What To My Wondering Eyes Should Appear … Sales, Not Reindeer!

Posted By on Dec 1, 2013|2 comments


I hope you did not expect me to say “A miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.” All joking aside, I was equally amazed at what I saw when I spoke with an advisor a few weeks ago. She displayed the right type of behavior.

Given the choice between a person who just has that magic touch and the person with the right behavior, I will take the right behavior every time. Those with the right behavior arrive early and stay late. They push the people around them to work harder. They track what they are doing, and they strive for perfection with everything they do. They might not have a natural ability, but they easily overcome that with their work ethic.

This particular woman has been in sales for 25 years but not as a financial advisor. She impressed me so greatly that I thought her story was worth sharing.

Avoiding the Tyranny of Urgency

To begin, this woman has a business plan. She focuses on female business owners and creates centers of influence to attract them.  Most practitioners are hesitant to create a business plan. Yet, this woman was willing to create one even though she was an advisor in a much larger firm.

Her ideas are clear:

  1. Generate more prospects
  2. Close more sales
  3. Spend more time on qualified buyers
  4. Control the sales process

The clear advantage of her plan is that she avoids the “tyranny of urgency,” which is allowing whatever is occurring today the power to control us.  I work with an advisor who falls under the trap of urgency.  I created a list of five different sales lead activities for him with the goal for him to only focus on one thing at a time. However, he wants to do everything all at once. Every time I call him he is working on multiple activities on the list.  Additionally, he always has to postpone scheduled calls because he is in the middle of something else that came up that day.

He has been stricken with the “tyranny of urgency” and always appears overwhelmed by things that come up each day, disallowing him to complete the important tasks. Because of his tendencies, I have decided not to work with him as a sales trainer for financial advisors because he doesn’t possess the right behavior to get things done.

Our female advisor, on the other hand, will see it through.  She is willing to test different ideas to see what works and what doesn’t. She only completes the everyday tasks that will further her progress toward her business plan.

The Numbers Game: Trick of Touches

Sales are a numbers game and she plays it just that way. She feeds the numbers day in and day out. Whenever she is uncertain, she buckles down on the process even more and just trusts the numbers. Her plan has allowed her to create accountability for herself. She knows whether or not she is on track to accomplish her goals without having to wait a month or a quarter later, and she knows on a weekly basis where she stands in relation to her goal.

This financial advisor has two tricks to generating more sales: she focuses on numerous touches and she has a strategy for new leads.

First the touches … Often times, prospects don’t work with the same timeline as you do. They may postpone a call for six months, when in reality, they need you much sooner.  The woman in this example sends out invitations to monthly events with a market outlook each month. She tracks her prospective clients with a worksheet and the mindset that it may take anywhere from 7 to 12 touches before a prospect takes action.

And the leads … To broaden her reach, she has developed a course on retirement income for continuing education (CE) for CPAs through the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). She also volunteers with AICPA and has become a known individual in the community as well as an expert in the field of retirement income.

Additionally, each Monday morning, she goes to the courthouse to obtain a list of divorces and estate claims. From this list, she contacts the lawyer, trustee and the beneficiary of each case. She tracks the workings that have gone into probate to help reach the clientele that may benefit. Her biggest hurdle is hearing the case may already have someone, which is to be expected and can often still be discouraging. But, she just continues to persevere and make many contacts a month in order to reach her numbers.  At the end of each month, she runs a report to show how many contacts she has made. This ensures that she is following the right behavior to reach her goals.

Traction Means Success

In her words, all the things she is doing now will take 18 months to gain traction, which is alright because she believes in the numbers. Credible clients and organizations often take longer to cultivate, and she is willing to put in the time because they keep on giving.

It was a joy speaking with this financial advisor. I have no doubt that the momentum for her will come sooner than her expected 18 months for she has a set plan and exhibits the right behavior.

Next Steps

Do you follow under the “tyranny of urgency” trap? How can you use this financial advisor’s “right behavior” to inspire your own?

photo credit: pareeerica via photopin cc

2 Comments

  1. This is an excellent article with very valuable points that could be used in any industry. The “tyranny of urgency” often tugs at people and can be very hard to put at bay. It seems like there are always fires to put out and emails to answer, etc., but to achieve long-term success, one must stay focused on the clear tasks leading to the clear goals at hand. I admit I often fall for the “urgent” items, so I’ll definitely keep this article bookmarked so I can re-visit it when I need to regain clarity. Thanks for this!

    Post a Reply
    • The Tyranny of the Urgency is tough. If we can keep it under control we see a large increase in productivity.

      Post a Reply

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