3 Tips For Your Next SurgeTM

You shouldn’t be in the office if you’re killing time by playing solitaire or doom-scrolling social media.

3 min read

Matthew Jarvis
Financial Planner, CFP®

Hear me out, we all have the same twenty-four hours in a day, but successful advisors are strategic in how they use their office time, making them four times more valuable than you.  

Did you know that when Henry Ford improved his automotive assembly lines in 1913, he cut Model T production time down from over 12 hours to 93 minutes? 

By implementing easy-to-follow processes, Mr. Ford slashed expenses and increased his revenue substantially—all while doubling his employees’ pay and shortening their work day. 

Over one hundred years later, Mr. Ford’s lessons in industrial consolidation still ring true for almost any industry—and financial advisors are no different

If you’ve listened to our podcasts, you’ve probably heard a lot about how SurgeTM Meetings can give your practice the assembly-line treatment by increasing the efficiency of your client meetings. 

Here are some tips you can implement during your next Surge TM to help your team deliver massive value in less time. 

1. Ease into it

Do you go all out during the first week you start a new fitness program? 

Probably not—that’s a great way to get injured. You need to ease into a new exercise regiment and let your muscles and tissues adapt. People new to running don’t start by running marathons. Instead, they improve their stamina by slowly adding distance each week for months, even years, before tackling long-distance events.

The same thing is true for your appointment muscles. 

If you’re used to two or three daily meetings, don’t jump into seven or eight sessions daily for six weeks straight—you’ll crash and burn. Instead, start by adding just one extra meeting a day or even each week to your SurgeTM. After you are comfortable, add one or two more to your next SurgeTM until you get where you want to be. 

When you plan your SurgeTM, look at where you are now and where you want to be, then set up your week accordingly. 

Don’t fret over only meeting with a few clients each day; it doesn’t matter, so long as you’re intentional with your time and delivering massive value. After all, everyone has to start somewhere. 

3 TIPS FOR YOUR NEXT SURGE

2. Time Block 

So-called industry gurus spread a limiting belief that you must be available every time a client calls or wants a meeting, or else your practice will implode. 

That’s a blatant lie. 

You make appointments with your dentist, expecting to select a time during an available slot—not at your whim. You’re used to this system, and your clients are, too—it’s not a stretch to set those exact expectations in your firm. 

If you aren’t yet, implement a time blocking strategy to give your team permission to book time slots for you. When a client calls, your team can say, “Matthew is available on Tuesday at 10:00 or 1:15; which works best for you?” And then your client can pick a time to meet you.  

Never let your office staff tell clients that they’ll “look to see if Matthew is available.” That sends a message that Bob or Sue may not be important enough to talk to. 

There’s no calendar haggling; your clients will book when you’re available or not at all. If you’re delivering massive value, they’ll find a way to be available when you are. 

During your SurgeTM prep, add time blocks on programs like Acuity or Calendly so your clients can self-book. You’ll reduce dreaded back-and-forth emails that only cause frustration and waste time. 

Every SurgeTM period needs a clear start and end, and every meeting day needs to have clear parameters for when you’ll meet with clients, take a lunch break, review client cases, and add post-meeting notes.  

As a financial advisor, you should be committed to your calendar year-round. You can’t just cancel an afternoon of appointments because you want to play golf with your advisor friends. If you must cancel an appointment, be sure to do it yourself—don’t let your office or relationship manager pay the price because you failed to stick to the system. 

Regarding what’s on your schedule, take notes from Joko Willink, and take extreme ownership of your calendar: do what you say you’re going to do. Always. 

3. Delegate

It’s impossible to run SurgeTM meetings as a one-person show. You need a small team of well-trained staff to help you behind the scenes so that you can deliver massive value to every client. 

SurgeTM periods are intense: you’ve got multiple meetings back-to-back for four to six weeks straight. To effectively meet with your clients, you need a team who can efficiently handle pre-SurgeTM preparations, create case cheat sheets, and record post-meeting notes, follow-ups, and post-SurgeTM trading. 

Remember that your staff will be in SurgeTM mode for two or more weeks longer than you. In other words, if you SurgeTM for four weeks, your staff SurgeTM for six to seven weeks. Set them up for success by closely managing your expectations

Be candid in asking your staff what they need from you to do their jobs well. When you respond to questions–even ones that seem painfully obvious—never answer with negativity. Negative responses will kill delegation immediately. 

At some point, the person you delegated a seemingly simple task to will screw up. It happens. Before exploding at your staff member for being an idiot and making obvious errors, take some time to cool off and figure out where you failed them and how you can fix it. 

When problems arise, remember to blame the system (usually you) before you blame the person. If you failed to lay out each step plainly, you’re the idiot, not your staff member. Yes, you gave them the responsibility for the task, but initially, it was yours, and you still need to keep ownership of it.

Be aware that no one in your office are telepathic mind-readers, so you need to be clear as crystal about what you expect from them. 
Instead of asking your assistant to “order lunch,” let them know that you’re craving a shredded pork burrito from the TexMex restaurant around the corner, and you’ll be having lunch at 1 pm. This may sound a little absurd, but you must spell out precisely what you need and when you need it. You can avoid a lot of headaches this way.

But reading is nothing without taking action!
Here is what you should do in order to see results

Action Item

Are you going through your first SurgeTM this fall? Take some time to write down your goals for your SurgeTM meetings. Consider how many clients you need to see, how many appointments you can comfortably handle in a day, and how many weeks you want to SurgeTM. Then stick judiciously to your calendar.

Don’t forget to set your team up for success by giving clear expectations for each step in the process

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