The Project Management Approach to Building a Better Business
In business and in life, you are constantly managing projects. You could break your projects into three categories:
- Personal Projects
- Family Projects
- Business Projects
To achieve happiness, you must have a good balance between these three projects. A couple of my friends wrote a great book, Juggling Elephants, which describes this process really well.
By taking a project management approach to each of these categories, we can get more done in less time and achieve the correct balance.
As a financial advisor, you juggle way too many tasks. One big complaint that I have been hearing lately is “If I took inventory of all of the tasks that I need to complete, I would be totally overwhelmed and would not get any of them done.”
Just do the math. Let’s say you have 100 clients who meet your ideal client profile and you are delivering a comprehensive wealth management experience. To properly execute the strategy, you need to review, find solutions, implement and monitor:
- Estate Planning
- Insurance or Risk Management
- Children’s Education
- Business Succession
Some are more complex than the others, but it is safe to say that you are juggling a pretty big number of tasks for each client. Multiply by 100!
Your ability to manage these tasks will determine your level of client satisfaction and eventually your client retention and growth rates for your business.
Advisors have traditionally tried to use CRMs to manage these tasks. Unfortunately, it is like trying to use your putter for driving.
Here is a step-by-step approach to taking a project management approach for managing your clients‘ wealth management projects:
- Stop trying to do wealth and financial planning in intensive multi-hour meetings. It wears both you and your clients out, your clients become overwhelmed and it does not generally lead to complete implementation of all aspects of the financial plan.
- Break you wealth management program into the categories above and either adapt your planning software or develop a discovery process for each category.
- Set up a schedule of meetings over a 12 to 24 month period for each client with a goal of having every aspect of the financial or wealth plan fully implemented and monitored.
- Set up a series of Milestones to be completed. A typical Milestone is completion of discovery, selection and implementation of solutions or strategies and identification of the best way to monitor the solutions and strategies.
- In each meeting, identify tasks that need to be completed and link them to the Milestones. Assign tasks to an individual – you, a team member, another professional advisor (accountant, estate specialist, etc.) or a client and set a due date. Assigning tasks in an organized way will increase client engagement and improve satisfaction.
- Stress to your team members the importance of completing tasks on time and reporting completion status. Have daily meetings to discuss the project lists and any problems to help team members to complete tasks on time and to everybody’s satisfaction.
By taking a project management approach, you will definitely identify more work for you and your team but you will be able to achieve more in a fraction of the time. Imagine that all you need to do each day is to come in to the office, fulfill your client contact and task obligations and go home.
We have developed a technological solution – Client Roadmap to help you manage this process. Visit www.clientroadmap.com and watch our 2-minute video on how to how to more effectively collaborate with your clients.
Get more done, better satisfy your clients and get back on a positive growth track.