I think it’s safe to say that most financial advisors don’t like making prospecting calls. Many even detest it. At best, it’s a necessary evil.
However, some advisors not only welcome the challenge of call prospecting, but they also thrive on it. One advisor I know considers each phone call he makes as the potential to uncover riches like scratching off lottery tickets. He said, “I could win the lottery at any minute, and if I scratch off enough tickets, believe me, I will win the lottery.”
That’s one way to stay motivated. But there is an element of truth to it. Ambitious advisors will do whatever it takes to build a resilient mindset, which is critical to success in any endeavor. They’re not afraid to risk rejection because they know it will lead to wins, and that’s what they live for. However, for resilience to be sustained, it must be built on solid habits that eliminate the overthinking that leads to call reluctance.
Here are the essential calling habits—several of which occur before the call—you must develop to grow your businesses successfully:
#1. Do your research
Successful advisors develop the critical pre-call habit of conducting research on the people they call. They find that the more they know about a prospect before the call, the more they can personalize it, which, in a sense, turns it into a warm call. Prospects become much more attentive and appreciate the effort to learn about them. Advisors are able to bring more value to the call when they have an understanding of who they’re talking with.
In today’s digitally wired world, there’s no excuse for not gathering intelligence on your prospects. Between online search, social media, and company websites, an abundance of information can help you verify if a prospect meets your ideal client profile and quickly evolve the unexpected phone call into a conversation about them.
#2. Block out all distractions
A crucial pre-call habit is to clear your desk and schedule of anything that can distract you from the task at hand. All you need is one to two hours per day of quality, uninterrupted time, during which you shouldn’t check emails or texts, take calls, or dabble on projects. The worst thing you can do is look at your computer while talking with a prospect. They’ll know if you aren’t fully present during the call.
#3. Practice your prepared script
Another pre-call ritual should be to run through your prepared phone script several times. For the same reason pro baseball players go through pre-game batting practice, you need to warm up your calling skills to ensure you are at the top of your game. By mastering your phone script until it becomes second nature, you can open your mind to hearing what your prospects are telling you while studying their tone and temperament. That puts you in a better position to interject new information or questions in response, letting your prospect know you are listening to them.
With a well-crafted and practiced phone script, you can use your pre-call research to deliver a custom opening sentence that will differentiate you while getting their undivided attention. Here are some strong openings that put the focus of your conversation immediately on your prospects:
“I first want to offer my congratulations on____”
“I saw your LinkedIn post about_______”
“I notice you belong to _____. Do you happen to know ____?”
“I enjoyed your insights on ____”
“I think the work you’re doing on _____ is inspiring.”
#4. Focus on your tone
Because you’re on the phone, you don’t have to worry about your body language, which accounts for more than 50% of your nonverbal communication. However, when you’re on the phone, it’s your tone, much more than your words, that speaks volumes about you.
You’ve no doubt heard the phrase, “Smile and dial.” When you talk while smiling, your voice emits positivity. When you speak slowly, clearly, and crisply, your words resonate more, especially when you punch out certain keywords. When you stand up when you talk, your voice emits more power and confidence. Your prospects intuitively pick up on your tone, which can paint a picture in their minds about who they’re dealing with.
As you practice your phone script, consciously focus on how you may be coming across to your prospects.
#5. Turn rejection into a motivator
Studies show that the emotional pain caused by rejection travels on the same neurological pathways as physical pain. That’s enough to cause call reluctance because who wants to be in pain? Because you are dealing with emotional pain, you need to wire your brain to accept it and then overcome it.
That’s easier to do when you understand that the rejection isn’t personal. It’s also easier to accept when you remember that call prospecting is a numbers game. You need to hear a certain number of “no’s” before you hear a “yes.”
The most successful advisors develop the habit of working on their resilience by keeping a positive attitude. Instead of throwing down their headsets, they use rejection as an opportunity to learn from the negative outcome and focus on what they can do better the next time.
Related: Advisors: The Road to Success Begins With Solid Prospecting Habits