Have you some spare time over the summer?
It’s that time of year again… There’s a mini heatwave this week 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 possible that you’ll have a bit more spare time on your hands over the next while and rather than sitting there thinking about the beach, how will you use this time? 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. I suggest you either go to the beach (rather than think about it), or put the time into driving your business forwards.
If you want to put the time into your business, it’s easier to keep focused when you have a plan. So what sort of things might be in that plan for the summer months? Here are a few ideas;
Keep prospecting and marketing
A big challenge for advisers over the summer is to stay committed to business development. It’s just hard work… as prospective clients are less likely to fully engage when the weather is good, the kids are off school etc. However business development work carried out now will pay off when the summer ends and people are 100% back to work. Don’t just give up on all of this for the summer months. Keep your prospecting and marketing campaigns going – keep making those calls, sending out your newsletter, continue your blogging and social media activities. Now is not the time to let these activities slip!
As part of this too, plot out how you’re going to approach the second half of the year. Who are the prospects that you need to contact in the next few months? What will this contact consist of and when will it happen? How are you going to get these prospects to engage with you? 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.
Arrange to meet your key clients
This is a great time of year for catching up with key clients, outside of your regular advice interactions with them. 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
I rate LinkedIn as a very 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.
The second area is expanding your network of connections. There are 3 ways to do 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 set number of clients every day within your CRM system. While you may have all the data in the system to meet your compliance requirements, 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
Refine your proposition
Your client value proposition is your magic sauce; it is that which your clients will really engage with. It would be very unusual to have got it 100% right first time and it makes sense to keep it under constant review; pick up the signals that you will inevitably get from your clients when meeting them. Now over the summer, take some time to critically review every aspect of your proposition – the areas of value that you highlight, the steps in your process, your list of services and your remuneration methods. And then don’t be afraid to make changes to your proposition. After all businesses evolve all the time, and so should yours.
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!