How’s it going? Your practice, I mean. Are you hitting your numbers? Will you make it to Super Starter, Quota Buster, Leader’s, President’s, Chairman’s, Masters, Top of the Table, Million Dollar Round Table, or wherever?
Heck – will you make it to the end of the day?
This past week, I worked with an advisor named Jason. He’s been an advisor for about two years, and frankly, he’s a bit clueless. He’s a nice kid, but he’s spinning his wheels. He has no target market, practically no natural market, and no effective way of describing what he does. I’m not sure how knowledgeable he is about his products, but does it really matter? If he doesn’t figure out the marketing component soon, he’s a goner – pure and simple.
I also worked with a financial planner I’ll call Tony (I don’t remember his name, but he just looks like a Tony). Tony is a 20-year professional and a conference qualifier. He’s looking to get to the next conference level. Naturally, he’s in much better shape than Jason.
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Completely different scenarios, right? Like night and day. But you know what? I gave them both the same advice – five tips that will help them take it to the next level.
1. Know your stuff
New advisors, especially the ones fresh out of school, often ask me how they can be taken seriously as financial advisors if they’re new and look so young? The answer is, know your stuff. This applies to anyone new, at any age. Learn your stock and trade. Know all there is to know about life insurance, annuities, college planning, or whatever your thing is, and learn it quickly. Know who to go to with great questions, and when you hear a question you can’t answer. Put a lot into learning your trade and giving great advice, because with competence comes confidence. Your prospects and clients will be impressed by how much you know, despite the fact that you look like a kid in the mall on a Friday night.
2. Establish a target market
If I were the general agent or managing partner of a firm, I would make it mandatory for all new recruits to develop a target market. Without one (or two) niche markets, you are at a tremendous disadvantage. A target market is who you serve best, and therefore wish to serve most. It’s where you do your best work with your favorite clients. By the way, if you’re focused on working with small businesses, families, individuals, corporate executives, pre-retirees, retirees, and recent college grads, then you don’t have a target market. This is especially true if all of these segments represent your target market. Catch my drift? Focus on one or two of these areas, and get as specific as possible.
3. Create and use an elevator pitch