Helping Financial Professionals Find and Focus on Priorities

Topics: Advisor Solutions, Growing Your Practice

by Colin Cosgrove

Insights from Financial Professional Coach Brian Margolis on Being Intentional and Relevant

Most financial professionals know about the 80/20 rule in which a small number of actions are responsible for the majority of results. The problem is that a global pandemic has disrupted business, making it increasingly difficult to identify the factors that will have maximum impact.

Wild market swings combined with shelter-in-place orders have altered nearly all aspects of our lives as well as the lives of our clients. It has not been easy.

That’s where author and entrepreneur Brian Margolis, who trains and coaches individual salespeople and Fortune 500 companies, has stepped in. He spoke with us about how financial professionals can focus on the big picture and achieve long-term results in the face of today’s chaotic environment.

Trading busy for intention: Setting your schedule

“I make sure financial professionals understand that they want to ensure they are running an intentional business, meaning that at the scale of a week, at the scale of the day, they've thought with clarity and with strategy,” Margolis said. “They know ahead of time what those important things are they need to do during the action in the trenches. They've done the CEO thinking and now they just have to execute.”

These are certainly stressful times, and often the easiest way to alleviate stress is by staying busy, checking emails and conducting meetings. Margolis explains why that may not be the optimal path.

“What I have seen financial professionals do, is just taking meetings wherever they come, and then they're bouncing around and trying to do other important tasks in between meetings. This doesn’t allow enough time to get into a flow,” Margolis said. “So they end up staying busy by checking email because they can't really get into anything because there's always the next meeting coming up.”

Day in a life for a financial professional

To change behavior, Margolis laid out an average 8-to-5 day for a financial professional, which structures blocks of time aimed at splitting up running the business, servicing clients, and prospecting.  

A Disciplined Day

8:00 am -11:00 am
Pro time. Proactively work on the things you need to build your business, including planning and education.

11:00 am -12:30 pm
Batch meetings. Conduct three half-hour phone calls, which could be with clients, prospects or vendors.

12:30 pm -2:30 pm
A large break. Take a two-hour break. This may seem like too much time, but it accounts for lunch, rest, and gaining the energy needed to be at your best for the remainder of your day.

2:30 pm -4:00 pm
Second batch of meetings. Do another three half-hour meetings.

4:00 pm -5:00 pm
Daily Wrap-Up. End your day by responding to emails, organizing, and getting prepared for the next day so you can go home and be fully engaged in your personal life without worrying about items hanging over your head.

Thoughtfully breaking up your schedule gives financial professionals the ability to get in a rhythm while being more productive in all aspects of their day. 

Be Intentional

Many clients may have overcome the wild market swings that were part of the early days of the pandemic but may still be unnerved by world events. Address those fears during the first half of client meetings by reminding them how their overall strategy and portfolio positioning helped them persevere during previous short-term market turmoil. 

Being intentional about how you approach your day, how and when you talk to clients, and how you run your business will help financial professionals reduce stress while providing the necessary clarity to identify the actions that will bring the biggest benefits.

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