Question: If I get in front of a prospect, I usually close successfully. I just need more prospects. What can I do to get more? 

Every advisor since the beginning of time has been searching for people to talk to and meet and yet, people are everywhere. There are more than 7.5 billion people on the planet. Clearly, the problem is not them, it’s us. The prospecting problem today is not finding people. It never has been.

The problem is asking people to meet with you to talk about what you do. Trite maybe, but at the heart of this problem is well – your heart. Is your “heart” – your belief, really into prospecting? Our research tells us that ICON advisors, the high performers, have 3 key characteristics that make them great prospectors.

The first characteristic is why they don’t have the same prospecting problems you do. That first key is Confidence. It’s the confidence that you provide so valuable a product and service that you believe EVERYONE needs it. Everyone! You are so confident that you at least want everyone to have the opportunity to say “no” to you about it. If you hedge on this confidence, you will not prospect consistently. You will, at best, be an accidental prospector – the odd prospect will happen by without any action on your part. 

But, when you truly believe in the extraordinary value of your product and work, prospecting will never be a problem. It will be natural. Be so confident in your service that you will speak to everyone you know in your target market. You won’t say, like lesser performers say, “If I have to depend on my friends and family to make a living, I won’t do it.” This comment belies a fatal lack of belief. 

Your prospects are depending on you. When you are sufficiently confident, friends and family are the FIRST PEOPLE you will talk to. You wouldn’t hold back great solutions from the people you care for most. They’d be first.

Courage is the second C. You must be prepared to initiate conversations with anyone about your product and service. This courage — resistance to the natural fear everyone experiences, is bolstered by having the right scripts in place and practicing them before making initial contact. Competence builds confidence. But, you must develop the courage to ask for a meeting. 

The third C is Community. This means that you will build a community of clients, prospects, and friends that you nurture over the years as future potential buyers. You stay in touch with them regularly to develop most trusted advisor status with them. You build a brand as your community’s professional advisor. Be patient until their timing and interest coincides with your value proposition.

Installing these three Cs into your business then gives you the key to Social Mobility Prospecting – the process of asking everyone you meet every day to listen to your story. That alone opens up a whole planet of prospects for you to consider.

As Zig Ziglar said, give yourself a “check up from the neck up”, if you are having prospecting problems. Check for your confidence, courage and community levels. When they are high enough, prospecting will never be a problem again.

This column by renowned advisor coach Jim Ruta was first published in the October 2018 edition of Insurance Journal magazine.

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Jim Ruta’s mission is simple – to preserve, promote and propel the financial advisor business. A former insurance advisor and executive manager of a 250-advisor agency, Jim is a highly regarded coach, author, podcaster and keynote speaker. He has spoken 4 times at the MDRT Annual Meeting including the Main Platform. Jim Ruta is an Executive Coach and Keynote speaker specializing in life insurance advisors and leaders. He works with top advisors around the world and re-energizes audiences with his deep insight and passion. 

If you have a question for Jim, you may send an email to [email protected]