For financial professionals, 2020 will be remembered as a year of change. COVID-19 forced our profession to move from the preferred choice of in-person or remote meetings to remote only. This was an easy pivot for planners who consistently add value.
Jon Kreps, CFP®, who is a member of the Academy of Preferred Financial Advisors, prides himself in running a firm that always puts clients first. He said his strategy of “being intentional, well-planned, disciplined and client-centered” did not change in 2020.
“All that changed was our delivery method,” Kreps said. As a result, his firm had its best year in 2020.
“Although my meetings went virtual, my ability to review tax forms and offer great investment and tax planning solutions were unaltered,” noted Karen Reimer, CFP®, another Academy of Preferred Financial Advisors member. She also said she experienced her best year in 2020 and is in a position to eclipse that result in 2021.
Top financial planners know that running a systematized and disciplined practice sets them up to achieve much higher levels of success and sustainable growth. 2020 brought major changes to how we conduct business.
If you want to maximize your success next year, now is the time to take a step back and analyze the following three areas. This exercise with help you stay focused on success and ready to take on 2021.
First: Re-evaluate Your Operating or Business Plan
In order to not only maintain your current clients, but also generate new clients, it’s important to revisit your operating plan to make sure it is still in line with the goals you have for you and your firm. For example, have you redefined or identified the following areas?
- What is your primary niche?
- What is your marketing plan to acquire at least 15 to 25 new clients in this niche?
- Are you straying from your focus by helping clients who are outside of your niche?
- Is your business systematized?
- Are your services consistent?
Second: Review Your Existing Client Lists
In reviewing your existing client lists, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you revisited the exercise of prioritizing all your clients properly into categories (i.e., Level 1, Level 2 or A/B/C)?
- Did you meet with all of your Level 1 or A clients in the last 60 days?
- Do you have a plan for finding larger clients?
- Did you reassess the risk tolerance and timelines for all of your A and B clients?
Third: Revisit Your Time Management and Look for Efficiencies
As you’re reviewing your time management and efficiencies, try the following:
- Keep a time card for one week to determine how much time you are spending with clients versus how much time you’re spending on non-productive activities.
- Have a team member observe what you are doing when you are not meeting with clients.
- Have a team member sit in on your client meetings to learn how you are conducting the interviews and also give the team member the ability to take over some of your lower-end clients.
- Make an action checklist of things you will change and items you will delegate within the next 30, 60, and 90 days.
The end of the year is important for businesses. The positive momentum you generate now will greatly dictate the level of success you experience in 2021. Are you ready to become an elite financial planner and take your practice to the next level?