I have had the good fortune to observe and learn from thousands of financial professionals. Let me tell you what I observe as the biggest difference between the really large producers and the vast sea of average producers.
Many average producers have an idea that really large producers have some advantage--an innate talent for selling, a better education, more family contacts, a friend who is the CFO at a Fortune 500 company. These false causes let the average producer off the hook. After all, if the big guys have the advantage that the average producer does not have, then they feel are "off the hook" for becoming a big producer. They can easily explain their mediocre level of business by not having the advantages that the other guy does.
I state that these are false causes because they assume that the advantage (e.g. a friend who is the CFO of a Fortune 500 company) is the cause for the producer's larger income. This is backwards. Here's the way it really works: because the large producer is a large successful producer, the CFO at the Fortune 500 company wants to do business with him and refer his colleagues to him. In other words, what the average producer points out is the cause of the big producers success is in fact the byproduct of his success. So we are left with finding the real reason for his success.
The real reason that big producers are successful is due to a tenacity to make something work.
Here's an example. The average producer gives three seminars. Changes nothing each time, gets an average of 15 people per seminar and then decides that seminars don't really work. The large producer thinks very differently. He thinks, "If I got these 15 people here, then what motivated these 15 people that I am missing with dozens of others. What can I change in this formula to make it successful?" Then he makes a change in the mailing list he uses, or the seminar title or the number of invitations he sends. But he changes something and keeps moving forward until he hits on the formula that works really well.
In comparison, the average producer by this time if off looking for the next "holy grail" that will make him rich. He is still seeking the system that will work from the first moment and then he will be a big producer. This producer moves from system to system his entire career, never makes the big leagues and always has a reason why not. The only reason is lack of tenacity.
Email one to two paragraphs of a time (see below)
you applied tenacity in your business to make a system
work that you are still using today. I will then
send you a collection of these to help improve your business.
The producer with tenacity keeps applying their winning marketing system week in and week out and before long, they are a big producer. I know of no single big producer who did not take the path I just described. Every one of them was either a mediocre producer or a near failure from the beginning. They had the special trait however: tenacity.
Often, when producers think of tenacity, they think of the wrong trait. Tenacity is not about repetitiously calling someone and asking them to buy until the prospect says "no" six times. This would be more accurately called "doggedness" or "obnoxiousness." The tenacious producer seeks to find a formula that attracts prospects to him and makes grinding prospecting unnecessary.
Let me give you some examples:
One of the largest LTC agents in the US did not have instant success. She had difficulty getting appointments and was not making a ton of money. But she noticed that the top producer in the firm was making a ton of money. So she copied everything he did. She is now in the same league as the professional she copied and sells as much as 8 average agents.
A very large producing stockbroker developed a formula for finding superior, high net worth prospects on the Internet. He did not expect to do business with the first person he contacted. As he progressed, he refined his formula and approach. Eventually he started gaining new clients from this prospecting. In fact, the last time I saw him, he told me he had been out of the office for half of the month, but generated $1 million in commissions. Most stockbrokers would be elated to gross $1 million in a year.
So what's the lesson. If you have a good idea for doing more business, think it through carefully, develop your approach and start on it. If it does not work as well as you'd like, do not throw in the towel! Change the one (and only one) variable that you most suspect will improve your results. If that change make no difference, then change one other variable. By carefully changing only one variable, you can isolate what makes the difference--the "key success factor."
Then keep applying your working formula over and over. You'll look back to find that your business has soared.