A Story On How To Grow a Book Of Business to $50 million in 3 years

Rejected for the opportunity I wanted

I had just left the military, debated on a career in Healthcare and the next chapter of my life. We all have been in situations like this. Uncertainty, fear of the unknown, failure, doubt and all those little demons that can spread like wildfire if you don;t keep them in check or know how to handle them.

I had applied for a lot in the Physician Assistant program at Rochester Institute of Technology. I guess transfers and ex-military with extensive medical experience and exposure were not quite welcome. I wont even get started on the issues and selectivity higher education possess, but lets move on.

The odd part was that morning, I had a dream I received a letter I was rejected. Like any other stressful dream, I woke up in a panic and sweat to only shake it off as a dream.

It was a dream until the mail came a few hours later stating “We regret to inform you”…. I did not need to read the rest of it.

The feeling of rejection when you have your sights set on something feels like someone piled your body weight on your shoulders… Everything felt much heavier that day.

Back to the drawing board.

Did not care if I did or did not get the job

After finally shaking off the events of the PA program, I received a message from a LinkedIn recruiter promoting a Financial Advisor Development Program at a top 5 firm.

This was a position I was offered back when I graduated from college to only be rescinded due to the housing crisis. The firm was acquired as it nearly fell similar to the fate of Bear Stearn’s.

I came into the interview with the head of the program at that local branch. We were close in age and had a conservation where filters did not exist. I would have came in speaking like that to anyone that was in front of me. I was still sour about my recent rejection and debated pursuing it in the military.

However, he said he would pass on high-remarks to the Managing Director and basically his yes or no was good enough for the director to make a decision

I left feeling better but if I was to pursue this, it would still be an uphill battle.

Failure is an option, just not the one we want

There was a 12-15% success rate in the Financial Advisor program I was involved in. There was little direct support which acts like a double edge sword, but I preferred the latitude and freedom without someone breathing down my neck (Other branches had some SERIOUS micromanaging).

You had windows of 3 months before termination. First came a written warning, a verbal, then the boot.

The goal was to constantly stay ahead of those hurdles by making sure my time was well spent

Outline, develop and sharpen the systems that lead to new clients

Here are the most important systems that were developed to develop and maintain a full pipeline. It is critical that you document these.

  1. Name and Data Gathering

2. Prospecting messages or marketing material that will peak their interest

3. Do the $1,000/hr tasks, outsource the $100/hr

4. I should have a list ready to go the very next day

5. Time is blocked off, door is locked or a sign is up stating “Do Not Disturb” for those in the bull pen

Leveraged other platforms with little success

Be prepared to use 3-4 different sources of information to gather the appropriate contact information, data to help your marketing efforts.

I knew these individuals had extremely hectic lives, a family (most of the time) and had constantly had stock options or other grants coming due.

This gave me a good marketing angle into a first and second meeting. I highly recommend this a a market to go after.