It has been said that habits determine 95% of a person’s behavior and are the most important determinant of the type of person you will become. That can be frighteningly ominous for financial advisors who spend little time focused on developing successful habits.
As financial advisors, we’re all searching for the secret to success—finding that edge that can move us effortlessly toward our ambitions. The challenge for many is that it is human nature to look for shortcuts in the pursuit of success.
However, in reality, it’s those who are able to find the motivation to develop successful habits that separate the ordinary from the exceptional—finding the will to take deliberate daily action consistently in pursuit of their goals. Successful advisors will tell you that it’s the practices we develop and master in their daily lives that empower them and propel them to their fullest potential for producing at an elite level.
The four success habits of highly successful Advisors
Specifically, successful advisors constantly strive to develop sound habits in four critical aspects of their practice—prospecting, calling, selling and working. Crucially, it’s not enough to master success habits in one to three areas while neglecting others.
For example, you could have excellent calling habits, but if your prospecting habits are lacking, you won’t have many qualified people to call. Or, if you haven’t developed strong working habits, you may find yourself without sufficient time or motivation to accomplish what you need to be successful.
Over the next four posts, we will address each of these success cornerstones in more detail, outlining the habits successful advisors form to create a path to elite status. For now, you can use this overview to begin assessing whether your current habits may be powering or hindering your progress.
#1. Prospecting habits
All advisors find prospecting to be the most challenging aspect of their work. But successful advisors understand that their pipeline is the key determinant of their success, so they prioritize it accordingly.
They block the appropriate amount of time they need to consistently execute their prospecting activities while eliminating all distractions. They research their target market or niche and develop client personas to help them tailor their approach.
Being results-oriented, successful advisors monitor and measure their prospecting, constantly looking for ways to improve and ensuring they’re on track to meeting their goals. They are constantly learning and are ready to invest in new technologies and methods to create a more reliable stream of qualified prospects.
Most importantly, they focus on developing an unwavering resiliency that enables them to view prospecting not as a chore but as a way to create new opportunities.
#2. Calling habits
Becoming proficient on the phone requires continuous practice (another success habit) and experience. However, the calling habits top advisors develop center around their preparation for the call. They ensure they have blocked out sufficient time for making calls and scheduling them when people are more receptive to receiving them. They don’t let distractions get in the way of their call times.
Most importantly, they follow up. The most successful advisors understand that when a lead enters their pipeline, it could take up to seven or eight touchpoints via targeted emails and social media engagement before the prospect is ready for a call. They conduct research on prospects to introduce common interests or possible pain points in their calls.
#3. Selling habits
Strong selling habits are rooted in an advisor’s ability to communicate—to use soft skills to engage, build rapport, tell stories, discover goals and pain points, empathize, and persuade. Perhaps the most critical soft skill successful advisors master is to listen actively, without which the other skills could go to waste. Successful advisors develop the habit of working on their soft skills because they know that the real profit is not in the sale but in the relationships they build.
#4. Working habits
Developing excellent prospecting, calling, and selling habits may all be for naught if you don’t master critical working habits. The main reason many advisors fail is not that they aren’t good at what they do; it’s because they lack the core competencies of running a business. To succeed in this business, you must first become a good businessperson.
That means being goal-oriented, results-driven, self-disciplined, and excellent at time management and building the habits that lead to mastering these core competencies.
It’s time to take control of your future
You are who you are right now because of the habits you have developed, consciously or subconsciously, since birth. But what has gotten you this far may not be nearly enough to carry you to success. It’s time to take control of your future by identifying and deliberately acquiring the success habits that will shape who you become.
Be on the lookout for the next four posts in this series as we delve deeper into the success habits of prospecting, calling, selling, and working.
Related: Financial Advisors Sabotage Their Success Through Getting Ready To Get Ready