How many times have you had a terrific production month followed by a terrible production month? Why do many advisors find themselves in an ebb and flow pattern with their business? Most advisors go through an emotional cycle that is triggered when they realize that their business is not as successful as they want it or need it to be. This awareness can create anxiety, which initially switches on a "fight or flight" mode.
They either begin “fighting” right away—working harder, prospecting more and generating additional business or they go into “flight”—retreating inward, going into a state of situational depression and generally feeling hopeless about ever reaching their business goals. When the latter happens, it has been my experience that eventually, those feelings subside and the advisors’ “fight” mode kicks back in again.
Does this roller-coaster sound familiar? Do you wish there was a way off the ride? If you do, take comfort in knowing that there is a way off and a way to consistently and sustainably make your business grow. It all starts by understanding what I have coined “the science of building your business from within.”
While doing research on this subject, I learned about the G.R.O.W. Model. Wikipedia’s entry on this method is: "The GROW model (or process) is a technique for problem solving or goal setting. It was developed in the UK and used extensively in the corporate coaching market in the late 1980s and 1990s.”
The G.R.O.W. Model provides the framework for a four-step process for goal setting and problem-solving. In addition, it allows for identifying options on how to deal with challenges and what course of action to take to overcome them. The reason this type of self-assessment, self-awareness and solution determination is effective is that it provides a structured way for advisors to gain a stronger sense of ownership because they learn from their experiences and become more of what needs to happen in order to accomplish their goals.
Understanding the model
First, I'll explain the G.R.O.W. model and then illustrate how you can utilize it to break the emotional cycle that so many financial advisors find themselves in.
- Goal: First, determine what your specific goal is. The more specific, the better. An example of a specific goal is: “Gather $1,000,000 in new assets each month for the next twelve months” as opposed to a vague goal like: “Gather new assets this year.”
- Reality: The next step is to honestly look at your present reality. Where are you in relation to your goal and why? A gut analysis of where you are provides you with a very solid foundation of understanding what needs to happen moving forward. An example of this is: “I am averaging only $500,000 in new assets each month because I don’t actively prospect”
- Option: Once you understand your goal and your reality, the next step is to begin to move the reality closer towards the goal. At this stage in the process, examine what options are available to you. Remember to brainstorm and write out all options. Examples may be, Determine why I am not prospecting, prospect daily, buy a book of clients or join a team, cross sell to clients”.
- Way forward: The final step is to examine the options and to decide what the best option is for you to reach your goal. An example: “Sharpening my prospecting skills, actively prospecting first thing in the morning, recording my progress, and rewarding or punishing myself on a daily basis”.
This method might seem very simplistic, but I assure you that it is very effective because having a systematic process for goal setting and problem-solving empowers you to develop solutions. Follow this model and your business can’t help but G.R.O.W!
By Daniel C. Finley
Daniel C. Finley is the president and co-founder of Advisor Solutions, which is dedicated to helping advisors
build a better business. Finley’s 20-year brokerage career includes 14 years as a successful financial advisor and over 8,000 hours of sessions coaching financial advisors. For more information, visit Advisor Solutions at www.advisor-solutions.com.