As a financial advisor/agent, it can be easy to lose sight of what you are doing during the day due to constant interruptions, market fluctuations as well as your regular day-to-day operations. Oftentimes the day unfolds, you get busy and before you know it, hours have passed. It is important to take a moment or two each day to track what to-dos aren’t getting regularly accomplished or obstacles you are encountering and evaluate how effective your present systems are in handling them and ask yourself do you run your business or does your business run you?
Most financial advisors/agents do not take the time to analyze what I refer to as “The Science of Systems” which defines that every task that you do should have a system assigned to it and that all systems need to be constantly refined in order to be produce consistent positive outcomes. The vast majority of advisors/agents use a “wing it” approach which is a recipe for disaster. In order to obtain your goals, you need to optimize your systems and not leave your business success up to mere chance!
Orison Swett Marden says, “A good system shortens the road to the goal.” But, what if youdon’t have a system for creating systems? If so, use the following steps to develop any system.
Step 1: Determine Point “A”
Point “A” is simply a description of what you are currently doing or where you currently are in any particular facet of your business.
When I was a rookie advisor I wanted to branch out and try seminars as one of my primary forms of prospecting. At that time my Point “A” (current activity) was that I was doing about three seminars a year maximum. As a result, I was only earning a small percentage of my new business utilizing this form of prospecting. I had heard that other advisors in the office had built successful businesses via seminars but I didn’t know how to manage an affective seminar system on a larger scale. I did know that I needed help!
Step 2: Determine Point “B”
Point “B” can be described as where you want or would prefer to be. In other words, it’s your end goal.
In this case, my Point “B” was to have ten seminars a year! That was a lofty goal so I decided to find out what other successful advisors, not only in my direct office but in the company as a whole where doing. Surprisingly, I found a few advisors that were reducing their overhead costs by offering their services to associations and corporations to be a key note speaker at their events. This gave me new insight of how to obtain my goal!
Step 3: Re-engineer the Steps
The final step is to map out an updated system. Ironically, what I have found is that with any system it is best to actually begin with Point “B” in mind and map out the steps but in reverse. Let me show you what I mean.
I knew that it took on average about six weeks from start to finish to market, coordinate and plan to put on a seminar. So, I grabbed a calendar and circled all the first Tuesdays of a month excluding the three summer months and December. That left me with eight seminar dates. Next, I backtracked what specific items I needed to be sure had to happen in weeks 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 and I put those into my contact management system. Then, I determined that on some weeks I had to work simultaneously on various steps for multiple seminars since there was overlap with back-to-back months. In addition, I added in prospecting to associations and corporations to see if they needed a key note speaker so that I could add at least two additional seminars during the year for free. Lastly, I setup up my time to work on my seminar system to be at the same time each week so that nothing slipped through the cracks. I did ten seminars that year!
Why the Science of Systems Works
The reason why the “Science of Systems” works is because you have a repeatable process for attaining goals. I realize that this line of reasoning may sound simple and in essence it is. We tend to make things harder for ourselves when simple solutions exist.