Posts Tagged 'Team'

Who or What Answers Your Phone?

Does a person or a machine answer your phone during business hours?

Do you think your clients care?

I put our best phone person on to the task of answering the phone and the results have really paid off.

This staff member loves to talk on the phone. Sometimes I think she thrives on it! This genuine behavior comes through over and over again as people comment about how nice it is to call our office.

Since she was originally hired as an operations person, she is able to handle most customer inquiries right on the spot without transferring the call. The experience of the caller is dramatically improved. They feel cared for instead of feeling like they are imposing.

Guide: A person connects with a person, not a machine.

Action Item: Put an enthusiastic voice who is empowered as your client’s first point of contact.

© 2010 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved

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Did It Get Done?


This is a follow-up to last week’s Guide on financial metrics and developing your business model and plan.

This week I am writing about activity tracking. 

Plan it; delegate it; do it, track it. Was it completed?  Is there any follow-up? 

Your business integrity is paramount and one of the ways to destroy that integrity is by not completing what you promised to do.

You need a system for that, usually called a “Customer Relationship Management” system or CRM.

Your CRM might be a yellow pad, Post-it® Notes (I have seen that one!), log book, file folders or index cards.

Your CRM might be Microsoft Outlook.

I would suggest you need a multi-user server or internet-based system dedicated to contact management.

Popular examples include Act!, Microsoft CRM, Goldmine,, Sage, and Sugar CRM.

These powerful tools allow you to delegate and track tasks and opportunities, send group email, share calendars and address books, plus much more.

Most of these CRM’s offer the opportunity for customization, and most of them have consultants in your area that do this stuff full-time.

If you cannot quickly (In 10 minutes or less) and easily (It only takes one person) identify a group of clients and send them a letter or email based on specific criteria, you need to rethink your CRM system.

Even if you have a system, it is ineffective if it is not being fully utilized.  It is not doing the job.

Remember that if you forget to do something, your client will remember that you forgot!

Guide – Your business needs a way to make sure you deliver on everything you promise.

Action Item – Find a true CRM system and a consultant to help you.  Start with your trade association and those nice little block ads in the back of your magazines.  Those folks are usually pretty good!

© 2009 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved


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Give Credit Where Credit is Due


As a professional advisor, sometimes it is easy to think that it is all about you.

Most advisors have staff or are part of a team.

Don’t forget to give them credit!

Your staff is likely your most valuable asset. You could not do you job effectively without them. You must let them know it.

There are many studies out there but time and time again, the number one most effective thing is to let them know they are appreciated.

This appreciation can easily be shown in some simple ways:

  • Say “thank you” – the most appreciated.
  • Buy lunch for the office yourself – Have a monthly employee lunch where one staff picks lunch for the entire office and you buy.
  • Give them a paid day off – Particularly if you see they are stressed. Do it spontaneously – “Take tomorrow off, you earned it”
  • Atta boy/girl certificates – AAA sells gift certificates good for area restaurants – give them out.
  • Tickets – perhaps you get offered tickets for events (concerts, theater, sporting events) – give them to your staff or, just buy them some.

And tell you clients how much you appreciate your staff. They will let your staff know too.

Guide – You are not a one person show. Don’t forget it.

Action Item – Let your staff/team know how hard they work and that you could not do it without them. Be sure to show them.

© 2009 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved

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