Is your activity holding you back?
I was recently speaking with a member who remarked that he loved using my activity “tick sheet”. In all honesty, I couldn’t remember giving him a copy. He then told me that he learned about it a few years ago when I ran an “Activity Challenge” for members of my website; he has been using it ever since.
The idea was to get advisors whose businesses may have been plateauing to consider whether or not they were maintaining the activity required to move their practices to new levels of success. It worked; several members reported great success with this simple idea. So let’s try it again.
This coaching session will walk you through Part 1 of this 3 part exercise. Watch for Part 2 in a couple weeks.
A short war story…
When I began my career in the financial services industry, the “art of cold calling” was the primary prospecting method being taught by industry trainers. From securing appointments to promoting tax-exempt bonds, cold calling was purported to be the quickest way to build a successful book of business – for a great many it was. Today, a large number of veteran financial planners, wealth managers and investment advisors (me included) still maintain relationships with some of the clients they acquired through cold calling.
Though some advisors, despite increased regulation, are making this strategy work today; it is not one we would normally recommend. At the same time, the disciplines that were necessary to be a successful cold caller can still be related to many of the client acquisition techniques being utilized today. And though it may sound rather basic, one of the most important attributes of a professional cold caller was simply counting the number of dials and contacts made each day.
Are you on a plateau?
This is frequently evidenced in our training work when we are asked for help in moving advisors through their production plateaus. From mid-career advisors looking to break into top producer status to high achievement advisors with a desire to make another quantum leap, we always start by helping quantify daily client and prospect contact activities. We do this because we have found that over time most producers over-estimate the number of calls or appointments they are actually making each day.
This misjudgment is not intentional; it is a function of the complexities of running a professional practice. Activity-based goals which may have been important to an advisor as they moved to their current level of production are taken for granted and no longer measured. Often-times, once these former activity objectives are reviewed and re-established, the advisor is able to quickly break through their current plateau.
The Activity Challenge, Part 1…
With this backdrop, we would like to challenge you to count your client and prospect facing activities for the next two weeks – the first phase of our “Activity Challenge”. Whether your business is currently growing or stagnating, this simple activity will take very little time and will more than likely prove valuable.
Here are four easy steps for the first part of your test:
On top of a blank sheet of paper (you can also download my activity tick sheet), write down the number of contacts you believe you are currently making on a daily basis. This is probably a number that comes to mind quickly and upon which you have previously organized your daily schedule.
- Next, create five columns on the paper and label each with the day of the work week. You will need one sheet for each week you measure your contacts. We would suggest a minimum of two weeks.
- Now we simply want you to count your activities using these categories: client calls, prospect calls, client meetings and prospect meetings. If you schedule telephone appointments, you may want to make a separate category for both clients and prospects.
- Finally, add up your activities by category at the end of each day and week. We will show you how to evaluate these numbers in two weeks.
That’s it for part 1 of our “Activity Challenge”. Stay tuned for Part 2 and Part 3 coming shortly.