Rebuilding? Let’s Start with Your Foundation.

What's the foundation of a great organization?What's the foundation of a great organization?

As I continue to teach prospecting and networking, I am amazed at how many seasoned professionals confess to “plateauing.” That is, they grew their businesses to a certain threshold of comfort, then stop.

As you are hopefully well aware, if you are not growing, you are dying. There is no in between. Plateaus do not exist. They are a dangerous illusion.

The slow growth of the economy has made this fact all too real for many of us. One industry in which it was most visible during the recession is financial services (Note: I speak here from anecdotal experience and not scientific research.). I encountered many reps who were top producers were now struggling to stay afloat. The challenges come from all directions—not just from the economy but also through client attrition. When a client passes on, and you have not cultivated relationships with surviving family members, what are you to do?

Fred, one seasoned advisor I met thought that to solve this problem, he needed to move his office to where he could capture more “walk-in” traffic. Jeff, another rep, confessed to having countless friendships in his church and community, yet few of them know that he is a seasoned financial advisor. “I just never took the time to tell them what I do,” he confesses. Today, he’s wishing he did otherwise as he strives to rebuild what was once a high six-figure income.

Both of these men are hungry for prospects as they look to rebuild. Both are men of high integrity and competence, and yet they will be the first to admit that they failed to leverage their core product–their high integrity and service–into a consistent flow of new business. They plateaued, not to realize they were actually resting on a downward, slippery slope until it was too late.

Where does this leave Fred and Jeff? If you too are rebuilding, where does this leave you? For too many of us today, it’s back to basics. Yet it doesn’t start with a marketing plan or even better prospecting for that matter. If you are rebuilding, then you are indeed building new. Any new construction must begin with a solid foundation.

To quote Harry Beckwith from the very start of his classic book, Selling the Invisible: “The core of service marketing is the service itself.” In other words: look honestly at yourself and your own service. Take a blank piece of paper, and divide it into two columns: one for “Strengths;” the other for “Weaknesses.”

Be honest with yourself. As an old friend once told me, “You can’t BS a BS-er!” There have been plenty of times when you have cut corners, or when you did not provide for another to your full heart-felt potential. It’s okay! It’s human! The key is to recognize these behavior patterns and change them.

This topic of “rebuilding” will be the focus of the next several posts. Next we will walk through the process of “looking into the mirror,” with a simple tool you can download and print up to help you through this process. After all, I know you aren’t going to do it simply from me telling you to…if you are like most people you will need to be walked through it step by step. So be it.

From there, we will walk through the steps of using this information to ENGAGE your current and/or previous clients. This is where rebuilding—of making all things new—becomes an exciting and rewarding opportunity. Until then, be blessed.

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