By: Daniel C. Finley

Opening the Door to Opportunity

In the financial services industry, advisors/agents need to find all possible opportunities in order to take their business to its next level. I believe that opportunity can find you while you are busy working harder and smarter. In other words, your productive activities attract opportunities that can ultimately result in future successes. Conversely, hoping that an opportunity will fall from the sky is wishful thinking.

Thomas Edison said it best when he said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

If you think about that quote it comes from a man that is reported to have unsuccessfully invented the lightbulb some 10,000 times! However, most people remember him for his successes not his failures.

Let’s take a look at a step-by-step approach successful advisors and agents use to continuously generate opportunities:

Step 1: Know What You Want

It may seem evident but in order to get what you want you have to first know what you want. In Edison’s case, he wanted to invent the lightbulb and he was willing to keep trying until he did.

Here is a real time example of how one financial advisor client of mine used this type of process:

Tom P. was a newer financial advisor with less than five years in the industry who was struggling at determining how to best build his business practice. Our coaching conversations first began with the end in mind so we discussed what a successful business would look like to him. By doing this exercise he got clarity about his target market, yearly asset goals and type of investment products he wanted to provide.

Step 2: Know What to Do

The next step is to know what to do to get what you want. The key is to not try and re-invent the wheel. Having coached hundreds of financial advisors/agents I have a few solutions in my toolbox.

So Tom and I mapped out a prospecting process for who to call, what to say and how to handle objections in order to get appointments. We also mapped out an effective referral dialogue.  We role played each of the two campaigns and soon after Tom quickly started setting appointments. Next, we continued honing his first appointment and closing script. He applied these processes and his pipeline starting filling up!

Step 3:  Know How to Track Progress

The final step is to know how to track your progress. Edison not only did this but he changed his definition of success every time his experiments didn’t work by stating, “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.

Tom took every “failure” as an opportunity to learn by tracking his activities and results. We would discuss what was working and what was not until we refined his processes. Granted, this takes time and is an ongoing task however I believe that all advisors and agents with the right attitude can actually uncover their challenges, learn from them and discover and implement solutions!

So, what happened to Tom?

I recently received an email from him in between our bi-weekly coaching sessions that said, “Just wanted to check in and let you know that my pipeline is full.  I opened two new accounts this week by both cold calling and asking for referrals, it is working!”

Why a Step-by-Step Approach to Success Works

Too many times, we as financial advisors lose sight of what it takes to get that “big break”.  Instead, we see others landing a huge account or gathering millions in assets and find ourselves asking, “Why didn’t I“?  The reality is that those who are successful do the necessary work in order to open doors.  Opportunities sometimes walk through those doors unexpectedly and oftentimes don’t “look” the part; the reality is that in order to open the door to opportunity you must put in the effort and energy to approach them when they do show themselves.

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