Financial Advisors: Getting Going is Better than Getting Perfect
Years ago, when financial advisors were known as “stockbrokers” and cold-calling random strangers on the phone was still thought of as the only way to build a business, I knew a branch manager at Paine Webber who taught his rookies a valuable lesson.
To put this story in context, this was a time when “cold-calling cowboys” (and some cowgirls too) were lionized, and much attention was spent on finding the perfect “list” and honing the seamless cold-calling “script”.
This branch manager believed that all of the groundwork and angst that absorbed the rookies prior to these calling campaigns was wasted effort. He often said, “You know, if you speak to enough people and simply introduce yourself politely and say, ‘You wouldn’t wanna buy a stock today, would you?’ you’d uncover as many interested investors as compared to any other brilliantly-conceived sales pitch.”
In fact, to prove his point he persuaded a few of the rookies in the office to do this very thing. Two of the young bucks in the office spent an entire day smiling-and-dialing with this simple question; “You wouldn’t wanna buy a stock today, would you?”
Guess what? At the end of the day, when all of the rookies compared notes, the “you wouldn’t wanna” guys did as well as anyone else.
The branch manager could not have been more pleased with himself.
Getting Going vs. Getting Perfect
My intention in sharing this little story is not to espouse a return to the days of cold-calling. In some ways, cold-calling is an objectionable approach that is predicated on the success of interruption marketing and the Law of Large Numbers, marketing ideas that seem to be as outdated today as the fax machine (except in Japan, curiously).
However, I still think that the branch manager’s experiment holds a useful lesson for many financial advisors today. Sometimes, we can get lost in the activity of finding the “perfect” solution, when the more important activity is the activity itself.
One of the things that we notice with financial advisors who are really successful today is that they don’t obsess on finding perfection before they launch their latest initiative, marketing or otherwise. Getting going can be more important than getting perfect.
Want to get going on your social media strategies? Update your client acquistion methods by downloading the following complimentary ClientWise Learning Tool: