November 23, 2019

Leveraging Systems To Build Efficiency In Your Business

Written By Charesse Spiller

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Have you ever wanted to find a quick-fix way to create more efficiency in your business? Advisors often try to use different business “hacks” to maximize their efficiency and create a scalable practice, but the truth is that using different productivity hacks, or hiring a new person, likely isn’t the way to make strides in your business.

Have you ever wanted to find a quick-fix way to create more efficiency in your business? Advisors often try to use different business “hacks” to maximize their efficiency and create a scalable practice, but the truth is that using different productivity hacks, or hiring a new person, likely isn’t the way to make strides in your business. Instead, focus on learning a few key pieces of tech and how to leverage them in your business. Let’s go over a few not-so-obvious systems that can help you hack your business and improve productivity.

Scheduling Software

Sometimes advisors who I speak with love their scheduling software, while others buck the idea of using one in their practice. It’s a little intimidating to let clients and prospects book whenever they want!However, high-quality software offers a lot more than simply giving your clients access to your calendar. Your scheduling software gives you the flexibility to set up automated email or text reminders and confirmations to clients and prospects for upcoming meetings. Depending on the software, you may also be able to schedule automated meeting follow-ups. Plus, a good scheduling tool will help you to set up boundaries to protect your calendar. You can organize it to only book certain types of calls at different times, or during specific weeks during a given month.Typically, I recommend advisors schedule meetings on behalf of clients through their scheduling software, as well – even if they book by emailing you a date and time that works for them. This helps to kick off the automated reminder and follow-up sequence and helps you to limit the amount of manual follow-up you need to do.Personally, I recommend Calendly as a scheduling tool. It’s the easiest system to integrate into your practice and is incredibly user-friendly. Additionally, the company continually rolls out new features, like metrics and reporting, or round-robin scheduling for teams.

CRM

You may think that a CRM is an obvious tool in your tech stack, but many advisors aren’t using their CRM to its full potential. Your CRM likely has reporting capabilities beyond what they’re currently using. Monthly reports on what prospect opportunities you lost or won, or the number of prospect meetings you average per quarter, are two common examples.However, you can also use your CRM to track other information – like a referral list, or opportunities for speaking engagements. Your CRM shouldn’t just be a way of tracking prospects. It should help you to add quoted fees and create custom pipelines, and even store email templates that you plan on sending to your clients.There are many different CRMs available for advisors. I prefer Wealthbox and Redtail. In fact, they’re the only two systems I consistently recommend for advisors. Each of these systems has robust capabilities and are specifically designed with advisors in mind. They also have a number of integrations, making it easy to integrate them into your existing tech stack and processes.

Email Marketing System

Most advisors have an email marketing system – even if they’re not using it consistently (yet)!) Email marketing systems are often thought to be a prospecting-only tool to help you grow your business. Although I do recommend that advisors set up their email marketing system to offer free downloads or lead generation pieces, and using them to send out newsletters and nurture emails is a valuable part of growing your business, that’s not all these systems can do for you.How much easier would your life as a business owner be if you were able to engage in one-to-many communication? Rather than emailing each client individually about open enrollment or tax season, you can construct emails in your email marketing system to go out to a specifically tagged list of your clients. You can use your email marketing system to:

  • Send reminders about quarterly document submission and meetings

  • Remind clients about upcoming deadlines (like during tax filing season!)

  • Update them on continuing education and what’s going on with your team

Your email marketing software is perfect for communicating with all clients with a click of a button.Wondering what system to use? If you’re looking for a free and easy version you can’t beat MailChimp. However, keep in mind that, as is the case with all elements of your tech stack, you get what you pay for.MailChimp’s free version is solid for beginner RIA’s, but if you’re ready to level up, check out Convertkit, ActiveCampaign, or Constant Contact. These systems have more advanced ways to tag your contacts and communicate to individual segments on your list.

VPN

A VPN Service encrypts your connection and provides an anonymous IP to protect your privacy. These help you to keep your client’s information safe and to keep your WiFi connection secure when you’re working in a public place.VPN’s are perfect for travel, working in a coworking space, or even a home office in your apartment complex. I feel that VPN’s are an integral part of any advisor’s tech stack. When you’re helping clients with their finances, you need a protected way to keep their information secure. I recommend Private Internet AccessTM VPN Service. You pay an annual fee, and the system can sync it to multiple computers.

Password Manager

Raise your hand if you’ve ever gotten locked out of your online accounts because you couldn’t remember your password.We’ve all been there!However, as a business owner, you can’t be in a situation with a client where you can’t log into a key account because you can’t remember your password. The best way to navigate this problem is to use a password manager in your practice.These systems save your logins, and can even update your password periodically to ensure they stay complex and secure. You can also use them to share login information among team members, or with contract workers. Some systems even have the option to have shared folders that contain specific passwords you want to be shared, but keep others private.In my own business, I use LastPass, but if you want to look for other options you can check out 1Password and Dashlane.

Voice to Text Systems

As an advisor, you’re on the go a lot. Whether you’re rushing to meetings, or trying to balance work and life after meeting with a prospect, you need a better way to summarize meetings and write notes to yourself and your team. Rather than spend time typing out notes or meeting follow-ups, or even reminders for yourself, invest in a voice-to-text system.Whether you use Copytalk or Mobile Assistant, or any of the other voice-to-text systems available, these tools can save you a ton of time on jotting notes down or sending follow up reminders. Some CRMs even offer voice-to-text options to make your processes a little bit more streamlined. In my own business, I leverage my CRM’s voice to text option in an application on my phone.

Conferencing

Whether you work with clients locally or virtually, having a conferencing option for calls and communication is a must. A conferencing system that gives you the flexibility to screen share, conference call, or host video meetings, can help you to provide an elevated service to your clients – and reduce the barriers that your prospects experience when trying to book meetings with you.The truth is that as busy as you are, your clients and prospects are equally busy. Giving them an option for easy conferencing and meetings helps you to make yourself more available to your target audience. Sometimes in-person meetings may still be necessary, but having a virtual option can help you expand your firm more efficiently. Another perk of conferencing tools is that you can often record meetings. This is perfect for you to reference in the future, to send to clients as a follow-up, or even to pass along to team members who weren’t able to attend.Zoom and Google Hangouts (if you use G Suite) are both excellent options for virtual meetings. You can also use systems like Ring Central to answer inbound office calls when working remotely, as well.

Zapier

I’ve saved the best for last! Zapier is the #1 tool you need to have in your back pocket as an advisor and business owner. Zapier helps you to connect and integrate different systems to make them “talk” to each other. You can use Zapier to eliminate manual steps within your business processes and streamline your work.I love Zapier for connecting your CRM and scheduling tool to your email marketing software, automating form submissions and information delivery, and even making communication easier between your team.

Need Help?

If you ever have questions about which systems to use in your practice, reach out! I’d love to chat with you about what could work for you and your team.

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