New Year: Same but Different

We all know about setting New Year’s Resolutions. It’s obvious how those resolutions work out for most. In more normal times all of the Fitness Centers would be PACKED for about 6 weeks. Wait until Mid-February and empty again. This year, it is Peloton, NordicTrack, etc most of which will become clothes hangers in a few weeks after the initial enthusiasm wears off in a bit.

The issue with developing your practice, in all likelihood is not a lack of ideas. I find that most advisors have been searching around, studying, and trying to implement with some success. The challenge in part is effective tactics that make otherwise good ideas convert to highly qualified clients. I often find just a couple of missing ingredients that would turn efforts into incredible results – rather than modest results. It’s very common.

The primary challenge is aggressive implementation.

It’s starting each week and each day with a focused “To Do List” with 3-5 items not with a long list of would be nice in priority 32. It’s knocking them off the list every day.

It’s focusing on the elements that grow your business and devoting your time to new client acquisition and client retention. Most advisors get bogged down in the “technical” side of their business and miss the highest leverage activities.

It’s having a team that’s on the same page to help keep you focused, where you see their real-time and real-world results.

It’s having someone looking over your shoulder with your best interests in mind to cheer you on or, kick you in the ass to make sure you keep your momentum going.

I learned many years ago in my career that “Ideas are easy but, Implementation’s a Bitch.”

I’d suggest that you make sure that you always have a Mentor who’s “been there done that,” someone who will look over your shoulder and hold you accountable and ignore your excuses, also a team of peers – many of whom are doing better than you are – that keep your expectations growing. And, an opportunity to “look over their shoulder” to track what’s really working in real time (not stuff that worked fine 10 or 15 years ago.)

As far as learning “New Stuff,” the alphabet soup of certifications CFP, CMFC, ChFc, CFS, CLU and a jillion more, although certainly valuable from a professional proficiency stand point, teach NOTHING about how to quickly acquire qualified clients.

From my perspective it’s backwards.

Before entering the industry the first should be step training on the strategies and tactics to build a career. It should be first – here’s your credential certifying that you have mastered Marketing and Sales to go into business. That would certainly massively reduce the HUGE failure rate and pathetically slow growth that’s endemic to our industry.

Since it’s backwards – I would guess that you need a better understanding of marketing and a broader range of strategies. Building what I refer to as a Parthenon of Marketing Strategies. A bunch of activities that regularly feed you a flow of new clients, each and every month.

The primary missing ingredient for you is likely having an environment that will support your success and show you what’s working in today’s rapidly changing environment.

Anyway, just my two cents.


Stephen Oliver, MBA