Monday, February 28, 2011

3 Ways to Reduce Stress and Focus On Success

We are heading into March, a time for spring cleaning and organization. How has your New Year's been going?  I hope you've had a great start to the year.  My New Year's consisted of celebrating my success by going to Cabo San Lucas with my husband for a week in the sun. What a great way to unwind and enjoy life!

During my vacation, I came to the realization that it is very important to celebrate when business and life have been good to us. I also realized that it is necessary to find ways to reduce stress in our daily lives. Ordinarily our calendar is hectic with multiple appointments, busy activities, and too much to do. When we give the mind time to clear and become more focused we can see things we may not have noticed before.  We must learn ways to reduce stress and focus on what we do best. Here are three ways:

If you have never tried meditation as a form of reducing stress, you might want to give it a try. Search for beginning classes in your area and discover the wonderful benefits of mediation such as lowering your blood pressure, steadying your concentration, and clearing your mind of negativity. Although you could teach yourself to meditate, I have found that when you take a class you will receive the right kind of training necessary to be successful at meditating regularly.

One reason stress creeps into our lives is because we don't take the time to have fun and do the things that naturally reduce stress. When we don't take the time to experience joy, our lives become continuous days of harried activities.  So how do we experience joy? By going for walks in nature, connecting with friends and relatives, writing about our hopes and dreams, getting a massage, and generally treating ourselves well. If you don't regularly experience joy, think about how you can incorporate more happiness in your life.

Say No
Is your schedule full of activities? Are you running from one appointment to another? Do you find yourself saying yes to all activities and requests? If so, you could be stressing yourself out by simply not having boundaries that protect you.  I find that when my clients are too busy, it's because they say yes to everything. If you have too many appointments, reduce the number that you generally allow yourself to schedule. When asked to be involved in an activity or project, what you might try instead of saying yes, is to say you'll think about it. The key is to be very selective with what you are willing to do with your time.    

Stress prevents us from living up to our full potential by occupying our minds and keeping us busy worrying about things that may never happen. By working on eliminating stress though mediation, joy and saying no, we can take control of our lives and focus on success.

Suzanne Muusers

Friday, February 18, 2011

How to Get More Appointments From Seminars

Too many financial advisors don't know how to get appointments from their seminars and workshops.  Today, let's look at how to overcome this issue and improve the number of appointments you set at your public speaking events.

You've just finished giving a great workshop or seminar. You presented interesting material that encouraged a shift in thinking and attitude about money, financial goals, and the future. You made jokes, got some laughs, and really connected with the audience.  NOW WHAT?

Presenting seminars and workshops is one of the most effective marketing tactics to grow the number of prospects in your pipeline and spread the word about your practice. Public speaking enhances reputation, positions the speaker as an expert in their field, and improves exposure to new prospects. The problem is that too many financial advisors do not know how to get appointments from their seminars.

A few things need to happen in order to perfect your seminar appointment rate. Here are a few pointers and shifts that need to happen:

*Make a time-limited offer. Let your audience know that you are available in the next week to meet with them. You could say something like "Thank you everyone for attending. For those who have questions, I'd like to offer one complimentary hour of my time if you come in to see me in the next week." Ask prospects to indicate their interest on the evaluation form and point them toward your assistant who has your appointment calendar in hand.

*Be OK with asking for the business. Yes, you are a nice guy and it's not easy to put yourself out there and ask for the business, but the prospects in your audience need your help. It's OK to ask for the appointment.

*No pressure. Tell attendees that there is absolutely no pressure and no selling will be done during the appointment. This will alleviate any anxiety participants may feel in committing to meet with you. Put yourself in their shoes – they don't want to feel obligated to hire you or be forced into a high pressure close.

*Be likeable and be yourself. I've seen too many speakers become a robo-presenter and fail to infuse their presentation with personality, humor, and likeability. If this sounds like you, please consider joining Toastmasters so that you can practice in a safe environment and learn how to be a good speaker. You will grow personally and professionally through Toastmasters and you'll make great friends.

Put these pointers to work in your own practice. Get out of your comfort zone and get out of your own way. Grow your practice in 2011!

Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Financial Advisors