How to succeed in the retirement planning business for the long term Blog added by Russ Wagner on July 3, 2014

Russ Wagner

West Des Moines, IA

Joined: January 19, 2009

To succeed in the retirement planning business for the long term, one fundamental need must be met — and that need is activity. Not administrative or “busy work” activity, but solid, face-to-face appointment- and sales-generating activity. This must be the number one priority if the advisor wants to earn a solid, increasing income for years to come.

It’s easy to let busy work take the place of actual lead-generating activities. Spending time on the computer doesn’t result in more activity. Writing letters or script for a website isn’t a lead-generating activity. Getting sidetracked by administrative functions leads to less production, and anything an advisor does that isn’t sales-generating is a cost center.

As an advisor, you should do what you do best, and that’s being in front of prospects and working with clients. Paperwork, administrative functions, scheduling seminars, and following up on loose ends is costing you money.

The standard response I hear when asked why an advisor doesn’t have an assistant is, “I can’t afford one”. Actually, you can’t afford not to have one. If your time is worth $200-$500 an hour, then how do you justify spending that kind of money filing paperwork or spending a few hours a day on administrative activities?

There is a solid, proven formula for succeeding in our business; it’s called marketing, actually putting forth a plan of action that generates consistent quality activity on a day-to-day basis. This is not rocket science.

The difference between the average producer and a top producer is that the top producer out-markets you 10:1. There’s no secret sauce or magic potion like many IMOs would like you to believe. It’s a simple method of having specific marketing techniques in place that generate the activity you need.

I can, with 100 percent confidence, take a $1.5 million dollar producer to $6 million in 18 months and upwards of $10 million in 36 months if they will simply listen. Does it require work? Of course.

The average producer has 2-4 appointments per week. A top producer has 4-6 per day. You need to ask yourself if doing what you have always done and experiencing the same results is a path you want to stay on for the remainder of your career. So do you?

Agents today rely on themselves to find the right “tools” to see more people, close more sales, and build a viable practice. It’s a never-ending revolving door of trying this and changing that and vice versa. Stop chasing and start building using fundamental practice management tools that get the results you seek.
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