Market yourself every day. Very few top producers wait around for a prospect to call them. Nearly every big producer possesses an ego that suggests effortless success, but when you force them to be honest, they always admit they’re scared stiff that they will not be in business next year. They’re always looking for new business. But the way they look for it is often more innovative than methods used by less successful producers. The most profitable of the new breed of financial planning companies spend more than a quarter of their time marketing. Those who will rarely grow spend less than 5 percent.

Consider sending a lottery ticket in a pre-approach letter. Now, that grabs the prospect’s attention! A lottery ticket represents millions in potential winnings. Send the ticket with a cover letter that begins, “Are you depending on luck for your retirement?” At the bottom of the letter, sign off with the words, “If you don’t win, call me.”

Of course, you are more likely to be electrocuted in your bathtub than to win the lottery. And it’s a safe bet that the prospect will remember the guy who sent them a free chance to hit the big time. It may be a gimmick, but it’s fun, and it works. Most of the prospects who receive a letter like this will look forward to speaking with you.

Be patient; it will pay off. The biggest producers understand that strong relationships don’t just happen, and that sometimes they take months or even years to develop. William Jordan, one of my coaching clients, doubled his business in one year through one-on-one coaching. But William is supremely patient. He was patient enough to wait for me. After seeing his rapid growth and consistent ethics, I decided finally to engage him as my personal financial planner.

Most big producers are great closers. But they know better than to rush prospects into something they’re not ready for. They realize that their business is a lifelong career, not just a job they will do until something else comes along, and they treat it with the care and respect it deserves.

The bottom line: Top producers have a different mindset than less successful advisors. They stay focused on their long-term financial gain while being obsessed in the short term with building solid client relationships.

They make excellent commissions because they always look for new business and care enormously about the people whom they call their clients. Emulate them, and you’ll find yourself in their ranks someday soon.