(The following post was authored by ClientWise coach, Mitch York.)
One of the habits that financial advisors, even very successful ones, can fall prey to is the tendency to stay within sight of the office. Being a financial advisor can often be an isolating profession (ironically), and staying chained to the office can contribute to this sense of isolation. Over time, the office becomes more like a cave: familiar, “safe”, confining, and very, very isolating.
From working with financial advisors for many years, I have observed many justifications for spending the majority of their workday in the office. Here are six of them:
- When you’re not in your office, things aren’t getting done.
- You’re too busy to be out of the office on a regular basis (or even to have clients come into the office to visit you for lunch).
- Your assistant can’t manage the office without you there.
- There’s too much going on in the markets, and you can’t miss it.
- Others in the office need access to you at all times – that’s how important you are.
- You talk to clients on the phone all the time, and that’s plenty.
Do you have other excuses—oops, we meant to say reasons—why you don’t see clients every day? (Write them down here.)
- Reason #1
- Reason #2
Now look at that list, and ask yourself this: “Why am I tolerating a work paradigm that doesn’t allow me to tap into the most important asset I have—my personal relationships with the people who I depend on for my business?
Give yourself a minute to contemplate that question fully.
Did you come up with a really good reason for maintaining the status quo?
As importantly, can you picture activities that you’d like to do out of the office with your clients and prospective clients, if you allocated more time in your week to do so?
- Visiting the business of one of your business-owner clients who would, most likely, love to give you a tour.
- Attend the graduation of the granddaughter of one of your oldest and dearest clients.
- Have coffee, as a small token of thanks, with the attorney who continues to provide you with high-quality referrals.
- Or something else that you’ve long intended to do but never got around to it.
Here’s the thing. The phone is great for transactional business, not for relationship building. So if you want to build a relationship and you’re using the phone to do it, you are hammering a nail with a feather.
What to do?
Make a commitment, right now, to quadruple the number of in-person client meetings you have in an ordinary month, preferably over lunch or dinner. A restaurant, their office, your office—the locale doesn’t matter. Woody Allen was right—80 percent of success is showing up.
For additional thoughts and ideas on how you might get out of your cave and into the world, please download the ClientWise Learning Tool below: