The other day I found an old t-shirt from my freshman year of college that had this slogan across the back: “Life is a journey. Are you packed?”
It was a free t-shirt handed out for filling out a form for some credit card or another. What poor college student wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to get a free anything?
That theme seems to pop up a lot, though, doesn’t it? “Life is about the journey, not the destination.”
In a sense, that’s a good way to live. Savor every bite of food. Spend every second you can with your loved ones. Take time to reflect, pray, or meditate each day. Relax. Breathe. And so on.
The negative effects of a rushed, stressed lifestyle are well-documented problems in America today.
Yet this mantra falls apart when it comes to achieving your professional goals, doesn’t it?
How many sci-fi books, movies, and shows deal with teleportation? Tons. Why? Because everyone wants to get to their destination quickly.
Have you ever been sitting in traffic and wished you could simply hop in a pod and with a FLASH! instantly end up at your destination? Honestly, I daydream about it all the time.
While we may be a few years away from that type of technology, think of the arc of development for travel. Feet, animals, wheels, bikes, boats, trains, cars, planes, rockets. And they keep getting us places faster and more efficiently. That’s what we demand.
So why don’t we demand more when it comes to achieving our business goals?
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Here’s a more relevant example of how the love for the journey can be a bit misplaced. A buddy of mine will be paying off student loans from college for the next 30 years (he and his wife have BIG degrees). He will still be paying for his own college education while his children are starting theirs. Certainly not an ideal situation but very common (even for SMALLER degrees). In this case, the destination eclipses the journey. Let’s get those loans paid off as quickly as possible, friend.
This applies to your business goals, too. As a financial professional, relying on the referral method for garnering new business causes the journey to move at a glacier’s pace. When your destination is financial freedom, this simply won’t do.
There is a saying in the industry that the best client is a great referral. And if you believe that to be true 100% of the time, please stop reading now and move on. In talking with hundreds of advisors, a good majority of the referrals they get are resource-draining wastes of time.
Attracting ideal potential clients, improving your client conversion rate, and scaling your business systematically all require moving purposefully and quickly without relying on luck or chance to get a perfect referral.
As you read this, you may be thinking, “Yes! I’m ready to move quickly.”
But then that sickening feeling hits when you realize you don’t have the game plan in place to make that happen. Maybe you’re struggling to create a niche. Maybe you are having difficulty charging what you’re truly worth. Maybe you need a method of acquiring clients more rapidly and methodically. Maybe you need a better sales process to convert prospects into clients.
If you are not sure you really have a problem, let’s take a closer look at your current plan. Chances are you are relying heavily on one or more of the following tactics:
- Referrals. You take pride in your work and encourage your satisfied clients to spread the word on your behalf. If they do, you enjoy the journey. If they don’t, not so much. The fatal flaw with this method is that you are not the driver. You are relying on other people to come through for you. That simply won’t get you to your goals. For most advisors, this is their glass ceiling. If you have not hit it yet, you will.
- Marketing. This is the old “throw something at the wall and hope it sticks” method. This works for mashed potatoes and spaghetti, but not for business. Social media marketing is deceptive. Anyone can set up a Facebook or Twitter account or occasionally post a blog and “feel like” they’re making progress. But very few people know how to use these mediums effectively to target and convert new business. Simply posting and checking in occasionally are basically a waste of your time. For instance, when was the last time one of your Facebook posts landed new business?
- Partnerships. Reaching out to centers of influence can have some benefit. You can share the workload and, in some instances, working with another prestigious business can serve as a strong endorsement. The downside is, just like referrals, this can be hot and cold.
- Value Ladders. “Thanks for sharing your email address. Here’s a free report for your business…. Pay the $6.95 shipping and this life-changing book on how to improve your business is yours… Sign up for this online course for the limited-time price of $499… Join our special club for $1999/month…” And so on and so forth for higher and higher prices. This method of upselling and cross-selling is trendy but not a good fit for financial advisors. Clients come to you for high-ticket service, and if you can’t ensure them their investments are safe with you right out of the gate, kiss them goodbye.
Obviously there are pros and cons to the above methods, but sticking to “business as usual,” even when effective, simply takes too long. If you want it to go faster, things need to change. While we can show you the changes to make in your business, unless you are also ready to also change your mindset on how to get clients, then we can’t really help.
So how can you install a “teleporter” for your business goals? Here are a few places to start.
- Don’t lower your fees. If your services are worth thousands of dollars, then be up front about it. Too many advisors “shoot low” on their pricing because they are afraid of losing potential clients. Focus on client fit and fix your mindset. The problem here is not your fees; the problem is your position in the market and that you don’t have enough prospects.
- You are not a marketing expert. So stop it. Seriously. Stop it. Either you don’t know what you’re doing or you don’t have the capacity to do it. Either way, establish a budget and get help. In fact, we can turn you into a marketing ninja. We are here to serve you in the same way you are there to serve your clients.
- Stop relying on referrals. They should be viewed as gravy –a nice addition but not the meat and potatoes of the meal. You need to be in control of when, how, and with whom you do business with. This is your business after all, so it’s time to take back the reins.
- Stop cold calling. You are wasting your time when you could be installing powerful marketing systems to attract clients that need your help now 24/7/365. START by identifying who your ideal client is and figuring out how you are uniquely qualified to help them.
As Ben Franklin famously said, “Never leave till tomorrow that which you can do today.” In your case, you need a game plan that works today. If you wait, clients will be happy to work with another financial advisor that is better positioned in the market. All of your efforts must go toward targeting and pursuing new business. That is the key to reaching your professional goals, and when you do it the way we do, you also have a lot more time and freedom in your business, too.
Honestly, this stuff doesn’t have to take that long. Click below for some free training to find out how: