When times are tough and the market slows, successful people don’t grumble, they GROW. Several years ago I coached a stock broker for just two months. Let’s call him Dave (not his real name). At our initial meeting, it was clear that without help, Dave would miss out on his performance targets and annual bonus payment. The end of the financial year was six weeks away, the market was slow, and Dave needed the bonus badly. He wanted me to work with him to reach his goals. We agreed to work on three areas to get the result he needed.
1. Sharpen your Mind
As Dave sat in our first meeting hunched over in the chair dressed in a semi-ironed shirt, average tie, worn suit pants and scuffed shoes it was clear that his appearance did not have the sharp, crisp edge he needed to succeed. Now I’m sure you’ve heard the saying you must ‘dress for success’. Well, most people take that statement literally and think that it’s their clothes that’s sell them. That’s not entirely true. What people don’t understand is that your appearance reflects your level of thinking. Your mind is much more able to take control of the bigger tasks with all the little things taken care of. The other factor is that when you are dressed well, you feel fabulous – and that impacts your attitude. So, the first thing Dave did after our meeting was go home and change. From that day forward, Dave only wore his best suits to work and looked like the most professional broker in the city.
2. Re-evaluate and Commit
The second thing I asked Dave to do was re-evaluate his position. Dave worked out he needed $X in broker fees and $X in assets under management. He figured how many transactions and how many appointments he needed EACH DAY to get the results. Dave went white when he realised he needed ten transactions and four successful meetings per day, every day for six weeks. Let me tell you, there is nothing like reality to give you a moment of truth. You ask yourself… how badly do I really want this? Average people back away at moments like this because it all seems too hard, impossible or too much work. This is where successful people step up, face it, own it and WANT it. Dave wanted it badly enough to commit to the goal fully.
3. Create a Game
When you commit 100% to the goal and know what the target and deadlines are you can create a game with yourself. Dave became creative and started to network (yes, my favourite business tool). He focused on contacting all the people he knew, even from ten years previously. He had to fill four meetings and close ten transactions each day. He re-organised and worked a schedule. Appointments were in the afternoon with an hour in between for transaction calls. He asked one of his support staff to help him with messages. He chased his existing customers for referrals. He spent time at night relearning all the product information about the funds he was selling. He became more confident as he trained himself, caught the occasional glimpse of himself in the mirror in his suits and closed deals. He did a short happy dance in the office every time he closed a deal and came closer to the target. He also kept going when he had an off day and didn’t meet the targets. Dave kept in mind that the game was six weeks long, not just a day. In just five weeks, Dave met his targets and received his bonus. He also learned the biggest lesson of them all… the state of the market or economy is irrelevant to how you play and win the game!
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