Torture Worth Enduring.

Apr 28, 2011


Although I have been running for the last 5 years, I still don’t consider myself a runner. It’s just not natural to get up at 5:30 am and go outside and run 3 or 4 miles only to end up exactly where you started. On colder days and when it is dark, we have a treadmill in our basement which forces me to endure one of the most boring forms of torture exercise ever invented. Why bring this up?  I believe marketing for new business is like the treadmill in my basement…  

  • I know it is good for me.
  • While it may be tough to get started, it isn’t so bad once I get going.
  • I know I have accomplished something every morning before most people get up.
  • If I want to be on this earth for a long while , I need to build sustainable, repeatable practices (and set an example for my kids, my successors).

So if marketing is good for me and it has all those great benefits, we should all be doing a great job of marketing and growing, right? Unfortunately, just like running, it may not be natural for you to be a PRO-ACTIVE marketer. Many advisors fall in to a rut or get their marketing muscles out of shape. 

A few years back, I bought the Nike Running sport band that monitors my runs, times, distances, etc. I plug it into my computer and it tracks everything. It allows me to set goals like more runs per month, more calories burned or more distance. It even allows me to challenge others to a competition. What Nike has created is an easy way for me to hold myself accountable for my workouts. I can also share (or more likely, bore) my family with success and milestones.

In a recent poll of SEI’s Strategic Advisor Council, “client acquisition” was the number one goal for 2011 selected by 43% of the responders. Yet, when answering the percent of time currently spent on growth activities, the mean response was only 22%. It seems we all want to grow, but we never seem to find the time.  Life gets in the way, business gets in the way and marketing takes a back seat. 

The first quarter is over, how are you doing vs. your client acquisition goal for this year? (Did you have a client acquisition goal this year?)  Are you progressing with your marketing plan, or is it a “convenient place to hang clothes” in the corner of the room? 

Probably the biggest question: who is holding you accountable for your plan?  If no one is holding you accountable, get someone. Try involving your staff or pick your favorite Regional Marketing Director or wholesaler. There are many mornings that I get a swift kick after I hit the snooze button on my alarm for the 2nd time.

You should also find that someone who will give you that kick you need. After all, you will have accomplished something while many of your peers are still sleeping.

Who do you share your plan with and how is it working?

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John Anderson

John Anderson

John Anderson is the creator and lead author of Practically Speaking blog and Managing Director of Practice Management Solutions for the SEI Advisor Network.

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