The top three things to do in December to assure next year will be your best ever

By Matt Hoogterp


As 2012 winds down, it’s a good time to reflect on the positive and negative aspects of the last year. It’s also a good time to look at the year ahead and begin to plan.

I think the best way to think about this is to imagine yourself and your business one year from today. It’s December, 2013: What has to have happened for you to consider it a successful year? I would think about this from a business and a personal perspective, because they do impact each other.

Now that everybody is thinking about the future, here are the top three activities you can do right now to help get your desired results:
    1) Develop a marketing calendar — Start by listing out the marketing activities you want to do. Schedule out seminars, your passion marketing campaigns (activities you enjoy doing that you can do with clients and client friends to get introductions), lunch and learn events, appreciation event, drip marketing campaign, etc.

    2) Have processes in place — Take time to make sure your appointment, seminar and business processes are a well-oiled machine. Know exactly how you are going to handle your first appointments and second appointments and how you are going to engage the prospect. Study your seminar materials and have very clear opening and closing stories and slides. Defined business processes will make your life so much easier. You can leverage your time with key staff and technology. Take the time to make sure your staff knows the exact role they play in the business and how to go about accomplishing that role. Take time to utilize systems like Red Tail, Marketing Library, Laser App, and Aldridge to the fullest. I recommend spending time with support departments at each company to help get things developed and to make sure you're using the tools to the full capacity.

    3) Have a defined value proposition — A statement about what you do from the clients' point of view. What would your top clients say when asked what you do for them? An example may be, “We develop structured income plans to give retirees confidence they will avoid the 12 retirement risks retirees face." You want the person to ask, “How do you do that?” or “Explain that in more detail." Do some soul-searching on this and take some time to work on it. It will give you a huge amount of confidence when talking with new prospects. You may want to ask your top 10 clients how they would describe their experience with your firm.
By taking these steps, you will be able to spend more time doing what you do best, which is developing relationships and helping people with income planning.