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Self-Managing Firm

Creating Systems for a Self-Managing Firm

The more things are systemized, the less opportunity for negligence and the greater chance your clients will experience a superb experience.

When your firm is self-managing, you have more time for the lifestyle you always wanted without having to work extra hours.

I always create systems with the client experience in mind because clients inform their purchasing based on experiences they have.

If the experience is good, they’re more likely to make a purchase. If the experience is bad, they won’t hesitate to walk away, and they may spread unfavorable feedback.

An important consideration in the client experience is routine. Clients appreciate consistency and routine from financial advisors — something they can consistently count on, especially as you’re handling their most valuable assets. Here’s a simple example.

Have you ever had a friend who says “oh, that’s my table,” at a restaurant? Or, will only use one specific treadmill at the gym?

If their routine is thrown off, their perception of the experience may be skewed, regardless if the service changed. Services that are reliable, dependable and familiar create trust.

Consider these two important criteria when it comes to formulating systems and processes for your business:

  1. Define the desired client experience.
  2. Repeat the experience over and over again.

Altering the client experience every time you meet can deeply impact their relationship with your business.

Regardless if the changes are positive or negative, they can impact the client’s purchase decision and how they perceive your firm.

Here are a few practical examples of creating systems, you can put into practice right now:

  • Establish a standardized phone greeting for all team members to abide by.
  • Create and stick to a pre-defined agenda for team meetings.
  • Require all team members to greet clients in the same manner.
  • Set up the conference or meeting room the same way before each client interaction.
  • Standardize your client follow-up procedure.

In my firm, we have hundreds of processes we use, especially when it comes to the client experience. Here are just a few examples of how you can create systems in your firm:

For Couples

We take extensive measures to make sure the woman in the relationship feels her contributions are equally as valuable as the man’s. Many times, women come into our meetings with the expectation of sitting on the sidelines.

To combat this, we always position the woman at the head of the table or politely directing her to the seat. Clients tend to select the same seat in subsequent meetings; if we’re able to control where they sit from the get-go, we can control the experience and make it the best it can be.

Remember, systems constantly evolve and must be refreshed with the ebb and flow of your business. It’s not normal or feasible to believe the systems you have in place today will suffice 5, 10, 15 years from now. They may not even be applicable in the next couple months!

For New Clients

Consider a list of potential questions or points of communication with a client. Include a response to an initial inquiry, follow-up email, proposal email, invoicing, etc.

Assuming you do similar business with all your clients, they will have similar questions, requiring similar answers.

Once you’ve created a handful of template replies, you can quickly personalize your message and reply in a matter of moments. This is also a good tool for minimizing time spent prospecting, so you can exert more focus on the clients you already have.

For Your Finances

Set up a business bank account to make tracking your finances exponentially easier.

Go paperless and consider an online accounting software, preferably something with a mobile app, making your finances accessible anytime, anywhere.

Most software allows business owners to send invoices and reminders to clients, where you can also see if they’ve opened your email or taken action.

Come tax time, you’ll be well ahead of the game, and your accountant will thank you!

Systems Can Be Proactive

In the early 2000s, we had a situation where my assistant was out of the office from over four months, due to serious personal issues.

To no fault of her own, we had no idea how she did her work and couldn’t emulate it in any way. It was at that time I started documenting, very specifically the systems we had in place, so a similar situation would never happen again.

It was time-consuming, arduous work, but the payoff was huge and very much worth it. Being proactive when it comes to systems is the biggest and most important advice I can give you.

Consider the following areas where you can begin applying systems and processes:

  • Meetings
  • Client Seating
  • Greeting Clients
  • Customer Service
  • Post-Meeting Tasks
  • Case Notes
  • Phones
  • Email
  • Client Onboarding
  • Client Birthdays
  • Referral Thank You Process

Remember, this is just a starting point. You will definitely have more systems and processes, depending on the nature of your business.

We Can Help

If you are a financial advisor who wants to grow your practice by two to ten times, join us and Spend the Day and learn the proven formula for reaching Seven-Figure success.

I want to help you achieve the lifestyle you always dreamed of without having to work more hours. Reserve your seat in our next workshop!

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Creating Systems for a Self-Managing Firm
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When your firm is self-managing, you have more time for the lifestyle you always wanted without having to work extra hours. Systems that are reliable, dependable and familiar create trust that build strong, lasting client relationships.
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