Have you ever taken a moment to calculate just how much an assistant adds to your bottom line? That's right, adds to your bottom line. Too many financial professionals look at having an administrative assistant as an expense they just can't afford, but I can assure you, if you leverage that resource correctly, your assistant can dramatically improve revenue and contribute tremendously to your bottom line.
Do You Even Have an Assistant?
If you don't have staff I can guarantee you're missing out on a significant amount of sales. At a minimum, your staff helps you drive more business by allowing you to do what you ultimately do best, and that's work with prospects and clients face-to-face.
Over the years, we've worked with thousands of financial professionals, yet only a small fraction of them have brought on a full-time assistant. What we can tell you is that those who have staff are generally more successful and as a result they make more sales and more money.
Typically, insurance professionals are fantastic at building relationships, understanding client concerns and finding suitable financial strategies and solutions. But as we all know, there is a lot more to this business than that. So how do you run a well-oiled machine when bringing on or expanding the role of your administrative assistant?
Running a Well-Oiled Office
Each day, you are bombarded with distractions. New tasks jump up in your face and try to derail you from focusing on the two or three things that only you can do. You feel like there aren't enough hours in the day and important admin tasks are starting to fall through the cracks. This is when you want to consider hiring staff. Just think how much more efficient and successful you could be if you only focused on the tasks that you are really good at and that generate revenue for your firm?
Once new prospect opportunities have been generated, your staff -- not you -- should be busy scheduling appointments for you. Once an appointment has been set, they execute the steps necessary to create an extraordinary client experience. Before the prospect even walks in the door, the front-office team establishes a relationship. What we've found is that following the right steps with prospects from the moment they walk in the door helps transition more prospects into clients. We completely outline these steps in our Elevate practice management mentoring program.
Let's be honest, not many salespeople like the paperwork and headaches associated after a client decides to move forward with your financial recommendations. Before the ink dries on your new client paperwork your office staff kicks into high gear. Their job is to process the business. They make copies of the paperwork, and check them for missing information, signatures, or initials. After that they send paperwork to the appropriate custodians who will be holding the client funds. Your office staff follows up on any missing requirements to get the client’s business issued and paid.
Your administrative staff is also in charge of the experience after the prospect becomes a client. They handle any required servicing activities to keep the client happy. They will also schedule periodic reviews and prepare updated client records for the review meetings.
An assistant takes the time-consuming work that you might not enjoy off your plate, freeing you up to stay in your "zone of genius" -- doing what you do best. Because otherwise, it's going to be next to impossible to grow your business.
Let's do the math
At this point, you might be starting to see how hiring an administrative assistant could be helpful and ease quite a bit of stress for you. Now, you need to determine if that is worth the expense.
Here's a short 3-step exercise that can help you determine if the math makes sense:
1. What is your average first-year revenue per client? Take a look at your business last year. How much revenue did your company bring in from new clients? Divide that figure by the number of new clients last year to calculate your average revenue per client.
2. How many hours do you spend with your prospects? Tabulate how many hours you spend working directly with a prospect before they become a client. Include face-to-face time as well as designing their strategy, but don't count time on paperwork, following up on new business, or other tasks that don't require your unique skills as a financial professional.
3. Divide average revenue per client by hours spent working directly with a prospect before they become a client. This is what your time is really worth by the hour.
Now, the million dollar question for your business...
Would you pay an assistant that amount per hour to do administrative tasks, such as filing paperwork, calling custodian companies, or scheduling meetings?
Are you starting to see how valuable your time really is?
How to make hiring an assistant easier
When you hire an assistant, you have to be ready and willing to hand over the reins on a few things. This can be a difficult first step as financial professionals are entrepreneurs. You're used to handling all of these tasks and may feel that it would take too much time to train someone to perform this role as well as you do.
To make it work, you need to be at a point in your business where you are willing and able to delegate tasks and understand the opportunity cost of NOT doing that.
You have a couple of choices, you can continue to do work that is not a good use of your time and stay stuck at your current level, or you can spend a little time training someone to feel empowered to take responsibility for those tasks.
It can go much smoother if you start now by creating a written process for everything you do. Processes are the systems that allow your business to run smoothly (with or without an assistant). By putting those in place now, you'll make it much easier to hire someone to come in and know exactly what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.
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