Do you make New Year resolutions? Forbes and YouGov report 37% of Americans do. It supports the idea of incremental improvement. If you can make an improvement a year over many years, you should be making real progress. The study indicates 87% of Americans are likely to keep them up. What are some good resolutions for the financial advisor?

The Advisor Who Isn’t Growing
You might also be known as the advisor who has hit a plateau. You make a good living yet lose clients to attrition. You have not added any clients in the past few years. You devote your time to giving your clients great service. You know them well and they are very loyal.

New Year Resolution: When you deliver their face-to-face annual review in January, explain how they did in 2023 and the different ways you helped them when they had situations needing attention. Let them know you are adding clients, and you would like more just like them. Who do they know that is not getting this level of attention? You would like to meet them. Explain how this can happen.

New Year Resolution: Another approach is to look outside your current book of business. Find a prospecting strategy you like. It might be social media driven. It might be seminars. Dedicate at least one hour each day to implementing your strategy. Find a fellow advisor you met at a conference who uses a similar strategy. Create a buddy system for mutual support. Talk every week and track your progress.

The Advisor Who Cannot Stand Prospecting
Some advisors consider prospecting a rite of passage, similar to initiation to get into a college fraternity or sorority. It is difficult to endure, then it is behind you once you are in. They feel prospecting is something to be avoided.

New Year Resolution: Borrow an idea from a great coach I once heard speak! Make a list of your top 20 clients. Next to their names, write down how you got that client. Review the list and look for commonalities. The person who presented this idea mentioned the advisor often sees many of their best clients came from one specific prospecting activity. When asked: “When did you last do (activity)?” the answer was often “Oh, I haven’t done that for years.” Put that strategy into action.

New Year Resolution: Prospecting can take many forms, but it is often associated with cold calling. Find another approach that doesn’t feel like cold calling. It might involve LinkedIn, for example. There are others. Dedicate an hour every day to your strategy, ideally first thing in the morning. Track your results. Find an advisor who had success with the strategy and learn from them.

The Advisor Who Only Does Business One Way
You have a great business process. It involves financial planning, asset allocation, professional money management and periodic reviews. It works for you. Unfortunately, the thrill is gone. You can’t get excited about coming into work.

New Year Resolution: Remember when people like you were called stockbrokers? Investing used to be all about doing research, finding good stocks and recommending them. Learn about this aspect of the business. Your firm can probably provide the research for you. Get excited about stocks! Call clients and get them excited too! Tell them you need fresh money for this idea. Stop talking.

New Year Resolution: How much do you know about bonds? Yes, the words “bonds” and “boring” both start with the same two letters. Bonds come in lots of flavors. Learn about ratings and call features. You can buy bond funds, mutual funds and managed money products, but individual bonds are a great vehicle too. They are ideal for someone income-oriented intending to hold them until maturity. Become an expert. Tell your clients.

The Advisor New To The Area
You relocated. This might be a situation where your spouse has a job requiring a move and you have been supportive. The firm where you worked in your previous city got you setup with their branch in your new city. You might have retained some clients, but you need new ones.

New Year Resolution: Get involved in the community. Pick four community groups or nonprofits. Join as a member. Attend one event per month with each group. Set a goal to meet six new people at each meeting. Four meetings a month over 12 months is not too big a time commitment, but you have made 288 connections. Even if a third don’t have much money and another third can’t stand you, that leaves about 100 people with prospect potential who like you.

New Year Resolution: Get to know your new neighbors. Who are the other parents at your child’s school? Make connections with local businesses by becoming their customer. Talk about what you do. Take an interest in what they do.

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