(Related: Into the Valley of the Lost Prospects)
Everyone wants the weight loss program that sheds pounds without exercise or dieting. In prospecting, the equivalent might be buying a retiring advisor’s book. It’s the liposuction of prospecting. Instant results, just pay the money. Most agents and advisors want to add clients without going to great expense. But prospecting is so frustrating! Why?
1. Advice you get.
You ask agent #1 for a prospecting idea. They comply. You tell agent #2 you are going to use that strategy. They say “It never worked for me.” Everything work. Nothing works.
Lesson: Success is in the execution of the strategy. Suppose you held one seminar. Few people showed up. You determined “Seminars don’t work.” Well, they did for the guy who did them month after month.
2. Persistence is a virtue.
You’ve heard how many failures Thomas Edison had before he arrived at a light bulb that worked. If you implement a strategy for a short time, give up and try one after another, you have succeeded! You have succeeded at implanting failed strategies.
Lesson: The seminar guy described above did a series of seminars over months. The people he invited got used to seeing it as a series. They might not pick up on the first, but attend the third and fourth.
3. Learn to adapt.
Remember cold calling? Suppose you called business owners and always got gatekeepers. Some might ditch the strategy. Others might say: I’ll call on weekends. Very early in the morning. I’ll try to figure out when the gatekeep won’t be there. Many business owners cannot let a phone ring without answering it.
Lesson: Don’t just discard a strategy. Learn from experience. It might be the right strategy, but the timing is off.
4. Don’t blame compliance.
You hear about a great idea at a conference. Energized, you return to the office and say: “This is my great idea!” Compliance says no. Clearly they don’t want you to succeed.
Lesson: No one wants to be first, especially when risk is involved. Hopefully you got this idea from an agent at the same firm on the other side of the country. Tell your Compliance manager about that! They should call their counterpart and ask: “Tell me how you got this approved. I want to do it too.”