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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Achieve sales success through zigzagging and stumbling

Few people in the financial services industry ever become seven-digit earners but there are thousands that attain this sales success, which means it is possible for all. In fact, the financial services industry offers more opportunity for large earnings than possibly any other industry. So why do so few get there?

It’s the same reason that there are very few Albert Einsteins or Thomas Edisons. The folklore is that Edison made 10,000 attempts to invent the light bulb. Most advisors will not attempt something even a second time if they don’t get instant sales success. And therein lays the difference between those that earn more than the rest can imagine and the rest.

Really large producers know a secret about life. If you keep knocking at the door, it eventually opens. It’s a matter of how long one is willing to stand in front of “no success” that determines if you achieve sales success. But in a culture of “instant gratification,” it’s hard to stay with something that doesn’t work. And so, most people in financial services move from one idea to the next, one product to the next, one marketing system to the next, always in search of the Holy Grail but never finding it, never realizing that the big producers create their own grail through sheer commitment to stay the course.

Big producers simply have a commitment to an idea (usually not how much they earn), but of making something work, or of proving a point or of doing something better than anyone else. They continue to experiment, stumbling along in a zigzag fashion toward the target, making changes here and there to their approach, allowing their problem to continuously simmer in their thoughts. And by having the tenacity to hold the problem, the solution often comes coincidentally, like Newton being hit on the head by a falling apple and realizing the structure and formula describing gravity and mass.

How does this apply to you on Monday morning and your sales success? If that seminar you did was not successful, don’t give up and try something else. If you’ve been soliciting CPAs for 3 months with no referrals, don’t give up and try something else. If you’ve been running an ad that was not instantly successful, don’t give up and try something else. Stay with your problem and find the solution. Be willing to stand in the place called “I don’t know what I’m doing” because then you take steps to learn and find out what you don’t know (or find the person that has already solved your dilemma). In the Internet age, all knowledge is at your fingertips so you only need seek out the information or the person who can help you.

I get solicited every month to help people with their ideas (which are usually not in my area of expertise) and I wonder how many of these we will ever see:

• A nationwide financial planning firm for women

•A training to teach financial advisors to manage family business succession from one generation to another and building a network of such advisors

• A training to teach advisors to integrate the investment plan with the estate plan

• A plan for financial advisors to enroll their clients in a medical identification program, so that if injured anywhere in the world, the medical facility can instantly access the client’s medical background

• A training program sold through financial advisors that helps people be better investors

I meet many advisors with the same story of broken dreams, “I started in the business selling product X. But then the market went down so I shifted to Y. And then you know what happened to interest rates, so I shifted to Z. And then….

The sad fact of this recount is that had the advisor stayed with product X and not abandoned the original plan so quickly, that advisor may now be the best known provider of X in their town with wild sales success to their credit. Everyone else would have exited that business leaving the last man standing to win the spoils.

On Monday morning, take list the ideas and approaches you have abandoned in the last year or are ready to abandon and stop.

--Make three phone calls to people who you think can help you or refer you to others that can (you will likely find an expert through a zigzag network of referrals from one person to another).

--Do several Internet searches using various key phrases related to your problem (which will probably take you on a zigzag course to insight). It’s likely by the end of the week, you will have made a leap in solving your current dilemma or abandoned opportunities by zigzagging and stumbling along.

"Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."Thomas Edison

Post provided by Javelin Marketing