Are You Driving?

AdvisorBlast – Quick Tips to Accelerate Your Practice

In this issue: Are you out driving for new business, or still busy just reading the manual?


Our 16 year-old son is learning to drive. In the months before he got behind the wheel, his mother and I both offered a lot of instructions about how to drive, pointing out when to stop and go, advising how to safely change lanes, and highlighting mistakes made by other drivers. He also took a class to learn the rules of the road. While that theoretical knowledge was important and helpful, there finally came a point where for him to make any more progress as a driver, he had to get behind the wheel and pull out in traffic.
It got me thinking: building your business is a lot like learning to drive. There are plenty of experts offering advice about worthwhile techniques for prospecting, client profiling, and market segmenting. These are good things to understand, and the knowledge can be important to your business. But sooner or later, if you truly want to build your business, you have to get in front of new people and engage them in conversations.
So, are you "out in traffic?" Or are you really still only reading the "driver's manual," dreaming about being in on the road, but not actually going anywhere?
Don't wait around, telling yourself that you need to have the perfect words and all the answers ready to deliver in the best way before you begin talking with people with hopes of making them clients. Get into traffic!
Yup, it's risky! Just like when you're learning how to drive, errors could cost you big money. But, it's still the best way to learn and the only way to move toward where you want to go.
Just like when you get a little too close to the curb while turning, or realize that while you couldn't see anything in your rear-view mirror, there was actually a car in your blind spot, you'll make little mistakes when you're talking with people. You'll wish you could have said something different or asked a better question than you did to reveal more of what the prospect was thinking and feeling. That's OK – it's all part of the process.
The more you do it, the better you'll get. You might even come to love the thrill of driving, finding more prospects who are great fits for your business than you ever realized could be out there when you were still parked.
So, just like becoming an effective driver:
  1. Take the time to focus on what you're about to do. As when you drive, be aware of your surroundings and don't ever get blasé when you're approaching a prospect or client. Their safety is in your hands: respect that.
  2. Learn from your mistakes, while you keep moving forward. When you make an error of judgment behind the wheel, you don't just stop. You keep driving, learning from your mistake, and improving your performance the next time you're in similar circumstances.
  3. If someone cuts you off, just keep going. Just because someone cuts you off, you don't pull over to the side of the road and pout. If someone doesn't respond like you want or expect, let them disappear in the flow of activity around you, and keep going, staying focused on your ultimate destination.
Learn what you need to learn from the "how to" manuals, but remember nothing takes the place of getting out there.
Keep your foot to floor,


Copyright Paul Kingsman 2012

As a motivational speaker and executive coach, Paul Kingsman helps financial services professionals successfully grow their businesses by taking practical daily steps to achieve outstanding long-term results. Combining his experiences as an Olympic medalist and his background as an adviser, Paul understands how to stay focused over the long haul, as well as the unique business challenges faced by advisers. Through his professional speaking and executive coaching he equips them to overcome distractions so they can get the money they need, the clients they want, and the time to do what they love.

To find out more about how Paul can equip you or your team to achieve outstanding results, visit or email him at



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