Talent Is Overrated

Now, before you send me an angry email let me explain.   I’ve seen over the course of my 18 years in this business very talented advisors fail.  They spent hours and hours studying their craft, learning betas and alphas, and exploring the newest techniques to position client portfolios.  They back-tested portfolios, they reviewed their client’s performance regularly to address any issue that arose.  Don’t get me wrong all of these things are very important and make a difference to the people they served.   What they struggled with was action. 


When it was time to prospect the phone was heavy.  They were hoping for those referrals because of the work they had done for others.  What they were missing was the work needed to craft their message.  How many hours had they spent reaching out to prospects, how many hours had they spent practicing their message, how many hours had they practiced tough conversations with clients? 


What do all successful athletes do different than those who have talent, but couldn’t quite get the “big break”? They out work them, they track how many free throws they took in a given year, they spend countless hours on the range perfecting shot after shot, they take that extra hour of batting practice.  They have a plan and go execute that plan.


I’ve spoken with many advisors over the years and all of them talk about the grind.  I’m not saying that talent isn’t necessary, it is.  To make it in the long run you have to be talented at what you do, but you also need to be willing to love the grind.  You need to love practicing your story, you need to enjoy working with prospects knowing that not all will become clients. 


As you fill out your marketing plan for 2018, I would suggest going back to basics.  Tracking your prospect and COI meetings, having a daily, monthly, or quarterly goal of how often you are going to deliver your story.  We can all get lost in the noise of this profession, but what truly counts is sharing your expertise with others and developing trusting relationships.  This in turn leads to the ability to share your talent.