It’s 9:00 pm on a Thursday evening, and you’re just wrapping up one of your most triumphant dinner seminars yet. Your speaking game was on fire, your rapport with clients unmatched, and appointment request cards were stacked by your side at the end of the night. After you pack up your gear and make several trips to the car, you survey your room one last time and head for home.
When you finally make it to bed around 11:00, you attempt to sleep but the adrenaline rush of the night simply will not dissipate. On top of that, the Sunday Scaries have come early: You’re still wide awake at 3:30 am, thinking of all that needs to be accomplished the next day. How can you possibly maximize the potential of your event if you’re alone and running on fumes? “The hard part” has begun.
This real-life situation is just one of the many examples that inspired the writing of this article. Within the last several months I’ve received phone calls from too many producers that sound so unbelievably frazzled about things that are going on in their worlds. One of them said, “Gosh I really wish I had an assistant!” Another advisor jokingly said, “Will you please come be my assistant?”
So, that got my mind spinning in a creative direction and I thought about my past almost-20 year career at LifePro, and how the useful tools I’ve learned should be passed on. Not only have I been an executive assistant to two leaders at LifePro, but I’ve also helped with the interview and hiring process over the years. I work daily with the assistants of our top advisors. My experience with how much a rock star assistant can be an asset to your practice is something I don’t want to keep to myself! Without further ado, the following are my recommendations to help galvanize your decision to acquire a top-notch assistant.
1: An awesome assistant can drive your business growth.
If your business is growing, you’ll find that the longer you put off getting help the more stressed out you’re going to be. Pick someone who is interested in a career in your industry and who has the same vision. With great support comes equally great outputs.
Ninety-nine percent of the best, most successful advisors in our industry have a stellar assistant by their side. Choose someone with a fabulous attitude that is not only someone you can be proud of, and who compliments your practice, but who naturally shows off the best in you.
2: A standout assistant can help you stay on schedule. They provide consistent support and can either help you delegate tasks to others in your office or take things off your plate.
This allows you to be free to grow your book of business while details are taken care of on the back end. How many times have you been up to your neck in work, then you still have to carve out time to work on reminder calls and sending out books to your clients? What if you’re part of our Wealth Builder program and you’re having trouble researching and picking the venues we’ve suggested for your next dinner seminar?
Having a reliable person there to streamline logistical and clerical duties allows you to remove yourself from details that clutter your mind and actually make you more forgetful. Knowing that even the smallest tasks are being handled provides invaluable peace of mind.
3: An effective assistant can save you money.
I know that might sound like a contradiction! A common misconception of any entrepreneur is that hiring extra support employees costs them money when it’s actually the opposite. An exceptional assistant will pay for themselves faster than you may imagine. More often than not, the right individual can offset your biggest business challenges.
For instance, you may be wonderful at marketing but less skilled at scheduling or customer service. What about technology? These days any intern from your local college or junior college has more social media and computer skills than any average businessperson in your neighborhood. A decent majority of those people are hungry for experience in the business field, so putting their genius to work will save you enormous amounts of time and money.
Perhaps you could even mentor that person into becoming the right person if they have that special spark, or develop them into someone you feel comfortable eventually giving important tasks to.
4: A professional assistant can offer a welcoming presence and be a communication hub to connect everyone in your atmosphere.
They will help you greet customers in your office or at appointments and seminars. I can’t count how many times I’ve been on the road with my team or at a seminar, and met a new advisor’s assistant and thought, “Wow. How did they find this gem?” That leads to my impression of the advisor being more professional and memorable in my head, even if I barely know them. Your customers will feel the same.
Your assistant can help relay messages between customers and vendors. Allow them to be your “relationship coordinator.” Today everything is fast paced, everything is mobile. Let him or her track, prioritize, and organize while you’re out selling and focusing on the actions that make you money so you’re not losing your mind with the tasks that may not be what you’re best at.
5: A skilled assistant can be your partner in brainstorming.
Bouncing ideas off someone with your same vision is key to the evolution of your practice. Sometimes good ideas hit at unlikely times and places. For me, that is almost always while I’m in traffic or in the shower—so thank goodness for voice notes!
Your assistant will help you record and streamline, plot and plan, and encourage that innovation out of you. Sometimes just collaborating or deliberating with someone else that’s on your same wavelength brings about ideas that you didn’t even know existed yet.
Delaying on hiring an assistant could be keeping a very capable you from getting to that next level.
6 The Presence of an assistant can open yourself to availability for your customers.
This will essentially allow you to be two places at once, and your “helping hand” allows you to put your best foot forward. While you’re the captain of the ship, sailing through the whitecaps, your assistant is up in the tower watching for icebergs. They will be there to assist your clients or set up time with new prospects during the day while you’re in meetings or on the phone.
How about vacation? How nice is it to know that your business doesn’t have to come to a total standstill if you want any kind of rest or relaxation, even if it is just for a day or two?
Let’s not forget that LifePro, in essence, is also your assistant. Mr. Zimmerman created LifePro in 1986 when he himself realized there was not enough time in the day to serve his client’s needs the best he could as he was prospecting, meeting with clients, writing applications, following through on cases written…on and on. I’m sure as you’re reading this you’re nodding your head in understanding. He understood the gap in the availability of guidance or assistance that could take him, as a successful independent producer, to that next level, and wanted to create the best resource possible for other advisors in the field.
Our top producers have also leaned on us in the past to help in the selection of their assistants. Once they hired one, they, in turn, had us give a full orientation of LifePro to that person so their capabilities could be maximized. Please let us know if that is something we can support you with.
Remember that there isn’t any more profitable investment than investing in yourself. My goal and hope for you is that you now have the motivation to take that next step. My hunch is that, after a slight period of adjustment, you will be glad you did.
I strongly encourage you to visit www.lifepro.com to watch my video on this topic and to access our library of 200+ advisor and client-friendly educational videos that feature all of the latest and breaking life insurance and annuity news for the independent financial professional.