Grant Hicks, CIM is President of Advisor Practice Management

After you read this short article, you will feel relieved and excited about your practice again. Now imagine you felt like you are in complete control of your business and your time and you had a lifestyle and practice that everyone envied. It is simple to imagine but even simpler to get going on. Here is an exercise to measure where you are at today. Let’s assume that you spend 50% of your time with clients and prospects. The average advisor spends about 30% of their time each week with prospects and clients. let’s also assume you want to grow your practice and acquire more ideal clients. Finally, let’s also assume you have segmented your client base into two groups, the ideal clients your top 25-50 clients, and the rest of your clients. In the exercise below, just add up the totals to 100%. Assuming only 50% of your time is with clients and prospects, you can break it down into daily or weekly hours, for your practice. Now do the math exercise below.

Where is your time being spent?

Currently, the percentage of time you spend weekly with your top 25-50 clients ( Ideal clients) _______ %

Currently, the percentage of time spent weekly with ideal prospects _______%

Currently, the percentage of time spent weekly with the rest of your clients ______ %

Every time I do this exercise in workshops with financial advisors, they realize two critical elements. First, they already know they are not spending enough time with ideal clients but would like to do more. Second, even more importantly, they don’t have the growth of the practice they want because they spend less than 10% with ideal prospects. What I mean by ideal prospects is: What revenue do your top clients generate for your practice, and how can you get more of them. Ok, so we know that we need more time with ideal clients and prospects. So how do we get there? Let me share with you where we are going first, to help you picture your future practice.

Then let’s try to change it by just 10% this year.

For example, we want to get your time with ideal clients and prospects to 80% and 20% with non ideal or transactional. This is the ideal targets we are aiming for is time with ideal clients and prospects. This does NOT include planning and preparation time, but time with them.

Total time with clients and prospects weekly-  50% of your time or 20 hours per week

Time with Ideal clients weekly 60% or 12 hours per week out of 20 hours 

Time with ideal prospects weekly 20% or 4 hours per week out of 20 hours 

Time with transactional clients weekly 20% or 4 hours per week out of 20 hours 

Depending on each practice, three things will become clearly obvious for you to change. Segmenting, time management and focusing on the right people.

Segmenting is critical to time management
Elite advisors segment on an annual basis. They grow their practice year after year by 15% or more, based all around segmentation, to manage their ideal capacity. I spend a tremendous amount of time coaching advisors and using segmentation tools and resources, to help them through their annual segmentation process. You want to spend less time with non-ideal or transactional clients, so segmenting becomes a critical process to do. Ask your coach or practice management expert this question “ what is the best way to segment my clients on an annual basis, based on my practice?” This will depend on the type of practice you run. I recommend segmenting by revenue per client, not assets or insurance, but revenue. There are other variables, but revenue makes it clear on the amount of income annually in your practice and future ongoing revenue, to measure ideal clients.

Time with ideal prospects
Now I want you to visualize that feeling when you acquired a new ideal client. How you felt, and how excited you were to work with these people. It gave your business some passion and focus and helped you and them work on something truly meaningful in their lives. Imagine if you had more of that feeling on a regular basis? We know that top advisors grow by spending 17% of their time weekly with ideal prospects. It is a big stretch for most advisors, because they are spending too much time with other clients, and have little or no focus on acquiring more ideal clients. Here is a simple exercise to change the behavior. Time block the percentage of time you want to spend each week with ideal prospects. If it is 20% of your weekly time ( at 50% of your time measured in hours) then block off 4 hours per week exclusively reserved for activities to acquire more ideal clients. Activities such as calls, meetings, and follow-up. Sounds, simple, that’s because it is to change your behavior. It just takes time, so block the time each week.

Amazing results happen when you spend more time with your best clients
It is a really weird phenomenon that happens when you spend more time with your best clients. You earn more and get more ideal referrals and favorable introductions. Start spending more time with your ideal clients and do intimate events with them and ask them to invite friends. Spend more leisure time with them, such as golf, hiking or boating. It can be as simple as a client bar-b-que. Spend more personal time with them at events such as charities, fundraising or events to go to. Have more meeting time with their centers of influence, their accountants, lawyers, realtors mortgage brokers, insurance agents and other centers of influence in their lives. Start by asking yourself one question. What events can I do with my ideal clients?

Visualize yourself spending more time with ideal clients and prospects, even by as small as 10% more of your weekly time. Little by little, you will start to feel relieved and excited about your practice again!

Grant Hicks, CIM, is President of Advisor Practice Management and co-author of “Guerrilla Marketing For Financial Advisors” 1st and 2nd edition. for speaking or coaching for financial advisors, contact grant at [email protected]

For a copy of our guide the” Future Ready Financial Advisor” go to or

Leave a Reply

" "