“Who wants to take the referral challenge?” I asked a group of financial advisors at the end of a recent group coaching session. They had just finished up a discussion about effectively creating, maintaining and sustaining a referral campaign.
During the hour they had heard me share a story about Sean K., a rookie financial advisor who was asked the very same question in a previous group a few years ago. Sean had quickly taken me up on the challenge, which was to use the material he had learned during coaching and ask for one referral a day from his clients. A week later he proudly reported that he not only asked for one referral a day but that he found himself asking numerous clients for referrals all throughout the day and because of that, he had actually received eight referrals that week!
So, when I asked my current group the same question, you could have heard a pin drop; none of the advisors were willing to be accountable to apply the material they learned.
Why? I believe it comes down to what I refer to as “The Will to Succeed” which I define as having the drive and determination to better yourself and succeed at whatever it is that you would like to improve on.
Now, you might be wondering if any of the advisors were even interested in asking for referrals. I assure you that previous to me asking the group “who wants to take the referral challenge?” they had each stated how important getting referrals was and that they all wanted to be better at it.
This brings me to the inevitable question of “what is it that drives some to take action in pursuit of their goals and not others”?
I believe the underlining factor that stops some in their tracks is fear of failure. It is the perceived fear that taking action will be more painful then not taking action. Typically, this results in procrastination or avoidance until it gets too painful to procrastinate any longer. A common example of this is having a productive month followed by a disappointing one. While having a great month, the thought of prospecting, setting new appointments and putting new people into the pipeline seems painful, “why do it if you don’t have to” is a common attitude. That is until the next month comes and you realize that you don’t have anyone in the pipeline. Now, you find yourself scrambling to prospect again.
This brings me to another important question, what can you do to increase your will to succeed? The answer lies in increasing your confidence level so that you decrease your fear of failure and here is how to do it. Building confidence is really a two part equation; first, you need to increase your technical expertise and second, you need to gain experience in actually applying what you have learned.
In the case of Sean K., he simply believed that the new technical expertise that he had learned in group coaching would get him a better result than what he had done in the past. However, what Sean did unlike the recent group members was to apply the material and gain the experience. As a result, each new referral reinforced his new belief system that asking for referrals was not painful but fun! Remember, you can’t win the game if you don’t play.