For the best advisors, the key to increased productivity is to clearly define their company’s objectives and strategies before starting to implement time management techniques. They spend time working ON their business, setting direction as to how they will work more effectively.
They have a clear vision for the next five years and direct the strategies and activities they will focus on to achieve their objectives. For some advisors, their goal is to spend more time with their families and relax outside the company. For them, increased efficiency means maintaining their current sales and service levels, with less effort. For others, the objective may be to significantly develop their practice. As a result, increased productivity and time management are a way to meet more customers, provide them with a better customer experience and generate more sales.
No matter what your professional and personal goals are, increased productivity can bring you greater satisfaction and allow you to create your dream practice. Read on to discover the 8 best tips to improve your time management and overall productivity.
Tip #1: Be proactive
A counsellor’s day is filled with hundreds of decisions to make, large or small. For many counsellors, many of these decisions are made instinctively, without much thought. These responses in response to events that occur may seem harmless at the time (“I can take care of it myself, it will only take a second”), but over the days and weeks, the time lost can become significant. The more aware you are of each decision, the more you will be able to focus on the important things – delegate low-value tasks to employees or technology. Low-value tasks must always be performed, but they do not have to be performed by you.
Tip #2: Work strategically
The more targets and systems you define for your marketing and sales efforts, the more proactive you will be. Your daily activities will have a purpose and will be aligned in the direction you need to follow to achieve your vision and objectives. So, rather than scattering marketing efforts (such as holding a seminar in one quarter and focusing on direct mail in the other), set annual goals, develop a marketing calendar, define all the tasks needed to achieve your goals and use a CRM system to help you follow your plan more easily.
Tip #3: Have a plan for handling emails and text messages
It is not uncommon for an advisor to receive more than a hundred emails each day. Even if you only take 30 seconds to process each one, it represents about an hour a day. It is time that probably does not generate income. It is therefore advisable to implement a strategy to manage incoming messages. Some advisors reserve blocks of time for emails (such as at the beginning of the day, at lunch, before closing shop), which prevents them from being distracted during their other activities. It is also a good idea to use messaging rules to automatically forward messages to folders and keep your inbox organized.
Tip #4: Customer Documentation
Rather than reinvent the wheel every time you start working with a new customer, create a professional set of documents that you can leave them. The latter should explain the steps in the integration process, how the client can get help, how often a communication can be received and how it will take place. It is also a good idea to include a FAQ section.
These documents reduce your client’s anxiety about what to expect and increase their confidence in you and the process. They make you look professional and this confirms that he made the right decision. These documents also reduce the time required to assist each new customer during the integration process.
Tip #5: Plan time
Instead of responding reactively to each customer request or unexpected task, determine how much time you will spend each day on low-value activities (such as email processing, product research, social network responses). It is not that these tasks are not important and should not be performed, but that they are related to management.
Tip #6: Be diligent in managing meetings
Effective meetings with your customers are essential to your success, but if you don’t pay attention to how you organize them, they can affect your productivity.
From a time management perspective, it is important to set limits on the length of meetings. Respect the established timescales. Be flexible about customer satisfaction, but recognize that not all meetings need to be in person. Some advisors only work online and never meet clients. Remember that this is an extreme strategy and means that you are only willing to accept customers who want to work in this way. Other advisors strategically determine the type and frequency of meetings they will offer for each of their client segments. Thus, “A” clients can have several face-to-face meetings each year. B” customers may have only one. And the “C” and “D” can have online meetings using Zoom, Facetime or another video meeting application.
Tip #7: Use a specific CRM system for advisors to take notes and record calls
Best productivity practices tell us to ensure that we capture ideas and follow-up tasks as they arise. In this way, they are not forgotten. Rather than scribbling notes on a piece of paper, enter them into your CRM system. Attach them to the corresponding customer file for easy retrieval at a later date. Create the tasks necessary for monitoring and assign them to the appropriate staff member. You will save the time you would have lost looking for your notes. This will improve your productivity because your good ideas will not fall between two chairs.
Tip #8: Use technology to free yourself from the office
Today’s technology allows advisors to work anywhere, anytime. If you have not yet made the leap, you can save time and work more efficiently by switching to a CRM system in a cloud. It will allow you to access your clients’ data and find solutions for them at the time and place of your meeting.
Improved productivity starts with knowing very clearly what you expect from your company. Once you have determined your goal, you can implement time and productivity management strategies such as time block, technology adoption and complete documentation to find more hours in the day and make each of them more profitable for your business.