Redefining Success for Yourself and Gaining Conviction in Your Offering
Happy Wednesday, everybody. I sure wish I had a selfie stick right now, but hopefully I can hold this camera steady for the next five minutes.
So I was inspired to record a relentless prospecting video because of the number of conversations I’ve had with advisors, and this always happens at the beginning of the year, who are really looking to reignite their excitement in the business for the new year and who already feel like they are behind their goals even though they’re only six weeks into the new year. And so I could take this conversation a bunch of different ways, but for the sake of time I want to talk about two things. I want to talk, number one, about how you’re defining success for yourself. And number two, how to really step into the mindset of a relentless prospector.
So the first thing, most of the folks who call me or reach out because they’re frustrated around the new year, or they have a team member who they really feel like could be stepping it up as it relates to prospecting, that frustration is usually tied to something that is out of their control. And by that I mean a club level or production level or achievement level that has been set within their organization that they’re trying to achieve, that they have always used as the marker for success, ultimate success. The best advisors in the company who are on stage and receiving recognition are X, Y, Z club level. And what sometimes happens is it really throws us off if we’re not achieving or on our way to hit that destination. Because remember advisers are very destination, not journey focused. And suddenly you get into a mindset where you forget all about intentional prospecting and marketing and you start thinking about how can I get clients in the door this month, this week to talk about product and try to sell them things? And the reality is is that thousands of advisors in our industry unfortunately think that way because of the firms that they’re building their businesses within.
And so a couple things. The first is if you’re in that mindset, you really have to check yourself and ask yourself the question of are my activities and behaviors in line with the vision I have for the business and the value proposition that I am promising to clients? If you are promising to clients that you’re an objective planner who keeps them at the center, but you are calling them to come in so you can sell a product that they may or may not need so you can hit a club level, then likely there’s some misalignment there.
And by the way, it’s okay because this is a trained behavior that we actually have to shed and rewire our brains around, especially if we’ve been in this business for a long time. It’s really important after you do that, that check, reality check, is to think about how you define success. In most cases, advisors define success by the destination, the number they’ve set for themselves, the monetary goal at the end of the year, the club level, and it’s really important that we think about success a different way. We should think about success in terms of what makes us happy, what actually produces that dopamine for us on a daily basis, what gets us excited about going to work. Because at some point, by the way, the club level and the production level doesn’t feel as rewarding anymore. And I’ve talked about that on other videos. And so perhaps success, and this is an exercise you can do with your team, perhaps success takes a different meaning this year and is much more journey focused than destination focused.
Okay, so after you have that conversation with yourself, stepping into the mindset of a relentless prospector. Most advisors have been taught to prospect and market and acquire clients a very specific way. We’ve all been through the sales training that’s activity and formula based and call 200 people in your inner circle and then hold this many meetings and X, Y, Z. And I think what’s lost in that is, number one, the creativity and innovation, and EQ by the way, utilizing something other than just this robotic formula, that’s necessary for sales people to be successful today with the consumer and client of today. We know that clients are demanding a much more transparent experience with an advisor, we know that they want advisors who have very strong EQ skills and not just number of years in the industry. And so we really have to think about prospecting in a totally different way. I am also not of the camp that believes that just because it’s worked up until this point, it will continue to work for people, especially young people. I think now is the time to teach advisors that everybody has to define prospecting success for themselves.
And so here’s how you can start. The first thing, ask yourself the question of … Well, actually before you ask yourself anything, take a check on how much conviction you have in the business, in what you actually do, especially if you’re a junior person on this team. In other words, if you still need to rely on the senior advisor, if you still feel like the conversation won’t be as effective with a prospect unless I’m immediately introducing them to the senior advisor, if I am concerned about having a fee increase conversation with a client, if I am concerned about introducing them to a new product or service model that I’m rolling out on my platform, then I don’t have … So if the answer is no or yes I do feel concerned or worried about any of those things, then before we start relentlessly prospecting, we have to work on our conviction. And working on conviction can come down to a bunch of different things. It could come down to working with a coach on our own security and confidence in the role that we’re in. It can come down to restructuring our products and services and structures so that we feel like what we’re saying actually makes sense and is fair to the end client. Or it could just take us a little bit more time to actually practice having that value proposition conversation.
The one thing I am totally for is the traditional talk script and phone script and practice speaking the value proposition and language to somebody who’s been in the business a long time and allowing them to rip it to shreds really kindly in front of you. The more comfortable we can get with having that conversation with somebody we trust, the easier it is to have that conversation with somebody we don’t know. Many advisory teams shy away from doing this ongoing training internally, and the reality is is because they just don’t want to have to deal with being put in an uncomfortable situation in front of their peers. But the reality is is that we need to be able to go out and have 100% conviction in talking to people about what we do, how objective we are, how we help clients achieve their goals, why we’re priced the way we are, and why we’re going to be in business for the next a hundred years.