Matt has been a successful financial advisor for 16 years. Although he has maintained a good book of business, he has not grown that book for several years. Because many of his clients are frightened about their investments, Matt is gun-shy about approaching them. Moreover, he finds himself avoiding calling prospective clients. With all the time he puts in, he is no longer seeing the results.
Like so many underachievers, Matt has not developed the mindset of a champion, and he is inconsistent when his performance really counts. Here are are six ways proven tips to help you consistently perform your advisor’s role to the utmost when it matters most:
1. Develop and stick with a winning game plan.
In order to consistently convince your clients and prospective clients that you are the perfect fit for their needs, you must have a game plan, including how many calls you will make each day, detailing the knowledge and experience you bring to the table.
Procrastination is tempting when you aren’t confident in your ability to convince a client that you can really help him and his family. Moreover, “impostor fears,” where in your heart of hearts you don’t believe you really have the skills, can tempt you to avoid making those calls.
“Someone I may be competing against one day is sticking with his plan right now, so I need to break through this resistance right now, and I’ll be so happy once I accomplish this today.” It is also motivating to keep a written record or journal of exactly what you do each time you work on your winning game plan.
During actual calls and meetings, be sure to focus on the process of your performance. Focusing on the outcome (e.g., “what if he rejects my pitch”) or what has happened to you earlier (“I haven’t been able to even get a meeting set up with any-one in several days”) will prevent you from concentrating.
2. Take charge of your “self-talk” and heed the warning signs of your “internal critic” at work.
There is an old saying that “What you conceive, you can believe, and what you can believe, you will achieve.” A game plan for performing your best leads to positive self-talk, which leads to beliefs (either positive or negative) and beliefs lead to the enthusiasm or lack of it that comes across in your voice and body language.
Self-talk alone is a main contributor to a successful or disappointing performance. So often people have self-limiting thoughts, which prevent them from being successful on a consistent basis. Examples of negative, self-limiting phrases are: “What if…,” “I hope I don’t…,” “I should have …,” “I always have problems with…” “I probably won’t be able to…,” “I can’t believe how stupid I was to do that…” and “Maybe I’m not as good an advisor as everyone says I am.”
Negative messages that you allow to pass through your mind immediately leads to muscle tightening throughout the body. This tightening is accompanied by more rapid breathing and often perspiring. Consequently, these physiological responses of “feeling tight” begin to lead to fatigue and looking for a way to escape from making the next call or postponing the meeting.
Advisors can practice catching themselves when these types of negative thoughts go through their minds. First, once you recognize a negative thought, make a fist as a reminder to STOP thinking that way, then take a few relaxing breaths, release the fist, relax and proceed to think positively and optimistically. This only takes seconds, but it works instantly! Here’s an example: “What if the client doesn’t commit to working with me after I discuss his situation with him?” Make a fist.
“STOP this foolish thinking right now.” Take a few relaxing breaths, release the fist and say to yourself: “Just relax, you don’t have to have 100 percent success in order to feel good about your skills. It’s a numbers game. If this one doesn’t pan out, you will have another opportunity. Just keep plugging away; you will get clients.”