What’s the one thing you’d want if you had to cross a mine field? I would suggest someone–a guide–who has crossed the field successfully.
Recently, Jack Canfield, author of the best selling “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” series, shared with me and a group of others some of the mistakes that he and co-author, Mark Victor Hansen, made on the journey to sell an unbelievable 125 million copies of their books.
What is the value of learning about those mistakes from someone who’s already been there worth? Priceless!
The most effective way for children to learn lessons when they are young is to allow them to make their own mistakes and experience the consequences. Touch the stove. Burn your hand. Lesson learned. No more teaching required… hopefully.
When building a highly profitable, affluent-only advisor business, trial and error is the most devastatingly costly method of learning. There is no advantage to learning mistakes yourself. In fact, it’s worse, because it’s too costly in business to make your own mistakes. It’s why over 90% ultimately fail.
That’s what makes coaches and mentors worth their weight in gold. Learning from those who are doing it right will save you tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars. More importantly, you can dramatically shorten your learning curve and speed your way to success.
During our first trip to Hawaii, my wife, Beth, son, Josh, and daughter, Anni, and I got the chance to shoot shotguns at clay pigeons. A friend taught us how to shoot. It was pretty fun.
We liked it so much that we decided to join a shooting club near our home. One day, while we were practicing, an older gentleman showed up and began watching us. After a few minutes, he came over and introduced himself and asked, “May I share a few tips with you?” He is one of the shooting coaches at the club.
Are you kidding? I thought.
After showing us a slight change in the set up of our feet, the right way, our success almost doubled. Hmmm. How long would it have taken me to figure that out… if ever?
That’s why Vince Lombardi said, “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” My version is “right” practice.
The 10 Mistakes
Below are ten landmines–mistakes–that advisors make trying to work with the affluent. But first, allow me to share a little bonus with you: two foundational mistakes.
One of my earliest mistakes in the advisor business was believing that by simply having a dream, a good-heart, and doing good work, that I would be successful, make great money, have great clients and have abundant time for my family and other pursuits! Wow, was I wrong.
The other, the biggest of all, was not investing in the right coaches and mentors. Harvey McKay, super successful business owner and mega-bestselling author said in a recent interview, “I have 20 coaches.”
How about you?
So, here are ten mistakes I’ve observed from my own experience and from coaching other financial and estate planning advisors when it comes to working with the affluent.
?Number one is not establishing your credibility before you meet a prospect. If you wait to establish your credibility face to face, at best it sounds self-serving … at worst it sounds braggadocios. Either way, it sounds me-centered and will completely turn off the affluent. You must have a process in place to consistently establish your credibility before you meet with them face to face.
? The second is not understanding the difference between marketing, positioning, and engaging. If you started in the financial services industry 30 years ago like me, you were taught to sell clients with traditional selling and closing methods.
The problem: Those methods may be effective with the average person, but they will backfire on the affluent. You can’t sell the affluent, because they won’t be sold. They will buy on their term, for their reasons, but they can’t be sold.