You just heard an inspiring talk by a great producer and thought: “This producer isn’t any smarter than I am, and doesn’t seem to know much more than I do. What is his secret?”

Chances are the producer didn’t — or couldn’t — give you some crucial details about his path to success.

1. Prospect regularly

The producer suggested prospecting regularly. Hardly a shocker, but the fact is only about 11 percent of all producers prospect every week.

Have you made a 100 percent commitment to prospect regularly?

What the producer didn’t tell you: He has a foolproof system for capturing the names of future prospects that depends on using a printed fact finder. Also, he sets aside specific hours each week to prospect. 

2. Have a usable business plan

The producer said one key to his success is having a usable business plan to guide all of his business activities. He monitors it on a regular basis. Most advisors don’t have access to an easy-to-use planning process.

Do you have — and use — a printed business plan?

What the producer didn’t tell you: He uses a one page business plan and this was the 4th planning process he had tried — the first three were too cumbersome to be helpful. 

3. Discover your target market

The producer said: Choose your target market and stick to it. Commit to working with ideal clients at least 50 percent of the time.

What is your target market? Who are your ideal clients?

What the producer didn’t tell you: It took him 15-20 years to build his excellent practice and, surprisingly, he still cannot accurately describe his ideal client within his target market.

What the producer didn’t know: You cannot choose your true target market; your market chooses you. That’s why it’s critical to discover your true target market — you’ll save time by meeting prospects who want to work with you. 

4. Good work habits

What the producer didn’t say: He has developed excellent work habits that enable him to consistently complete his important marketing and selling programs.

What the producer didn’t know: The ability to develop good habits is based upon your type of habit formation. There are habit-forming four tendencies or personality types: upholders, questioners, obligers, and rebels. The producer happened to be an upholder, the personality type most effective at forming good habits. (Click here for more information about the “Four Tendencies” framework developed by Gretchen Rubin.)

5. The mighty checklist

The great producer happened to be an extremely organized person. His secret for getting things done was to use a checklist to manage all of his sales, marketing, and administrative responsibilities.

What the producer didn’t know: He didn’t realize how difficult it is for many people to be well-organized. Because of his basic talent in this regard, it didn’t occur to him that other people were not conversant with checklists and don’t have great organizational skills. 

Sign up for The Lead and get a new tip in your inbox every day! More tips: