Peter is a top financial advisor with annual earnings approaching seven figures. He is a consummate professional devoted to his target market: the “average” American who wants the advice usually reserved for so-called “high net worth” clients.
There is nothing about Peter that suggests “salesman“. His look is “regular guy”. He dresses as his target market might hope for him to dress: in an off-the-rack blazer and slacks, sometimes spiffed up with a very conservative tie. He drives his Altima to appointments and keeps his Mercedes in his garage for weekend outings with his wife. He talks with authority, but plainly, and with only gentle urging for them to do the right thing, he helps clients make important life decisions over coffee and cake.
I once asked Peter to visit a workshop I was running for young financial professionals, so that he could share his words of wisdom.
“How have you become so successful?” one starry-eyed advisor asked him.
Peter’s instant, one-word response was: “Persistence.”
“I know it sounds too simple,” he elaborated, “But that’s it.”
“I’m not smarter than anyone else, I just persist. I had the same problems you are having in the beginning. If you’re doing the right activities, you just can’t give up when things aren’t going right. Each person you talk with has connections to other people who could use your help, and if you treat them right, they’ll want those people to work with you, too. You can’t give up just because you have setbacks.”
Similarly, Calvin Coolidge is attributed with having said:
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
Last year, I worked briefly with Ken, an attorney, helping him to grow his practice. His target market was small businesses, and among the potential marketing strategies I suggested he could use to get more clients would be for him to host seminars.
“I tried seminars awhile ago,” he told me, “And they just don’t seem to work for me.”
“Well…How many times did you try them?” I asked him.
“Just once,” he responded, “And it was terrible.”
“And you never tried again?” I asked.
“No…Why would I?” he responded.
Like Ken, most of us give up on a solid plan or strategy way too soon. Choose a path you believe will work and try it several times—hundreds of times if necessary. If you choose to do seminars, choose to do at least a few—learning as you go what works and what won’t. If your target requires you to “cold call” other businesses as part of your marketing mix, plan on a certain number of calls every day for several weeks, again gauging what works and what won’t. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try to figure out why, tweak it, and try again. Once you find something that works well, make it part of your regular activities—a system. If you can’t make a certain activity work, move on to something else.
I love to help people get what they want by holding them accountable to stick to the strategies they’re willing to try…that means, more than once. In more than one great effort, I encourage you to keep REACHING…