It’s that time of year again… The weather is great and everyone is trying to spend a bit more time outdoors. The downside is that business may be getting just a little quieter for the next month or two.
So here lies the opportunity! It’s quite likely that you’ll have a bit more spare time on your hands over the next while; the question is how will you use this time? We all know how hours and days can just get “lost”; where you get to the end of the day and realise you actually haven’t done a whole lot that day! It can be hard to keep your focus when there’s not the pressure of constant phone calls and emails and achieving deadlines to meet client expectations.
It’s easier to keep focused though when you have a plan. So what sort of things might be in that plan for the summer months? Here are a few ideas;
Arrange to meet your key clients
This is a great time of year for catching up with key clients, outside of your advice process. This is not a business meeting; it’s a game of golf, a coffee, an early pint – whatever works best for them and you! This is an opportunity to show your interest in their business and lives without looking for anything back in return. The cost is small for both of you as you probably both have the time to meet. However there is real benefit in it for you, as the client will appreciate your interest without it being an “advice” or “sales” meeting.
Revisit your LinkedIn presence
As you’ll know from previous posts of mine, I rate LinkedIn as a highly important tool for financial planners and brokers. When prospective clients are researching you, they’ll check your company website and your LinkedIn profile. It’s really important that you’re putting your best foot forward through both of these.
In relation to LinkedIn, there are 2 areas to concentrate on over the summer.
The first is your profile. Go through your profile section by section? Are there areas that you can expand the information a little to make it more engaging? Are there new areas that you can add to your profile? Are there clients that you could seek recommendations from? All of these will provide prospective clients with richer information about you, hopefully making them more inclined to actually do business with you. LinkedIn will also help you edit your profile by prompting you to complete certain areas.
The second area is expanding your network of connections. There are 3 ways of doing this;
- Check the “People you may know” section to identify people suggested by LinkedIn.
- Check the connections belonging to your existing connections. Are there people here that you should seek an introduction to?
- Search for people using the search bar at the top. There are new people joining LinkedIn all the time. They just might not have found their way onto your LinkedIn radar as yet.
And then when you find people that you want to connect with, remember to personalise every invitation. Don’t just use the default LinkedIn invitation.
Update your CRM system
Rather than wasting an hour or two mindlessly surfing the web, set yourself a target to review the records of a number of clients every day within your CRM system. While you may have all the data in the system to meet you compliance requirements, maybe now is the time to populate some of the softer information that can help you build really rich relationships with your clients. Information such as;
- Their stated life aspirations
- Their financial goals and objectives
- Their communication preferences
- Their interests and hobbies
- Wider information in relation to their families
Develop a plan of attack for the rest of the year
Plot out how you’re going to approach the final four months of the year, from when everything “gets back to normal” on 1st September. Who are the prospects / clients that you need to contact in plenty of time before “pensions season”? What will this contact consist of? How are you going to get these prospects to engage on the subject of pensions, and equally importantly, how will you ensure they engage with you? Which other clients need to be contacted, either for a regular review or indeed because you’re aware of a change in their circumstances?
While you have a bit of time, put a structured plan in place with clear actions and dates to make sure these contacts then happen.
Take a holiday & recharge your batteries!
The most important one of the lot! Nothing helps you get your focus and your energy back better than a well earned break. I hope you and your family have a great holiday and enjoy the summer!
Photo Credit: flickr