"They can conquer who believe they can."
--Virgil (70 B.C. - 19 B.C.)
While I know that some of you are thinking I am going to start preaching right now (and maybe I should), I actually wanted to spend some time on the importance of our core thoughts. What you believe about your business, the marketplace, and most importantly, what you think about yourself will largely determine how successful you are. Think I'm exaggerating? Read on.
First, what you believe about your business has a direct impact on how you will present it to prospects. If you believe the annuity company you represent or the products you sell are somehow inferior, it can't possibly have anything but a negative effect on your production. How can you confidently sell something you believe to be inferior? So, step one is to once again review the things about the annuity company you sell that make the company unique and strong. What is it about the company that a prospect would find enticing? Secondly, what is it about the product that is so good? Would you invest in it? If you go into a client interview with weak convictions about your company and your product, you will get weak results.
Next, you need to see the marketplace as a "sales-neutral" environment. In other words, the market is what we make of it. Some agents believe that if the market goes up, their sales of equity-linked annuities will go down because people will want to invest in the market. Others stay put due to a belief that if the market goes down, they can't sell because people don't want to miss the upswing. Both beliefs present potential stumbling blocks to a sale. So you have to take the head trash out and start looking at the market as a neutral environment. It could be beneficial -- whether it goes up or down. If it goes up, everybody wants in, but with a little downside protection. If it goes down, everybody wants in because they all know you are supposed to buy low and sell high. These are simple illustrations, and I know you can think of more reasons why no matter where the market is, it's always a good time to invest in an equity-linked asset.
Third, and probably most important, is what you think about yourself. One of the beliefs you must own is the fact that you are an incredibly valuable person in your own right. I know it's hard to think in these terms, but on a scale of one to 10, you were born a 10 and you will not lose any value your entire life. I don't care if you've been rejected, beaten, or consider yourself a failure, your value doesn't come from what you do, it comes from what you are -- a person. By virtue of being born in this universe, you have incredible, unimaginable worth. That is the truth; not a theory. You are a 10 and you need to believe it and live it.
Additionally, other significant influences come from the beliefs we carry with us about money (how much am I worth), our skill level, our past performances (good and bad), and the amount of mental noise each day that comes from our environment. There's a lot more to consider in this area, like your mind, body and spirit, to name just a few. I'll give you an example. People who grow up in a home where their parents fought over money -- which is often a source of family woes -- believe that a lot of the pain came as a result of money. The reality is that it was probably due in large part either to the inability to make enough money or to manage money well. So, the children often turn into adults who believe money is bad because it caused so much damage. They have had to overcome the negative beliefs they had about money. They have had to address the truth that money isn't evil; money is neutral. It's what you believe about money that matters. What you believe matters. I can guarantee you that if you think money is evil, you will have a hard time earning a lot of it. If you think you aren't worth a half a million dollars a year, I can guarantee you won't ever make half a million dollars.
It's important to note here that in order to change a belief, you have to somehow internalize it until it's part of your DNA. How do you do it? Here are some suggestions:
- Research your beliefs in such a way that you know more about you than ever before. (Yes, that means you have to read!)
- Write the belief you want to master on a 3x5 card, fold up the card and carry it in your pocket so that every time you put your hand in your pocket, you touch it and it reminds you of your new belief.
- Another idea is to make sure and tell someone the belief every day. One person a day is all it takes if you do it for about six weeks.
- Read and find articles that support your new belief.
You can probably think of a few more, but be intentional about your beliefs. They are affecting your production today and will continue to affect your production every day. So, what do you believe about your business, the market and you? Beliefs matter!
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