Of all the pivotal moments in a financial advisor’s career, it is the Systemization Point that determines success, failure or mediocrity more than any other. As critical as this juncture is in a career, it often goes unrecognized, overlooked or sometimes simply ignored.
Systemization Point: the point at which advisors are no longer able to “wing it” or “fly by the seat of their pants” if they hope to grow or move to the next level
Although the nature of this tipping point is specific to each advisor, it does possess one universal characteristic. It invariably arrives in the career of every financial advisor. It isn’t tied to years in the business, geographic location, experience or even production level. Some advisors recognize it in their rookie years, while others may not hit it until the $100,000, $300,000 or even $500,000 production level.
When you reach your Systemization Point, you must take the time to develop and implement clearly defined, repeatable systems for the important aspects of your business. It’s never too early or too late, but it must be done if you are to reach your full potential as a financial advisor.
Take this simple 9 question Systemization Point Quiz to determine if you are close to, or have reached your personal Systemization Point. After the quiz, review the key areas that typically have the greatest impact on an advisor’s business when systematized. Then you can follow the general guidelines on how to begin to address the infrastructure of your business.
Systemization Point Quiz
1. Are you satisfied with the rate and consistency of your current business growth?
2. Do you feel you’ve reached a plateau and can’t seem to break through it?
3. Is your ability to bring in new business sporadic and inconsistent?
4. Would you rate your pipeline as strong, weak or non-existent?
5. When you get a prospect who doesn’t become a client immediately, do they frequently fall through the cracks after a few touches?
6. Do you feel you are effectively leveraging your existing book for more assets, referrals and revenue?
7. Are you getting the number of referrals you want, need and expect?
8. Are you satisfied with your networking and COI results?
9. Do you feel you waste more time than you’d like or spend too much time trying to decide what to do next?
This quiz is designed to give you insight into the status of your current business infrastructure. If you were satisfied with your responses, congratulations! You have reached and conquered your Systemization Point.
If you were not satisfied with your answers, now is the time to start systematizing your business. Having systems in place for the key components of your business gives you more control and leverage over your time, your existing book and your business development activities. Your systems will not only increase the level of service you provide clients, save you massive amounts of time, increase your efficiency and add to your professionalism, but you feel far more confident when they are in place.
The key areas that will have the greatest impact on your business when systematized are:
1. Business Development
3. Client Contact
4. Influence Infrastructure (Networking and COI Development)
5. Time management, Tracking and Organization
Steps to Building Systems for Your Business
1. You know your business better than anyone. Evaluate what you are doing now in each of the above areas. Identify the area that you feel would have the greatest immediate impact on your business if you had repeatable processes in place.
2. Once you have chosen the system you wish to tackle first, brainstorm and make a comprehensive list of everything you should be doing to take that component of your business to the next level.
3. Now list the tasks that you’d like to do but more importantly, those that are maintainable no matter what else is happening in the world, the markets, your firm, your branch and your life. This is a critical step. You do not want to invest your valuable time building and starting the system, only to discover it’s not maintainable. It’s far better to start with a simple but maintainable system. You can always add to it later once it’s a habit and functioning properly.
4. Outline what your system would look like and how it should function on a daily basis. Finalize the complete system before you begin the implementation phase. During implementation, allow for a period of adjustment and troubleshooting. Track your progress and make changes as necessary.
Systems do take some thought and effort to build and implement. However, the ROI in terms of time spent building these systems is exponential and worth every minute of effort you put into it. Having a systematic approach in your business helps you develop consistency, and that is the trademark of all great businesses.
If business development, referrals or networking is a top priority on your systems list, you’re going to need a solid drip system. Get a head start with our free Prospect to Client Shortcut Kit which includes our Drip Tips Checklist and the 98 Day Drip Spreadsheet.