Why prospecting is like working out at the gym

We understand the importance of working out and that we can’t go to the gym once a month and be in shape. In many ways working out and prospecting are alike — at least if you want to maintain your edge.

1. You need to do it forever. You can’t stop. You exercise to get in shape. Once you’ve achieved that goal, you keep going to stay in shape.

Prospecting. It’s not just an activity you do when you start your career. You need to keep it up to maintain and grow your business.

2. If you miss a day, it’s OK. If you go to the gym daily but skip a day because of bad weather, it’s not a catastrophe. Missing multiple days is a different story. I’ve heard that muscle deconditioning begins after 72 hours.

Prospecting. If you skip a day, you can make it up later. Skip a week or two and your pipeline suffers.

3. It works better on a schedule. You get into a routine, going at 5:30 a.m. every day to the gym. It’s a scheduled activity. If the time floats, you will miss days.

Prospecting. You need to devote a specific time each day to prospecting. Like exercise, I like doing it early and getting it out of the way.

4. You must focus. You’ve seen those folks at the gym who stand around talking. They hardly ever exercise. What good does that do? You’ve seen the focused folks too. You wouldn’t dare interrupt them.

Prospecting. Eliminate all distractions. Do just that one activity for the time period. No interruptions.

5. You have goals. You have an idea of how you want to look or what being in shape means. It might be the ability to lift a certain amount. You work toward those goals. You are inspired by others.

Prospecting. You want results. You keep doing the same activity over and over, hitting your numbers. You learn from other successful financial advisors in your office.

6. It’s easy to see who works out seriously. They are the men and women who are fit. They have lots of energy. It’s obvious they are there to work out.

Prospecting. Your office has star performers. They win awards for bringing in new business. They have good work habits. You want to do what they are doing.

7. Talk is cheap. There are people at the gym who will tell you how to get in shape. You look them over. If they haven’t achieved those results or look out of shape, you don’t take them seriously.

Prospecting. Among your fellow advisors, there is no shortage of people telling you what doesn’t work or why you are doing it wrong. If they aren’t successful, why listen to them?

8. Back to basics. Everyone wants the shortcut. They want a diet where the weight falls off or a new piece of equipment that works wonders. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. It’s all about diet and exercise.

Prospecting. People have looked for the “silver bullet” for years. The social media posting system that has people calling you. The website that attracts everyone. The basics haven’t changed that much. You need a measurable, repeatable process you can drive.

9. You need structure. Yes, you can work out at home, but there are distractions. Everyone has heard about their friend who uses their exercise bicycle as a clothing rack. Going to the gym provides an atmosphere of positive reinforcement.

Prospecting. Working in an office is better than working from home. Your peers are doing the same thing. You can get professional training. You compete with each other.

10. You can learn from others. You can attend classes at the gym. You can engage a personal trainer. Staff members walk around, giving you pointers on your exercise form.

Prospecting. Financial advisors form study groups to learn from each other. The firm brings in trainers and holds classes. Experienced advisors tell audiences how they got started.

11. Success gets recognition. It takes a lot to dress in the dark and go to the gym to work out. But when someone you haven’t seen for a long time says, “You look great!” it feels worth it.

Prospecting. As you become successful, you earn the respect of others. Your manager is encouraging. You qualify for MDRT. You receive recognition awards at your firm.

Here’s one more item to consider: The first point was “You need to do it forever.” Your product is insurance or other financial products. Everyone out there needs those throughout their lives. Their needs change. Everyone is a prospect and continues to be a prospect.

Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. His book “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” is available on Amazon. See more from Sanders in the YouTube video, “Turn friends into clients.”

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