Project 100 or 250: A Different Take…
On our Advising the Advisor Group this month we will be focusing on a series of videos around the topic of planning. As advisors, what we usually tend to do is “rush, rush, rush” and see as many people as possible. Amidst our rush to meet potential clients, we forget about planning.
It is however our role to make sure that our planning is correct, as well as our client’s planning and even the planning of our managers.
I was reminded of a talk I did two months ago on farming and being a farmer. This is a great metaphor for my topic this week: Your Project 100 or Project 250.
The thing about being a “farmer” is that so often we farm a piece of land, and then we move on to the next piece of land, and the next piece of land. We however do not go back and farm the land that we originally started with.
This analogy or metaphor is very much the same with our clients that we “farm” When starting out in the financial industry, usually your manager or supervisor will come up to you and say to you: You are going to do a Project 100 or a Project 250. What that means is, you will write down 100 or 250 names. Then you will start calling them to see who you can get an appointment with.
This is both good and bad. Usually the people on your list will be friends, family, and acquaintances. Nine times out of ten, they will usually say “no” to you, or they may be nice enough to set up a coffee date, that could still result in a no.
When you are a farmer, you must be strategic with the tools and techniques you use. You need to ensure that your land is correct, and you have the right kind of fertilizer in place. You also need a lot of water and for the weather elements to be on your side. Similarly, when you start your planning process around your Project 100 or 250: Make sure that there is a strategy in place that determines who you are talking to and how you are talking to them.
If often asked the question of many of young Financial Advisors at the very beginning: “Who are the people that you can talk to, but you won’t talk to, or forget to talk to? “
Just as being a farmer means we should be open to other potential opportunities that may arise, we need to be open to people that may tell us about potential clients that we would not have initially thought about.
For example, you go to your hairdresser looking for potential clients. Most of the time, you will speak to the hairdresser and all the people in the salon. What we often overlook is that the hairdresser is a business owner who knows other business owners, and those business owners know even more business owners. When speaking to our hairdresser, we neglect to ask the owner of the salon;
~ Who supplies your shampoos?
~ Who provides your scissors and clippers?
~ Who provides the cleaning products?
~ Who provides the gloves and other equipment?
We tend to simply go in and say we want to talk to you as a business owner and all the people in your hair salon. If we were to think outside the box, we could take that a step further but speaking no just to the business owner but everyone that helps keep the business running, who may not necessarily be on the premises or a part of the staff.
Being a farmer means that you are looking at all the resources around you and ensuring that all your planning is done right. At first glance, doing a Project 100 or 250 may seem cool because you are merely listing as many names as possible.
As Financial Advisors, we need to instead look deeper. Go through your list of names and say ‘How can I best leverage myself off this person? How can I make sure that I speak to all the business owners that this business owner knows?
In conclusion, being a farmer means more than just being a farmer of the clients on your original list. It means making sure that you are going out there and talking to the right kind of clients in the right kind of way. It means that you are permanently digging to find out who are the people that you can talk to, to build your business and make it stronger and more robust.