Rob Brown of Encore Partners here…back for day 8 of the Time Mastery Challenge.
Wow, we have covered a lot of ground.
We have unsubscribed from other people’s priorities, built a simple email management system, started a social media diet, built time into your day to return calls and emails, begun a morning routine, developed a mental picture of your future success, and established a daily stand-up meeting. Each one of those items, each one of those success habits, is critical if you’re serious about really gaining control over your days and becoming more productive.
And enjoying more of what you do.
Today’s topic may come across at first as being a bit controversial, but it’s really, really important. So, let’s jump right in.
Today, I want you to fire at least one client.
Yep, that’s right. I want you to fire at least one client. You have clients that you work with, they’re in the bottom 10% of your book, they aren’t profitable, you don’t enjoy working with them, they need to go. They’re occupying space in your head, they’re taking some of your time.
You may actually be losing money on them.
Depending on how you price your services, they could be taking up time of somebody on your team and you don’t even know it…they’re even less profitable. I want you to fire at least one client.
And, if firing sounds too strong, then let’s think about this as reassigning at least one client. Sending them to your call center or to another advisor or giving them the 800 number of one of the big discount or no load mutual fund companies. These are folks that don’t fit your business and I want you to fire at least one of them.
Even better, you could make a commitment to paring the bottom 10% of your clients…more than just one client. But, for today, let’s make sure we fire at least one client.
So, you might be thinking, how do I pick that one client to fire?
I have three ideas. First of all, fire your jerks. You know the ones I mean. That client who just doesn’t get along with you or get along with the members of your team. Each time he calls, he causes a problem. He says things about your business that aren’t true, that really get under your skin, but you put up with it because it’s easier to put up with it than make a decision to fire them.
Today, I want you to fire that jerk (or those jerks).
This will greatly enhance the way that you feel about your business.
If you don’t have any jerks, then let’s talk about reassigning your unprofitable relationships, clients that are costing you time and money. They aren’t paying you what you’re worth. They’re taking your time, they’re taking the time of your assistant. Perhaps, because of the way your business is structured, you’re actually losing money on them because of fees for holding onto those accounts. So, that’s a second place to go. Look at the bottom 10% of your book, they’re there.
You can fire or reassign those unprofitable client relationships.
And the third area, if you can’t find any jerks or unprofitable clients, consider your non-ideal clients. We spent some time talking about creating that mental picture of your future success and that includes the type of clients that you really want to work with…your ideal clients. Who are your current non-ideal clients? I’m sure there are one or two that just don’t fit where your business is going. Take some time today and find a new home for them, reassign them.
Cleaning out your clientele, cleaning up your book of business, cleaning up your list of clients so that you just don’t have people holding you down or holding you back because they don’t fit where your business is going is critical to running a business the way that you really want to run your business and really having the type of productivity that is important to you on an ongoing basis.
So, you might be thinking, well, how do I approach these people about firing them?
My suggestion is to just give them a phone call, it’s the best, most direct way to do it. It doesn’t require getting anybody else on your team involved initially.
You can go through a four-part conversation….
Talk about the fact that your business is growing.
You’ve decided to make some changes because you want to make sure that every client you choose to work with gets the attention that they deserve.
Tell them, to accomplish this goal, you’re going to be decreasing the number of clients that you serve.
And then, be straight up, saying, in reviewing our relationship with you, we believe that we can no longer serve you in the manner to which you have become accustomed. So, you don’t have to tell them they’re jerks, you don’t have to tell them that you’re losing money because of them, you don’t have to tell them they’re non-ideal clients.
Put it on yourself saying, we can’t serve you the way that you have become accustomed to being served. This is actually helping them out. And then you can tell them that you’re calling today because you want to begin the process of helping them find a new advisor or a new financial services firm.
That is the purpose of this call. You can simply give them the number to that no load mutual fund company or to that discount broker that does all that advertising on TV and says that you charge too much anyway. There are lots of ways that you can do this. Some of you have ways that you can do this inside of your firm.
That’s the four-step process for reassigning or firing a client. Our business is growing, we’re making some changes, decreasing the number of clients that we serve, we don’t think that we can continue to serve you the way that you’ve become accustomed to being served, and here’s how I’m going to help you find the type of person, the type of firm that will serve you better.
I can promise you that if you do this, at least once, preferably a handful or two handfuls of time over the course of the day today or over the course of a couple days, you will relieve some of the pressure that you may be feeling by having clients who really don’t fit your business.
By the way, you can also use this scripting to formulate a quick letter if doing this by phone doesn’t accomplish things as quickly as you would like them to or to back up what you’re doing on the phone.
I really want you to take some time today, in day 8 of the challenge, and fire at least one client. This is vital to the process that we’re going through…building the business of your dreams, a business in which you have control over your time because you’re working with the people that make the most sense to you when it comes to your clientele.
That’s it for the day. Let me know if you have questions and I’ll be back with you tomorrow.