Find inspiration by clearing your desk in January

I’ve always loved January. As a financial advisor, everyone is back to the starting line. Some advisors might see a huge annual goal and wonder How will I get there? I saw it as the start of a horse race. The firm’s top producer, me and every other advisor were starting from the same point: zero. I wasn’t behind trying to catch up! There’s a lot to like about January.

Let’s start by getting that desk and office space cleaned up, cleared out and ready for action. I often think of a messy office (like mine is, most of the time) like cholesterol clogging your arteries, preventing blood from flowing efficiently to your heart. If you’re disorganized, you can’t find things when you need them. Leads don’t get followed up. Your business is a mess.

  1. Clean off the surface of your desk. Put all those papers and your computer aside. There’s lots of dust around those computer cables. Grab some paper towels or a clean rag as well as the glass and multipurpose cleaners you use. Wipe down everything, including your computer screen. Don’t forget your phone! Put everything back.
  2. Set out a new desk blotter calendar. Yes, we both know technology lets you keep everything on your phone. What if you lost it? It’s easy to write reminders on your month-a-day calendar. This can include doctor appointments, worknights, your children’s events, family birthdays and other important things you need to remember.
  3. How do you plan your daily business? Years ago, my manager taught me to use simple spiral notebooks. Forty years later, I still do it the same way. (I have lots of notebooks!) Before I stop working each day, I write out the plan for what I want to accomplish tomorrow. Put that plan in the center of your desk.
  4. Where’s your business plan for the new year? You likely wrote it up in December. You have goals divided into monthly, weekly and daily. Some don’t divide down that easily, but one of the first rules of becoming a big producer is: “To hit a big goal, you hit lots of smaller goals.”
  5. Sort through papers. Throw out lots of stuff. We have articles we might want to read. If they are outdated, toss them. There are phone numbers on little pieces of paper. If you can’t remember who they are or why you saved it, toss it. If you find handwritten notes and can’t read your writing, away they go.
  6. Sort through papers. Keep stuff. You found aged leads. Another folder contains a couple of presentations where the prospect didn’t commit. These have now become warm leads. Put them where you can easily find them.
  7. Clean up your emails. We are talking about two categories — your inbox and all those folders. Clean up your inbox, answering as many emails as possible. Review your folders, deleting lots of stuff, but keeping those representing leads and other business opportunities.
  8. Put a clock on your desk. Yes, your computer screen has one in the lower corner. You want something more obvious, though, with a sweep second hand. It’s useful for knowing how long you’ve been on certain phone calls.
  9. Add a few personal pictures. These remind you why you are working so hard. You’re providing for your family. You are saving money to buy that great car. These are motivators. One or two inspirational quotes are good too. One of my favorites is “Everyone should have the opportunity to say no.” Another is “Everyone lives by selling something.” That was from Robert Louis Stevenson.
  10. Clean the rest of your office. Stuff piles up. You don’t need as much stuff as you think. If the file is available online, it’s unlikely you need the paper copy.
  11. Dispose of the trash correctly. Client confidentiality is an issue. Your office should have a secure container that is locked and taken away by a document disposal firm. That’s where sensitive information goes.
  12. Fill your calendar. Here’s where your desk calendar, planner and 2022 business plan come together. Start taking appointments to meet with clients and prospects to review 2021.

We all need a little jump-start in January. Get your office cleaned and organized to wipe the slate clean and allow new ideas to develop.

Learn more about setting goals and starting off the year well.

  • bryce sanders says:

    Hello Vinod Bedia! Thank you for taking time to comment on my article. Tell me more about what you meant by your comment. The point I was looking to make was efficiency is important in the sales process. You need to sort through and clean up the papers on your desk to find lost leads, things you told clients you would do and make sure everything is in it’s proper place. Have a good weekend.

  • Vinod Bedia says:

    All Blogs associated with Ideas, prospecting, selling, Objection Handling etc.

Verified by ExactMetrics