Don’t let your friends rob you of your most valuable asset – time.

Continually ask yourself, “What is the best use of my time right now?” Then do it.

 

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Moving to the First Chair – Part 1


 

In law, the “First Chair” is a reference to the lead attorney. In music  “First Chair” is a reference to the best musicians in the orchestra.

In a family context, I will use the term “First Chair” to refer to what has been historically the role of the husband.  Traditionally ,the husband (dad) had been positioned at the “head of the table.” In most families, the man had the final say in a discussion, he was the person who made the financial decisions – he was the head of the house.

In today’s world this concept of “Father Knows Best” has blurred. The husband is not always the wisest, nor is the wife always the most practical.  In 1950 about one in three women participated in the paid labor force.  Today, among married-couple families with children, 61.1 percent have both parents employed.  Divorce rates have also had an impact on working women.  The divorce rate has increased from 26% in 1950 to over 50% today.  There are also more one-parent families, single women and widows than ever before.

As women have become more involved in the paid labor force, they have taken on new roles in the household.  Women are more involved in the family finances.  The “First Chair” is shared in many families and in many households, it is the only chair. Today, for example:

Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases including everything from autos to health care:

91% New Homes
66% PCs
92% Vacations
80% Healthcare
65% New Cars 89% Bank Accounts
93% Food 93 % OTC Pharmaceuticals

Women own 40% of privately-held businesses in the US. 70% of new businesses are started by women.  Women represent the majority of the online market:

22% shop online at least once a day
92% pass along information about deals or finds to others
171: average number of contacts in their e-mail or mobile lists
58% would toss a TV if they had to get rid of one digital device (only 11% would ditch their laptops)
51% are moms
76% want to be part of a special or select panel

Other information about women:

  1. Senior Women 50 and older control $19 trillion of net worth and own more than 75% of the nation’s financial wealth. Only 1/3 inherited it.
  2. The average age of first time widowhood is 52; the average age of a widow is 55.
  3. 44 percent of women over age 65 are widowed. 14 percent of women between the ages of 20 and 64 are widows.
  4. 32% of women aged 55 and older are widows; about 25% remarry.
  5. 45% of women aged 65 and over are widows.
  6. Nearly 700,000 women lose their husbands each year and will be widows for an average of 14 years.
  7. There are over four times as many widows as widowers.
  8. 70% of the long-term care facility population consists of women.
  9. 95% of investment advisors said that their clients are fully satisfied with the advice they receive. In an apparent disconnect, only 63% of investors describe themselves as “fully satisfied.”

Eventually most women will be in the “First Chair.”  Is it time to pay more attention to them?  Here is another fact for you: 70% of widows change financial advisors within a year of their husband’s death.

Historically, insurance and financial advisors have paid more attention to the male clients; perhaps it is time to pay more attention to the women.  Women will be the beneficiaries of your work and they could potentially be your clients for a long time to come.  Married women will inherit twice, once from their parents and once from their spouse.  Perhaps now is the time to rethink your practice and make it more beneficiary friendly.

In the next blog, we will take a look at some of the things you could do to make your practice more female friendly.
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Execution Checklist 2018

Today I will execute my plan and it is going to be the best day of my life!
 
Will 2018 be the year it all comes together for you?  Will it be the best?  If you have a plan and if you can execute, it will happen.  It starts with your thinking.  What could your life be like if you worked from a written plan and your daily activities were better defined and focused on a compelling goal?  The three pillars of success are Motivation, Organization and a Sense of Urgency.  Here are a few ideas that can make it so:

1.   Keep a Journal Throughout the Day

Write down your thoughts for at least ten minutes the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. Make notes throughout the day.

2.   Complete a Daily Five.

Make a list each day of the five most important things you need to do today.

3.   Have A Daily Team Huddle.

Meet for five minutes with your team to review Daily Five’s.

4.   Complete Scorecard and Analysis.

Record your activity daily and review the results at the end of the week.

5.   Create a Weekly Plan.

At the end of each week, or the beginning of a new week, write down what needs to be accomplished and when during the week.  Make adjustments in your weekly routine to make sure the most important things get done.

6.   Weekly Team Meeting.

Meet with your staff weekly to discuss production, news items, issues, resolve problems, team to-do’s, delegation items, events, projects, and success stories.

7.   Have a Weekly Accountability Meeting (WAM).

Meet with your peers weekly to review your accomplishments during the past week.

8.   Develop a Time Blocked Model Work Week.

 

a.    A Strategic Block.
A 3-hour block of uninterrupted time to work on your business, not in it. During this block, you accept no phone calls, no faxes, no e-mails, no visitors – no nothing. The focus is on the strategic items such as marketing, networking, creating scripts, developing your next week plan. It is your time to think and make adjustments.
b.  Buffer Blocks.
These blocks are designed to bunch up the small stuff; the tasks that need to get done, but are not high revenue producing activities. These are usually clerical items or perhaps meeting with a staff person to answer questions. Schedule two Buffer Blocks per day, one in the morning and one later in the afternoon.
c.   A Breakout Block.
A Breakout block is recovery time. It is time away from the business. It is a period to recharge your batteries.   For many people it is a mid-week break during “business hours.”  As Stephen Covey said: “y ou have to take time to sharpen the saw.”
d.Other Activities such as Phoning, Meeting Preparation, Meetings and Personal Activities.
Give me a call to talk about how The 12 Week Year can help you get more clarity in your life, get focused, get more of the right things done in less time.
Click here for a article about creating the Perfect Week.
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Accountable or Victim


 

It’s comforting to believe that success is just something that happens to the lucky few. If we believe this, then we don’t have to deal with the painful realities of why we are not among them. – Morrie Shechtman, author of Working Without a Net.

Victims tend to blame, have excuses, or they are in denial about their current situation. They tend to blame circumstances or others for their lack of progress. How many people do you know who say that their circumstances are the result of the economy, their company, the traffic, their relationship with parents, a divorce, the banker, their business partner, their staff, or it’s just fate or bad luck? It is always easier to put the blame on others or events rather than taking responsibility for our choices.

Sometimes we are unwilling to accept the facts and find ourselves in denial. We either don’t keep records or we ignore the “writing on the wall.”

Stephen Covey said that it is our decisions, not our conditions that determine where we end up.

On the other side of the coin is the person who takes ownership, accountability, and responsibility for their decisions and actions.  Ownership means that I own all things over which I have control and I own my response to all things over which I have no control. Wayne Dyer called it: “Response-Ability.

You may arrive late for an appointment; do you blame the traffic? You may not have had control over the traffic, but you did chose when to leave for the appointment. If you had managed your time better, perhaps you would not have been late.

Some people go into business for themselves so that they have more freedom to choose their work style, schedules and level of income.  They love their independence. But they are still responsible and accountable with regard to their employees, their clients, their families, and, if they are smart, to their coach.  Eventually some people figure it out that interdependence is a much higher level than independence. Michael Gerber, made this pretty clear when he wrote The E-Myth. Most of us could use some help with being the boss.

An accountable person would say: “When I say I am going to do something, I do it without excuses.” How well have you done at keeping the promises you made to yourself, your family and your clients?

Accountability can be the difference between excellence and mediocrity.

Click here to view a chart about the pros and cons of Accountability and victim  It is also printed on the next page..

Are you in a loop and getting similar results from month to month? Have you hit the Inevitable Plateau which is caused by a variety of factors including failure to create an effective business plan, failure to implement a well-designed marketing plan, failure to adjust to the changing marketplace, and failure to expand your team and improve its efficiency?
Talk to me about the 12 Week Year.

Impact and Benefits:

  • Increase your sales by 30% or more.
  • Learn to align your actions with your intentions.
  • Produce more in less time.
  • Work with more passion and urgency.
  • Eliminate the thinking that holds you back.
  • Lower your stress and gain more control.
  • Manage your practice like a CEO.
  • Gain exclusive access to Achieve! Our suite of online tools.
  • Take back control of your time and your results.

The 12 week Year defines what’s important to do today so that long-term objectives can be attained. It an operating system – a way of thinking about and doing business.

We can tailor a program to fit your situation. We have a full day and a half day workshops.  We can also spread the program out over seven weekly one-hour conference calls.  We also are available for speaking engagements such as a breakfast event.

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Don’t Forget the Women Part 3 of 3


 

Faith Popcorn wrote a book entitled Eveolution, The Eight Truths of Marketing to Women.  In this book, she discussed how the marketplace was not doing a very good job of dealing with the issues and needs that concerned women and how it was missing a great opportunity.

How do the Eight Truths apply to a financial services practice and how can they help you better serve your female clients and family members?  When a client dies, there is a shift toward the beneficiaries of the estate.  In the majority of situations, the primary beneficiary is female. Will you be the lead trusted advisor; will the family continue to work with you?  How well do you know the female spouse and the other members of the family?  What are you leaving to chance?

Here are the last two of the Eight Truths and how you can apply them to your practice and build a service model that addresses the needs of families.

7. Co-Parenting is the Best Way to Raise a Brand

How many women do you actively solicit for criticism and suggestions? If you have a client board of directors, how many members are women? Faith Popcorn says: “If you understand how your women customers think, and if you want to understand how they think, you’ve got to engage them in compelling conversations.”

Have you considered seminars and workshops for the women in your clientele?  What are you doing to create raving fans?  Many of your clients do not know each other; this may be your chance to start building your own “community” and connect your clients with each other.

8. Everything Matters – You Can’t Hide Behind Your Logo

Women do business with people they trust.  They need to know and understand you as a person: your values, your family.  You need to be as transparent as possible.  Everything you do matters.  Perhaps it is time to start over, at least in your mind. If you were to set up your business from scratch based on what you know now, what would you do differently?  How would you be staffed?  What products or services would you offer?  What would you change to do a better job of building trust and creating exemplary service to your clients?

Question: Why would your clients refer you?

Click here to open a Checklist that will help you improve your practice.  Pay attention to women, they are the present and future of your business.

Here are the top five concerns of women over 50:

  1. Feeling Financially secure
  2. Having a Comprehensive Plan in place
  3. Retirement Planning
  4. Outliving my Money
  5. Getting out of debt

Give me a shout and let’s talk about how to make your practice more female friendly.

Talk to me about The Gift of Answers Workshop and how you can prepare your female clients to take over as the pilot and position yourself as their most trusted advisor.

 

The Beneficiary Book is available as a downloadable PDF file and can easily be stored in the cloud or on a flash drive. The cost is only 19.95 per copy. You can go to:

http://new.beneficiarybook.com/learn-about-the-book-sections/?aff=6 and purchase your copy.  If you would like to make The Beneficiary Book available to your clients, we can set up a special program to allow your clients to purchase copies at a discount.

Ed Howat

651.405.6644

 

Resources:

Faith Popcorn and Lys Marigold: 2000; Eveolution, The Eight Truths About Marketing to Women, Hyperion, New York.  http://www.faithpopcorn.com

Stephanie Holland, Founder and author of Sheconomy®  http://www.she-conomy.com/facts-on-women

Kathleen Burns Kingsbury; Author of How to Give Financial Advice to Women, Attracting and Retaining High-Net-Worth Female clients; http://www.kbkwealthconnection.com/

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Forget the Women Part 2 of 3


 

Faith Popcorn wrote a book entitled Eveolution, The Eight Truths of Marketing to Women. In this book, she discussed how the marketplace was not doing a very good job of dealing with the issues and needs that concerned women and how it was missing a great opportunity.

How do the Eight Truths apply to a financial services practice and how can they help you better serve your female clients and family members?  When a client dies, there is a shift toward the beneficiaries of the estate.  In the majority of situations, the primary beneficiary is female. Will you be the lead trusted advisor; will the family continue to work with you?  How well do you know the female spouse and the other members of the family?  What are you leaving to chance?

Here are three more of the Eight Truths and how you can apply them to your practice and build a service model that addresses the needs of families.  We will cover the rest of the Truths in the next blog.

  1. If She Has to Ask, It’s Too Late

Women don’t always tell you what they want and men don’t tune into what women want.  The idea is to create products and services that women may not even know they need yet.  Statistically, 96% of female customers never complain; they just never go back.  Another quote from Faith Popcorn: “We’re talking about anticipatory marketing…women control 85% of all household spending…it is time to get serious about anticipating what women want.”

Have you seriously thought about how you could do a better job for your clients?  Maybe the best thing to do is just ask them. Like you, your clients are busy.  How many times have you avoided completing a customer survey because you just didn’t want to take the time to help? Your clients are no different.  Continually ask your clients how you are doing; get some honest feedback so you can improve.  How good could you be, if you just asked for more help from your clients?

As John Lennon said: “life is what happens to you while you are making other plans.”  Refine your role as an advisor; success comes through helping others.  Help your clients prioritize the things that continually fall to a lower position on the To-Do List.  Without your focus, assistance and reminders, many important tasks will be left to chance.  It’s not that people do things wrong; it’s that they don’t do anything and that is what’s wrong.

  1. Market to Her Peripheral Vision, and She Will See You in a Whole New Light

“Women see more than just the forest; they see the trees, the underbrush and the twigs underfoot.”  Women are not as impulsive as men.

How professional is your office, your staff and your attire?  Women will pay more attention than men to the facility, the people, the amenities and the overall atmosphere around you.  They will notice the little things that men overlook.  Your office does not have to be fancy and expensive; it just needs to meet the needs of your female audience.

  1. Walk, Run, Go For Her, Secure Her Loyalty Forever

Make it easy for women to get things done; use technology as much as possible, minimize travel and provide them with online resources.  Your client meetings do not have to be face to face, some of them can be handled over the phone or by using newer tools such as Skype, Join Me or Zoom.  You may also consider putting together webinars for your women clients.  Do you generally just meet with the male spouse?  Do you leave it up to the male to share information with his spouse?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to involve the women directly?

Provide your female clients and spouses with online links to information in real time.  Work with them, point them to material that will help them keep current and expose them to some of the good ideas that others are using.
In Part 3 we will cover the remaining truths about Marketing to Women.

Give me a shout and let’s talk about how to make your practice more female friendly.

Talk to me about The Gift of Answers Workshop and how you can prepare your female clients to be “head of household” and position yourself as their most trusted advisor.

 

 

The Beneficiary Book is available as a downloadable PDF file and can easily be stored in the cloud or on a flash drive. The cost is only 19.95 per copy. You can go to:

http://new.beneficiarybook.com/learn-about-the-book-sections/?aff=6 and purchase your copy.

 

If you would like to make The Beneficiary Book available to your clients, we can set up a special program to allow your clients to purchase copies at a discount.

Ed Howat

651.405.6644

 

Resources:

Faith Popcorn and Lys Marigold: 2000; Eveolution, The Eight Truths About Marketing to Women, Hyperion, New York.  http://www.faithpopcorn.com

Stephanie Holland, Founder and author of Sheconomy®
http://www.she-conomy.com/facts-on-women

Kathleen Burns Kingsbury; Author of How to Give Financial Advice to Women, Attracting and Retaining High-Net-Worth Female clients;  http://www.kbkwealthconnection.com/

 

 

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Don’t Forget The Women (Part 1)


 

Faith Popcorn wrote a book entitled Eveolution, The Eight Truths of Marketing to Women.  In this book, she discussed how the marketplace was not doing a very good job of dealing with the issues and needs that concerned women and how it was missing a great opportunity.

How do the Eight Truths apply to a financial services practice and how can they help you better serve your female clients and family members?  When a client dies, there is a shift toward the beneficiaries of the estate.  In the majority of situations, the primary beneficiary is female.  Will you be the lead trusted advisor; will the family continue to work with you?  How well do you know the female spouse and the other members of the family?  What are you leaving to chance?

Here are the Eight Truths and how you can apply them to your practice and build a service model that addresses the needs of families.

  1. Connecting Your Female Consumers to Each Other Connects Them to Your Brand

How many women do you have as primary clients?  What percentage of your clients are male vs. female?  How many client spouses do you know well enough that they trust you and will work with you after their husbands die or become incapacitated?  How many of your women clients know each other?  Do the families or children of your widowed clients know you?

Women are connectors. If they see or experience something they like, they will tell others. Faith Popcorn states in her book: “women are three times more likely as men to recommend a brand when they know friends are looking for a particular product or service.”

The co-pilot of an airplane is certified to fly; he/she is prepared and ready to fly the plane on a moment’s notice.  How easy is it for your client’s family to take over the client role when the time comes?  Are you providing the spouse and family with the information and education they need and want to be informed?  Many years ago a male client told me that the best thing he could do for his wife was to teach her how to be a widow.  There is only a 95% chance that the female spouse will eventually manage the family finances.

As consumers here are a few statistics you should understand about women:

Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases including everything from autos to health care:

91% New Homes 66% PCs
92% Vacations 80% Healthcare
65% New Cars 89% Bank Accounts
93% Food 93 % OTC Pharmaceuticals

Women own 40% of privately-held businesses in the US.

Women represent the majority of the online market:

22% shop online at least once a day 92% pass along information about deals or finds to others
171: average number of contacts in their e-mail or mobile lists 58% would toss a TV if they had to get rid of one digital device (only 11% would ditch their laptops)
51% are moms 76% want to be part of a special or select panel

http://www.she-conomy.com/facts-on-women

Other information about women:

  1. The average age of first time widowhood is 52; the average age of a widow is 55.
  2. 44 percent of women over age 65 are widowed. 14 percent of women between the ages of 20 and 64 are widows.
  3. 32% of women aged 55 and older are widows; about 25% remarry.
  4. 45% of women aged 65 and over are widows.
  5. 70% of widows change financial advisors within a year of their husband’s death.
  6. Nearly 700,000 women lose their husbands each year and will be widows for an average of 14 years.
  7. There are over four times as many widows as widowers.
  8. 70% of the long-term care facility population consists of women.
  9. 95% of investment advisors said that their clients are fully satisfied with the advice they receive. In an apparent disconnect, only 63% of investors describe themselves as “fully satisfied.”

What are you doing to make sure that the female spouse will continue to work with you after the death of her husband?  As mentioned above the average age of a widow is 55; which potentially means over 30 years of widowhood.  Another important thing to keep in mind is that only about 25% of widows remarry. Are you convinced now that you should pay more attention to women?

  1. If You are Marketing to One of Her Lives, You’re Missing all the Others

According to Faith Popcorn, women are better multi-taskers than men.  Women are the command center of all information for the family. Faith Popcorn is also quoted as saying: “women do everything and men mostly work and work and work.

There are fundamental economic reasons to make life better especially for women who want to balance work and family responsibilities.

Faith Popcorn says: “A woman has multiple lives; every time you reach a mother you get her kids, her mother, her father, her husband, her parents, friends, neighbors, co-workers and more. They are the sum total of the players in her Multiple Lives.

If you can make it easier for the woman to deal with her multiple lives and family responsibilities, you will have an ally. Are you keeping up with what is going on in your clients’ lives and their families? Are all your conversations with them just about money?

In the next blog I will take your through Truths Three to Five.

Give me a shout and let’s talk about how to make your practice more female friendly.

Talk to me about The Gift of Answers Workshop and how you can prepare your female clients to take over as the pilot and position yourself as their most trusted advisor.

The Beneficiary Book is available as a downloadable PDF file and can easily be stored in the cloud or on a flash drive. The cost is only 19.95 per copy. You can go to:

http://new.beneficiarybook.com/learn-about-the-book-sections/?aff=6 and purchase your copy.

If you would like to make The Beneficiary Book available to your clients, we can set up a special program to allow your clients to purchase copies at a discount.

Ed Howat  651.405.6644

Resources:

Faith Popcorn and Lys Marigold: 2000; Eveolution, The Eight Truths About Marketing to Women, Hyperion, New York.  http://www.faithpopcorn.com

Stephanie Holland, Founder and author of Sheconomy®  http://www.she-conomy.com/facts-on-women

Kathleen Burns Kingsbury; Author of How to Give Financial Advice to Women, Attracting and Retaining High-Net-Worth Female clients; http://www.kbkwealthconnection.com/

For more information about the Women’s market, go to http://www.addiewoods.com/women_marketing

 

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Preparing Your Loved Ones to be Alone…


 

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?

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 HIPAA 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.

The Fireproof FileBox

Start by purchasing a FireProof FileBox. You can find a basic FireProof FileBox for around $50-$100. Click here to open and print the FileBox Checklist.  Review the Checklist and centralize your documents in the FireProof FileBox. Use the Checklist categories to create a few file folder labels.

 

 The Beneficiary Book. 

Click here to purchase and download a copy of The Beneficiary Book.  It is the perfect document to help you record and organize everything you want your family to know.  This is a very comprehensive information tool. It will allow you to write down the most basic and practical information about you and your family.  You can be as detailed as you like.  List dates and places of importance – birth, death, divorce, etc. List important numbers – social security, naturalization, passport, driver’s license, employer ID, etc.

The Gift of Answers Workshop

The Gift of Answers Workshop is a turnkey package to help you motivate and educate your clients about end of life issues.  It includes a fully scripted PowerPoint Presentation and handouts for your attendees.  You can conduct the Workshops by yourself with the assistance of one of your estate/eldercare attorney contacts or you can be the host and engage us to conduct the entire workshop for you.

Most of your workshop attendees have experienced a death in the family, such as a parent or grandparent and they know how much work goes into wrapping up financial affairs: from paying bills, canceling credit cards, ending leases, distributing property and heirlooms, filing documents with the probate court and collecting benefits. They will easily tune in to the Workshop content and provide you with a number of referrals to their relatives and friends.

Death is Inevitable; The Mess is Avoidable

The Gift of Answers Workshop is about motivating your clients to get organized.  It is about inventorying and recording  the location of important papers and documents, including wills, trusts, birth and marriage certificates, deeds, contracts, insurance policies (life, medical, auto, home, etc.) and providing lists of people who can assist the family such as insurance agents  attorneys, tax accountants, investment and banking contacts.

The Gift of Answers Workshop – Your Action Plan:

  1. Contact us to discuss the Workshop and how you can better prepare your clients for an emergency, or the loss of a loved one.
  2. Purchase a FireProof FileBox.
  3. Purchase a copy of The Beneficiary Book at http://new.beneficiarybook.com/?aff=6.
  4. Create a plan with your trusted advisors and family members.
  5. Organize your important papers and documents.
  6. Make of list of the things you need to do, but haven’t done.
  7. Prioritize the list and then starting working on getting them done.

If this seems like too much work, give us a call and let’s talk about how we can do it all for you.  Your clients need help; Let’s talk about that too.

Ed Howat, Jr., CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, RCC

ed@addiewoods.com

651.405.6644

www.addiewoods.com/the_gift_of_answers

Addie Woods Consulting Co. LLC▪2065 Kings Rd▪ Eagan, MN  55122

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What Beneficiaries do not Know Could be bad for Your Client Relationships


 

The Beneficiary Book was born on January 20, 1990 by Marty Kuritz who was a financial advisor at the time.  Here is his story about why he took the time to create the book.

I flew from San Diego to Chicago to deliver a million-dollar death claim check to the widow of an airline pilot.  Captain Jim’s death at age 58 in an automobile accident was both a shocking tragedy and the first death claim I had experienced since I started almost exclusively working with airline pilots two decades before.

Even though dealing with death is part of what all life insurance agents must sooner or later face, until January 1990, I was one of the lucky ones.  Because a pilot’s job depends upon s/he being in top health, death claims among working commercial airline pilots are typically few and far between.

Commercial airline pilots made great clients.  As a rule, I found them to be loyal, smart and decisive professionals who bought large amounts of permanent life insurance, almost always paid their premiums on time, and best of all, they seemingly lived forever.  They were also easy to do business with.  Most business was conducted at my office during scheduled layovers in San Diego or on the phone.

The drive from the airport on icy roads to Elgin, IL, a suburb of Chicago, was harrowing, but I found comfort knowing that I had come here to help carry out my late client’s wish for me to help his beneficiary select and purchase several (SPDAs) single premium deferred annuities with the death benefit.

When I arrived at Captain Jim’s widow’s home, she and a young man who introduced himself as Captain Jim’s nephew met me at the door.  They invited me in out of the cold, offered me a cup of hot tea, thanked me for delivering the check and ushered me to the door, all in the space of a few minutes.

When I tried to explain who I was, where I had just come from and the purpose for my visit, the nephew (who I later learned was a new-hire for household name brokerage firm) stopped me in mid-sentence and informed me that he would be handling the family’s financial matters from here on out.  I looked to Captain Jim’s widow for support, but found none. She simply said, ‘Mr. Kuritz, I don’t know you from Adam.  How can you expect me to trust you with a million dollars?  I’m sure my nephew will handle my affairs just fine.’

She was right!  Even though I had a relationship with her late husband, she didn’t know me.  The fact was, she didn’t know I existed until the day I called to set an appointment to deliver the check.

This was a very expensive lesson that I swore I would never repeat.

On the flight home, my initial reaction was to immediately inform all my clients’ beneficiaries that I am a key and trusted advisor, and when the time came, I would be there to help handle matters.  But by the time the plane landed in San Diego and I regained my cool, I realized that introductions and recommendations like these needed to come from my clients.  More so, I recognized that it was going to take more than an introduction to fill the vast answer/information gap between clients and heirs, and the relationship/communication gap between advisors and beneficiaries.

The solution to this complex problem was a simple book of questions…

That simple book of questions, titled The Beneficiary Book, took more than a year to write and edit.  As soon as the first printing of a 1,000 copies rolled off the press, we sent a flyer to our entire client base (1,800 clients) and received orders for more than 3,000 copies at $30 each!

Obviously, the idea of getting one’s stuff organized and centralized hit a nerve—big time—because in addition to ordering The Beneficiary Book (sight unseen) for their own use, many clients also purchased copies for family members, friends and fellow pilots.

The more we worked the book, the more the book worked for us…

Right from the beginning, using the book as a prospecting and referral-harvesting tool significantly increased life insurance and annuities sales.  And when we saw lead-to-sale ratios jump and the costs to develop qualified leads dropped, we made it an agency policy to give a book to each and every new client, regardless of case size.

Fact Finding too and More… Using the book in the field as a fact-finding tool helped to quickly pinpoint planning deficiencies and also allowed us the opportunity to gain clearer insight to sensitive issues that often prevent or delay prospective clients from taking action.  Administratively, the book assisted with the difficult task of keeping client/beneficiary data current by simply requesting clients to send us photocopies of specific pages from the book.  (Very often, the pages we requested identified additional planning needs and presented potential business opportunities.)  And when we wanted pertinent client/beneficiary (provided by us to clients) retained kept accessible, we printed that information on three-hole punched paper, instructing clients to keep the information in their copy of The Beneficiary Book.

Offering The Beneficiary Book to prospective clients, in advance of telling them everything you know, personifies How to Win Friends and Influence People guru Dale Carnegie’s philosophy:

‘People want to know how much you care, before they care how much you know.’”

Fast forward to 2017…

The Beneficiary Book is now available as a downloadable PDF file and can easily be stored in the cloud or on a flash drive.  The cost is now only 19.95 per copy.  You can go to http://new.beneficiarybook.com/?aff=6 and purchase your copy.

If you would like to make The Beneficiary Book available to your clients, we can set up a special program to allow your clients to purchase copies at a discount.

Marty was right; many agents do not know the beneficiaries.  Statistically, 70% of widows change advisors after their husbands die.  We need to do a better job.  We need to shift the focus from just the client to the spouse and children.  We need to move up the family tree to parents and sideways to siblings.  We need to think households.  We need to connect with other financial services professionals and build a network of people resources to assist our clients and help them do the things they haven’t done.

Want more referrals?? After you’ve given a client a copy of the book and explained the benefits of being better organized, simply ask: “Would you mind giving me the names of a few people you know that would appreciate receiving a gift copy of The Beneficiary Book (given to them in your name)?”

To get started, give me a call to talk about:

  • The Beneficiary Book,
  • The Gift of Answers Workshop
  • The Planning BluePrint.
  • The FireProof FileBox
  • Building a professional network around your clients.

These are the tools that will help you solidify your relationships within a household, provide you with a flow of new prospects and position you as the trusted lead advisor within the family.  This approach will also help rekindle interest with prospects that previously turned you down.

Are you ready to improve your practice and help your clients do the things they haven’t done?  It’s time to call me.

Ed Howat 651.405.6644

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