HOLLYWOOD, FLA. - Program managers and bank advisors may not agree on everything, but most likely they see eye-to-eye on one thing: the desire to increase an advisor’s production.

Two sessions at the Bank Insurance & Securities Association’s annual conference this week focused on this theme. Tony Cole of Anthony Cole Training Group presented insights on coaching strategies in his session “Precision Coaching.” Nathan Bergeland, founder of SuccessQuest, a provider of productivity tracking software for financial institutions, discussed the importance of tracking referral activity in his session “Referral and Activity Management.”

Cole’s primary focus was on long term coaching as opposed to “in the moment” coaching. While in the moment coaching helps to make the sale right now and is an important and necessary part of coaching, it doesn’t change anything beyond that instance, Cole said. “Changing and improving behavior requires time.”

While sales coaches are exceptional salespeople, they aren’t necessarily good coaches, Cole said. Successful coaching requires taking the time to understand the root causes of the ‘symptoms’ or signs of less-than-optimal performance.

Symptoms include things like not closing or prospecting, a lack of motivation, and losing out to an incumbent or losing on price. The root cause of an advisors’ underperformance goes deeper and includes things like a lack of desire to succeed, poor self-image, difficulty recovering from rejection or discomfort discussing money.

The list of symptoms goes on and on, but coaches have to find and address the root cause, to coach advisors effectively, Cole said.

Meanwhile, Bergeland’s session dug into the importance of measuring referral and other activity to improve overall production. His mantra, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” sums up his take on referral activity.

The more referrals you get, the more revenue you get, Bergeland said.  “It’s not rocket science, but many don’t have a specific process in place to measure it.”

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