These 2 things are costing you big time (without you even realizing it)

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Amar Pandit

A respected entrepreneur with 25+ years of Experience, Amar Pandit is the Founder of several companies that are making a Happy difference in the lives of people. He is currently the Founder of Happyness Factory, a world-class online investment & goal-based financial planning platform through which he aims to help every Indian family save and invest wisely. He is very passionate about spreading financial literacy and is the author of 4 bestselling books (+ 2 more to release in 2020), 8 Sketch Books, Board Game and 700 + columns.

I have been personally interacting with a lot of distributors and advisors and so are my colleagues. Every firm is going through similar challenges. First it was the sharp market correction and managing anxious (and sometimes angry clients). Second it was about the lockdown and inability to meet up with clients, prospects and engage with them. Now it is the Credit Risk issue (read: Franklin Templeton) and its impact. Everyone is appearing to be super busy. There are some who are jumping from one AMC call to another while others are wondering what the hell should I do. Some are even avoiding calls with clients (because they do not know what to say) whereas a lot of people are waiting for the lockdown to be lifted to go and start meeting people.

I see a common issue amongst most distributors and advisors. None of them seem to be asking themselves these 2 questions:

a. What is the real problem here?

b. What am I doing about this?

I would let you answer what your real problem is and what actions are you taking, so take some time to think through these questions.

Some challenges (there are many but just writing the top 4) that I see firms going through are:

  1. Communicating Meaningfully with Clients through the current crisis
  2. Inability to meet new prospects.
  3. Inability to meet clients and engage with them meaningfully.
  4. Smart Competition would start eating into your business or Clients on their own are looking for people who can help them.

Can you really address these challenges during a lockdown? Absolutely and this is in fact the best time to do so.

However, the 2 things that are costing you right now are Indecision and Inaction (both in that order).

I am saying this because we are seeing people realize that something must be done but they are first and foremost just unable to decide. Some of them who do decide to do something about it are waiting for the right moment to act (Just like some investors wait for the right time to invest). The late Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen said, “Without a good question, a good answer has no place to go.” I will thus once again ask you 2 more questions so you can give some great answers (and hopefully find some clarity):

  1. What needs to happen for you to arrive at a decision about this?
  2. What needs to happen for you to act on this now?

Write your answers down.

Finally, what do you need to do to address these challenges? I have been addressing some of these in some of my previous posts but the few things that you should critically focus and invest your time, energy and money on are the following:

a. Learn how to communicate with clients and prospects. Additionally, how do you play a leadership role in your client’s lives?

b. Learn how to acquire new clients virtually (even if the lockdown continues for the next 3 months) and run your business virtually.

c. Learn how to get 100% of client assets even in today’s times (if you do not have it).

d. Learn how to protect your business against competition.

There are many more, but these are some of the critical ones. While we are all doing our bit to fight the coronavirus challenge, the battle for client acquisition has already begun. The decisive ones are not waiting for a level playing field and for the lockdown to be lifted. They are already taking a lead over people who are unable to take decisions and act.

I will be writing a post on some of the signals that I am seeing on the future of work, technology adoption and many others. Some of the interesting ones are about changes in the way we work, socialize, play, maintain our hygiene and so on. The other day TCS announced that 75% of their workforce will be working from home by 2025. In the US, some firms have already started redesigning workplaces from open to the old style of cubicles. It is hard to know what return to work will look like.

Technology adoption is happening in a big way and this trend will speed up in every walk of life (including sports – eSports. In case you are not aware it is already a billion-dollar industry).

I am reminded of Boxer Joe Lewis’s quote “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die.” This reminds me of the situation in our profession that everyone wants to grow (and address all challenges they face) but hardly anyone wants to do what it takes to achieve it.


P.S. One of my earlier posts was about the 3 types of firms. If you have not read it, I think you should read it now.