Simple fixes to bring the fun back to your business
If you’re making a living as a Financial Planner but not enjoying it, then I can only think you must be missing some of the key elements that make it so enjoyable. Here are my top 3 reasons why you might be feeling the strain and suggestions on how to bring the fun back into your business!
1. Cashflow Forecasting
If cashflows aren’t part of your process, then you’re leaving all the good stuff out. It’s a bit like eating a chocolate cake which doesn’t have any chocolate in it.
For some reason, loads of firms continue to resist implementing cashflow forecasting. Either they seem to think it’s unnecessary or feel that it’s just too much work. However, if the number one issue for most clients is ‘How much is enough to retire on comfortably?’ or ‘Will my money last as long as I do?’, how else can you prove to them that they’re in good shape if you’re not using cashflow forecasts?
No, I’m not sure either.
The cashflow isn’t a ‘nice to have’, it’s the core of the work you undertake for your clients.
I’ve always maintained that even if advisers never show the client a cashflow model, they need to be using the software behind the scenes to ensure they’re giving the right advice.
Cashflow forecasting ensures both the adviser and the client are focused on the right issues and elevates the discussion to a higher level. This allows you to discuss the client’s most important life goals and plan a strategy to help achieve them. Anyone who’s done that even once will know how good it feels.
If cashflow forecasting is at the heart of your process, you can be doing this for every single client in your client base. Tell me that wouldn’t be great fun!
2. Selling Skills
Are your selling/communication skills up to par?
Establishing the right relationship with a new client is probably the most important skill for any adviser. If you can skilfully control a meeting with great questions, you help the client to see their issues for what they really are.
Most clients come in thinking they have a ‘pension’ problem, an ‘investment’ problem or some other similar sort of problem.
The real issue for most clients though, is being able to show them that ‘everything is going to be alright’ – or showing them what to do about it if it isn’t.
As a great adviser, you need to be able to help clients identify the real issues without being confrontational. If your selling skills aren’t up to scratch, you’ll find yourself having to back away if the client becomes single-minded about the issue they came in for. This leads to a great deal of transactional work and running around to cater to the client’s misguided agenda, which isn’t very fulfilling.
Also, if you’re on top of your game with your selling skills, it’s easier to refuse work with anyone that doesn’t fit your ideal client scenario. That really helps in the enjoyment stakes because you end up with a client base full of nice people who appreciate what you do for them.
3. Working Too Hard For Your Money
If you’ve got the first two issues (cashflow and selling skills) working well in your business but simply find yourself working too hard, that can also take all the fun out of a great job. Advisers working too hard usually comes down to one or more of these issues:
Too many clients.
Poor business processes.
Wrong support team.
Too Many Clients
Too many clients is emotionally challenging, but as I explained last week, it’s something that’s easy to fix.
Poor Business Processes
If you’ve got the right team, but you’re continually over-complicating your processes, you’ll make everyone’s life a misery. When you really understand financial advice, it’s actually really simple.
Yes, there are some technical issues to resolve for most of your clients and you do need to be a smarty pants to be able to do it. However if you’re continually getting lost up your own backside and explaining the technical stuff to clients, you’ve missed the point of being a smarty pants in the first place. My doctor doesn’t tell me everything she learned in medical school – I’d be bored witless and would probably hate dealing with her. Instead, she tells me only what I need to know in order to feel confident in her ability to diagnose and treat my problem.
Over-complicating things is probably the most common issue that causes ‘working too hard’ syndrome.
Wrong Support Team
But what if you’ve streamlined your client base and simplified your processes yet things are still too hard? Well, then it might be an issue with your support team. Remember, anyone who works for you needs to be able to do their role better than you could do it yourself, otherwise work will just keep bouncing back onto your desk and life will be a nightmare.
Take a good look at your team and see if they have what it takes.
If you’re finding the fun has gone out of your work, then check your cashflow forecasting, selling skills and working-too-hard factors.
Fixing just one of these issues will help improve things and fixing all three will really bring the fun (and meaning) back into your work… and isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?
Anyone who works for you needs to do their role better than you could do it yourself. [click to tweet]
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