I will let you in on a secret: No one likes to be told “no,” especially when prospecting. Don’t let reluctance and your fear of rejection prevent you from taking action. If we don’t have confidence, we face a downward spiral that will ultimately doom us as defeated agents who never lived up to their potential. You need to take risks in order to rise to the pinnacle of success. Being active in a financial association, such as the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), is a great way to learn from fellow financial professionals who have experienced a variety of challenges. Through my membership, I learned some effective prospecting strategies that you can implement to jump-start your production.
To begin prospecting, you must start with an idea. You must have an idea about your target market, how you will reach prospects and how you will retain clients. One way to find the answers to these questions and many more is by attending industry events such as the MDRT Annual Meeting. Here you can discover the latest trends and new ideas to apply in your practice. You can even use these meetings to springboard your ideas off other financial professionals. Ask them for their opinion and help on evaluating your ideas. Then ask them for the names of individuals with whom you could discuss your ideas. I have done this for years, and it has always increased my activity. The only way you can fail is by not putting yourself out there.
Aim for Two a Day
After you have your idea and plan, try a process called “two a day,” which means you find two people every day who will talk to you about your idea. Now, this may sound simple, but there is one more step to this process. These two people have to agree to actually see you. They either need to confirm an appointment with you or agree that you can call them back on a specific day to schedule a meeting. If you get two appointments a day for 30 days, you will have 60 people who have heard about your idea and had an open discussion with you. If the prospects put you off or won’t set a time to see you in the future, then they don’t count. Set your sights on two people a day, every day. Try it for three months, and I guarantee you will have more leads than you thought was possible.
Collaborate With Centers of Influence
Another way to increase your pool of contacts is to network with centers of influence outside the financial profession. This is an important aspect of any advisor’s career. You must remember that other professionals have additional areas of expertise that are suited to different aspects of a client’s life. For example, if your client works with a trusted lawyer, accountant or any other professional, it is vital to establish strong relationships with these individuals in order to provide outstanding service on your client’s behalf. Presenting yourself as a resource to both your clients and other professionals is a sure way to expand your pool of prospects.
It takes fortitude to be successful, and if you do these few things, you’ll be on your way to meeting your goals. Keep in mind that to achieve success you have to put yourself on the firing line and take a risk. After all, what is the worst thing that can happen? You are told “no.” Are you any worse off than you were before you asked? Of course not; in fact, one could argue that you are better off because you gained experience. As I read many years ago, “The difference between a successful person and an unsuccessful person is the successful person is willing to do the things the unsuccessful person is unwilling to do.” So which person are you?