His past week was TORTURE, I did something I swore I would not do again, I went branch hopping. I am now totally committed to banning this activity from my business and life forever. Branch hopping is going from firm to firm or branch to branch meeting with financial advisors or hosting small group meetings to promote your practice. Not again.
Early in building my coaching practice I fell into the traditional method of hosting mini presentations in branches or firm offices in hopes of inspiring interest in my coaching. It worked for others so I assumed it would work for me. I will never forget the day I presented to a group of Smith Barney financial advisors in downtown Chicago, you would have thought I was talking to a 20 corpses. I consider myself a darn good speaker, very effective in engaging the audience but with this group of men (there may have been 1 woman) it was like pulling teeth.
Years later after this experience faded in my memory bank I made another presentation in a branch in Boston, half way through the presentation I thought “What the hell am I doing here?” Again there were may have been 2 women and the rest were dead pan faced men. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
This past week I flew to Wisconsin to visit a number of branches, this firm had been very supportive of me and I felt it would be beneficial (oh how quickly we forget). I think what gave me the motivation I needed was that in each branch I had a female client that I had been coaching and visiting with them was WONDERFUL and definitely the highlight to my trip but unless I have a client to visit I will not do this again.
What I learned during this trip was that unless an advisor is seeking me out to learn about my coaching there is no point in me talking to him or her. You can’t convince or sell people into coaching, they must have the desire and then they must make a small commitment to reach out to me to learn more.
A big part of building a successful business is not just knowing what you love to do it’s also what you know you DON’T want to do! If there is an activity that you are doing to grow your business but it feels so uncomfortable and distasteful odds are you are probably not getting the results you want from that activity. Just because it’s a process or activity that has worked for other advisors that does NOT mean that it’s right for you.
As a female financial advisor working in a male oriented industry you must evaluate every method, strategy and recommended activity to be sure it is suitable to your style and temperament as a woman. While I am always a proponent of stepping out of your comfort zone I am not a proponent of torture! You have to love what you do to succeed.