By: Daniel C. Finley

The Focused Advisor

Most advisors/agents struggle with success because they get distracted with unproductive activities. As a result they leave productive activities up to chance.  The biggest challenge with lacking concentration is the fact that most people have never been taught ways to get (and stay) focused. In fact, it’s more common and oftentimes praised to multi-task.  

Bruce Lee said it best, “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus”.

So, the real question you need to ask yourself is, how do you learn to be focused? I use the following process with my coaching clients which teaches them how to be a more focused advisor/agent.

The first step is to have written goals.  Then you need to block out specific times during the day to take action towards those goals. I recommend a maximum of forty-five minutes for any one task. Next, you need to reward yourself for following through so that you associate positive emotions with a job well done.  If you can consistently follow these steps you soon will see that successful outcomes are significantly tied to your level of focus.  

Let’s take a deeper look at each step:

Step 1: Have Written Goals

The first step in any endeavor is to know what you are trying to accomplish. The only way to do that it is to take the time to think about what you want and write it down. This simple step shows a level of commitment.

John T. a thirty-year veteran financial advisor client of mine wanted to have a process for contacting his clients when the COVID-19 pandemic changed and affected so many facets of life.  Together we determined written goals for him on how frequently he would connect with  his clients, a process for what he would say and a tracking system so that he would know who he had talked to, about what specifically and when. Once he had all of this in place it was time to move to the next step.

Step 2: Time Block Your Activities

The second step is to commit to when you are going to take action. That means you literally time block a specific time during the day to work towards your goal. As stated earlier, I recommend a maximum of forty-five minutes for any one task. You may need a number of days to complete the task or this process may be ongoing.

John knew how many clients he needed to speak with each day in order to connect with his entire client base once a quarter but what he didn’t know was when he was going to speak to them. Most advisors/agents get sidetracked with client servicing issues during the day and unfortunately don’t get to the tasks that they would like to complete. That’s why he time blocked his “Client Check-In Calls” at 10:00 a.m. each day. He kept that time uninterrupted; not checking emails or voice mails until he was done with client check-in’s each morning.

Step 3: Reward Yourself for Taking Action

The third step is simple but not always an easy one, reward yourself for taking action.  Think of ways to treat yourself such as with a cup of coffee, adding money into a reward fund so you can buy yourself something at the end of the month or leaving work fifteen minutes early on days when you achieve your goal.

Sometimes the most difficult part is in allowing yourself to accept the reward. Like many advisors/agents, John was hesitant in giving himself a daily reward at first but with a little coaxing he started doing so. In fact, we designed a daily, weekly and monthly reward system to create various levels which motivated him even more.

Why Being Focused Works

The reason this stepwise approach to staying focused works is because it gives the advisor/agent a process to know what to do, when to do it with the added bonus of a reward for a job well done. Like many of my coaching clients, John has found a process that works to connect with his clients during this unprecedented time and both he and they benefit greatly from it.

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