Ray Henderson says one of the many benefits of working with professional financial advisers around the world is learning what the best do to improve efficiency and profitability.

Hopefully the worst of the GFC is well and truly behind us; but the need to constantly assess what we are doing should always be on our minds. Over the past couple of years, as many were doing it tough, we constantly asked: “What are some changes you have made to survive and thrive in difficult times?”

Here are six simple ideas for your interest and consideration. Maybe one of these is something you should consider in your practice?

1. Take every opportunity to ask for referrals

• Include it as a standing item on your client meeting agenda.

• Add a simple statement at the end of your emails, newsletters et cetera. Something along the lines that your business depends on receiving quality referrals from its clients.

‘These are six simple ways that some have used to increase activity, revenue and profit’

• Remember, nearly 90 per cent of the 60,000 or so clients on the Business Health CATScan client base say they would refer their adviser to others. Why don’t we ask more often?

2. Increase the frequency of client contact – especially to your ‘A’ class clients

• Proactive, “how’s things” calls (without any strings attached) will be greatly appreciated by your clients.

• Make use of mail merge and personalise your communications rather than “Dear Valued Customer”!

• Ensure consistent reinforcement of your client value proposition – especially your services. When did you last inform clients of the range of services your practice offers?

• It’s no coincidence that businesses with greater than 10 contacts with “A” class clients in a year are nearly three times more profitable than those with less than five (Business Health Future Ready 1V Report).

3. A financial plan review… at no cost!

• Before you completely dismiss this, why not consider offering to review the financial plan of your key referral sources or the adult children of your ‘A’ clients (if they’re not already your clients) – at no cost.

• As well as providing something of value to important people to your practice, this can also be a great way to increase activity and unearth some new opportunities.

4. Look to increase your client facing time

• According to our HealthCheck database, advisers are seeing on average less than one client per day! If increasing your profitability is a key priority, you’ll need to be in front of clients. Review meetings, client events and seminars will all help you to do this.

• To free yourself up so that you have time, consider delegating some of those important (but perhaps not revenue-generating) tasks to your staff.

5. Consider expanding your service offering

• Are there some services not within your current offer that perhaps could or should be? Services such as life insurance, mortgages, estate planning and self-managed super funds.

• And remember, you don’t have to do everything yourself. If you’re not qualified in some area and/or don’t want to provide the service in-house, look to set up an alliance with a suitable organisation.

6. Get published!

• Lift your profile in your area or community.

• Profile cannot be underestimated, and whilst many label this as a waste of time, others use simple things like a publication in a local paper or magazine to great effect.

These are six simple ways that some have used to increase activity, revenue and profit.

Next month we’ll share with you some of the best ideas to save money in difficult times.

Ray Henderson is a partner and director of Business Healthwww.businesshealth.com.au

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