As business coach for new financial Advisors and author of “Quick! The Cement is Drying”, a book of essays sharing fundamental truths about the financial services business, Sabine Robinson is valued by her clients as a true mentor and highly skilled activity instructor. Sea Captain Coaching recently sat down with Sabine to find out about her approach to providing guidance for her clients on jumpstarting their careers.
Your book “Quick! The Cement Is Drying” has been lauded for offering guidance to new Advisors about the importance of establishing good habits. What advice do you provide for young Advisors on this topic?
“I believe how you begin something can set the tone for the future, so I would say the first thing is to start with a full calendar. As a brand new Advisor, you do not want to have too much time on your hands to worry about things. The two most important fast-start habits are to make your phone calls every single day and ask everyone you meet to introduce you to others (in other words, phone, phone, phone, and prospect, prospect, prospect!)”
How do you help your clients improve accountability for their business activity?
“It’s pretty simple – I ask them what they want to accomplish, then we break it down into manageable pieces and then I check in relentlessly on their progress. I also ask a lot of questions in a pretty direct fashion so there’s no hiding out!”
How does this typically impact their productivity?
“If they are serious about accomplishing their goals, their productivity goes up. Sometimes slowly, and other times in quantum leaps. I just got a note last week from someone I coached 11 years ago who this year achieved the huge milestone of being in the top 2% of company producers. He was thanking me for coaching from 11 years ago when he was a new Advisor – that’s the power of getting it right early.”
Based on your experience, what key metrics and data do you think Advisors should be tracking in their businesses?
“One of the most important metrics is the number of referrals an Advisor is able to get but it doesn’t stop there. Referrals are only as valuable as the advisor’s ability to turn them into fact-finding interviews. At least 30% of an Advisor’s referrals should result in an in-depth fact-finder. The other key metric is that 80% or more of an Advisor’s kept appointments should be the core activities of fact-finding interviews, opening cases or closing interviews. If an Advisor can keep to that efficiency rate, they know they are doing the work that yields results and not becoming a professional visitor.”
What are some of the biggest challenges your clients have faced during the last 12 months?
“One of the biggest challenges has been the necessary adjustment from face-to-face meetings to keeping appointments virtually during the pandemic. Some advisors have found they are actually more efficient and can keep more appointments in this way and yet they still miss the face-to-face interaction. It’s interesting because there are always big challenges in different areas but every year plenty of Advisors figure out how to navigate them and have their best year ever.”
Many Advisors experience a certain level of success and then seem to plateau. What advice do you have for established Advisors who want to renew their enthusiasm for their practices?
“For established Advisors I recommend revisiting and reflecting on the impact they can have on individuals, businesses, and their overall community by bringing planning and financial security to people. Sometimes renewed energy can come from thinking bigger and setting bigger goals and other times it might be thinking about what being successful in the business allows them to do in their lives personally. It’s really all about continuing to grow personally and professionally – that never ends and never gets boring!”