Let’s face it, it’s easy to procrastinate from time to time. The problem is when procrastination goes from an occasional occurrence to a daily avoidance that the real challenges set in. With a task like prospecting, for example, if your business is on a production plateau, chances are you bought into a narrative that you’ll come off the plateau without intervention and that your pipeline will trend upwards again soon.
Does this sound familiar? Let’s look at this subject from a different perspective. Everything that you may have been telling yourself about procrastination may simply be a myth.
John F. Kennedy said it best, “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.”
I coach advisers every week around the top five myths of prospecting procrastination and hopefully you too will see how to work through them and find success yourself.
Myth No. 1: I Don’t Prospect Because I Don’t Have Time
Not having enough time to prospect is a very common myth because we tell ourselves that the more clients we have, the busier we are, so there’s no time to prospect. However, the challenge isn’t a time management issue as much as it is a prioritization and delegation issue. Advisers who delegate more of their administrative tasks to others do so so they can prioritize and implement action steps to find themselves with targeted results and increased positive outcomes.
Myth No. 2: I Don’t Prospect Because I Don’t Know What to Say
Unfortunately, most veteran advisers who haven’t consistently prospected in years may believe there is merit to this myth. In fact, their prospecting skill sets are no doubt rusty as a result. The challenge with this myth is that not knowing what to say should never be an excuse. There is plenty of opportunity to speak with colleagues, mentors, a professional development coach or via workshops to hone the framework of your conversations.
Myth No. 3: I Don’t Prospect Because I Have Call Reluctance
Call reluctance has been the excuse for countless advisers who find themselves stuck with their prospecting process (or lack thereof). The challenge isn’t actually a motivational one as much as it is a mindset one. If your life depended on it, you would pick up the phone and prospect. That is an extreme example but it proves a point that in a pinch, many individuals could make those calls. By adjusting your mindset, mapping out a conversation architecture and refining your objection resolutions model you can push beyond and find success during prospecting.
Myth No. 4: I Don’t Prospect Because I Have a Fear of Rejection
The fear of rejection is a learned behavior—you weren’t born with it. The challenge with the fear of rejection is not in actually being rejected or even hearing objections, but rather your perception of what the prospect is really rejecting. It isn’t you personally but the prospect’s perceived value of what your service offerings or recommendations could bring to them. The solution is to find a clear and succinct way to find what challenges they might be having and share some unique insights about how your advice could benefit them and address those specific challenges.
Myth No. 5: I Don’t Prospect Because People are Uncomfortable with Being a Prospect
When an adviser has a learned belief system that nobody wants to be prospected, they are generalizing the attitude of future prospects based on their own past lackluster results. The challenge is not so much that there aren’t any prospects who want and need financial advice as it is the adviser’s unwillingness to find those who are interested and in need. The solution is in defining what you bring to the table that is unique from others in the profession, and then prospect with that in mind. You will find those who want and need your expertise.
Dispelling some of these myths around prospecting and procrastination is important because not doing so leads people down a path of continuing the same behavior(s). We should always be seeking to better our best practices and sometimes that means leaving excuses at the door and truly diving into a new methodology that motivates and inspires.
If you are ready to take your business to the next level, schedule a complimentary 30-minute coaching session with me by emailing Melissa Denham, director of client servicing at Advisor Solutions.
Daniel C. Finley is the president and co-founder of Advisor Solutions.