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Overcoming client indecision and procrastination

Failure to establish definite financial objectives and to implement a plan for reaching those objectives is the biggest money mistake of all. Putting off until tomorrow what should have been done yesterday is financial suicide on the installment plan.

Wednesday, July 9th 2008, 10:41AM
Many clients have a plan that is less than optimal. If you can help them to implement decisions they decided on historically, and you help them execute and take action, you have done a great job.

When clients are overwhelmed by information and options, they interpret their confusion as a need for more information. You can lead them to take action in four phases:

  • 1. Identify the problem. This helps the client to think clearly and confidently about the problem. The objective is to generate clarity regarding their greatest dangers and capture their opportunities.
  • 2. Identify alternative solutions. The objective is to evaluate and decide which strategies effectively eliminate the dangers and allow them to be in a position to capture their greatest and biggest opportunities. This helps clients think about the solution.
  • 3. Implement the selected solution. The objective is to achieve their desired result on their timeframe.
  • 4. Ongoing management of the decision. The objective is to ensure the results achieved are maintained over time. This phase provides long-term continuity of the client relationship and maintains the client's confidence.

All planning opportunities are approached from the same fundamental perspective. Clarity leads to decisions, decisions lead to results, results lead to confidence. Clients want custom solutions. They want to experience consistency of service and thought. Providing this experience creates a sustainable competitive advantage.

Even after using the four phases, some clients remain procrastinators. Ask them, "are you willing to take the risk of time becoming your enemy?" Then, create agendas and action calendars. Put together a roadmap that shows the results of planning over the next eight quarters and what needs to be done to achieve their goals.

"You could be a world-class procrastinator if you could ever get around to it."

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