Fitness and Rainmaking

Greensboro: “I start my day with exercise – every day. And I insist that other members of our group take time to stay in shape as well” voiced Sam during one of our Rainmaker Focus Group sessions. This was an interesting comment that sparked a lengthy conversation around the importance of personal fitness when it comes to Rainmaking.

Not every participant of this elite group was a triathlete or long distance runner, but they all made time in their day for some form of exercise, even if it was walking their dog early in the morning. Some went to the gym in the morning, others exercised over lunch, and others got it done after work.

This was a group of wily veterans, some of the best Rainmakers you’ll find, but the message applies to new advisors as well. After all, mirroring the actions of Rainmakers is the quickest way to mirror their results. That said, we thought it might be helpful to dedicate this edition of FastTrack for Growth to personal fitness. We’ve found that it plays into Rainmaking in two ways:

Creating Energy for Running Your Business
As everyone from our Rainmaker Focus Group can attest, it takes serious energy to run a financial practice. You’re basically working three full time jobs – servicing your clients, finding new clients, and managing your family and social life. This can (and does) lead to career burn out. The best advisors, new advisors and veterans alike, have balance in their life. They realize that taking an hour out of their day for their personal health, makes the rest of their day more productive.

Here are some ways to increase your energy levels:
· Exercise 30 minutes a days, five days a week (as recommended by the American Heart Association).

· Eat nutritious meals and snack on healthy foods throughout the day. We all know the feeling of having a big lunch then feeling sluggish all afternoon. This can be avoided.

· Try standing up for phone calls. It not only keeps your blood flowing, it makes you sound more alive. We know one top advisor who works from a standing desk so he can be on his feet all day. Admittedly, I (Stephen) tried it and still stand at my desk often, but it was tough to write and research standing up).

Building Your Network Through Exercise
Why not work on your business while you work on your body? There are so many ways to use exercise for Rainmaking. You can exercise with a partner, find a group that shares your exercise routine (walking, running, swimming), or even take group exercise classes at your gym. These are all great ways to meet people with similar passions.

We’ve heard many instances of new business coming from the gym, but we’ve also known many advisors who workout heavily and bring in very little business. For that reason, here are some tips for maximizing the Rainmaking in your workouts:

· Find the right club / activity that attracts regulars who fit your new-client profile . If a certain class at your gym attracts different people for every class, or a bunch of college students, you may have trouble developing relationships with other participants.

Imagine landing a physician as a result of a 40 mile Saturday morning group cycling ride – that’s exactly what happened to a six year LOS new Rainmaker. Sure, there was more involved, but after getting to know this physician through cycling, then providing a 2nd opinion, then transforming him into a client who became an advocate – seven additional physicians became clients over a nine month period. And it all started from exercise – a bike ride.

· Exercise at the right times. If your target market includes corporate execs, you’ll want to select a group that meets early in the morning, over lunch, or after work hours. If you’re looking for retirees, mid-morning might be perfect.

· Plan how you’ll convert social contacts to business contacts. The social prospecting process works by meeting new people, developing relationships with them, and ultimately asking them to do business with you. Each of these steps must happen to successfully bring in new business. In today’s environment, as you get to know people and they find out what you do, they’re likely to ask market related questions. These are your window of opportunity to offer your services!

· Allow yourself to take a few minutes longer to exercise. If you’re rushing through your workout then rushing to get back to the office, you’re likely missing some great interactions with other members.

· Consider an intimate event around exercise. You could bring in a nutritionist to talk about keeping your body healthy, then share a few thoughts on keeping your portfolio healthy as well. Or you could host an event around a certain client interest – if you have lots of cyclists, organize a long ride for a Saturday morning. The possibilities are endless.

As a new advisor, you’re always on the hunt for ways to broaden your community footprint. Exercise is not only an excellent way to do this, it’s a great way to keep your energy and sanity during tough times. And since you are the product and first impressions are lasting, being in shape, which allows you to look and feel good, has a major impact on your personal brand. To quote Donny Deutsch and his book, Often Wrong, Never in Doubt, “The more successful I’ve grown the better shape I’ve gotten in."

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