It's now what you do, it's how you do it

By Sandy Schussel

Sandy Schussel, LLC


I recently read an article by Dan Waldschmidt on LifeHealthPro.com that inspired me to sit down and write this article of my own. The gist of Dan’s piece was that just because some technique or strategy works for someone else doesn’t mean that it will work for you. Not everything works for everyone all the time, Dan wrote, and you can’t underestimate the importance of how a strategy is being executed.

Jamie Smart, author of the new book "Clarity," refers to the same concept in this way: "It’s like taking the fruit off of someone else's tree and trying to glue it onto your own. It just doesn’t work that way!"

Over the past 14 years, I’ve studied just about every strategy a professional can use to grow his or her practice. I’ve seen countless methods that were hugely successful for one professional that were terrible disappointments for others.That’s because your success isn’t necessarily going to come from any of the strategies you employ; it will come from how you employ them. Or, in other words, from how you show up in the world.

How do people — particularly clients, prospects, and referral sources — see you? Do they see you as someone who is there to serve them, or as someone looking to sell them something? Do they get the sense when they meet you or talk with you on the phone that you are someone with whom they can share their most intimate secrets, or someone around whom they have to be careful?

Conversely, do they see you as a friend, but not as an accomplished professional? Do they understand how you serve and support them, or do they see you as needy, pushy and uncaring?

A timid, weak, uncertain, distracted advisor can put on an expensive suit and learn some powerful marketing and sales strategies, but he will still be seen as timid, weak, uncertain and distracted. For him, the magical techniques that worked so well for the million-dollar producer from whom he learned them will ultimately prove to be ineffective.

Growing a business or professional practice is about reaching people who might need your help and then “converting” them by getting them to engage your services. We can spend months developing strategies to reach prospects and techniques to convert those prospects into clients — which are both things we definitely need to do — but in the end, our successes will depend largely on who we are, not on what we are doing.

If you aren’t getting the kinds of clients you want, it’s possible there’s nothing wrong with your strategies. The question you need to ask yourself is: “Who do I have to be to have all the great clients I can handle?” If you can answer that question, be who you need to be.