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Success Newsletters

Volume 6, Number 6 – November-December, 2006

In this Edition
1. Six Successful Habits to Increase Productivity and Your Client Base
2. Never Take Your Clients for Granted
3. Quotes
4. Recommended Reading

Six Successful Habits to Increase Productivity and Your Client Base
1. HAVE A PLAN OF ACTION
Real success is based on truly identifying your target markets, your ideal client base.
Prepare a list of your 20 top clients and your 20 top prospects, and never let more than 30 days go by without being in touch with them.

Ask your clients for referrals. Who else do they know who might benefit from what you have to offer?
Plan every single day to maximize productivity.
Evaluate your client and prospect base regularly.
Set goals and high expectations for yourself.
Work outside of the box. Be prepared to do the things other people are not prepared to do.
Be prepared to work unsociable hours, weekends if necessary, doing what ever it takes to succeed.

Know where you want to go with your business. Work your plan consistently and plan to succeed.

2. BE IN BUSINESS FOR YOUR CLIENTS
Successful financial advisors know this and keep it top of mind in all their client interactions.

Think not what your clients can do for you, but what you can do for them. Always focus on building meaningful RELATIONSHIPS with your clients.
Do not think sale, think SERVICE. If you take care of serving your clients, the sale will take care of itself every time, and your clients will refer and introduce you to your future clients.

Do not so much market your products or services, market what solutions and benefits your products and services provide for your clients.
Work with your clients to help them, and you, understand what their real NEEDS are. Put the fancy brochures away at first. Get to know your clients on a personal level. Earn the right to do business with them.

Remember. People do not care what you know until they know that you care. We do business with people we like, respect and most important, who we trust.

3. GET OVER REJECTION
Rejection and disappointment are part and parcel of the daily business of a successful financial advisor. In fact, if you are not getting rejected often, you are probably not speaking to enough people, making enough calls.

The failure of many potentially great sales people is taking rejection personally; remember a “no” is just a request for further information.

Successful people in business do not worry about failure. In fact, they know that every setback leads them closer to success. Henry Ford wisely said, “Failure is just another opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”

Talk to enough people in a day and you will ultimately succeed. Be patient, believe in yourself, your products and services, and be proud of the organization that you represent.

4. NETWORK
How often are you out there promoting your products and services? How often do you ask your existing clients for a referral and most important, an introduction to that person?
Every time you come in to contact with people is a golden OPPORTUNITY for you to promote your business both directly and indirectly.

Join your local chamber of commerce, board of trade, local business networking group etc.
Be seen, get involved and become known in your local community. Visibility breeds success.

5. DEVELOP EXCEPTIONAL LISTENING SKILLS
Dale Carnegie said, “You will make more friends in two months by being interested in other people than you will do in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” Most people are not very good listeners. Truly successful people in all walks of life have a skill for listening and it truly is a skill.

Make it a daily practice to do less talking and more listening to your clients. Try using the 80/20 rule. It is not easy; we all want to talk, about ourselves, about our products and services, about what we of great communication, making a connection with people, and of building successful relationships with your clients, is to listen to what they are telling you and being truly interested in them.

Ask open-ended questions and than keep quiet and listen intently to their answers.
Great listening skills are one of the keys to increasing your success rate. No one has ever closed a sale while they were still doing the talking!

6. FOLLOW UP
Make it a habit to follow up with your clients and prospects. Sounds simple, right? In my experience, and surveys back me up on this 67% (amazingly) of people in business do not follow up enough. Do not be one of them.

Think long-term. Nurturing a relationship that eventually results in business takes time.
Keep in touch, stay in front of your clients and prospects.. Often business is about being top-of-mind when the “buy” decision is made. Spending quality time in building and developing that relationship with your potential client is crucial and will differentiate you from the pack when a buying decision is being made. Patience is a virtue.

Set an appointment to follow-up, and keep it!

Return all your phone calls promptly! Keep in contact with your clients in every way possible!
Often it is the little things that make a big difference. Send them a hand written note or card instead of an e-mail, send them an article you read that might be of interest to them.

Personalize it, be different, and show them that you care.

Never Take Your Clients For Granted
There are stories one can tell that are legendary related to customer service. This may be one of them, about legendary customer service turned bad.

Over the last 12 years, my wife and I have moved several times, either individually or together. My wife will still tell the story of the first time she hired movers rather than move herself. In her opinion, this was a life changing event. Since that time, movers have always been a necessity for us related to moving. The last three times we have used the same movers. In our first experience with them, they were courteous, dependable, service oriented and reasonable in price, earning our trust in them such that we quickly went to them for our second move. The second time, one of the men who had been a mover on our original move was now the sales person. That impressed us, and the experience of courteousness and service orientation continued. The third time was the same.

We are now readying for our next move. Without question, we went back to the same movers. Anecdotally, it was the same young man who would be our sales person. It was a no-brainer from our perspective, and a sure sale from their perspective. His coming to our house and providing an estimate for what would be a two staged move was purely academic. They were not in competition with anyone (as long as the estimate seemed reasonable). This story should stand up as an example of how good customer service builds customer loyalty. Sadly, this is not the case, and here is why…

1) 30 minutes before the appointment for the sales person to come and provide an estimate, his office called up and said he had called in sick that day. Okay, I am a reasonable guy, I took time off work but these things happen. We made another appointment, and again I rearranged my schedule to be home that afternoon.

2) In the morning of the day of that appointment, the salesperson called and left a message telling us he couldn’t make that appointment. No explanation, no alternative plan with the exception of calling up to make another appointment. The only conclusion we could arrive at was that something had come up that was more important to him than our appointment. He had likely seen us as a sure bet and I believe he took our business and loyalty for granted and assumed we would not want to go elsewhere.

My ever forgiving wife was prepared to give him a third chance if he had called with an explanation and a request for another appointment. We are still waiting for the call. In the interim, we took our business elsewhere. We were moving some of our household goods into storage and then moving this and the remaining household goods to our new house at a time of year where the moving business is in a slump. The total sale to him would have been several thousand dollars.

The moral of the story? Customer loyalty is so, so fragile, and nothing should ever be taken for granted. Treat your current clients like gold, and with just as much respect as your new clients, otherwise you will lose them at your peril. There is a Chinese phrase which states “Those who serve, are those who rule”. Truer words were never spoken.

QUOTES

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”
Senecca (Roman philosopher)

“What stops people from being successful is not lack of information, but lack of commitment to take action”
Charles Marcus

RECOMMENDED READING

The Lessons from The Apprentice: Secrets To Success from The Boardroom to The Business World by Time Inc with a forward from Donald Trump

This book is taken from the wildly popular and successful TV show featuring the Donald and his fellow players. Like him or loathe him, Mr. Trump is an incredible success and what I like about him is that while he has experienced many failures he always manages to bounce back. This book details hundreds of winning strategies that really work- on screen – and off screen. It is beautifully put together, glossy and inviting. A terrific and valuable read.

The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People by David Niven, PH. D.

What do successful people have in common? Scientists have studied the traits, beliefs and practices of successful people in all walks of life, but their research often ends up in stuffy academic journals to be read by other scientists in a language most of us can’t understand. Now, the best selling author David Niven has collected the most current and important data from over a thousand case studies on success, and he spells out the key findings in a way we can all understand. . This is a great book, with excellent stories. I enjoyed it very much.

Copyright
Permission is granted to reproduce this newsletter in whole or in part provided the following byline below appears along with the article and that a copy is sent to me after publication. Thank you: To check previous issues for publication, please go to www.cmarcus.com and click on articles/newsletters.

Charles Marcus is an international motivational speaker. To subscribe to his FREE success newsletter, please send an email to subscribe@cmarcus.com. An electronic copy will be sent out to you every month. For more information on how Charles, his book and his programs can benefit your organization or group, please call 905-847-2323. Toll-Free in North America at 1-800-837-0629, or visit his website: www.cmarcus.com

Date Added: November 30, 2006 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Newsletters



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