​Simple questions about your future sales

By Lew Nason

Insurance Pro Shop

An average human life lasts for only 650,000 hours. Can you really waste even one more hour without a proper action plan for your life and career?

You decide now. You will quickly find reasons to justify your decision. So make up your mind immediately and be settled with this once and for all. As an insurance agent, financial planner or money advisor, you are likely to fall within one of the major groups below, identified by the Insurance Information Institute.

Where will you rank tomorrow?

Group A

The 10 percent who sell 80 percent of the financial products and services sold each year, help the most clients and build personal wealth for themselves. (Until the present economic recession, this group contained 20 percent — a huge decline resulted!)

Group B

The 10 percent who, each year, earn $50,000 to $100,000.

Group C

The 60 percent to 70 percent who struggle for sales and remain average or typical producers, earning $35,000 to $50,000 yearly.

Group D

The 25 percent to 30 percent who drop out each year. They give up and quit.

Group E

The approximately 15 percent who sell $35,000 or under each year.

Group F

The 7 percent who sell $10,000 or under each year.

Group G

The 5 percent who sell $5,000 or under each year. Includes part-time agents. These rankings contain variables of up to 8 percent. Some agents and planners fall within more than one group.

You are in one of these groups. Possibly you haven’t yet acknowledged or admitted to yourself the category to which you belong. You are in, and you will remain in, the group to which you find the most reasons to belong. You can quickly determine which group you are in and are likely to remain in by being honest and specific with yourself at this very moment by truthfully answering these simple questions about your future sales. Most people are unable to significantly change their habits and find ultimate success because it demands a considerable change of habits — replacing habits that lead to failure with habits that lead to success.
  • Do you have unfocused dreams?
  • Do you hope to become a big achiever some day?
  • Have you even defined your objectives, set a time limit and selected a proven plan to follow for vastly increasing your sales?
  • Do you work lots of hours but find that those hours are just not very productive?
Few sales improvement programs are well proven

Napoleon Hill’s classic self-help book, "Think and Grow Rich," first published in 1937, remains relevant and applicable today, 75 years after the title first appeared. Hill’s work is one of the best-selling volumes of all time and remains currently in print and available in over 40 countries. Thousands of imitative books have since appeared.

Already, Forrest Wallace Cato’s sales success system for becoming the best known and liked insurance agent or financial planner in a designated market area has produced more millionaire advisors than any other known marketing or sales program. This has been carefully documented since Loren Dunton more recently invented financial planning. But it took Cato over 30 years of work promoting agents and planners before he could finalize his success system for advisors. Cato never gave up; he kept tweaking his program. Yes, you have limited hours, but you do have proven help available. Still, most people waste their allotted hours or trust in unproven sources.

Do you avoid whatever scares, threatens or places demands on you? Although skepticism is healthy, do you form negative, presumptive opinions too quickly? Do you suspect that every sales improvement program is just another attempt to sell you something of only limited worth? Do you quickly reject that which you do not immediately understand or that which is new, different or unfamiliar? Do you look for (or fall for) promises of quick and easy results? Will you always avoid confronting your own reality? Do you prefer to act based on your more comfortable and easy (though not fully-thought-out) mental visualizations that justify or excuse your present status? Do you remain ever hopeful that your luck will change automatically?

Many people end their lives without ever realizing or acknowledging how unproductive or even pathetic their entire lives were. One theory is that in their early adulthood, they lose faith in investing in themselves because they are highly exploited and then disappointed by so many personal improvement products like videos, CDs, courses, classes, books, workshops and seminars that all over-promised and failed to deliver, despite their earnest efforts. Can you even hope to escape your dominating habits that keep you among the average or typical? Have you any idea how difficult it is to actually change your habits?

Your habits dictate which group you are in. Your conscious and unconscious habits actually control you. If you can ever manage to control your habits, then your maximum sales success is assured and you will enter group A. True sales success for you is actually that simple, that practical and that realistic.

Most people never escape their comfort zone. Combining proper action with a proven plan and sticking with your program practically guarantees your super sales success. Just ask any financial sales superstar. Most people with a solid financial planning program devised especially for them ultimately fail to reach their money goals or objectives because they do not stick with their plan. This is the same reason most financial professionals fail — they do not stick with their winning plan. They decide that results are not appearing fast enough; or they conclude that too much work or effort is involved; or they may think that too much thought is involved; or they may believe it is easier and more enjoyable to simply do less; or they would rather spend more time fishing.

Your relevance depends on what you become. You can achieve or struggle. You get to choose. You are choosing now. Just as many lawyers stand ready to take advantage of you when you have a legal problem, your comfort zone stands ready to seduce you at any time. Boredom and tedium lessen your ability to act, dull your spirit and weaken your commitment. The challenge, energy and action required for you to win stimulate your resolve. When you are dead and gone, what will people say of you? Will they even notice your absence? What are you doing now that really matters for you or for others you love and care for?
Control your habits or your habits control you

You can break away from your imbedded habits that gradually lead you to mediocrity. You can become wealthy, more independent, have more choices, help your family more, experience your dreams, become happier, smarter, grow more confident, become more grateful, be more satisfied with your life and help far more clients. But will you ever find the strength to decide to pursue a winning course and then act accordingly? And will you stick with your proven program long enough to arrive at your destination and stay there?

World-wide, the majority of people, upon approaching death by old age, express great regret over having lived lives that were untrue to themselves. They never even attempted to achieve their dreams. They lacked the courage and resolve to decide to act, so they never acted. They remained essentially irrelevant and ineffective as the hours of their lives ticked by. They became, and remained, essentially the same year after year. They never expanded their horizons. They never even read a book. They were molded and controlled, by their establishment, into timid, conforming, scared tax-payers and had few original thoughts during their lives. They had good intentions but never invested anything into those good intentions.

An average human life lasts for only 650,000 hours. Can you really waste even one more hour without a proper action plan for your life and career? Do you want to be what you are now until you retire? Is this your peak? Do you ever intend to do better? Starting when? Can you decide about your sales future, adopt a proven program, act and stick to your program? If you cannot do this, then admit this truth now. Accept your fate. You can always hope to win the lotto. Just don’t count on winning. Wouldn’t the realization of your full potential be more fulfilling and well worth the effort and rewards?

I’ve encountered many agents and planners who see their anxiety and worry as warnings to pull back and do less or even nothing. This guarantees failure. A Cornell University study found that we truly own our own experiences, unlike owning a car or an iPhone, or any other thing that eventually becomes obsolete. We learn to appreciate our experiences more because they remain exact, and we know the results. As you experience repeated sales successes by using selected habits, you will appreciate the value of your results-producing skill and knowledge. You will become more satisfied, less bored and may even live longer.
We all know about good intentions never acted upon

Almost everyone has good intentions, yet you are now stuck because of your inability to make up your mind to take appropriate action. If super sales success were as easy as only having good intentions but doing nothing, then everyone would be wealthy. Stimulating your brain stimulates you. Boredom invites inaction. Inaction is your great enemy. Creativity is your rejuvenation. Please ask yourself (and honestly answer) these additional, simple but tough, questions about your future sales:
  • Is where you are now where you will be in 20 years?
  • Are vague plans actually plans?
  • Are your hopes and preferences enough?
  • Is it time for you to apply winning habits and follow a proven strategy for greater sales success?
  • Can you accept anything different from what you have always known and done?
  • How much more actual risk is involved if you try to become a sales super achiever?
  • When you did something you dreaded, did that experience kill you? Was what you dreaded really as horrible as you anticipated?
Your image is your persona. Your friends, enemies, clients and prospects all react to you according to the image that you present. Each accepts that persona as you and acts toward you accordingly. So it is likely that most of your friends like you as you are — no more successful than they are! Can you compete and win? You will always have competition for any job you perform. Do you have the will to win one of the most important challenges in your life? The cliché rules: “Most people don’t plan to fail. They fail to plan. Failing to plan guarantees failure, since success is never an accident.”

If you can’t give a straight and adequate answer to any of these simple life questions, then you are not likely to select a winning program and use it with stick-to-itiveness, now or ever.