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One of the focus concepts in my business plan for the year is “refinement”.

I’ve adopted because of how powerfully it reminds me to make sure I’m doing two things this year.
  • Making what we do for clients better,
  • Make it purer, more concentrated and more polished, requiring less time to achieve the outcome.
It’s already helped me fall into a personal behavioural trap of “tinkering” at least four times this year.
In the past sometimes I’ve tried to improve certain aspects of what I do and of what my clients do by looking at the site of the problem.
Too many clients not converting? Must be about improving the close…
Meetings taking too long? Get someone else in the meeting taking notes…
Clients not expecting to talk about their financial goals? Get some flash cards or a presentation explaining goals-based advice.
Sometimes these can work, but what I’ve learnt is that sometimes the real problem occurs upstream.
Now I do things differently. I ask, “What’s the first point in this process it started going off track?”
More often than not it’s not the close at all. The problem started in the first five minutes because the client ended up leading the discussion.
It’s not that client isn’t open to a goal conversation. It’s just they don’t understand what’s it got to do with the reason they came to see you.
Or most often, it’s not that the client won’t make a decision today, it’s that the lack of pre-session “first contact’ call means this is the first time you’ve spoken and you never really set yourself up as well as you could.
When you start by refining what comes first, you often find what comes later fixes itself.
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