The most expensive mistake of your career

By Lew Nason

Insurance Pro Shop


Why is it that most insurance agents, financial advisors, and financial planners will spend huge amounts of their time and thousands of their hard earned dollars on learning about a hot new sales idea or a hot new product, buying and learning the latest software, or earning the latest industry designation? But, when it comes to learning and mastering the two most critical success functions of their business that will that will make their career a whole lot easier, more fun, and extremely profitable, they can't seem to find the time or the money?

If having the latest and best sales ideas, products, software and designations are the actual keys to success in this industry, then why are 80 percent of the people who enter the industry failing and leaving the industry within the first four or five years? Why are the majority of the surviving people earning less than $50,000 per year?

Do you want to do more than survive in this industry? Do you want to be earning a significant six-figure income and be enjoying your career? Then isn't it time for you to learn and master the two critical keys to success in this industry?

What's the first critical function for success in the financial services industry?

How much easier and profitable would you business be if you had a consistent flow of the right qualified prospects? The people you have the best chance of selling? Is that one of your main problems? Well you can, if you'll spend more of your time and money learning how to identify and consistently attract the right prospects to you. And, that's about learning all you can about marketing your services.

Consider, if you focus on finding and attracting the right prospects, it's much easier to set appointments, close sales, and make larger sales.

Plus, when you're working with the right prospects, you'll have fewer cancelled appointments, fewer not-taken policies, fewer declined applications, fewer lapsed policies, etc.

Simply stated, marketing is everything you do to place your product or service in the minds of potential customers. It includes advertising, public relations, image branding, and distribution. It's getting the right message to the right people, at the right time.

You might think of marketing this way: If sales is all about people and money and the art of persuading one to part from the other, then marketing is all about finding and attracting the right people to persuade.

Author and humorist S.H. Simmons relates this anecdote: "If a young man tells his date she's intelligent, looks lovely, and is a great conversationalist, he's saying the right things to the right person, and that's marketing. If the young man tells his date how handsome, smart and successful he is, that's advertising. If someone else tells the young woman how handsome, smart and successful her date is, that's public relations."

What's the second critical function for success in the financial services industry?

Whether it's setting an appointment or closing the sale, most agents, advisors, and planners are only getting a small portion of their prospects to take action right now. Be completely honest with yourself. Are you having the same problem?

You could be setting many more appointments and close many more (and larger) sales, if you spend the time and money to improve your sales skills.

Sales is being interested in other people and in making those people's lives better. Sales skills are how you draw others out, making them feel important, and get to know them well enough to determine how you can truly help them.

The who, what, where, when, how and why questions are the number one tool the salesperson has for managing sales calls. It's surprising how many salespeople are poor performers when it comes to asking the right questions. Don't be afraid to ask a prospect why he or she feels a certain way. That's how you'll get to understand your prospect and make them a client.

The best questions identify the problem and actually "open" the sale. And you can't close a sale unless you've opened it.

Let face it, you can have all the greatest sales ideas, the most innovative products, the latest software, and a list of designations after your name, but if you aren't able to attract the right prospects to you and then get them to take action, you'll continue to struggle in this business.

The unfortunate part is that your companies, marketing organizations, managers, and recruiters are providing very little if any intensive training on these two very critical success functions. And why should they? Aren't there plenty of people for them to choose from, who want a career in the financial services industry?

If you want to succeed short-term and long-term in this industry, then it's up to you to get the marketing and sales skills training you need and want right now.

The question is, where do you find the marketing and sales skills training you need?

Unfortunately, there are very few people in our industry who are actually offering in-depth marketing and sales skills training.

There are lots people offering great sales ideas and product information, like LEAP, Missed Fortune, Money for Life, Infinite Banking, Circle of Wealth, The Wealth Preservation Institute, Annuity Selling Systems, Pension Concepts, College Funding Solutions, and others. The problem is that they are primarily offering sales concepts, with very little, if any, real marketing or sales skills training.

Then there are all of the marketing companies that will tell you they have a great foolproof lead system that will put you in front of a ton of people. These are either just recruiters in disguise, or are selling expensive ongoing services that empty your wallet.

Finally, there are the FMOs, IMOs, and other recruiting organizations that will promise you the world, just to get you to contract with their companies. Then they leave you flat.

There are very few people that are actually providing comprehensive marketing and sales skills training, specifically for this industry. And there are fewer yet that have the proven industry credentials and experience, with industry leader endorsements and testimonials from successful agents, advisors and planners.

Marketing and sales skills training is not sexy or exciting. It's just what makes your business a lot easier, more rewarding, more fun and extremely profitable.

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