Are you ever too busy to follow-up with your active prospects? Have you ever allowed a lead to slip through the cracks?

Though these may sound like silly questions, I often speak with successful financial advisors whose biggest “problem” is finding time to keep up with their leads. Thanks to referrals, networking and other marketing activities, their pipelines are full, but keeping in touch with those who have expressed a genuine interest in doing business is troublesome.

No matter how frequently a prospective client’s name rises to the top of a daily call list, the call simply doesn’t get made because it seems there is always something more important to do.

Consider this example of a typical coaching conversation to help an advisor establish business development priorities:

I begin, “If you could change just one thing about your practice to get your business to the next level, what would it be?”

“Well, I need to open more accounts,” the advisor responds. “I am getting all the business I can from my current clients, but weeks sometimes go by without establishing a significant new relationship.”

“Okay,” I reply, “is this because your pipeline of future clients is too small?”

“No,” is the almost annoyed reaction. “I have all the prospects I need. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to call them. I know a lot of business is just slipping through the cracks.”

“Tell me,” I continue my inquiry, “do you make a list of must call prospects each day and then block off time with the express purpose of calling them?”

“That’s ridiculous,” my advisor client groans, “I am too busy putting out fires to set aside time to make calls. Besides, who has time to make a list in the first place?”

Does this discussion sound familiar? If it does, don’t feel alone. I am convinced it is an inner dialogue that happens regularly for even the most experienced financial professionals. It is easy to let your time manage you instead of you managing your time. Important activities are skipped or overlooked in pursuit of seemingly urgent but many times trivial “to-dos.”


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