The fear some advisors have in prospecting and connecting with successful, wealthy professionals and entrepreneurs is not uncommon, but can restrict advisors from building their businesses and connecting with potential new centres of influence.“Some 90% of advisors who have been in business for more than 10 years have a set of limiting beliefs that relate to different aspects of prospecting,” says Paul Tindall, executive director of Phoenix CoachingWorks in Burlington, Ont.
These limiting beliefs, says Tindall, extend to many different professionals. There are a number of financial advisors, for example, who fear even initiating contact with those who they believe are more successful, knowledgeable or wealthy than themselves, a major hurdle to prospecting affluent clients, says Tindall.
However, this deterrent to confidence can be overcome, often with some encouraging “self-talk” and “mental gymnastics,” say some coaches.
“It’s a subjective thermometer that gets set,” says Tindall. “Some advisors believe that below a certain level they are OK talking with these people but above that level, they don’t know enough. It’s more than an excuse – it’s a belief.”
Tindall says there is a logical and emotional component to these actions: logically, advisors know they have the wherewithal to meet and discuss intelligently with clients. He uses an assessment tool to flush out the limiting beliefs and confirm that they do exist. Then he uses mental guides to help advisors learn how to deal with this fear.
In the late 1990s, Tindall was sanctioned by the Ontario Securities Commission stemming from the lack of due diligence of an investment. He says his biggest mistake was taking things for granted since he knew the person he was dealing with. It was a hard lesson he learned personally, but “not taking things for granted” is among the many topics he uses when coaching his financial advisor clients.
In part of his practice, Tindall helps advisors and others with “outer world” concepts such as goal setting and developing strategies, but he also looks at “inner world” concepts about the compelling vision for a person’s company and how to expand their business.
Limiting beliefs can hold advisors back, but they have it within themselves to turn things around.
“We all bring certain skills and expertise to the table and advisors need to remember who they are. They need to remember that they bring a great deal of expertise to the table,” says Eileen Chadnick, principal of Big Cheese Coaching and author of EASE: Manage Overwhelm in Times of “Crazy Busy”.
Part of being human is that we all have inner critics playing havoc with our confidence, says Chadnick.
“I teach my clients to pause and check in on their inner critics hijacking their brain. Once you know that, you can park them and access the more reasonable part of yourself. Ask yourself: what would my voice of experience say? What would my voice of wisdom say? What do I really have to offer?”
Advisors need to remember that they don’t always have to have full-out answers on the spot, says Chadnick. Rather, they need to remind themselves that they are resourceful and know where and how to get the information they need.
So rather than have limiting beliefs, she says, advisors should use techniques employed to bring out empowering beliefs, such as: “I am going to listen to my clients, I’m committed to serving their best interests and if I don’t know all the answers, I will find out.”
For example, says Tindall, stage fright afflicts many people – until they get up on stage and actually start talking. There are ways advisors can find to deal with the 40 seconds-or-so that it takes to get from their seat on to the stage and begin talking, he says.
So when he is teaching advisors to make contact with accountants and lawyers they have to make sure they are not affected by any of these limiting beliefs.