One of the traits of a successful producer is discipline. The word discipline may be defined in numerous ways, but its main components consist of hard work, planning, practice and learning. Here are a few tips to help you achieve a greater degree of discipline in your practice:

Go to work

I know this may sound elementary, but you might be surprised at how many producers there are out there who don’t seem to think it’s necessary to go to the office and put in a full day of work. When an advisor isn’t meeting with clients, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking there’s no point in going to the office because there’s nothing to do. If you don’t have prospects to meet with, then you need to busy yourself with finding them. Work on your marketing strategies and be prepared to spend some money in order to reach your target market. Customers are not going to come to you unless you seek them out first.

Practice makes perfect
You need to review and rehearse your seminar and sales presentations until they’re silky smooth. I have rehearsed my presentations for hours, in front of the mirror and in front of my family. Think about what you’re going to say and rehearse it over and over again. If you’re hesitating or pausing for even a moment, you need to practice some more. Sales prospects will know if you’re not prepared, and they will eat you alive.

PREpare or REpair

Before I ever meet with a potential customer, I have thoroughly reviewed their financial assessment worksheet. I know how they’ve invested their assets, and I know their level of risk versus safety. I know exactly what I’m going to say and how I’m going to say it. If I’m meeting for an annual review with an existing client, I know if they have more money and if it’s appropriate to move those funds into a position of increased safety. It’s much easier to prepare for a good meeting than to repair a bad one.

Learn something new every day
According to ABC News, 90 percent of Americans say they spend an average of 87 minutes a day behind the wheel. That’s over 500 hours a year. There are tons of educational and motivational books and lectures available on audio CD. Why not use your commute to strengthen your sales and marketing techniques instead of practicing for “American Idol?” And don’t forget the importance of reading. I read ever issue of Senior Market Advisor magazine from cover to cover.

Do you?