Monthly Archives: July 2018

Are You Leaving Money On The Table?

Maximizing sales is the number one thing most sales professional strive to achieve. And in today’s crazy busy world we are all trying to figure out ways to work smarter and not harder.

One of the best ways to maximize sales is through existing clients. If you have a product that your clients love,  why not nurture those relationships? It’s a lot harder to go out and constantly find new business if you are in an industry where you can get more sales from your existing clients.

I work with professionals in the financial industry and for them maximizing their current relationships is an absolute must. I have personal friends who say they’d invest more with their financial advisor but they never hear from him/her so it’s not top of mind. I’ve had financial advisors calling me trying to get ahold of wholesalers so they can place their clients with more product. Your clients shouldn’t have to chase you down.

You want to stay top of mind! If you are fortunate to be in an industry where existing clients can yield unlimited sales then keep nurturing those clients. I understand the need for new blood and prospecting is very important in sales, but the more your business grows the more you can find yourself needing fewer new clients if you continue to stay in front of the existing ones.

So how do you stay in front of the existing ones? There are a few ideas below:

*Emails and/or e-newsletters. Send your clients regular correspondence via email once a month to stay in front of them. These emails could be filled with news about your products and offerings, tips, inspiring quotes or stories and anything else you’d like to convey to your clients.

*Snail mail. Send a letter or card in the mail every six months. It’s nice to get a note in the mail from someone! It shows you are thinking of them.

*Annual reviews. Annual reviews are a great way to review a clients account and see if there is anything more you can do for them. Financial advisors should be doing these.

*Regular meetings. Visiting with a client every 3-4 months is a great way for them to stay abreast of your current offerings and for you to find out what they need help with. External wholesalers should be doing these.

* Promotional items. Give a thank you or holiday gift with your name on it so that your clients will see your name at all times. Maybe it’s a notepad, calendar, desk organizer, tote bag, briefcase, travel mug, stress ball or something else that isn’t easily lost.

*Video. Creating videos about your products and or services is a great way to stand out a bit more from the crowd. People can relate to you more when they see you in a video.

*Social media. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are all super popular places to be for a business. Know your target market! If you are a B2B sales professional then you’ll probably have better luck with LinkedIn and Twitter. If you are a B2C sales professional then Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest would be where you should start.

*Get HELP! I mentioned we are all super busy so unfortunately existing clients tend to fall through the cracks. Hire an assistant who can help make sure that you are maximizing the sales potential with existing clients. Choose someone who can help you stay top of mind and who can help you stay organized. If you’ve got a great assistant your return on investment will be absolutely worth it!

 

 

I am the Founder of Elite Scheduling Services and work with professionals in the financial industry. If you’d like to learn more about my company, please visit my website at http://www.eliteschedulingservices.com.

Have a great day! Danae

 

 

Financial Advisors Thrive Working with Virtual Assistants

I hear from many financial advisors that they need to find a way to outsource some of their tasks so they can focus more on their clients and prospective clients but they don’t want to hire full-time staff. In other words, they are realizing they only have so many hours in the day and to truly grow a business – you need more than one hand on deck. However, you don’t need to spend tons of money on office space, office equipment and trying to keep someone busy when there isn’t enough work. This is where a virtual assistant fits in perfectly.

Once someone makes the decision to hire a virtual assistant they are next faced with the dilemma of what to outsource. I’ve compiled a list of things that a financial advisor could outsource to an assistant.

NOTE: When hiring a virtual assistant please check with compliance to make sure that the tasks you have your virtual assistant doing are compliant with your regulatory board. Some companies do have different compliance measures to follow and you want to make sure that when you are hiring a virtual assistant that you are doing so within the confines of that compliance.

Tasks an experienced and professional virtual assistant in the financial services industry could do.

*Process paper work. So much is electronic now and you may need someone to chase the paperwork and make sure it gets the proper channels. Having an assistant to do this could save you a lot of time.

*Client follow-ups and/or working with clients regarding paperwork questions. Sometime clients call in for something super simple and your assistant can help with those calls.

*Schedule annual reviews with clients.* This is something that must be done but as your company grows it would be nice to have someone else in charge of keeping track of who needs to be seen for an annual review. This is the second most common task a financial advisor hires someone on my team for.

*Schedule appointments with leads and referrals.* You paid for leads or clients are giving you referrals. These need to be called immediately – don’t sit on a potential sale. Have your assistant call these people to schedule a meeting. This is the most common task a financial advisor hires someone on my team for.

*Write and mail thank you cards and birthday cards. These take time and are easily outsourced.

*Event planning – plan and organize Lunch and Learns, Golf Outings, Clam Bakes, etc. You have good intentions of doing some client appreciation events or lead generating events but just don’t have the time. Outsource this to your virtual assistant.

*Maintain websites, social media and other digital and print marketing efforts.

*Database management. Your assistant can keep your database organized and easy to use.

*Order promotional items. You need pens, water bottles, beach towels, flip-flops, coolers, etc. You name it – your assistant could put your logo on it.

*Personal tasks. You may want your assistant to order flowers, schedule hair appointments, purchase gift cards, etc.

*Expense reports. Have your assistant keep track of money going out and money coming in. You can’t run a successful business without knowing your expenses.

I’m sure you may be able to think of other things you just aren’t finding time to do. Whatever it is, hire an assistant. And if you need help hiring the perfect assistant … I just might know one or two.

Danae Branson is the founder of Elite Scheduling Services. She provides scheduling and virtual assistant services to wholesalers, financial advisors and other professionals in the financial industry. You can learn more about her at http://www.eliteschedulingservices.com.

 

Building a Business with LinkedIn

When I started my virtual assistant company in 2009, I chose LinkedIn as my go-to social media platform for networking and marketing. Why? Because my niche market was external wholesalers, financial advisors and other professionals in the financial services industry. Almost all of my prospects had a LinkedIn profile. Also, LinkedIn was easy to use and easy to manage.

Fast forward nine years and I still used LinkedIn as my number one social media platform. I’ve build some amazing relationship on LinkedIn and have learned over the years the best ways to use it to build a business.

If you are a professional marketing to other professionals, consider making it a bigger part of your networking efforts. I spend about 30 minutes a day on LinkedIn and it does take time to build a solid network but it’s worth it! Here’s how it’s worked for me.

Start with your profile. I admit, I need a better picture of myself (It’s on my To Do list), a good professional photo is a must. It still amazes me the people who went to the trouble of creating a LinkedIn page and then never added a photo. I don’t know about you, but I’m hesitant to connect with someone whose profile picture is a white silhouette of a person on a gray background. A professional photo is best but depending on your field you may be able to do just as much networking with a more casual one.

Complete as much as the profile as possible. Before someone will connect with you they want to look at your page to be able to see where you live, where you work, what your past work experiences are, where you went to college, etc. The more you include the better. Someone may connect with you for the simple fact that they notice you went to the same college, or live in the same city, or are both a part of the same group or organization. You never know what might attract more connections, so fill it all out.

Start connecting. This is the way I look at it … I reach out to people who I can help, not people who can help me. There has to be something in it for my connections. Why would they be interested in connecting with me? What problem do they have that I can solve? I only reach out to a very specific group of people. I’m not just willy-nilly connecting with everyone on LinkedIn.

As far as connecting there are a few ways to do it. You can either send a request to connect with someone, you can send a note to request a connection or you can go through a mutual connection to connect with someone. I’ve sent invites and notes but I’ve never requested a connection through a mutual connection.

When it comes to deciding on whether to send an invite or a note I suggest this: When you are just starting out and building your network – send notes. If you are requesting connections that have very few mutual connections with you – send a note. If you are requesting connections from people that have a lot of mutual connections, like say 20 or more – send an invite.

When someone requests a connection with me, I personally look to see how many connections we have in common. If we have a ton of connections in common, I’ll connect with them. If we don’t have many connections in common than I would like to see a note as to why I should connect with this person.

Send a personal note to your connections. Once someone has connected with you, send them a personal note introducing yourself. You want to make it clear who you are, what you do and how you can help them or how they can help you. Maybe they have a product or service, you are interested in. I have found that I get more response from personal notes than group ones where everyone is bcc’d in a mass email.

Be active. One way to maximize your visibility is to post relevant material to your business. Post articles, blog posts, images … anything that can create a buzz about your business and how you help others.

Also, by joining groups in your target market you can post your relevant materials in those groups as well to gain more visibility.

In my 30 minutes a day on LinkedIn I first send personal messages to everyone who has connected with me since the day before. Then I go to the People You May Know list and try to connect with as many people as I can for the remainder of that time.

Once per week I do post a blog on my profile as well as in five groups that I’m in. The blog posts drive traffic to my LinkedIn site and often to my website.

If I spent more time on LinkedIn I know I could increase my exposure and increase my business. Since it’s summer, I am sticking with my current process, but this fall I plan on increasing my exposure with more industry related materials that will be more helpful to my prospects. Even if they don’t work with me, I want to see them succeed.

I hope you’ve found this article helpful and will spend a few minutes today updating your LinkedIn profile, joining a few groups and creating a LinkedIn calendar to help keep you spend a few minutes each day building your network. After a few weeks you will notice an increase in your visibility. I didn’t grow my almost 4,000 connections overnight.

In the past 9 years, I’ve only ever gotten business through either LinkedIn, word-of-mouth referrals and people finding me on a Google search. I don’t have an advertising budget and it’s been wonderful.

More about me:

I am the Founder of Elite Scheduling Services. We offer appointment setting, marketing and administrative services to professionals in the financial industry. You can find more information about me and my company at www.eliteschedulingservices.com.

 

 

 

 

Be A Master Of Your Time

Time management is a beast for many. There just never seem to be enough hours in the day but I recently read a book that opened my eyes to the way people tend to look at time. Find your extraordinary, by Jessica Herrin, is an excellent book for those of you who want to dream bigger, live happier and achieve success on your own terms! I’ve read it twice now – it’s a great read!

One of my favorite chapters is the one on time.

*Manage yourself, not time. You are in charge of you and you along with everyone else in this world gets 24 hours per day and 7 days per week.

So many people say “I’m just so busy I don’t have time for that.” When in fact what they mean is, they don’t choose to do it. If you really want something, you’ll make the time. If you want to exercise you’ll get up a half an hour earlier. If you really want to start that business you’ve been dreaming of you’ll make the time to do it. Decide what is important to you and what is not. Would you rather be creating that dream business or spending hours a day playing games on Facebook? Would you rather be out building a garden or inside watching reality television? The choice is yours!

*You must value your time to have it yield value. To create value you must do high-value activities. If you want to earn a lot per hour, you must do the things that will yield you a lot per hour. If you are doing a task that is worth $12 per hour in the free market, then you are paying yourself $12 per hour to do that task. If you want to earn more than you must do something of higher value.

Consider all the tasks that you do in a day. Would it be beneficial to you to outsource some of those tasks so that it will free up time for you to do the higher paying tasks. This is why virtual assistants are great. They free up time doing the less per hour tasks while you spend your time doing higher paying tasks thus yielding you more per hour. You want to make sure you work with someone highly trained to be a virtual assistant and that you don’t waste time managing them. Hire a self-motivated go-getter and you’ll be amazed and how much better your life and career will be.

*Talk to yourself about time. To determine if you are using your time wisely ask yourself these questions.

  1. What is my long-term goal? What will matter to me in the future? (One year from now, three years from now, etc.?)
  2. Am I spending my time (this week or this month) on the most impactful activities?
  3. Is my energy in the right place to be effective?Ask yourself these questions monthly. Once you determine where to best spend your time eliminate the trivial activities and understand your limits. Where are your priorities? Stick to those to live a happy life. If your children are important to you make sure you spend time with them. If you have a spouse or partner spend time on that relationship and most importantly don’t forget about yourself. You need to take care of you, because if you don’t – nothing else works.

Now take a few minutes today and think about how you spend your time? Are you spending it wisely? Are there some changes you can make to increase your happiness, your success and your wellness? Don’t wait! Start mastering your time today!

Danae Branson is the Founder of Elite Scheduling Services. They offer virtual assistant services to professionals in the financial industry.