Efficiency, as with golf, is a game that is continually improved on.

In the business of financial services (and other relationship-based sales professions), there are five different levels you can achieve. Each stage presents its own challenges and new levels of efficiency must be achieved in order to move to the next level. The following is an outline of each stage:

Stage 1:  White Belt – Rookie

At this stage, you are just starting out in the business.  You have all the time in the world, but spend a lot of it pretending to be busy as a way to avoid doing the activities that will make you money.  You do everything at this stage because you don’t qualify for an assistant yet.  80% of your time should be spent prospecting and 20% on administrative tasks.

Efficiency Goal:  Creating structures for yourself to maximize the time you are prospecting.  Eliminate distractions.  Accountability is a good tool for you.

Stage 2:  Yellow Belt – Survival

This is when you gain a bit of confidence in yourself as you have now proven that you can enroll people into doing business with you.  You now have some clients to service, but you can still handle almost all of the work yourself.  You may have a part time assistant to help you with some of the administrative and marketing tasks.  Your level doesn’t qualify you for a full time assistant yet, but you can see it in the distance.  You’re not really sure yet what is working in your business because you try new things, but are getting more clear.

Efficiency Goal:  Stay focused on Prospecting and learn how to train your assistant to handle some of the administrative items that you are not good at or hate to do.

Stage 3:  Brown Belt – Seasoned

You have made it in the business.  Your production level is around $300,000.  You now have enough business to truly keep you busy on the servicing side, leaving you little time to bring in new business.  This is where the first plateau happens.  It is also the level that requires a strategic paradigm shift.  You may be hesitant to change the strategies that got you to this level.  You probably share an assistant with one other advisor at your production level – this presents it’s own set of challenges.  Your assistant is either licensed or should be working on getting his/her license to place trades for you.  This is a good time to begin working The CHAMPION Path

Efficiency Goal:  Learn to leverage your assistant.  Practice the art of delegation and management of priorities.  It is easy to get caught up in handling the most recent matter rather than the most important one.

Stage 4:  1st Degree Black Belt

Your production level is in the $800,000-$1,000,000 range.    You are now at a level that affords you your own assistant.  You begin to spend more time out of the office with your top clients building those relationships. If you have reached the golden level of a Million Dollar Producer, congratulations!  You have met a major milestone of success.  One thing I know about you, is that this is likely not your stopping point.   This level is where we typically see a second plateau.  Again, you may encounter a bit of resistance to changing any of the things that brought you to this level, but you know you want more.  If you have been stuck at this level for a couple of years, you understand that another paradigm shift is necessary.  You now start building a team as you can’t effectively manage and grow your business at this level.  You will have a full time, licensed assistant who has also developed good relationships with your clients so s/he can handle most of the daily administrative tasks.  You may also want to bring on a junior broker to help manage your smaller accounts and begin to bring in more assets.  Many times at this level, advisors experience the intrinsic question: what is this all for?  We often spend time with our clients answering this question which also helps to define the design for the next level.  Clarify of purpose will help you climb to a level seen by only a few in the industry.

Efficiency Goal:  Incorporating your assistant into your team.  Help your assistant develop trust between him/her and your clients so they begin to rely on him/her for administrative items.  Turn your attention to getting out of the office more and spending more time with your best clients.

Stage 5:  3rd Degree Black Belt

There are few advisors that make it to this level.  You are the crème of the crop.  This level is never achieved alone.  You have a team around you that includes a full time assistant, possibly a junior broker or partner and maybe even an analyst.  Your challenge may be to manage your team well so that you can spend more time out of the office then in the office.  Or perhaps your model is to lead your junior advisors to be lead generators/asset gatherers.  Whatever your model, leadership is the key to success at this level.

Efficiency Goal:  Managing your team while managing your business.

To discover how Getting Results can help you climb to your next level, complete the Personal Assessment and one of our coaches will contact you to review it.