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Act As If…

Des Moines: “My firm asked me to mentor a group of new advisors.  I have weekly meetings with them and do my best to give some practical advice.  I actually really enjoy it.”  The veteran advisor paused momentarily and then continued, “The most important piece of advice I’ve been giving new advisors is to ‘act as if’.  If they can do that, at least I know their mind is in the right place.”

Chris is a 30 year veteran, is a big producer, and is very well spoken.  He’s the kind of guy who has never met a stranger.  He comes across as extremely honest and carries himself with a calm confidence.  It was obvious to us why his firm wanted him to train their rookies. 

‘Act as if’ what did he mean by this?  Admittedly, he was not sure where he came up with it but he used this phrase to explain confidence and positioning.  Many new advisors live in the present moment; they are highly stressed and unsure of themselves as financial professionals.  As a result, this negative self-fulfilling prophecy takes control and these advisors carry themselves with matching uncertainty - and everyone can tell. 

His point, if you act like you are a struggling new advisor, guess what, your clients and prospects see you as a struggling new advisor.  If you have insecurities with your investment acumen, your age, your dress, etc., your clients and prospects become unsure of you as well.  Who wants to trust their livelihood to a professional who doesn’t seem accomplished and confident? 

His piece of advice really resonated with us because mindset is such a core component to the success of new advisors.  Here are three quick ways to help you follow Chris’ advice to ‘act as if.’ 

Your Dress

Like it or not, people judge you very quickly by the way you dress.  They glance at you and in a matter of seconds determine how successful you are by what you are wearing.   Think about the last time you were at a function with a group of professionals.  Suppose two attorneys were at that gathering.  One attorney was dressed to the nines and the other dressed like he just woke up from an afternoon nap sleeping in his suit (wrinkled shirt, unkempt hair). Who would be your first choice for high-level legal advice? Case in point.

Dress like you already run a top notch advisory business.  People will take notice.

 Your Car

There is no need to go out and buy a BMW 7-series.  However, what you drive does create an impression, especially if you’re not working in a bank where all your clients are coming to you.  Make sure your car is clean inside and out.  It should also be professional, not bright yellow or with the bumper missing.    Buy what you can afford, but keep it clean and simple. 

Your Confidence

This is arguably the most important component to ‘acting as if.’  Emotions are transmittable.  How you feel and act impacts those around you more than you realize.  Do you maintain good eye contact with clients and prospects?  Do you speak slowly and clearly?  Do you have good posture and always give a firm handshake?  Do you smile and exude positive energy in and out of the office? Show confidence and people will follow you.

Whether Chris was aware of it or not, he was giving some priceless advice to the rookie advisors at his firm. New advisors should envision the high-level professional they want to be perceived as and start working on creating that perception in the minds of their contacts.  Next time you find yourself nervously walking into a prospect meeting, just remind yourself to “act as if.”  Convince yourself that you are already the pinnacle of success, and you will come across as such.

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