Brevity Consulting

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The Pleat of Your Jeans (Cut of Your Jib)

Hey, the 80’s called, they want their pleated stone washed dad jeans back.  

 

I thought about something today.  My mind wanders, you see.  It has been a lifelong condition.  What I thought about was this.  What would be the goofiest clothing you could wear in front of your client and still close the deal?  Really think about it.  And if you have the stones, test your theory or challenge a colleague to a contest of creativity and will.  

 

A lot of us really “dress for success” because they believe that it boosts credibility.  This builds confidence, lowers fear of rejection and puts the wearer of those fine duds (at least in his or her mind) in a better starting place.  We play dress up to go on dates for the same reason.  We want to look our best, right?  There’s nothing wrong with that.  We want our clients to have the best experience that we can create for them.  Sometimes a casual approach is best for the client.  Other times, a more serious look is better.

But, won’t some people always pull it off a bit better?  Someone is always going to be taller, have better shoes, nicer hair, a smaller belt size or more desirable bone structure.  Some people are born wealthy, or are naturally smart or talented.  Someone will always have the upper hand in some regards and there isn’t a damned thing you can do about it.

 

However.. In other ways, the ways that count the most, you can outclass your most worthy adversaries.  Think about the thing you do best or know most about.  This might not be work related, but I’d bet that it’s something you care about.  If you’re a great surfer because you love it so much that you’ve worked at it, spending every opportunity in the water, you don’t need the newest and greatest board.  You can outsurf the weekend warriors on a yard sale board that’s held together by duct tape.  If you’re a great golfer, you can play with borrowed clubs and still hit lasers.  You may be growing enough food in your backyard to eat for a year while your neighbors harvest weeds and clip coupons for 2 for 1’s on creamed corn and succotash.  I’m sure you get the point.

 

There are some pretty good salespeople out there (By the way, we are all salespeople).  I define a great salesperson as not only great at getting the business, but doing it with perfect focus on the client’s need.  I consider myself to be in this class of people.  So, back to the pleated jeans.  I would look and feel pretty dumb in pleated jeans, but I can’t think of a situation in recent history where I wouldn’t have still made the sale wearing them.  I have a lot of experience with fashion faux pas according to my wife, so it wouldn’t be as much of  stretch for me as it would for most.  
You want to be in a position in your career where your expertise is in such demand that the quality of your work can always overcome the distraction of goofy looking pants.  This is because your clients and prospects probably have other distractions you’ll have to overcome  that you can’t see.  It could be a competitor of yours or a false preconception.  If you aren’t there, you have to spend time getting there.  If you don’t, no clothing budget, fancy watches, euro car leases or anything else done in an effort to make you look like you’re good at your job will help you.

The Improbability of Practicality

I want to have a round table exchange with those few of you all who run across my internet leavings.  Since I was a kid, I’ve had a contempt for things that seemed impractical and irrational.  I’ve also desired to know why these things that seemed idiotic to me were in practice.  I asked often, but received a lot of those answers like… “Because it’s always been that way.” or .. “If it ain’t broke..”


Here are a few of the impractical things that bothered me as a kid.  Daylight Savings Time, Neckties, Itchy Sweaters, Standing in Lines….


Let’s talk about neckties for a second.  This article of clothing makes about as much sense as a powdered wig.  Maybe less.  You know what does make sense?  A bib.  Babies and lobster eaters wear those with some measure of success in keeping their shirts clean.  Ties take longer to get around your neck and only guard a small portion of your shirt.  They’re uncomfortable, and restrictive and they cut off oxygen to your brain, which makes you stupid.  I have no concrete proof of the stupidity but I have met many tie wearing dummies.  And anecdotal evidence counts for the purpose of this article.


Let’s say it takes 2 minutes to tie one and you wear it to work for 50 weeks per year.  That means that you are wasting 500 minutes per year putting on a tie.  Seems pretty dumb to me.  Look up the origin of the neck tie if you don’t know it.


Here are a few of the things that bother me now…some more than others.  Daylight Savings Time, Neckties, I can wear whatever I want so the sweaters don’t bother me, Standing in lines, Interactions with scripted worker bees, red and green on port-a-potties but not on bathroom stalls (my wife’s gripe), Cranberry Sauce, Car Speedometers, Banker’s hours, Settled science,  Double doors and one is locked, This page is intentionally left blank, Bad Grammar, Backing into parking spots, Irrational fears, vanity, The cable and internet bill creeping up while new customers pay half, talking to the scripted cable company worker bees.  There are many more.


I better say that there are lots of impractical things (by some measure) that have value, like art and sports, but we accept that because these things entertain and inspire.  And they are fun.  We need fun in our lives.


Daylight savings time.  What benefit could it possibly have nowadays?  Time is relative, so just pick a number that matches where the Earth is, in relation to the Sun and stick to it.


Cranberry sauce.  I have no problem with it at all, but why is it only served at holidays?  It actually makes a pretty good “poor man’s currant jelly.”  It’s good on venison and pork.


Speedometers.  I drive a ford explorer.  I doubt it can achieve 160 mph.


Banker’s hours.  Let the bankers have those.  Otherwise work should be performed at each individual’s most efficient time of day.  What’s so special about the hours of 9-5 that work must be performed then?  What if you want to get done early or start late so you can do something else in the same day?  Inflexibility stifles productivity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwDMFOLIHxU


Settled Science.  During 90% of our recorded history, the Earth was flat.  50 years ago, smoking cigarettes was good for you but cannabis would kill you and make you kill others, 40 years ago, Time and Newsweek printed articles on Global Cooling, yet many people still use the words “settled science.”


This page is intentionally left blank.  No it isn’t.  It has “This page is intentionally left blank.” written on it.  And why do you hate trees?


Double doors and one is locked.  Is this a candid camera trap or something?


Backing into Parking Spots.  How could this possibly make sense unless you are planning a quick getaway with your stolen merch?  These people are like the ones who are lurking around the parking lot for a better spot.  For what?  Are you planning on buying an anvil?  Because if you are trying to save time, well, you aren’t.


We don’t have to accept any of this “that’s just the way it is” bullshit.  We can eat ice cream for breakfast or have a beer at 4:49.  We can make changes to things that make no sense to us or just ignore them.  Every time I pull into my driveway, I wonder why the hell I bought a house that has 8 different roof lines.  I don’t recall having a few thousand extra dollars burning a hole in my pocket that I couldn’t wait to spend on impractical architecture, but here I sit.
Tell me about the things that make no sense to you.  And let’s talk about how to change them.

The Overcloser, The Undertaker and Other Nomenclature

Ever wanted to tell someone to shut the hell up?  I have.  This is not because I’m an asshole, though that could be argued.  It’s because I have a desire to help.  We can talk about why some people like being helpful while others prefer to see their peers fail at a different time.

The best salespeople stop at “Yes” instead of rambling on.  Why?  Because after the “Yes,” anything you say in an attempt to strengthen your client’s conviction has the opposite effect.  Think of the Overcloser as a clingy girlfriend or boyfriend.  These people tend to be insecure, suspicious, and too accommodating.  The things you found attractive about this clingy girl, guy or salesperson get eroded by their own exaggeration.

It isn’t always what they say after the close has been made.  It is the way they are making the client feel about them.  And the feeling is pursued, or let’s say overpursued. You don’t have to attain the level of Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction” to make your prospect feel overpursued.

People want what they can’t have.  You can create power in the ability to deny access to yourself.  You have to make yourself desirable.  Then you have to hold something back, or at least seem like you are.  You have to be a little mysterious if you want to be the best at sales.  The Overcloser reveals everything and saves nothing for a later time.  All used up, the Overcloser gets tossed out with nothing to show for his efforts but a new hatred for white bunnies.

Let’s talk about what’s at the other end of the spectrum.  The Undertaker.  Yes, the wrestler.  I wouldn’t say my 11 year old son has revived my childhood interest in professional wrestling.  However, I noticed as he is watching the WWE on Hulu, that The Undertaker is still just as I remember.  He is a man of very few words and in the business of sports entertainment, he seems much less clownish than the rest.  Here is what is important.  Among his peers, he seems to carry uncommon credibility.  His character/persona has worked for over 25 years making The Undertaker the longest running character in pro wrestling.  Take it for what it’s worth, but you can draw inspiration from some pretty varied sources.  In this instance, we can use some characteristics in our practices.  Here are a couple.

Stoic:  He takes blows without showing pain, emotion.

Laconic:  Using few words to make a point.

Look, even if you do know everything about your product, that does not mean the client wants to know.  Your best clients don’t want to know how the sausage is made.  If you force too much info on them, they will lose their appetite.  Be strong, but welcoming.  Ask perfect questions and give anvil solid responses.  Learn how to sell the right way so you don’t show the anxiousness of the Overcloser.  Be a Goalminer (Or a Goalminer’s daughter if you’re a country singer).  Dig through all the worthless info and figure out what your client’s goals are.  Then put something in place that helps the client achieve them.

-Insurance Professor

Bruce Lee, Sales Genius

Just when you think you have something unique, you find out someone has done it before.  In this case, the “Brevity” style of selling was invented for the purpose of fighting 50 years ago.

Bruce Lee changed martial arts by taking something with rules and rigidity and stripped away all the restrictions to make it simple, quick, powerful and fluid.

“I have not invented a “new style,” composite, modified or otherwise that is set within distinct form as apart from “this” method or “that” method. On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds…. The extraordinary part of it lies in its simplicity….There is nothing artificial about it. I always believe that the easy way is the right way. Jeet Kune Do is simply the direct expression of one’s feelings with the minimum of movements and energy.”

— Bruce Lee

Consider the relationship between the rigidity of sales training and selling and that of many of the traditional forms of Karate.  Have you ever been frustrated by a person who you could tell was reading from a script?  Over the phone maybe?  How about at the bank, car lot, jewelry store?  How do you feel when you know the pitch is scripted?

I earned my black belt in Tang Soo Do at the age of 14 and can tell you first hand that there is a very frustrating framework for sparing and 3 point matches.  I really value the 5 years or so that I was there, but I got bored.  Looking back, I wish there had been something like Jeet Kune Do in my small town.

Let’s talk about some of the core techniques of Jeet Kune Do and how they are similar to the Brevity selling techniques.

The Straight Lead:This is a quick straight punch that starts closer to the opponent.

-This is similar to our techniques for gathering key information with direct and honest questions.

The Non-Telegraphed Punch:  This is a technique whereby the fighter remains loose with no “get ready poses,” twitches, tensing up or drawing back to strike.

-This reminds me of the casual nature of our approach.  You often hear me talking about  shiny wingtips, bow ties, etc.  We teach that you can look expensive to your prospect, thus telegraphing.  The intention for Bruce Lee and Brevity is for the opponent or client to remain at ease.

Economy of motion:  This is based on the ideas of Simplicity, Efficiency and Directness.

-What could be more “Brevity” than that?  Our company and platform is named for these ideas.

Simultaneous Parrying and Punching: This is a way of simultaneously redirecting a blow from an opponent and throwing a strike.

-I like this one.  It reminds me of a technique we teach of not telling the client he or she is wrong, but instead focusing on and agreeing with only the portion they got right and simultaneously steering the conversation down that path.

Low Kicks: This is a technique of keeping your kicks at or below the midsection.  This puts your target closer to the foot and minimizes to risk of throwing yourself off balance.

-I teach my agents to shoot for small commitments from the client.  Getting several small commitments is better than trying to land one giant roundhouse to the face.

Be Like Water:  “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.  Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

-Bruce Lee

I don’t really expect this to ring true for all of my readers.  Some of you, who have either bought from a rigid salesman or who have been trained to sell the old way can relate.  Like Bruce Lee pushed Karate forward, our goal is to push selling forward.  Some of the old techniques will remain in practice for years to come.  After all, humans are humans.  We will even incorporate a few of the ones that work.  What we will not do is abide by a set of old standards when we can get better results with a new way.

-Insurance Professor

Clint Eastwood, Sales Genius

“Ever notice how you come across somebody once in awhile you shouldn’t have messed with? That’s me.”  Clint Eastwood “Gran Torino”

Ever notice how you come across someone once in awhile who is always unmistakably blunt and honest?  That’s Clint Eastwood.

If you have read my Maya Angelou article or seen the video Maya Angelou, Sales Genius, the theme is that people remember the way you make them feel.  Clint Eastwood intentionally starves the audience of dialogue only to bludgeon them with a few sharp words of truth delivered through his gritted teeth.  He wastes no words, yet his characters share a similarity.  Honesty.  Eastwood never uses any doublespeak or fuzzy language.  The audience knows where he stands without him having to try and convince them of anything.

clint-eastwood-dirty-harry-cop-movie-legacy

As a salesman, you may be a great speaker whose voice is music to your own ears.  If so, it has to be gratifying that you’ve got an audience who might pay you at the end of your perfectly delivered sales pitch.  What if you just perfectly delivered honesty?  Would that work better?

Sales pitches are written specifically to get people to buy.  They are not written to tell the truth.  Otherwise, no one would ever buy overpriced pieces of shit (OPOS).  In order to be able to exude truth, you have sell the right thing to the right client and do it with rock steady conviction.

“You have to feel confident. If you don’t, then you’re going to be hesitant and defensive, and there’ll be a lot of things working against you.” Clint Eastwood

So how do you attain this Eastwood kind of confidence?  You have to learn everything about the material you are delivering and everything about the client buying it.  We built our Insurance Professor Consulting Program for licensed insurance agents, so that they can deliver products to clients the best possible way.  I’m talking about the way that ends with happy clients and more income.

Here’s the rest.  I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of saying whatever I want without worrying what anyone else thinks.  It’s freeing.  I am not talking about insulting people.  I am talking about being honest with people for their own good and mine.  In my business, there has been a lot of effort put behind shielding the client from what he or she is actually buying.  I think the whole idea of it is idiotic.  Calling it “Mortgage Protection,” so you don’t have to say the words “Life Insurance” is weak.  Our training program is not about hiding things from the client.  It isn’t about wasting words.  It isn’t about driving Euro sedans and wearing shiny wing tips.  It’s about making it happen.

Some of our consulting clients already learned a different method of selling.  The old method.  Well, the old way is losing to the Brevity way.  I am not telling you that it is easy to forget the old way and adopt something new.  It is actually pretty difficult, which is why you will see the old way in practice for probably around 10 more years.  But, if you think you should be closing more and bigger business, you have to take the plunge.  The good thing about our system is that you have peers around you who are making or have made the same changes to their practices.

“To make a fighter you gotta strip them down to bare wood: you can’t just tell ’em to forget everything you know if you gotta make ’em forget even their bones… make ’em so tired they only listen to you, only hear your voice, only do what you say and nothing else… show ’em how to keep their balance and take it away from the other guy… how to generate momentum off their right toe and how to flex your knees when you fire a jab… how to fight backin’ up so that the other guy doesn’t want to come after you. Then you gotta show ’em all over again. Over and over and over… till they think they’re born that way.” Clint Eastwood, “Million Dollar Baby”

Insurance Buyers, Static or Metamorphic

My 10 year old son is in homeschool.  His best and favorite subject is Science (mine too).  He and my wife get to do all kinds of cool science classes and experiments.  I am not very involved in the lessons except when I overhear what they’re working on and feel compelled to interject with a very important theory of my own.  Typically, I find that my speculation is undervalued by the two of them.

Earlier today, I heard the words, “Static” and “Metamorphic” in reference to earth science.  I thought about how these two words are perfect to describe people who buy stuff.  We have addressed the idea that consumers buy differently now than they did in the past, but I want to talk quickly about the rate of change.

First off, the Insurance industry is very slow moving, kind of like a three toed sloth.  For decades, the same type of sales training has been used for these 2 reasons.  The products have been fairly consistent over long stretches of time and people have consistently fallen for the same sales pitches.

But, there has been a change.  Did people get smarter all of a sudden?  No.  They did not.  They used an information gathering tool that became available.  It used to be that if you needed information on life insurance, you reached out to an agent.  If he gave you a queasy feeling and if you wanted a second opinion on life insurance, you reached out to another agent.  At some point though, you had to buy or you would have invested too much time shopping to justify the savings you may have achieved.  In other words, a person is only willing to dedicate a specific amount of time to learning about a particular good or service before deciding to buy it or not.

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About, 15 years ago, people were still getting their first look at life insurance products through the agent but then seeking validation of their queasy feelings through the internet.  Even when internet speeds were that slow, you could now figure out that you were being pitched something that sucked… and you didn’t have to burn time getting in front of another agent.

Fast forward to today.  In just 15 short years, the captive/career agent system for life insurance is crumbling.  Career agents are being laid off because consumers are too well informed to buy from them.  Even those who still work for life insurance companies are often allowed to sell other companies’ products because if they do not, the consumer will just buy the best priced product somewhere else.  The carriers are being forced to innovate.  They are finally using online applications and are closing offices because no one walks in any more.

Neck ties are being sent to GoodWill for greatly overestimated tax deduction values.  The best, most talented agents of today are independent.  They are smarter about the industry and product, yet much more casual.  They address the need and help the client buy the right thing instead of selling the merit of a one size fits all product.  I think i may have been one of the very first life insurance salesman to abandon slacks for jeans.

The flow of information in the last 15 years has made a metamorphic change, which has been the catalyst for changes in the whole industry.  The need for life insurance has remained static.  And this may surprise you but the client has really only made a minor change in the way he or she buys.

In general, people want the same thing they always wanted.  They want to take care of their families.  They want to understand what they are buying.  They want to buy it at the right price.  And all things being equal, they prefer to buy from a person.  But, old methods of selling will feel more and more uncomfortable to the client.  I believe those methods will eventually be abandoned by the industry.

No For Now, And No Forever!

If you are in sales, you have heard “No” many times over.  There have been hundreds of sales training programs that are focused on dealing with rejection.  Many of these are based on clarifying what “no” actually means to the client and then focusing on solving that issue.  Here are just a few of the reasons for hearing “no.”

  1. I don’t understand.
  2. I am not the decision maker.
  3. Now is not a good time.
  4. Your price is too high.
  5. You don’t have what I need.
  6. I don’t trust you.

So, I am definitely a proponent of digging deeper to make sure that the client is getting the best experience, price and product.  And I agree that when your client tells you “no,” it is possible to turn that into an eventual “yes.”  But what I don’t get is why anyone would accept the idea that they should hear “no” so often.  If you hear “no” for any of the reasons above, it’s because you screwed up somewhere.  Most of the time it is because you talked too much, your prospect talked too little and you have no understanding of what motivates this person to buy.  If you are friendly and likeable, the result of this is probably “No for Now.”

images-2

Why so much “no”?  Because sales training is too focused on the product.  If sales is focused on the client, and you are a good salesman, you can understand your client so well that you may never hear the word “no.”  Don’t believe me?  I can’t even remember the last time I got a “no” in a client meeting.  I strive to understand the client to the extent that I will not even ask them to buy if I know I cannot help them in a significant way.  I typically don’t have ask them to buy at all because my clients and I are on the same team and we are pursuing the solution together.  To be fair, I hear “no” enough at home from my wife that I have strived to eliminate the word from my work day.  Thank you honey, you have made me the man I am today.

What about “No Forever?”  Most salespeople do not know when “no forever” has happened to them or why.  Here are a few reasons for “no forever.”

  1. You pushed a product that made no sense or the price was too high and the client found something much better somewhere else.
  2. You were rude or crass.
  3. You got a bad review from a former client.
  4. You didn’t do what you said you would do.
  5. You smell, ask dumb questions, sound like an idiot.
  6. You oversell.

The main reason for a “no forever” is when the client has a profoundly great buying experience with someone else.  You will never get that client back.

You want to be (You Have To Be) the guy or gal who is the best at selling and who has the best product to sell.  Then you’ll have to get all your “no’s” at home, like me.
-Insurance Professor

Maya Angelou, Sales Genius.

I have been thinking about some of my consulting clients who seem to have difficulty separating the client’s desire for information from their own.  Some of my consulting clients are natural sponges of information.  This is what attracted them to us in the first place.  What I see happening sometimes is that we are focusing too much on information and not on how the client feels.

We all have clients who place a lot of value on the experience of learning something that they think they would not have learned from another salesman.  In this regard, the scarcity of this information is what makes it valuable.  But, once trust has been earned, spending more time getting deeper in the weeds gives you a diminishing return.

 

A client can only retain so much, so giving away more than a practical amount of information can end up reducing your chance to make the sale.  This amount of information is different for everyone.  Five minutes of education may be perfect for some clients where others need thirty minutes or more.  I would contend that very few people ever want or need more than 45 minutes of solid information to decide to work with you.  I personally try to limit the info dump to around 15 minutes.

 

But why do people really buy from you and keep on buying from you?  They buy from you because of the way they feel when they interact with you.  Maya Angelou said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

 

Did you know it has been proven that Doctors with good bedside manner have healthier patients?  This is because anxiety is so bad for you.  Doctors who you like, lower your anxiety and the ones you don’t like raise your anxiety.

 

So what is the best way to make your client feel?  If someone pinned me down on it, I would tell them that i want my clients to feel at ease.

 

Remember though, that we want the clients to take action.  It is our job to make that happen.  So we want the client to feel at ease before, during and after taking action.

-Inurance Professor

Why Aflac Agents Are Throwing So Much Money Away

Ladies and Gents of Aflac, first let me say that you are some of the most fearless, hardest working people in the insurance business.  I really like being around you all and I respect you.  If you have made it through the first couple of years and are making a good living then you’ve dealt with enough rejection to make a lesser person suicidal.  It also means that you have a gift.  You understand people and you know what motivates them.

 

Recently, I did some work with an owner of a local company that has about 50 employees.  As I was asking about their benefits, he mentioned that he had an Aflac agent who had been servicing the company for a couple of years in addition to the group health broker.  The company owner seemed to like both the health insurance broker and the Aflac agent.  There were a couple of employees who had made claims and received benefits, which definitely makes the risk feel more real to those who were not participating in any of the Aflac plans.  This meant that the agent was able to get back in there and enroll more employees the next time he was through the door.

 

 

The business owner, who is generally more accessible and friendly than many of his peers in business had even sat down with the Aflac guy, though he told me that “they really didn’t have what I needed.”  

 

So let me get right to the point.  What he did need was a simple review of his current personal insurance, some legacy planning suggestions and some help in identifying a business income risk due to loss of key people.  All of this took me very little time to accomplish and the result was great client satisfaction and much more commission than was earned by the Aflac guy….about $44,000 to be exact.  I am not telling you this to brag.  I consider myself lucky that the Aflac agent did not have the tools to get this done.  He certainly had the relationship, which is the hardest part.

 

So if this was so easy to accomplish, then why didn’t the Aflac agent do it?  There are 3 simple answers to this question.

 

  1. He did not understand the potential.  In a 50 person company, the Aflac agent usually only focuses on the rank and file employees and what they will buy.  Each employee may be a potential of $200 in commission.  Get 15 people to buy from you and you’ve had a great day.  What you’re missing is that the earnings potential is easily 10 times that amount if you understand where to look.

  1. He did not know the next few questions to ask.  And this is simply because he never learned the next few questions.  Aflac agents are independent, which means they can sell other company’s’ insurance products.  But, how would it benefit Aflac to train their sales force to sell something that Aflac doesn’t have?

  1. No marketplace for the higher end buyers.  Contracts with the right carriers are easy to get.  Wholesalers are falling over themselves to give away brokerage contracts that give you access to the whole world of Life and Disability carriers.  They are not all created equal.  Some come pretty much bare bones, while others come with a ton of great service.

You may be asking… Why would he reveal all this?  The reason is that the life insurance industry is so under-served that I decided to build a new consulting program, just for Independent Aflac Agents.  

 

We have already built 2 successful platforms for Wealth Managers and Property and Casualty agents.  Even though this is more specifically targeted, I already know this platform has the most revenue potential of the three.  This is because of a proprietary formula we use to measure measure income potential.  Aflac agents consistently score a higher number. The average lost potential revenue is well over $100,000 per agent.

 

Use this link http://www.meetme.so/insuranceprofessor1 to sign up for a spot on my calendar.   I will respond to you with a link where you can sign up for a 20 minute call where I will tell you how it works.

 

P.S.  This program is for experienced agents only.  We ask that you have a minimum of 1 year experience before signing up for the call.

 

P.P.S.  One of the first questions I am often asked is, “Do you still sell insurance?”  The answer is YES and I do not plan to stop.  Here is why.  Most sales coaches, trainers, consultants gave up a career in sales to teach.  The problem is that trends change.  What worked 5 years ago may not work today.  I stay in the business because I like it and so I can keep my material fresh and current.

Don’t Be Like Chester Copperpot

Who the hell is Chester Copperpot?  Come on.  You’ve seen “The Goonies” if you were watching HBO back in the 80’s when this was the intro to all the prime time movies they played…  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1NKoMNy5bY

And shame on you if you have not seen “The Goonies.”   Watch it with your kids, for Heaven’s sake.  Watch it again if it’s been a while.

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Chester Copperpot preceded Goonies in the hunt for One Eyed Willie’s treasure.  He was motivated and confident.  He had some knowledge, skill and experience.  He generally knew where the treasure was.  He also had a tool (Copper Bones, which was the skull shaped key).  He was crushed in a booby trap, but even if he had made it further, he wouldn’t have gotten the treasure.  Remember the musical notes on the back of the treasure map that he didn’t have?  

The mistake Chester Copperpot made is that he overestimated the amount of knowledge he had, or he underestimated the amount of knowledge it would take to get the rich stuff.

Too many people are satisfied with the tired old sales practices of the past. They make lazy excuses for not getting sales made or blame it on some numbers rule that someone else told you.  Here’s the numbers rule I learned at my first job in life insurance.  I was told that I had to speak with 10 people to set 3 meetings to make 1 sale.  Today I know that talking to 10 people to make 1 sale would be an epic failure.

Have you ever lost a sale or didn’t make something happen that you wanted to happen and you didn’t know why?  I can tell you the reason.  About 95% of the time it’s because you didn’t have the knowledge and the tools you needed.  The question you should always ask after a disappointment is “Could anyone have done it?”  I talking about the best person in the world or even someone with a few months more experience than you.  If the answer is yes, then it’s your fault and you need to fix it.

Things move really fast now.  Technology and trends move lightning fast.  People get information differently now than ever before.  This means that consumers buy differently now, but sales training has not kept pace.  If the sale is the treasure, then you have to be equipped with the right knowledge and tools to get it.  Don’t be like Chester Copperpot.  Spend time learning, get the rich stuff and then do the truffle shuffle.

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