Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Goals for the New Year - Happy New Year!

Goodbye 2010! So long. Adios. You've been good to me, with a 35% upswing in revenue, but now it's time to move on.  2011 is just around the corner and I'm very excited to be poised for yet another big revenue increase.  

This is my favorite time of year with family in town, parties, eating out, and touristy activities. Living in Scottsdale, Arizona means that whenever someone visits, the tourist map gets dusted off and the sightseeing activities are planned. Even though I take the week between Christmas and New Year's off, I still spend time planning my goals for the New Year.  

It is amazing to me the difference between people who plan their goals versus those who do not.  Goal-oriented people are driven by their goals and accomplish so much more than those who fly by the seat of their pants.  The exercise of working on your goals gives you clarity about what you want to accomplish and helps you reach for more than you have now.

So what do you want in 2011?
*What revenue goal would excite you?
 *How many new clients would it take?
*What professional accomplishments would motivate you?
*What about personal goals? What can you realistically accomplish to be or remain physically fit?
*Is your office aesthetically pleasing or does it reflect poorly on your business?
*Is your website lacking design or branding?
*What new marketing tactics do you need to implement to get where you're going?

Many experts say that to increase revenue by $100,000 you must spend an additional $25,000 to get there. Since you get what you pay for, how much did you increase your revenue this year? How much are you spending on marketing?

Spend the time now to grow next year. Work on your goals for the New Year!

Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Financial Advisors

Monday, December 6, 2010

Revenue Goals and Marketing Metrics for 2011

What would it take for your business to generate a revenue increase in 2011? Give this some thought as you do your end of year planning and think about what needs to change in you and your business. Since you've been measuring your marketing (you have, haven’t you?), you'll know what to let go of and what to continue. But let me ask you, what exactly are you measuring? What are your marketing metrics?

In order for us to grow as a person and a business owner, we need to track specific metrics over time to analyze where we're growing. Reviewing this data on a quarterly and annual basis helps us to be better business owners and to think strategically. For example, if we see that over time the number of unique visitors to our website is stagnant, then we know that in order to grow and bring the firm into the 20th century, we need to investigate internet marketing tactics to improve this metric.

Here's a brief list of metrics:
New clients
New investible assets
Cost per new client acquisition
Conversion ratio
Referrals per client
Website pagerank
Unique website visitors
Facebook fans
Newsletter sign ups

What marketing tactics do you need to implement to reach your BIG revenue goal for 2011? Where are your opportunities for growth in 2011? What tactics have you not included in your business plan? We all have weaknesses or areas that need attention. What are yours?

Which area below needs work in your plan?
Trade Shows
Event Marketing
Public Relations
Online Advertising
Print Advertising
Social Media
Video Marketing
Email Marketing
Website Marketing

What I want for you in 2011 is bigger financial success so that we can put the Great Recession behind us.  It's time to move on and reach for the life we want. How are you planning to grow your business in 2011?

Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Financial Advisors

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Marketing Ideas for 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the U.S! Did you eat too much like I did? I am now back to my workout routine and working off the turkey and the homemade pecan pie and pumpkin pie.  Every year when my husband offers to make pies I usually say, please DON’T because I know where the leftovers will go. You guessed it, right on my hips.

Today is the last day of November. Are you finished with your year-end planning? What new strategies and tactics have you selected to grow your business in 2011? My clients are busy finalizing their Marketing Plans for the coming year. Many are planning Client Appreciation Events. After all, showing your existing clients that you care about them will give you far more brownie points and referrals than spending many thousands of dollars marketing to strangers using seminars and workshops. If you've never hosted an appreciation event, take a look at this list of ideas. 

Another tactic my clients are using is creating a Client Service Matrix that delineates the services their clients will receive at each segmentation level. For example, all "A+" clients will have a private birthday lunch with the advisor, a holiday gift basket, and an invitation to the company's annual dinner at an upscale restaurant.   Having this matrix helps the advisory firm plan and implement their marketing so that a good combination of activities are directed at the firm's existing clients.

Lastly, my clients are setting themselves up for success by focusing on the right activities necessary to grow and get out of the old comfort zone. One way to do this is by purchasing my new 90 Days to New Clients Program.

So how are you planning to grow your business and yourself in 2011?

Suzanne Muusers

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How to Grow as a Person - There Are Only 3 Ways to Grow YOU

Want to grow your business? You have to grow YOURSELF first. People come to me for help in growing their business. When I ask how they grow personally and professionally and what they read specifically, some say "I'm not a reader." I've never understood how anyone can say that. Readers are leaders –the knowledge readers gain shows in their depth of personality, their knowledge base, and their skills. Making a commitment to be a better person in the coming year depends on what you are willing to do to grow as a person.

In the new year, how are you going to grow YOU?  

There are only three ways that you can grow yourself. Here they are:

Grow by what you read
Want a short cut to learn a subject matter someone has spent many years of their life learning? Buy their book. I read a great statistic a few years ago: if you want to be a subject matter expert all you have to do is read five books on a specific subject and you will be among the top 25% of experts on that subject matter, in the world.  So find books that excite you and commit to reading them. You'll grow as a result.

Grow by the seminars and conferences you attend
Way back in a former life when I was an upscale retail maven, I travelled frequently on buying trips and attended many seminars and conferences. I would return with my head full of great marketing ideas, organization techniques, and growth strategies and I would wonder why my store managers were not as pumped up as I was. Then I realized that if I wanted my enthusiasm to spread, I had to invite my key management team. I may have been learning, but my managers were not and they were the ones to implement what I had learned. What conferences and seminars can you sign up for that will improve YOU as a person?

Grow by the people you hang around with
My husband formed a successful business in 2003 with a business partner who was less ethical, financially stable, and skilled than he. Of course he didn't know it at the time. This person was always broke, lived in a rental home, had a wife who refused to work, and was consistently using the company bank account as his personal piggy bank.  Unfortunately our relationship with this person cost us a lot of money but we learned a big lesson. If you hang around with broke people the consequences of their bad habits will automatically rub off on you.  Take a good look at who you are partnering or hanging around with. Do their ethics match yours? Does their income come close to yours? If not, look for new friends.

Yes, you can grow. There are three ways to grow YOU. What's your plan?

Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Financial Advisors

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why Are Core Values Important?

Business growth, hiring the right people, and attracting your Ideal Clients –that's what establishing your Core Values can do for your business.  Entrepreneurs that fail to identify their Core Values are missing a great opportunity to grow both personally and professionally.  By identifying your Core Values you could completely change your business and where you are going in the future.

Ponder these questions:
*What does your company really stand for?
*What values are important to you?
*What do your clients receive from your company that is of great value?

At some point, you'll need to hire additional staff if you want to grow your business and have a life at the same time. When writing your employment ad, how will you position your company so that you attract talented, ambitious people? You can start with telling them what your company stands for and what you believe in.

When meeting with prospects, you'll want to educate them on your guiding principles and what makes you different. Communicating your Core Values helps you to attract the kind of clients that you are best at serving.  

Sample Core Values:
Responsibility – Transparency - Full Disclosure – We are paid to manage clients' accounts and there is full disclosure as to how we are paid.
Ethics – Honesty – Integrity – We do what's right for the client.
Holistic Approach - We look at our clients' entire financial situation, not just their investments.
Security – Protection – Safety - We help to limit risk for our clients.
Teamwork – Everyone in our office works together as a team to help our clients accomplish their goals.

What do you do with your core Values once you've created them? Write Your Mission Statement Based on Your Values.

At some point in time solopreneurs and small business owners alike seek to grow their business, get new clients, and hire new employees. Core Values can help you accomplish these goals.

Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Financial Advisors

Friday, October 8, 2010

Write Your 2011 Business Plan

Get a jump on your 2011 business planning because the year-end is coming up pretty quickly. I'll admit, I used to write my Business Plan on New Year's Day until I had an epiphany: get a head start and do your plan before the end of the year! How did this benefit me? Well, it took away any indecision I had about where I was going.  It helped me block time on my calendar to strategize about what was working and what needed to change.  I was also able to analyze the numbers and set new realistic goals that could carry me on a wave of growth.

Completing your Business Plan now can also help you relax during the holiday season, a typically frenetic time of year with much to do and think about.  For me, I like to take two weeks off right at the end of the year and I don't want to think about business.  Imagine the sense of calm you'll have by being ahead of the curve if you write your Business Plan now…

So where should you be focusing when writing your Business Plan? Here are a few important questions:

*What should you stop doing? Have you measured your marketing this year? What's not working for you? I'll bet cold calling isn't doing so well. I'll bet your seminar marketing strategies should be updated so you stand out from the crowd doing the standard dine and dash drive bys.

*What should you continue doing? Get out your Marketing Return on Investment spreadsheet and gauge where you should continue efforts. Obviously networking with the right bunch always works and asking for referrals if done correctly can be very effective, IF you ask. Make your list of what you need to continue doing.

*What should you start doing? If you have failed to hold Client Appreciation Events in the past year, then you're missing out on a wonderful opportunity to network with your best clients and get to know them better.   

One last important point today: Take a look at your Vision – is it still serving you or have you outgrown it? If so, it's time to update what you really want out of your life five to ten years from now. And believe me; five years can go by in a jiffy!

Of course you know that I'm the Queen of Business Plans. I produced a business planning system years ago when one of my clients became so bogged down in the details that he refused to complete his plan. So I took the key components of a simple business plan and created the Two Page Mini Business Plan. Take a look and see if this system is right for you. I have included four sample financial advisor business plans based on different business models. You're sure to find one that fits you that will help you write  your own custom plan.

Here's to your business success!

Suzanne Muusers

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Get Out of Fear and Into Action

I've been having conversations with clients and prospects about fear lately. Have you allowed fear and doubt to creep in and stop you from doing the brave and scary things you need to do? Fear is debilitating condition that can dominate our lives and prevent us from finding the financial success we are seeking. 

Fear works against us by allowing doubt to creep in, then difficulty to make a decision causes us to put off taking action.  If you find yourself thinking any of the following, you may be allowing fear to stop you:

* Do I have the knowledge to help my clients?
* Can I make it in this business?
* I'm too busy to follow up with this lead now
* If I follow up I may have to perform and then I could fail
* They never called me back so why should I call them again?
* I can't afford to hire an assistant

How to overcome fear and break out of self destruct:

* Face your fears – List your fears on a piece of paper. Are they real? Carefully examine why you have this fear. Is the fear founded on the old you before you made a vow to change your life and make more money? Is the fear based on an old "truth" that is no longer true. If you made a good living when you had a "job" and now you are a business owner or independent contractor you have a fear that you can't make it then make a vow to eliminate the fear. Most fears exist because we don't know what will happen. It's the uncertainty that creates fear.

*Action cures anxiety – Get busy and start doing the scary things and you will cure the anxiety. If you have a fear of public speaking, join Toastmasters. If you have a fear of change, make some changes!

*Reprogram your thoughts daily – Create a visual image of what you want to accomplish and focus on it daily. For example, I have an illustration of 16 chairs on a standard size piece of paper. I have listed the names of my existing clients on some of the chairs. This illustrates the empty chairs I would like to fill. I see this daily and it propels me to fill these chairs and moves me to success.

*Write affirmations and put them in your top desk drawer or on your desk wall. Tell your subconscious mind what you want and reinforce it daily.

*Take control of your thoughts. Every time you find a negative thought coming into your mind, banish it with a strong counter statement such as "I AM SUCCESSFUL" or "I WILL GET 10 NEW CLIENTS."

Look fear in the face and take control; you can do it!

Suzanne Muusers

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Advisor Goals for Growth

We are quickly coming up on the last quarter of the year. This is a time for reflection - on the past year -and planning for the New Year.  Have you had a good year? Did you achieve your goals? Are you happy with your practice growth? I'm celebrating the publication of my second article in Practice Management Solutions!  Here it is: "Set Motivational Goals for Practice Growth." I encourage you to print out the article and use it to plan next year's growth. There's a handy side bar at the bottom of the article which gives you some examples for achieving three sample goals.

If your efforts to plan success this year were on the weak side, take time to plan out next year. By engaging in efforts to think about growth now, you'll be ahead of the curve. Before you know it the holidays will be here and you'll put planning on the back burner. Get it done now and get it out of the way.

Here are some questions to get the creative juices flowing:
* What would your practice look like if you reinvented yourself for 2011?
* What will your brand require to set your practice apart?
* How can you position your brand so that it's not like every advisor out there?

Here's a great book to help plan your reinvention: Blue Ocean Strategy – How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant. Order it from Amazon.  

For next year, think about vision, motivation, goals, and success and what that looks like to you. We've been through a horrendous two years. It's time to get moving and reach for that which has been out of reach during the Great Recession.  The way to do that is to take full control of your life now.  

Suzanne Muusers
Motivational Coach for Financial Advisors

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stop Doing This & Follow Your Dreams

How do YOU sabotage your success? Be honest. We all do it. Sometimes we don't try hard enough. Other times we shy away from opportunities. Oftentimes we are just too tired and worn out to make the effort required. In this economy, however, it's more important than ever to get out of sabotaging behavior and make your success a number one priority, because if you don't your competitor will beat you to your next new client.

This post is about ways to stop sabotage and follow your dreams.

Create a forceful mantra - Sometimes we need a visual or verbal reminder of our potential success. Mine is the three foot by three foot painting in my office that says "Follow Your Dreams." It sits right above my desk. It's the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see when I stop work in the evening. I chose to follow my dream of starting an independent coaching practice for financial advisors six years ago. I live, eat, and sleep success. This painting is my mantra. What is your mantra?

Jump at opportunities – I am continually amazed at the opportunities many people let go by because they are simply not following up with prospects and clients. You've heard the saying "the early bird gets the worm"? Well it's TRUE. Be on the ball. Be assertive. If an opportunity presents itself, be the first to raise your hand, EVEN if it's scary. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Live up to your full potential – You may have done this in college - You could have gotten an A but you skated by with a B. In the real world, that won't cut it. What could you be doing that you are not doing? Could you be a leader in your field? Do you have a "field" or a niche? Stop being "safe" and declare your niche and your full potential. Stand out from the crowd and take a stand.   

Your past has nothing to do with your path – We make our own success. The path you have travelled may have been full of detours, ruts, and poor neighborhoods, but you make who you are. You are in charge of your own life and only you can write your success story.

Here are some resources to help you move forward.

Three books you can read to break out of defeatist patterns:
The Magic of Thinking Big – David J. Schwartz PHD
Secrets of the Millionaire Mind – T. Harv Eker
Awaken the Giant Within – Tony Robbins

Three magazines to subscribe to if you want more success:
Success Magazine
Entrepreneur Magazine
Fast Company Magazine

Real change comes from connecting with the motivation and emotion behind the change you want to make.  Without going there, you don't stand much of a chance of making change permanent.  Work with a coach or a success partner to correct sabotaging habits and make them go away. Then replace them with success traits and follow your dreams.

Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Successful Financial Advisors
The Prosperous Advisor

Monday, August 9, 2010

Take Personal Responsibility for Your Success

A few years back a client hired me to better organize his independent practice and create a business plan and marketing plan for growth.  The first few coaching sessions went well. We were laying the foundation for the firm's change from chaotic to smoothly functioning machine. Then there were a few signs that the owner was not willing to take the actions and make the leap to a higher level of success. He would complain about his employees and then do nothing about changing their behavior. He would complain about the clients without sending them packing.  Then he started showing up for his coaching sessions with no idea what he wanted to work on.

I should have seen the writing on the wall when he told me months prior that he had dropped out of a high profile "coaching program" due to a busy schedule.  So I said "Wouldn't the coaching program have taught you how to have a less busy schedule?" He said he just didn't have time to do any of the homework because he needed to be out meeting with clients.  A few weeks later he emailed me that he just couldn't continue with the coaching because he was too busy.
This client failed to take responsibility for implementing critical changes to his business which brings up an important point:  You must take full responsibility for your financial success in order to make changes in your business and your life. You are independent. No one is standing over your shoulder forcing you to work. This is your business and it is your responsibility to work your business, provide value to prospects, and win new clients.  You have no control over others, but you have control over what you decide to do with your time.

Go from Thinking to Doing
Once you make the decision to GO FOR IT with your business, one of two things will happen. You will either sit there thinking about what you should be doing or you will start DOING what you should be doing. There's a switch in your brain that needs to go from passive to active. Once you are successful in turning on that switch you will skyrocket your success.

You can't change others but you can change yourself. What do YOU need to change?

Suzanne Muusers
Grow Your Business and Prosper
Prosperous Advisor Coaching Program

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Personality Success Traits

Here we are at the end of July and going into August. Are you working ON your business? It's OK to take a break, go on vacation, spend some time with the family, but realize that all successful business owners get back to working ON their business after the break.

What should you be working on? Your five to ten year Business Vision and your Marketing Plan are good places to start. You might also review your income goals to see if you're on track or whether you need to adjust.  Your situation may have changed which means you need to update your projections and take the actions to reach your goals.

For me, it's been an interesting time. I learn from my clients what they need and then I make products to solve their problems.  This month I'm working on a new program: 90 Days to New Clients. Stay tuned for more!  

Here's an article I recommend you read since we are right in the middle of summer and it's a good time to work on yourself: 3 Personality Success Traits for Financial Success.  What are the personality traits that lead to success?  The ability to handle fear, a willingness to invest in YOU, and persistence and a never give up attitude.

Happy Summer!
Suzanne Muusers

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Is success in the mind?

That's a question that was posed to me recently. Yes, absolutely true. Success is all about what's going on in our mind and what we think about ourselves and our capabilities. If we are too busy focused on the news, the TV, and the negativity on the internet, we can't focus on being positive. Or if we are too busy blaming others or being stuck in "woe is me" then we'll dig a big hole for ourselves.  

So how do you get out of your mind and into a positive frame of reference?

1.       1. Stop drinking in the bad news. The media is happy to sell us all the negativity we want to take in. They know bad news sells. When you run into bad news, change the channel.
2.      2.  Get clarity about what you should be doing. Ask yourself daily "What is the best use of my time?" Focus on what you CAN do not what you can't do.
3.     3.   Look for opportunities – they are all around us. There are always opportunities that we are not taking advantage of. Think carefully – what opportunity have you let fall by the wayside? 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Best Business Networking Strategies

There's nothing like face to face in person business networking to grow your business.  Meeting a prospect at a networking event presents an opportunity to get to know people in a relaxed environment.

A question I'm frequently asked is "What's the best strategy when networking?"  To better understand networking, let's look at the different types of networking events:

Leads groups – one member per occupation
Trade membership organizations – architects, attorneys, home builders, women business owners
Special interest events – wine, art, movies
Business chambers – local business owners

My preference in order of effectiveness is the first three types of groups.  I like leads groups because you develop deeper business relationships and have a group of professionals to refer your own clients to. I like trade organizations because I always think it's better to be one business coach or one financial advisor in a trade organization rather than competing against many others in a general networking environment. I absolutely love special interest groups because I love wine and art and if belonging to one of these groups allows me to build my business while enjoying what I love to do, so much the better. My least favorite group is a business chamber. To be effective networking at this kind of group, you will need to be on a committee or heading up some sort of special sub group, otherwise you are just one of many who belong to a chamber.  

To find out what type of group works best for you, your best bet is to visit 3-5 different groups. Many cities have a business networking web site that lists events in a calendar format.

Here are a few resources to help you network more effectively
Feel more confident when networking: Four Ways to Be a Better Networker
Don't know what to say when networking? Maybe it's time to update or Write Your 30 Second Commercial?

Suzanne Muusers

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Where Do You Get Motivation?

Do you think it's possible to grow a successful business without motivation and a positive attitude?  I was asked this question yesterday and thought deeply about whether success is dependent upon motivation. I'm sure there are businesses where the owner has a negative attitude yet new clients come in the door like clockwork. But I'm willing to bet that without motivation, it's far more difficult to build a business.

So just how does one get motivated?
You have to get excited about your business and the possibilities! We all need to be reminded of the big vision and the energy we feel when we think about what we're building.  It's natural to have highs and lows but we must learn to uphold a positive attitude no matter what.  To let fear or doubt in the door is to take the wind out of our sails.  

Here are a few things you can do to get more motivation:
  • Declaration - Type out your BIG GOAL and post it at your desk so that you see it daily. Remind yourself what it is you want to achieve.
  • Read - Subscribe to a success-focused publication. Reading about success breads successful habits.
  • Inspiration - Listen to motivational CD's in your car and in your office. By surrounding yourself with positive messages, you will create a new mindset.
  • Articulate - Talk to people about your big goals and the life you want. By verbalizing your desires, you will make the commitment to achieve them.
  • Dream - Close your eyes and envision your life as though you have achieved your goals. What are you doing? Where are you living? What is your life like? If your mind's eye can see it, you can believe it.

I've always said, in order to be successful you must have not only a vision of what you want to achieve, but also a positive attitude and the motivation to succeed.

Suzanne Muusers
Scottsdale, Arizona

Monday, May 17, 2010

Client Appreciation Golf Event

Making a name for yourself is what it's all about.  If you don't stand out, you'll have a tough time positioning your practice to attract quality clients.  That's where client appreciation events come in. I have always said that doing what you love while building your business is the fun way to accomplish your goals. If you love what you do, financial success will follow.

Do you love Golf? Having a golf event to show client appreciation is an example of doing what you love to build your practice. Part of building deeper relationships with clients is getting away from the business environment and really connecting on a deeper level. 

Golf events can be anything from eight players on a golf outing to a tournament with lessons from a golf pro. It all depends on your budget and how many clients you want to invite.

Last month, one of my clients organized a golfing event for his clients. He invited ten A clients and asked each of them to bring one guest. He divided the group into great players, average players, and "needs help" players.  Each group met with his local golf pro and practiced a few corrections and new techniques.  After the lessons, the group played the course. Afterwards, they all had lunch. My client reported that he has two interested prospects from the group, but more than that, he and his clients had a great time getting to know one another outside the business environment.  His total cost for hosting this event was less than $1,000.00.

If hosting a wine event is more your style, read Marketing With Wine Events or read the entire post about Client Appreciation Events.

Suzanne Muusers
Business Coaching for Entrepreneurial Advisors

Friday, April 30, 2010

Don't Forget to Ask for the Business

"Go ahead and think about it."
"No pressure. Let me know what you think."
"Whenever you're ready."

If this is what you say at the end of a sales presentation, you're not asking for the business. This is very common among advisers far and wide, whether ultra successful or newbie.  Ultimately it's the fear of rejection that causes us to hesitate when we should be moving prospects to a logical conclusion.

  • Imagine having the confidence to ask for the business at every presentation?
  • Imagine how much more business you could close if you made it a practice to ask for the business?
  • Imagine having a 90% close ratio?

Wouldn't life be easier if this were the case?

If you'd like to be more polished in asking for the business, read an article I wrote for The Journal of Financial Planning:  Build Confidence, Establish Rapport, Ask for the Business

Grow Your Business and Prosper!

Suzanne Muusers
ICF Credentialed Business Coach
Creator of the Prosperous Advisor Coaching Program

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ideas for Client Appreciation Events

What are the most effective client appreciation events? I am asked quite frequently about the best events for financial advisors to hold so I thought I would start a blog series detailing a generous list of ideas to help you plan your next event.  Client appreciation events allow you to celebrate your business success AND demonstrate that you really care about your clients. Appreciation events can also be used as a tool to secure referrals to new qualified prospects, if done correctly.  Many of these events can also be used as a Marketing Tactic to attract new clients.

Today I'll start with a list of client appreciation events and a brief explanation of the event. The list is meant as a brainstorming tool to assist you in thinking outside the box with your marketing. After all, you want to show that you're different and one way to do that is to come up with exciting events that will create "referral buzz."  In the coming weeks and months, I'll break some of the events down into individual posts. So check back frequently!

Client Appreciation Event – Brief description

·      * Wine Tastings – Organize an event for five to ten couples. This can be a wonderful way to get to know people better. See this post I wrote about Hosting a Wine Tasting Event

·      * Cooking Classes – Host an evening at a cooking school or cooking business.

·      * Meal Assembly Night – A new type of business has popped up that helps busy people pre-package a number of healthful meals in one sitting to take home and heat up at their own convenience. Invite clients and provide wine and appetizers for a fun evening.

·      * Book Club – This is a great way to involve clients in investment topics of the day. Poll your clients and find out what books they'd be interested in discussing.

·      * Golf Event – Lessons from a pro and/or a tournament will bring you closer to your clients.

·      * Dance School – Are you the next Fred Astaire? Why not show off your dancing skills with clients at a dance school?

·      * Local Sporting Event – Buy tickets for a local team and provide hot dogs and snacks.

·      * Coffee Talks – Host a monthly informal gathering where clients and friends can bring their topics and questions for you to answer.

·      * Theater Event – Many cities have "boutique" theaters with good shows suitable for bringing clients. 

·      * Family Picnic – Rent space at your local park and cook up hotdogs, hamburgers, and the like. Play games and sports.

·      * Birthday Luncheons – Invite your A clients to provide you a list of five to ten of their friends and hold a luncheon in their honor.

·      * Casino Night – Hold this type of event at a resort or local casino. Donate the proceeds to charity.

·      * Money Roundtable – Similar to the Coffee Talk, only more formal held at in your conference room.

·      * Hot Air Balloon Rides – This is certain to be much talked about and memorable. Invite your special clients for a fun-filled time.

·      * Spa Night – OK, women will love this one more than men. Rent a spa for the evening and provide appetizers and drinks and a spa service to each client.

·      * Dress for Success – Bring in an Image Consultant to speak about styles and trends for business and personal attire.

·      * Art Gallery Showing – Many art gallery owners would be happy to have you host an event in their space. Serve Wine and Cheese and feature an artist speaker.

·      * Mystery Dinner Theater – Haven't you always wanted to attend a mystery theater dinner?  Reserve a section of the restaurant for your clients.

* Annual Shredding Event - Rent a shredding truck for 4 hours around the end of tax season. Ask clients to bring old documents to shred. Hand out Identity Theft Prevention tips.  (approx total cost $400)

Phew! There you go. I hope this list will help you think of client appreciation events in a different light. By showing your clients that you care about them, you will bond with them and become more referable.

Have you held an event in the past that's not on the list? Please write a comment and add to the list.

Related posts:
How to Market Your Client Appreciation Event- Step by Step

Suzanne Muusers
Financial Advisor Coach

Monday, April 19, 2010

4 Habits to Manage Your Time Effectively

Can you really manage time? We all want to be more effective with our time, so it's not a matter of controlling time; it's a matter of controlling your activities. What you CAN do is manage what you focus on. Here are a few tips to help you manage your time more effectively.

  1. Plan your day every day. When you get to the office, or before you go home the night before, decide what you'll spend your time on.
  2. Write your goals down daily on a piece of paper. The repetition of listing your goals helps your subconscious mind guide your daily actions. What is your revenue goal this month? How many new clients do you want this month?
  3. Ask yourself daily “What is my main goal today?  and list it on your piece of paper.  Whenever you find yourself wasting time, ask yourself if what you are doing is contributing to reaching your goals.
  4. Also ask yourself "Am I being productive?"  Productive activities lead to business income.  If you’re not being productive, stop and reassess.  Ask yourself if you are being busy to look busy, and if you are moving your business forward.

It's still early in 2010 so you can work on achieving your annual goals by being efficient with your time. There's no better time than now to grow your business and prosper.

Suzanne Muusers
Prosperous Advisor Coaching Program