There was no social media or cold calling in ancient times. If there were, these rules may have been written in stone.
1. Thou Shalt Get It Done First Thing. Prospecting is often the least desirable activity on your daily plan. Get it out of the way first thing in the morning. You are fresh. People you call or message on LinkedIn are fresh. Nothing has happened to ruin anyone’s day.
2. Thou Shalt Follow Up. You get a lead. Someone sounds interested. Respond immediately. I find messages sent to me on LinkedIn tend to get lost or overlooked if I don’t jump on them immediately.
3. Thou Shalt Remember New Clients Are Paramount. Client service is important. Paperwork is important. You are primarily paid to find new clients and bring in more assets. If you are great at prospecting and lousy at paperwork, the firm will figure something out. If you are lousy at prospecting and great at paperwork, the firm will fire you.
4. Thou Shalt Treat Each Call or Conversation as a New Opportunity. You are smiling and dialing business owners. They are storefront operations. You call in the slow time of their day. You get hang-ups and “not interested” on the first nine calls. The outcome of the tenth call is not influenced by the first nine. It might be the initial contact with the person who will become your best client.
5. Thou Shalt Be Persistent. Some agents and advisors start a prospecting strategy, get to the point where it’s about to bear fruit and say: “This isn’t working.” They drop it and try another strategy, repeating the process. They put a series of failed strategies into place instead of sticking with one and making adjustments along the way.
6. Thou Shalt Not Frown or Make Funny Faces. Smile when you are working. It comes over in conversations. It lifts your spirit. If you act grumpy, you probably sound grumpy.
7. Thou Shalt Not Do All the Talking. When we get a live prospect, we often want to show how smart we are. We tell them about what we can do, before we know what they need us to do. They think: “How can you address my needs if you don’t know what my needs are?”
8. Thou Shalt Not be Jealous of Others Around You. Others don’t prospect. Some seem to coast through life. Others talk about the big ticket they just wrote. Don’t let them bring you down. Although you work under the umbrella of the firm, you are in business for yourself.
9. Thou Shalt Not Be Too Proud to Ask for Help. If your prospecting strategy isn’t working, learn from someone who has cracked the code. The folks in the office might be hesitant to reveal secrets, but people you met at conferences or the regional sales manager will likely be glad to share ideas.
10. Thou Shalt Not Be Too Cheap to Pay for Help. You found someone in another office at the same point in their career as you. They are doing well and explained they found a good coach and hired them. You said: “I’m not spending any money” and hung up. If you found someone who paid for help and got their money’s worth, give it some more consideration.