The academic learning model, which is
the basis for most education in our culture, has some basic logical
objectives. First is to figure everything out first so we can minimize
risk and avoid mistakes. We are taught to learn everything we can
about a subject first before we take any action. From a prospecting
standpoint, this means we try to figure out who the person is who will
most likely buy our product or service first before we make contact.
The idea is that we don't want to waste time talking to people who are
not likely candidates for our product or service. We only want to talk
to qualified prospects.
This all sounds great and
certainly makes logical sense but unfortunately if you are a
relationship-oriented financial advisor, this is more likely a
prescription for disappointing sales results.
clues. If you listen carefully to successful entrepreneurs
being interviewed, they usually say some version of two things when
giving advice to new members of the club. First, trust your
intuitive instincts or
"trust your gut," and second,
make as many mistakes as
you can as fast as you can. In case it takes a
minute for this to sink in, this advice is exactly the opposite of the
It would appear that the academic model
and the advice of successful entrepreneurs are in opposition. One of
the things I have been told by hundreds of relationship-oriented
financial advisors is that they don't feel they are putting their
strengths to their best use. So what is the greatest strength of
a relationship-oriented financial advisor you ask? It is the
ability to meet and connect with new people, to establish
Herein lies the secret to success for
relationship-oriented financial advisors. Go meet new people!
Meet as many new people as you can. And, don't be too concerned if
they don't fit the profile of your ideal client. You get energy every
time you meet someone new. You have a new contact. You increase your
network. Most important, you have no idea who needs what you are
offering and you have no idea who knows the people you want to know.
I am not saying that you don't pay
attention to the criteria of your ideal client. What I am saying is
that you don't want to
become so scientific in your approach to prospecting that you forget
the magic of simply meeting new people. I like to call
it "mystical momentum." If you are committed to serving people
in your capacity as a financial advisor and you make a genuine effort
to meet new people, you will find yourself meeting people who fit your
ideal criteria in ways you never expected or could have figured out.
You could say that both the academic
model and the advice of entrepreneurs have merit. The academic
model tends to make us more analytical which then tends to make us
less outgoing than we need to be. Push yourself to meet new people
without worrying about whether they qualify as a client. I guarantee
good things will happen in ways you never expected. And, besides it's
more fun to let go of the pressure to make every new acquaintance fit
the profile of your ideal client.
Remember, it is the sales activity
that is more important than your thoughts about it.
Action creates results.
Thinking about taking action doesn't create any results. If you are
out meeting with people, you will naturally end up with the right
clients without having to over analyze or over control the process. In
other words, part of life you can figure out, most of life you can't
figure out. Therefore to balance analysis with intuitive instincts
seems to work the best for most advisors. Personally, I think your
intuitive mind is a lot smarter than your analytical mind. You get to
decide on the mix.
Have a peaceful Thanksgiving,
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