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Those Lucky Seven

Only 7 percent of advisors net 10 or more affluent clients a year—is that success really a matter of luck?

By Matt Oechsli

Ever seen a Rainmaker in action—you know, one of those financial professionals who typically brings in 10 or more clients a year worth over $1 million? If you have, you’ve probably noticed how lucky they appear; business just seems to fall into their laps.

According to my institute’s research, only 7 percent of advisors ever reach Rainmaker status. Why? That success isn’t a matter of luck—it’s about developing core habits that’ll lead you to the right people. Here are seven common-sense jewels—short and sweet, but long on meaning—that can help you on your way.

Tip No. 1: Be totally goal-driven. There is nothing casual about Rainmakers; they are totally committed to their annual Rainmaking goals. One Rainmaker-in-the-making, for example, successfully challenged himself to bring in 15 new affluent relationships over a 12-month period.

Tip No. 2: Be extremely competitive. Show me someone who isn’t competitive and I’ll show you an underachiever—not necessarily a loser, but someone who isn’t tapping into his full potential. Rainmakers, on the other hand, play to win. If, for example, a Rainmaker hears that another advisor has brought in 16 new affluent relationships, he’ll strive to bring in 20.

That success isn’t a matter of luck—it’s about developing core habits that’ll lead you to the right people.

Tip No. 3: Be highly disciplined. Discipline by itself is a routine. Discipline linked to a strong goal is high-octane fuel for achievement. It takes discipline to execute those “high-impact” Rainmaking activities, such as arranging introductions and getting referrals, every day. The secret is doing them when you’d rather be doing something else.

Tip No. 4: Stay focused. From cell phones to Blackberry’s, we live in an age of sensory overload, and it’s only getting worse. Rainmakers have their priorities straight and stay focused. For example, many Rainmakers delegate information gathering on prospects (typically, something like a Google search) to a staff member. So, instead of getting swept up in the internet, a Rainmaker focuses most of his time on face-to-face meetings with prospects or those who can introduce him to one.

Tip No. 5: Be fully energized. Rainmaking is not for the faint of heart or for people without strong reserves of energy. Since you are the product, pay attention to your health. Get enough sleep. If you’re not exercising, start. Eat healthy. If you’re uncertain how, consult a nutritionist. Maintain a sense of humor. If you don’t have one, develop one.

Tip No. 6: Be seamless in your sales skills. No one likes a salesperson, least of all an affluent prospect. While a true Rainmaker builds relationships by asking strategic questions and really listening, the Rainmaker wannabe tries to impress the prospect with multisyllabic jargon and glossy brochures. So, do your homework on a prospect—ask your centers-of-influence or introduction source, or conduct a Google search. Then, when you sit down with him, demonstrate your expertise in a casual, conversational way.

Tip No. 7: Love your profession. If you want to excel, you must love what you do. Rainmakers are passionate about the value they bring to their clients and prospects. People know when you love what you do—it’s one of those intangibles that always surfaces.

Finally, Make a habit of charting your progress on a quarterly basis, using a scale of 1 to 7 (1 = bad, 7 = excellent)—you will find yourself continually improving.

Matt Oechsli is president of the Oechsli Institute, a research and consulting firm that specializes in helping financial professionals attract, service and retain affluent clients. For information on upcoming Rainmaker Weekend seminars and other services, visit or call 800-883-6582.



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