As we approach the end of the year, many agents and advisors are making it a top priority to perform a task that is not always easy, but is critically important: Set goals they would like to accomplish for their financial practices in 2022 and help their clients write down their goals and objectives for the upcoming year.
InsuranceNewsNet spoke with two industry experts about the process of setting individual goals.
It is important for all agents and advisors to set goals, noted Bill Cates, president of Referral Coach International. “If you do not have specific goals, you will not know what to prioritize and what to focus on,” he said.
Advisors should also remember that their goals should have specific plans of how they will be achieved. “A goal without a plan is just a wish,” he added.
There are two types of goals, Cates pointed out—an achievement goal and a behavioral goal. An achievement goal typically describes what an advisor would like to achieve, such as acquire a certain percentage of new clients, or to increase his or her commissions over a period of time.
On the other hand, a behavioral goal usually lists specific actions an advisor must take to get to the goal he or she has outlined.
As advisors and agents set goals for themselves, they should keep three things in mind if they want to increase their chances of success, according to Cates. They should realize that:
1. Goals should be “stretch” goals. For example, if your goal is to have 40 clients and last year you had 30, then that is a “stretch” goal.
2. Goals should be realistic. A goal of increasing the number of clients from 30 to 40 is a stretch goal but is also realistic. “If the goal is too big, it quickly becomes unrealistic and you will start doubting yourself,” he said. “If you can picture yourself doing it, you most likely will do it.”
3. Advisors must be willing to ask others for help. The person they turn to for help could be another advisor, a manager, or even existing clients who can refer them to other clients. “Make it a point to find out who will help you achieve your goals,” he said.
Helping Clients Set Goals
Apart from setting individual goals, a good advisor also works with all of his or her clients to set yearly goals for them, added Aamir Chalisa, manager director of Futurity First Insurance Group. Year-end is a good time to review their policies, goals, priorities and future plans.
“This will help shape their new year and help them understand if their planning is on track. Goal-setting is fundamental to a successful financial plan,” he added.
Chalisa also stressed the need for client goals to be realistic, adaptable, changeable and agreed upon by both the advisor and the client.
“Educating clients and contacting them is very important throughout the year because it provides an opportunity to maintain oversight of policies and plans that were put in place. As a result, there is no disappointment that goals were not reached,” he said.
As advisors work with their clients to set goals, they should also do all they can to help them succeed, added Chalisa.
“Create the expectation from Day One when someone becomes a client that goal-setting is an important part of planning," he said. “Let them know that both of you are setting goals—theirs, to create a financial plan they want, and yours, to make sure you are constantly reviewing the plan to ensure it is on track. Where I see success is where both client and agent plan, agree and review together. Where I see failure is where there is no contact after the sale of a product between a client and an agent.”
Ayo Mseka has more than 30 years of experience reporting on the financial-services industry. She formerly served as Editor-In-Chief of NAIFA’s Advisor Today magazine. Contact her at [email protected].