How to Stay Focused on New Revenue Activities
Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.
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I was really excited to start the year and focus on new business growth. I closed $7 million in the first 5 weeks. Now that we are nearing the end of February I am losing my enthusiasm and zest for what I was doing well. I get frustrated that no one else in the practice seems to sense the urgency that I convey. If we have a prospect, someone should jump on the follow up. If we have a COI event and there is interest, someone should put those names on a list and send our information. I just don’t think the “someone” should always be me. The less motivated others are to help, the less enthused I am about continuing to do what I am doing. It’s hard work and it takes focus and dedication. I like the kick that comes from closing the business and seeing our numbers grow but I don’t think I can keep it up for 10 more months this year if no one else is coming along and helping me out.
Assuming $7 million is a big number for you or your firm, first I’ll offer congratulations on the success you’ve seen so far this year. It sounds like you have been very motivated and focused to date. Your note raises a few different things that I often hear from clients so I’ll address a few different aspects of the question:
- It’s not uncommon for the “driver” personality in any organization to feel they are the only ones making things happen and that everyone looks to them for decisions on what to do and what’s best. The truth of the matter is that these types of people tend to (sometimes without knowing it) assume a “get it done” approach that is so compelling that it’s easy for others to just step back and let them take the ball and run with it. The unfortunate downside is, as you are experiencing, no one operates well in a vacuum and even the strongest people need support. So first, be sure you are not sending a “get out of my way!” message unwillingly to your team.
- Be clear about expectations of others. You say that someone should put names on a list but who? Many people don’t take initiative but if told exactly what to do and how to do it, they will execute very well. One client of mine had left out Thank You notes for one of her advisors to send to clients and prospects. The notes sat there for weeks with my client getting very frustrated that her colleague was not just taking the initiative. When we spoke with the colleague, she had absolutely no idea that the notes were intended for her use! She actually thought they belonged to someone else in the office. My client needed to be clear about her expectations for using those notes. Be specific, timelines and activities. Don’t wait for someone to read your mind, tell them what you expect.
- Share your enthusiasm and goals with others in the firm. They may not consider themselves part of your efforts. They may see it as “Pete’s thing” that you are intent on bringing in significant revenue this year. Hold a Town Hall or sales meeting to engage them and let them know what the goals are and how they can be part of it. If people don’t see their specific role and how they add value, they may become bench warmers and refuse to participate in the game.
- Celebrate successes – with everyone in the firm. Right now they may look at the $7 million as your success only. They may see it as your efforts and your personal celebration. Instead of focusing on what they are not doing, find a way to acknowledge the support they do give. Make them a part of the celebration.