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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Six Things That Top Producers Have In Common

They Specialize

They have a target market and they won’t waiver. They turn down business that does not fit their niche and they don’t prospect outside of their niche. They understand that “birds of a feather flock together” and they use that to their advantage to dominate a well-defined niche. They specialize in a type of person or particular type of solution and become supreme experts in that one niche.

They Have The Right Business Model

Top producers have researched or observed a target market and have gained enough market information to construct a business model consistent with success. Many financial advisors have the wrong business model such as believing that they can drive their client acquisition based on networking, or providing information rather than insight or by being a nice person. The average producer does not have a target market (they do business with anyone) and therefore, can never construct a winning business model.

They Are Sales Professionals

Selling is a skill. It does not evolve from being in the business for twenty years and repeating the same mistakes for two decades. It is developed through training one self (books, tapes, modeling others) or formal classes (Dale Carnegie, Sandler Institute, etc). Every top producer has studied the science of communication and influence, i.e. selling. They do not take this skill for granted or simply wing it, as many average producers do. They understand, as explained in earlier posts in this blog, that selling has nothing to do with persuading or convincing, educating. Selling is enrolling prospects in their vision and a conversation that must be learned.

Top Producer Marketing is on Autopilot

Top producers don’t worry on the first of each month, “where will my gross come from this month.” They have a business with staff that works a marketing model to continually generate new business. They never abandon the model but keep refining it to be better and better. This super-refined marketing model then becomes a barrier to entry so that other advisors can never catch them. The average producer uses a poorly developed marketing approach and as soon as it doesn’t work, abandons it and goes looking for the next Holy Grail. They spend their career always looking for the easy road to riches rather than develop and use a consistent approach month after month.

They Have a Business

Top producers understand that they run a business. A business has a CEO, staff and functional specialists. They recognize their personal talents and devote their day to using those specific high-value talents. Average producers resist hiring staff, try and do everything themselves, never discover what they do really well, and spend a career with most of each day inefficiently used being jack of all trades. They never develop a business. At best, they have a practice, much like a doctor or lawyer, which requires them to be in the office to generate revenue.

Top Producers Have Prospects Come to Them

There is no way to gain trust of high net worth clients by chasing them. Affluent clients respect people who are referred, who write books, appear in articles and travel in the right circles. They won’t respond to an advisor who believes in the motto, “Don’t give up until you hear no six times.” As Tom Stanley puts it in his book Marketing to the Affluent, top producers know how to surface in the middle of the convoy of high net worth individuals, thereby being noticed by their prospects, no chasing involved.

An average producer can begin transforming their businesses with any one of the above approaches of large producers. For example, by selecting a target market or product/service specialty, just doing that one thing, will increase business by producing focus.

Or hiring an assistant. One cannot begin to be creative when the whole day is spent on administrivia. An assistant allows the professional to not only free up their day, but also free up their mind.

Or for some, the best place to start is taking sales training. How many appointments do you have that get away? It takes no more work to get a “yes” than it does a “no.” Knowing how to sell has fantastic leverage.

Start with any of these tactics of top producers, just start.


Chris said...

Thanks for this article. I need to remind myself from time-to-time that I need not stray from my niche. The shiny new customers that just don't fit should not become a distraction.
thanks again.