Austin: “I am so pumped about my pipeline right now. I wake up thinking about client connections, COIs I should call, and when to call back a certain prospect”. This call came from a new advisor we were coaching. He claimed to be so excited he couldn’t sleep at night.
There are many attributes ascribed to an Elite New Advisor. We naturally think of descriptors such as intelligence, interpersonal skills, sales skills, and more. However, we often neglect what is arguably the chief component – the advisor’s mindset.
We used to begin our two-day workshops with the topic of “mindset” given that we believe it is the foundation for advisor success. From the start, we would cover the importance of having ironclad goal focus, how the achievement cycle works, and more. However, two hours into the presentation advisors would become restless. They impatiently asked, “When do we get to the activities and learn how to improve our sales skills?” They didn’t want to hear about mindset.
Why the pushback? Is it because advisors don’t think that their mindset is important? Is it the abstract nature of the topic? While some of these things might be the issue, we highly doubt this for the majority. It’s more likely that analyzing your own mindset requires serious self-awareness. It requires you to take a hard look at your current habits, your frame of mind, and requires a naked honesty that most people don’t want to expose.
The number one affluent prospecting struggle we see is not being in the wrong community or having COIs who won’t refer - it’s affluent sales reluctance. Affluent sales reluctance (aka social self-consciousness) is basically being skiddish about approaching people of wealth. How do you know if affluent sales reluctance is an issue for you? We often find it’s embodied by two mindsets:
1. “I don’t want to come across salesy.” Our latest advisor research identified this as the number one concern from advisors. Obviously, no one wants to come across as salesy, but this often becomes an excuse for not going outside the comfort zone. In reality, most advisors are on the other end of the spectrum. They’re so afraid of coming across salesy that they never approach social contacts about business at all.
Working on the language can make all the difference. The more you rehearse a one-liner that you can use to approach social contacts, the more concise and confident you become. This may take daily repetition until you master the language. The approach needs to be conversational – not obvious. The more you rehearse, the more you become comfortable in your own skin. In addition, you must believe in your product. Once you truly believe in the service you are selling, your sales pitch will flow naturally.
2. “I don’t want to ruin the relationship if it doesn’t work out.” We all fear rejection. No one likes being told “no.” However, the elite new advisors we work with understand that every “no” gets them closer to a “yes” and that even if a social contact rejects your offer to review their finances, it’s unlikely to ruin the relationship. This is a numbers game. Some advisors like to build up a phantom pipeline - a pipeline of people with whom they dream of doing business. Some claim they have $20MM in the pipeline, but many are longshots. The advisor then does not want to approach the prospects because once they get a “no,” their phantom pipeline depletes - but it was pie in the sky from the start.
Create an affirmation recording that reinforces your new mindset. This is a present tense positive statement in your own voice that you record and listen to on a daily basis. Train your mind to embrace the “no.” Dale Carnegie said it best: "Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success." Remember that what you are selling is a valuable service and that while hearing the word “no” stings at times, it is important to maintain your positive mindset around your skill set and your professional service. The fastest way to get over the sting of a “no” is to continue your prospecting activity. This is like the great homerun hitter Babe Ruth – he always led the league in strikeouts.
Mindset can make or break you. We now end our workshops with “mindset.” Advisors can better relate to the subject, after practicing sales skills and facing their mental hurdles. They leave motivated, recharged and ready to execute. The president of our company, Matt Oechsli, always tells us that it’s what goes on within that seven-inch playing field between your ears that makes the most difference. We couldn’t have said it any better.