How advisors can plan for successArticle added by Ari Fischman on November 29, 2011
dog5bows

Ari Fischman

SOUTHFIELD, MI

Joined: October 13, 2006

My Company

As a financial professional, it doesn’t make much sense to simply wander into the abyss hoping for success, especially at a time when so many people are floundering thanks to the state of the economy. Instead, create a plan.

To market yourself as an expert in our fast-paced industry, it is necessary to have focus and a plan. As a financial professional, it doesn’t make much sense to simply wander into the abyss hoping for success, especially at a time when so many people are floundering thanks to the state of the economy. Instead, create a plan.

Decide what you’d like to accomplish today, this week, this month, this quarter and this year and determine what it’s going to take to reach your goals.

With the economy still in such disarray, establishing organization in your practice can help you feel a sense of control, and is essential to keeping your business plans intact. And these days, technology can lend a huge hand in organization if you use it to your advantage.

For example, as a means to eliminate paper so nothing slips through the cracks, my office currently uses Evernote®. We use this system for call-ins and keeping track of existing and prospective cases. It’s not a contact management tool, but rather a straightforward method to keep our day-to-day business in order.

In keeping with the need for organization, it is equally important to delegate tasks to those capable of doing them in your practice to free up your plate for exactly what you should be doing — producing and building your book of business.

As such, targeting centers of influence has been pivotal for me. Because I practice an insurance specialty and don’t do assets under management, building relationships with financial advisors has been advantageous — specifically those who don’t focus on insurance.

These advisors know there is a need for the insurance discussion with their clients, but they recognize they’re not experts. The same applies for CPAs. I position myself by explaining my expertise and then give the advisor or CPA a few possible scenarios they could visualize with their clients. As a result, I become the go-to insurance specialist for the advisor or CPA. This process has been the foundation of my business model.

Because our profession is all about relationships, creating new and fostering existing connections is always part of my plan, both short- and long-term. To meet centers of influence, the introduction is warm and arranged by a third party — I never cold call. From there, I develop a rapport by taking them to lunch or hosting lunches in their offices and always sharing my sales ideas with them.

I’ve learned the key is to only share the ideas I can stand behind and be passionate about. If I don’t 100 percent believe my idea is fantastic, the center of influence certainly won’t think so either. The tone and energy I put forth in the presentation of my ideas helps cut through any objections the advisor or CPA might have.
,br> Ideally, they’ll find great value in my thoughts and share them with their clients, who in turn will become my clients as well.

Decide who your target market is going to be, and stick to it. Going after anyone and everyone to grow your business ultimately will not bring you much success, or credibility for that matter. I suggest identifying your niche market and immersing yourself in it. Whether it is dentists, architects or veterinarians, join and become active in their associations to gain exposure and credibility.

And don’t forget to become a part of our industry associations as well. My involvement in the Million Dollar Round Table has helped me achieve the complete package by learning invaluable insights from my peers. The bottom line is to have a vision and build on it. Chances are, your short- and long-term goals will be realized.
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