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Financial Advisors! Fire Up the Grill (and Start Cooking with Gas)

By Mitch York | July 3, 2014

It's almost July 4th! You know what that means. Hot dogs and burgers on the grill, cold beers in the cooler and – it’s time to do your ClientWise 90-Day Professional Planner!


One of the best tools I have for coaching my ClientWise financial advisors and financial advisory teams is this elegant document. Complete it during the last two weeks of each quarter, follow the path you set for yourself and you are guaranteed to have better outcomes in the following quarter.


The genius of this tool is that it’s very light. What I mean is that is doesn’t ask you for spreadsheets, calculations and a ton of prep. It asks you to do some solid reflection for a few minutes – I’d say a half-hour spent on this activity sets you up to win big in the coming 90 days.


For instance, we ask you to jot down in a handy table format what you want to KEEP  (what’s working), STOP (what’s not working) and START (begin new).  Simple and elegant.  You already know the answers. And in a few minutes you can write them down, which makes all the difference when it comes to actually changing behaviors.


Here’s another example. We give you a three-column table that says:  “I Want MORE….” In the first column; “What Will It Do for Me?” in the second column;  and “Next Immediate Action” in the third column. Then the same idea in the next row, except we say, “I Want LESS….” Think you can manage that? Yeah, you definitely can manage that, and get off to a great start in Q3.


If you’re part of a team, make completing the 90-Day Planner a ritual. Calendar it for the whole year – create a meeting two weeks prior to the end of the quarter and get this exercise done. It’s great for team building. Include everyone on the team – advisors, planners, CSAs. Heck, order in a pizza and have some fun with it.


While you’re at it, dust off one of our other great tools, the ClientWise Coaching Call Preparation Worksheet. Same idea as the 90-Day Planner, but completed prior to every coaching call. My most successful ClientWise clients have developed a deep commitment to this process. They take 30 minutes the day before our call and respond to questions on the form like:  “What are my three biggest achievements since my last coaching call?” That’s an important question – if you don’t take the time to recognize you’re moving forward, who will? Then:  “What specifically do I wish to accomplish during my next coaching call?” And:  “What is the one area I might be ‘stuck’ right now?”


What if you don’t complete a prep form before each call? Then you’re not giving your best to the coaching process or getting the best from your coach.  So if you’re already doing good prep, keep it up. And if you’re not, then under START on your 90-Day Planner, write, “Doing Excellent Prep for my Coaching Call.”  Coming back to our July 4th theme, one of our greatest presidents (Lincoln) said if he had a eight hours to chop down a tree, he’d spend six hours sharpening his axe.  Think about it!

Author: Mitchell York is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) specializing in entrepreneurship, sales and financial services coaching.  

ClientWise Coaching Decision Kit

Topics: Business and Operations Management Organizing Priorities

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