Visualization Techniques Help Financial Advisors Succeed
Visualization is a technique used by many top athletes to help them stay at the top of their game. It’s what athletes call ‘mental rehearsal’. They develop clear pictures in their mind of what they want to happen, and repeat these images over and over, rehearsing the mind to enable the body to perform what has been visualized. It’s a highly effective technique with some studies reporting that practicing visualization improves performance almost as much as physical practice alone.
Visualization is not just for athletes either. It’s a highly valuable tool that can help you to succeed in your career as a financial advisor.
What is visualization?
Alejandro Reyes, in a recent blog post describes visualization as:
Re-creating all the images, sounds and feelings in your mind surrounding an activity in order to practice in a perfect environment.
Visualization activates the subconscious mind alerting it to new and creative ways of achieving your goals, and then motivates you to take the necessary action to make those dreams real. It works by strengthening the paths for a skill in the brain, and is effective because your mind doesn’t know you’re imagining the skill. It acts as though you are practicing the skill in real life.
The visual aspect is integral but in order to perfect the art of visualization you need to introduce the smells and sounds of the imagined experience too, right down to the way things actually feel.
Top golfers visualize not only the visual elements of an imagined scene but the smell of the grass, the chatter of the crowd, how warm the sun feels and the sensation of the club hitting the ball.
The more sensory input you throw in, the more real the visualization will be and the better it will work. Incorporate difficult situations, scenarios that might stop you from achieving your preferred result. Then imagine yourself reacting to them. Imagine you’re losing that game of golf – how can you turn it around? Imagine distractions that you are able to tune out.
Take it step by step
Like all things in life it’s easier to start small when it comes to practicing visualization. Use visualization techniques to solve problems step by step. Rather than simply focusing on the ultimate goal, for example how you feel when you’ve just opened that new account – try to imagine the processes or steps that get you there.
To use the analogy of sports again its ‘perfecting their passes’, rather than visualizing on winning the match, that helps players transform their game.
You need to see the possibilities and obstacles that may hinder you rather than just imaging the positive outcome alone. Think about the possible traits or behaviors that are preventing you from achieving these aims. This is where visualization is highly useful because it forces you to see the obstacles as they really are. It reveals that you are personally responsible for your success or failure and that things are within the locus of your control. There’s no point blaming your prospects if they walk away from you, the responsibility is yours.
Is it your tendency to talk too much? Do you fail to understand your client’s objections? If so then make a point of talking less, make it a habit to ask more questions.
Once you’ve perfected the art of visualization both your work and personal life will become transformed. Practice visualization techniques regularly and surround yourself with positive people. Engage with mentors who can help you develop and walk through visualization techniques with you. You will soon feel more in control of your life, with a greater ability to overcome obstacles and adversity.
Develop the habit of feeling like a winner and once you’ve visualized yourself as a top advisor put your focus on the real task in hand. Pick up the phone and make your next appointment. Return the call you should have already returned. Once you’ve visualized what you need to do – get back into the moment and feel a real sense of accomplishment.