Do you ever wish you were more successful in the financial services industry? Do you ever find yourself wondering why others have $10 to $20 million in production while you only have $5 million or less?
I can honestly relate to your situation. I opened my insurance/investment business in 1987 and spent my first 16 years with New York Life. Although I had outstanding sales skills and product knowledge, I felt like I was always one prospect short of unemployment. Through carefully planned and executed seminars, I have now reached annual sales in excess of $25 million.
One of the greatest leaders of World War II -- perhaps one of the greatest military leaders in history -- was General George S. Patton, Jr. He has often been referred to as "Old Blood and Guts." He was responsible for the capture and imprisonment of 1.25 million Germans and for defeating another half a million on the battlefield. He accomplished this with an army of only 250,000 soldiers. General Patton mentored under General John J. Pershing. From this great leader, he learned the importance of discipline and attention to detail. Patton further understood that he could not fight his battles alone; therefore, he trained and surrounded himself with soldiers who were inspired by their general to achieve things that many considered impossible. Of the controversial general, Harold Alexander wrote, "He loved his men and they loved him. I have been with him at the front when he was greeted with demonstrations of affection by his soldiers, and there were -- as I saw for myself -- tears running down his cheeks."
To reach your greatest potential, I recommend entering a mentoring program and surrounding yourself with people who share your vision and values.
If you want to learn the ways of top producers, consider taking part in a mentoring program. When I mentor advisors, they have the opportunity to spend time with me on the road, attending one of my seminars and sitting in on my meetings with prospects and clients. I teach them how I am able to close 70 percent of my business during the first appointment. I then take them "behind the scenes" at my home office in Dillon, S.C., where they witness the marketing and client relations support that allows me to generate successful leads and have the time to follow up on them.
Let me make it clear that there is no "magic bullet" to my success. My first seminars were held in a technical college, with catering by Chick-Fil-A. As I've already mentioned, success in this business is not a matter of luck. Success comes through relationships, staff, focus and passion. I have surrounded myself with people who share my ethical beliefs and standards. I have a great staff who take care of matters in the office so that I can conduct my seminars and hold appointments with my prospects. I've also learned of the amazing sales opportunities that exist with my clients. Approximately two-thirds of my $28 million of production in 2008 came from my clients, either by adding to their existing accounts or by sending me their referrals.
Good mentoring packages also typically include detailed procedures manuals as well as support calls from the mentor to make sure you stay on track. If you aspire to become a top producer, utilizing this type of individualized training is one of the best ways to lead you there.
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