Each year, we typically see people setting New Year resolutions. Unfortunately, most resolutions don’t hold up for more than a week or two, and we don’t think that’s right, especially if you’re a financial professional.
If you look at some of the most successful financial professionals in our industry, they all tend to not only set these four goals, they also continually measure their success toward accomplishing their goals.
Goal 1: Prospecting Goal
Hands down, the most successful financial professionals establish a yearly prospecting goal. In other words, they identify the total number of new prospects they’d like to get in front of this year. To accomplish this goal, you need to plan out your prospecting activities and set aside a realistic budget and follow-through. You can accomplish this plan on your own, but maybe it’s something you should be delegating to your assistant. If you think you can’t afford to hire an assistant, click here to learn the real truth behind one of the most valuable members you should have on your team.
It’s also important to leverage a prospecting program that has already produced results in the real world. There are many organizations and consultants out there ready to separate you from your hard-earned money on a program that just doesn’t work, so be sure to look at a prospecting program that has been vetted and can produce meaningful results. What do meaningful results mean? That really depends, but a benchmark you should be shooting for is 20 buying units (couples or head-of-household) per prospecting event. If you conduct just 1 prospecting event per month, your prospecting goal would be 120 units. At two prospecting events per month, that would lead to 240 units, but that only gets you so far, you need a lead conversion goal.
Goal 2: Conversion Goal
There are many financial professionals out there when asked, “how many prospects do you convert into clients" they’ll say they convert 9 out of 10, or something along those lines. In other words, they claim every prospect they meet converts into a client. While that very well may be true, the fact is most financial professionals have never tracked their results, and at the core of every sales professional there tends to be a cognitive bias - sometimes known as the certainty effect. This is when people over weigh outcomes that are considered certain relative to outcomes that are merely possible. Yes, it is possible that you will convert every prospect you encounter, but the reality is that the actual conversion is significantly lower, which is why you need to not only have a conversion goal, but also a metric to quantify your results.
The reason you need the goal and the metric is that you want to spend your prospecting dollars on the activities that generate the best results. If you conduct one prospecting program and it generates 10 buying units, but you only convert 1, whereas another prospecting program generates 5 buying units and you convert 4, which program should you do more of … assuming the price is the same for both programs? The answer is, it depends on how much revenue gets generated. If that 10-to-1 conversion lead to revenue of $10,000, and the other program that lead to four-out-of-five conversions leads to a total of $4,000 in revenue, it’s pretty clear which one is the winner. That’s why it’s important to set a conversion goal, which may be related more to the cost of the program and the revenue generated, not necessarily the number of people who convert.
When thinking through your conversion goal, you should also consider developing and sharing your sales process. If you want to learn more about why financial professionals need a consistent and repeatable sales process to obtain better and more consistent conversions, click here.
Goal 3: Educational Goal
Think you know everything in this business? Think again. If there’s one thing about the financial services industry, it's that there is always something new to learn. Whether that’s a new product, marketing approach, technology hack or business practice, the financial professional that puts ongoing education as a goal will always be able to provide more value to their clients. That’s because people achieve success not by accident. It’s a combination of hard work, risk-taking and learning.
For most of us, it takes twenty years or more of hard work and ongoing education to become an overnight success. Make on-going education a goal, whether that’s reading a new business book every quarter, developing or enhancing a skill, like speaking in public, or putting money aside to develop your staff. An educational goal will typically pay tremendous dividends in the end. Or perhaps it’s time to start thinking about taking on a business coach to take your business to the next level. A skilled business coach will guide you and educate you on successful strategies you can implement to achieve extraordinary success.
Goal 4: Referral Goal
Everybody in this business says they grow from referrals, but are they setting a goal and tracking a specific referral goal? This year, you should consider taking the steps necessary to make generating more quality referrals one of your top goals. The key word is "quality" referrals. This sounds like an easy task, but in reality getting referrals takes a lot of different steps. Click here to learn the three steps to create more referrals for your business.
Make this the year that you elevate and innovate your business by not only setting the four most important goals, but by also taking the time to measure your goals. While this is just a short list of four goals, what other goals should financial professionals be focusing on this year? Share your thoughts with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter!