Maximize Your Ability
Don't Cheat Yourself
At the end of each fiscal year, financial advisors all go through a similar experience. You sit down with your sales manager, receive your sales goals for the upcoming year, and listen to them tell you how a significant jump in net new assets can and will be accomplished. Oftentimes, you walk out of your boss’s office feeling numb, only to have emotions return as you consider what the next year holds.
First, denial sets in. While gathering your thoughts and staring at your new sales goal, you struggle to believe that you can possibly reach it. There is no way can you work harder and you’ve essentially exhausted your best leads and relationships. You may start to wonder if your boss “gets it” and if he/she is just setting you up for failure. A list of excuses for why you will not reach your new sales goal appears in your mind and probably looks something like this:
The number is too high.
There aren’t enough hours in a day.
I don’t want to give up my current work-life balance.
There is not enough money in motion in my book.
I need an internal cold caller, but my firm won’t provide one.
Our products do not have the features necessary to move up-market.
I don’t know how to sell in other investment products.
Then, frustration takes over. You always knew this was a tough business and this is just another reminder. Regardless of the economy, your firm is still looking for huge increases in sales. Questions about the company’s leadership fill your thoughts and you feel as though they have lost any sense of reality. You are not only angry; you have become despondent and begin to look at the company through a negative lens.
Many salespeople fall victim to their negative thinking at this point and give up on achieving their goal. They go through the motions, knowing that they will fail, only to see this play out over the year. Others work harder and try their best to gather more sales, only to get discouraged mid-year and secure their fate. The mistakes in this scenario are too common. Very few professionals realize that sales goals, lack of products, bosses, or the economy are not the issue, it’s an inability to maximize their abilities. You may be confusing working hard with maximizing your true abilities. After all, my guess is you are already putting 10-14 hours days and feel that there is nothing else to give. This is not about giving more, it’s about growing more and not cheating yourself.
The “gift of gab” probably came easy to many of you as you grew up, making it a simple transition into sales and a career. Unfortunately, once hired, your time was spent learning products, corporate culture, meeting new people, and corporate training on basic policies and procedures. Then, with briefcase in hand, you were sent out into the world in search of profits. When did you spend time working on you?
When you learn what it takes to maximize your abilities and work on yourself, you’ll see things from a new perspective:
Prospects have common characteristics you can now understand and explore.
Closing is no longer a challenge and becomes just another part of the conversation.
You get to know people through compassionate inquiry, vulnerability, and sharing your authentic self rather than asking a litany of questions.
The hours you work is time you are investing in yourself.
Referrals are no longer a chore with poor results because people go out of their way to help you.
Sales goals are not an emotional burden met with a fear of failure, they are just a number.
Sales become a way to help others, not just a way to help yourself.
You discover more successful sales professionals and ask the question, “Why?”
Things changes whether you decide to accept them or not. The more you accept this, the less it will encumber your business and your life. Sales goals increasing, your products being refigured, or having a new boss are of little consequence if you approach them with the right mindset.
Spending all your energy thinking about the obstacles on your road to success is contaminating your ability to succeed and creates personal turmoil. Instead, every ounce of energy should be spent on becoming the best professional, public speaker, company advocate, lead generator, asset gatherer, and student of your industry. By become a student of yourself, you will develop a new world view. This is the world where the great advisors reside, corporate changes are mitigated, and the focus is entirely on self-improvement to achieve excellence. The result of approaching obstacles this way is tremendous sales growth and a transformation of a sales territory into a personal kingdom.
Some thoughts to ask yourself as you begin this transformation:
If I am good at my job, how do I become great?
What are my blind spots?
Who is my mentor?
Who can I teach?
Do I take full responsibility for all my actions?
Am I willing to embrace coaching?
Who is listening to my sales presentation to help me improve?
What can I do differently tomorrow that I did not do today to improve myself and my business?
Have I stopped doing those things that made me successful in the past?
Do I equate my earnings with my success?
Am I really an aggressive salesperson or am I hiding a fear of failure?
Do I quickly judge others?
If I was videotaped the entire business year, would I make myself and my company proud?
Do I speak from the heart or from the fund fact sheet?
Have I mastered the basics of my sales career?
Is how I perceive myself, how others perceive me?
Am I making a deliberate effort to diversify my business?
How do I stand out from my competitors?
Am I maximizing my potential?
We have been conditioned to rationalize our actions and insulate ourselves from conflicting ideas. It’s time to break down these mental walls, start anew, and become the inspired individual you were meant to be. By taking this course of action, any goal in life, personal or professional, can be a fantastic journey met with enthusiasm, passion, and success.
To quote Hall of Fame basketball coach John Wooden,
“Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.”
When you maximize yourself as a true professional, the sales goals will take care of themselves. This number should not change your behavior, nor should it make you work harder. When one maximizes their ability, every ounce of effort is given in each moment of every day. By learning this skill, you will achieve new levels of sales growth; not because you became a better a salesperson, but because you became a better professional.
CEO and Founder
Where Fiduciary Freedom is First
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Advisory services are offered through f3Logic, LLC, a registered investment advisor.