Do you want to conduct outstandingly good financial planning meetings?
This seems exceptionally important to me because the quality of the meetings you conduct are the foundation of building a thriving, profitable, and sustainable practice.
This article is about the number one way to consistently and continually improve financial planning meetings and get all the rewards for doing so.
Are you tracking what will make a difference?
You have probably heard the saying or a similar version of:
‘What you pay attention grows.’
Well, the opposite is also true. One of my mentors once said to me that the only thing that develops naturally in a business is complacency. In other words, improving financial planning meetings does not happen by accident and left unchecked they can easily slide backwards instead.
So, the key to improvement is to start tracking things. Yet this is also something I have found some people resist like crazy.
Why do we resist shining a bright light on our performance?
Over the past six months I have participated in a coaching programme (something I do every year) focusing on building a better practice.
One of the things that was a requirement of the school was to submit our statistics each month – how many business generating conversations I had, how many proposals I made, and how much I invoiced.
The whole group (over twenty people) could see each other’s numbers and I must admit that this could feel a little uncomfortable at times. I could feel my ego kicking in and comparing myself.
And this is exactly why we resist.
Measuring our progress exposes us and makes us accountable (even if only to ourselves). If we take this to mean something personal about us, then we can easily avoid doing it.
So how do you avoid this situation?
A lesson from a master
I have been fortunate enough to attend programmes with one of the very best coaches in the world, Steve Chandler.
One of the things Steve teaches you is to realise that:
‘Every system is perfect for the result it creates.’
So, if you want better results then think of it in terms of creating a better system. Thinking about improving your financial planning meetings in this way takes the personal element out of it.
Here are six reasons to start tracking your progress so you can build a better system:
1. Know where you are now
When you start measuring something it brings it into sharp focus. Otherwise, you are just guessing. As I previously said, tracking your results can and probably will bring up some uncomfortable feelings. So it is helpful to understand this is the ego trying to keep you where you are. Why does this happen? Because the ego sees any kind of change as a potential threat.
2. Begin to understand where to improve your financial planning meetings
One of the biggest drags for people is to keep asking “How?” questions. How do I get more referrals? How do I run better meetings? How do I get more clients?
As soon as you start tracking something it starts to become far clearer where your areas for improvement are. In turn, this will lead to you getting more insights about what you can do and the “how” becomes obvious to you. Allow ideas to come to you rather than putting pressure on yourself to come up with them.
What has helped me more than anything is working with a coach because they will see what is hidden to you.
3. Consistently make small gains
Often, people try to change too much at once and this can be psychologically overwhelming. It is more effective to make small changes that are do-able and improve financial planning meetings one step at a time.
4. The importance of the plateau
I read a wonderful book called, ‘Mastery’ by George Leonard about how to get on and stay on the path to mastery. He observed that:
‘To take the master’s journey, you have to practice diligently, striving to hone your skills, to attain new levels of competence. But while doing so – and this is the inexorable fact of the journey – you also have to be willing to spend most of your time on a plateau, to keep practicing even when you seem to be getting nowhere.’
Being aware you are on a plateau and understanding how this works this is different to being unconscious about something.
5. It feels great
Although tracking your progress can feel uncomfortable at times it also feels great to be on the path of mastery. You open up new possibilities, build stronger relationships, serve people more deeply, and increase your prosperity.
A tool to track your progress
An idea I love is to take your current ceiling and making it your floor.
Years ago, I created a ‘Client meeting evaluation’ form to help me raise my performance. I have continually updated it and use it with my own clients. You can click here to get your copy.
To use this tool effectively you can reflect for a few minutes after the end of a meeting and complete the form. I found that doing this for fifty meetings lead to positive, sustained improvement.
P.S. You may also enjoy ‘4 ways to create massive value financial planning meetings’ Click here to view.