Anthony Iannarino – SIV #089 Shownotes

Eat Their Lunch

I have followed Anthony Iannarino for at least 7 years. His blog (thesalesblog.com) and podcast (In The Arena) are both fantastic. As you may remember, we had Anthony on this podcast in January of 2018. He was fantastic! In fact, it is one of our top 5 episodes of all time (by number of downloads.) In my opinion, this episode is even better!

In this episode Anthony unpacks his latest book Eat Their Lunch. The book is centered around competitive displacement. If you are in sales, you undoubtedly know how hard it can be to move the incumbent solution provider out. You also know that to achieve your goals you will need to take business from competitors. Anthony shows us exactly how to swim in a “red ocean.”

Every week I implore you to take notes. PLEASE get out something to write on and something to write with before you hit play. (Unless you have all the business you could ever need.)

Things Anthony And I Talked About

  • Anthony’s formative years
    • He grew up in rough circumstances/neighborhood
    • Had to learn to manage people with words instead of my physical confrontation
    • Started working full-time (40-50 hour/week) at 13 years old
    • At 15 started cold calling for Muscular Dystrophy
    • Moved to LA to front a rock and roll band (I’ve seen the pictures.)
  • He never doubted his ability to succeed after his decision to enter the sales profession
  • It’s harder than ever to displace competitors
    • People are much more content with the status quo
    • Businesses make decision by consensus
  • The mind shift change of calling on the CEO of the problem
    • Who is the highest level of person who cares?
    • Don’t limit your choices
    • There are many ways to get into the building
  • Leting go of limiting beliefs about competitors.
    • Can’t change what the competitor is doing
    • Have to just outsell them
  • Taking money out of an investment never makes it better
  • Go to the companies that already purchase your types of products and move them
  • How to make the intangibles, tangible
    • You must translate the economic value though the relational value
    • All the value is in the application of the intangibles
  • The 4 levels of value creation – entering from the right
  • To become a trusted advisor you must:
    • Have trust
    • Have advice
    • Help your clients see around corners
    • Help the client implement change before change is necessary
  • We often forget that sales is a competition
  • What to do when there is a 3rd party between you and your dream client
  • How to be a “combative diplomat”
  • How to insulate current clients from being displaced
    • Commitment to execute
    • Moving from value creation, to value creation, to value creation…
  • Purpose and meaning come from the pursuit of goals, not obtaining them
  • “I’m allowed to have off days. I’m not allowed to have days off.”
  • The afterlife definitely has pizza and dogs!

Anthony's Billboard: Do good work

The Books We Talked About

As always: Click on the cover below to learn more or purchase through Amazon.

Steel My Soldiers’ Heart – Colonel David H Hackworth

The Lucifer Principle – Howard Bloom

Anything by Stephen Covey, Tom Peters, or Peter Drucker

Spin Selling – Neil Rackman

Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play – Mahan Khalsa, Randy Illig

Eat Their Lunch – Anthony Iannarino

Where To Connect With Anthony

NEXT WEEK

If you ever struggle getting everything done, Mark and Ann Lackey have great news for you!
Don’t you dare miss it!

Curtis Ray – SIV #085 Shownotes

Don't Retire Broke!

Did you know that 99% of Americans retire on $50,000 per year or less? That’s why this week’s guest, Curtis Ray, wrote the book Everyone Ends Up Poor! Why Financial Planning Is All Backwards And How To Fix It. Curtis wrote it after his worse day ever.

I’ve had bad days. You’ve had bad days. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never lost more than $2 million in a single day. Curtis Ray has. He learned two major lessons from the experience. A) You can’t trust your business to take care of you. B) Pay yourself first.

Things Curtis And I Talked About

  • Never attach yourself to money
  • He did everything right and still lost $2 million
  • You can’t trust your business
  • 95% of businesses don’t make it to retiring the owner
  • Having $750,000 in your retirement account will only pay you $30,000/year BEFORE TAXES!!!
  • Less than 1% of Americans attain a $1 million portfolio
  • Investment platforms vs. Retirement platforms
  • Why is downsizing “normal?”
  • Curtis’ definition of retirement: “Doing what you want, when you want, where you want, and with whom you want.
  • The “Risk Pyramid”
  • Normal retirement investing is: Sprint – Run – Jog – Walk  It should be exactly the opposite.
  • Build in security, not risk
  • Slow, steady, simple, secure
  • Deferring taxes on your retirement investments is not helpful. It might even be dumb.

Curtis' Billboard: pay yourself first

The Books We Talked About

As always: Click on the cover below to learn more or purchase through Amazon.

Everyone Ends Up Broke – Curtis Ray

The Richest Man in Babylon – George S Clason

The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz

Where To Connect With Curtis

Curtis’ Cell Phone: 480-748-5825

LinkedIn

Email 

NEXT WEEK

Senior Markets expert, Sylvia Gordon is dropping some serious knowledge on the SIV Tribe!
Don’t you dare miss it!

Come Join Me in “La-la Land!”

And I'm not talking about the movie

“I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.” – Winston Churchill

My wife, the lovely Dizzy D, claims I live in “La-la Land.” What she means is that I “suffer” from eternal optimism. She is absolutely right. I almost always look for the upside in situations and the best in people. It rarely dawns on me that people might be telling me lies or are approaching their relationship with me in such a way that they might take advantage of me. Has this ever lead to me getting hurt? Sure. But it happens a lot less than you might think.

I think that my optimism is based on reality, not just pie-in-the-sky thinking or my “La-la Land” address. By setting Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG), it pushes my team and me to stretch to heights that we wouldn’t even attempt if we settled for safe goals. My hope is that you won’t allow conventional thinking or safe goals to cloud your creativity and sense of adventure.

Listen, I’m not talking about being Pollyannaish. Stuff (or some other word that starts with s) happens to me too. Things get in my way. People leave my team. The Universe rarely aligns fully with my goals and plans. There are always competing (and worthy) priorities that almost demand to be fulfilled. But what I have found is, when I maintain contagious and courageous optimism:

  • Opportunities seem to appear out of thin air.
  • People desire to join my team.
  • Resources make themselves available.
  • The size of the obstacles seems to shrink.
  • I’m much more focused and productive.

So how do you stay optimistic in a very negative world? Here are the things that seem to work for me. I think they can work for you too:

Tim’s 7 Tips for Staying Positive in a Negative World. 

  1. Avoid gossip and negative people. – Both in your office and in your personal life. This should almost go without saying. There is an old expression that says, “If you roll around with pigs, you can’t help but get dirty.” Don’t think your optimism can lift them out of their negative worldview. It is much more likely that they will infect yours. I learned long ago that if someone comes to me complaining about a co-worker or supervisor, they rarely want my advice. They just want to complain. So now I listen for a moment or two and then say, “It sounds like you really have a challenge there. Why don’t I go with you right now to talk to him/her and see how we can resolve this?” As I mentioned earlier they usually don’t want to resolve the issue, they just want to complain. By my offering to help them resolve issues, they quickly stop coming to me with their gossip and complaints. In the rare occasion where they take me up on my offer, I have done something to help everyone! That’s about as win/win as it’s ever going to get.
  2. Avoid the news. – Trust me, you are still going to know what is going on in the world. As I write this, officials are still trying to figure out what has become of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. You would almost have to be in a coma to have missed this tragic event. I get the overall gist of the situation, but I haven’t spent 10 minutes reading about it or watching the coverage on TV. I’m not trying to minimize the tragedy for the families involved. If I had a loved one on that plane, I’m sure the coverage would consume me. What I am trying to do is minimize the effect that this kind of news could have on me. Every restaurant/bar I go into has CNN or CNBC running non-stop “coverage” on this event. The challenge is that there is nothing new to report, but that doesn’t stop the pundits speculating about it 24/7. I could list dozens and dozens of stories that have consumed the cable news networks over the last few years. Stories like Jody Arias, the Royal Wedding between Kate and William, and the George Zimmerman trial. Ask yourself the next time you get sucked up into a news story like these, “How is this going to help me hit my goals and get where I want to get in my life?” If the answer is clear that it isn’t going to help, STOP WATCHING!!!
  3. Break your goals down. – Sometimes looking at your BHAGs can be overwhelming. In fact, I’d argue that if your goals aren’t overwhelming, you didn’t set aggressive of enough goals. But when I get overwhelmed, it helps me dramatically to break my goals down into bite-sized goals and action steps. My assistant recently had to enter all the action steps from my 2014 business plan into our company’s Sharepoint system. (As a side-note, if you don’t know what Sharepoint is, go tell your supervisor that you love him or her and thank them for not forcing you to use this Microsoft resource.) What we realized is that the BHAGs that we had set for 2014 could be broken down into 89 different projects.  Each project was then further broken down into multiple action items and steps that could be placed into my calendar or delegated to the members of my executive team. There is great peace and calm in knowing that we have the plans and horsepower to hit our goals.
  4. Be grateful. – I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this one. If you can’t find things in your life to be thankful for, you aren’t looking very hard! The fact that you can read this separates you from 775 million adults in the world who are illiterate. The fact that you are probably reading it on your smartphone, tablet or laptop…..well, you get the idea. Your life may not be where you want it….YET! But I promise you, most of the rest of the world would happily trade places with you, sight unseen, TODAY!
  5. Read uplifting articles, blogs, and books. – I love biographies of famous leaders. I have yet to read a biography of a great leader that follows this plot: They were born into ideal circumstances, attended the best schools, had no adversity, and they were given great authority and honor. Instead, most great men and women I have read about suffered great tragedy and setback. Yet they were resilient and found a way to persevere in spite of their challenges. This should give you great hope. If Nelson Mandela can be unjustly imprisoned for 27 years and still change the world, what can you do from your current challenges? The world is counting on you to make a difference too!
  6. Hang out with like-minded people. – Why allow yourself to get bogged down by the whiners when there are lots of people like me living in “La-la Land?” People that are truly optimistic leaders who see the glass ¾ full most of the time. We love helping new leaders and those leaders that are struggling in their journey. Because of our optimism, we are crazy enough to think we can make a difference in their life and thus improve our own.
  7. Listen to great speakers. – I have invested more money than I would really like to count into tapes, CDs, DVDs, audio downloads, etc. If I am having a down day, all I have to do is listen to one of my favorites: Zig Ziglar, Jim Rhon, Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Brian Tracy, or John Maxwell. If the following quotes don’t light your fire, your wood is wet. If you think reading them is powerful, listening to them will change your life!
"You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
– Zig Ziglar
"Dont wish it were easier. Whis you were better."
– Jim Rhon
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
– Dr. John C. Maxwell
“People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals - that is, goals that do not inspire them.”
–Tony Robbins
“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, 'What's in it for me?'”
– Brian Tracy
“When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up.”
– Les Brown

Come join us over here in “La-la Land!” The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and all is right with the world!!! (And if it isn’t, don’t bother letting us know. We are working our tails off to make our vision a reality. Trust me, the world is counting on us!)

Conclusion: Life is hard. Wear a helmet. Mine is made of optimism!

Question: Did you roll out of bed to massive problems this morning, or to massive opportunities? I’m positive that your answer will determine your destiny.

Cliff Ravenscraft – SIV #084 Shownotes

This podcast is all his fault!

Cliff Ravenscraft taught me (and hundreds of others) how to podcast. As you may know, that led to me almost getting fired. The insurance carrier I was working for thought I was teaching their competition how to sell. They demanded I stop and I caved. But of course that’s not Cliff’s fault.

When I was taking his Podcasting A to Z class, I found Cliff to be incredibly passionate and focused on the success of the students in his program (including me.) Later I had the opportunity to meet Cliff and his lovely wife Stephanie at a conference. We had the chance to break bread and they are some of the nicest, down to earth people you would ever want to meet.

Cliff has segued away from being “The Podcast Answer Man” and is now on a mission to teach thousands of  people how to “Free The Dream.” As I have followed Cliff making this transition, I knew that I wanted to get him on the Success Is Voluntary Podcast​. Of course that’s a little intimidating having the master of podcasting join you on yours! 

If you think your life was meant for more, you are in the right place! This episode will ROCK your world. It did mine.

Things CLIFF And I Talked About

  • He was in ministry and felt that it was his calling
  • His start in insurance
    • He was only going to do computer work
    • Never intended to get licensed
    • Did get licensed once he found he had a knack for it.
    • He CRUSHED it and was the top agent for multiple carriers
  • How he got started in podcasting
  • How quickly his podcast took off
  • Why insurance started to suck the life out of his soul
  • When he decided that his hobby might actually become a business
  • The worst advice he ever received? “Don’t quit your day job.””
  • How he built “The Podcast Answer Man” brand.
  • Why he felt it was time to transition away from it and how much that cost him
  • Why Cliff is so passionate about personal development.
  • What people like Tony Robbins, Dan Miller, and Michael Hyatt have taught him
  • How he believes he can help people “Free The Dream” 
  • How he feels like he is back in ministry!

Click Here For More Info

Cliff's Billboard: Never stop dreaming

The Books We Talked About

As always: Click on the cover below to learn more or purchase through Amazon.

Psycho-Cybernetics – Maxell Maltz, MD, FICS

The Big Leap – Gay Henricks

Where To Connect With Cliff

NEXT WEEK

Social Media Guru, Alex Lombard is going to drop some serious knowledge on the SIV Tribe!
Don’t you dare miss it!

New-Agent First Year Survival

Join the 11%

I'm a survivorDid you know that only 11% of new Insurance Agents survive their first two years in this industry? If you have already achieved that milestone, then this article may not be for you. (But you might enjoy a refresher.)

 

 

That first night after your initial interview:

  • Do you remember how excited you were to bring these incredibly important products to the marketplace that so desperately needed them?
  • Do you remember how the person that recruited you promised that they would help you succeed?
  • Do you remember thinking, “There is no way a business owner could ever tell us no!”
  • Do you remember dreaming about the freedom to attend your kid’s/grandkid’s soccer games and school plays without having to ask for time off?
  • Do you remember the idea of having a six-figure renewal income? Money that just showed up in your bank account for doing your job in previous years?
  • Do you remember looking yourself in the mirror and saying, “I can do this! I’m smart enough, I’m good enough, and gol’ darn it people like me!”
  • Do you remember looking your spouse/significant other in the eye and promising them that you would work harder for yourself than you would ever work for someone else?”
  • Do you remember being so pumped up you could hardly sleep? You were nervous, but you couldn’t wait to hit the ground running!!

What’s the reality?

  • The marketplace yawned at your product.
  • The person that recruited you is desperately trying to put food on their family’s table and is being pulled 1,000 different directions. They have basically told you, “If you get an appointment give me a call and I’ll come to close it for you.” So consequently you are dependent on your “trainer” and don’t know how to present to the business owner effectively.
  • The business owners have found dozens of ways to tell you no including the dreaded, “Let me talk to my employees to see if anyone is interested.”
  • Yeah, you have been to most of the soccer games, but not because you chose the game over work. Truth be told, you didn’t have anything else scheduled anyway…
  • To get a renewal check you will have to still be around next year, and that doesn’t look very likely.
  • You ARE smart enough, good enough, and gol’ darn it people DO like you. They just aren’t buying from you…..
  • Again, truth be told, if you wrote down everything you do in a week, less than 15 hours are actually spent talking to people who can and will buy your product. You may “feel” busy, but very little of your time is actually spent in the sales process.
  • Now you hit the snooze alarm 3 times and dread going out to get rejected. Your emotions are all over the map and you feel like you are letting your spouse/significant other down.

How do I know what you’re experiencing? I’ve been through most of those stages myself. I’ll never forget the day that all changed for me. About nine months into my VB career, my wife (the lovely Donna) sat my butt down and said, “I love you, I believe in you, I’m thrilled with the personal growth I have seen from you, but if you don’t start making real money, real soon, you are going to have to go get a “real job.” OUCH!!! I was letting her down, yet she was still proud of me! I decided that day that we would never, ever, ever, ever, have to have that conversation again. That day I decided to get help, and it forever changed my life!!!

If you aren’t where you want to be in your Voluntary Benefits career, you have two choices:

1) Keep doing what you are doing. – I’m sure that you will suddenly be sprinkled with magic, fairy dust that will allow you to be successful. Maybe not…..

2) Ask for help. – My suggestion? Invest a little money and time into your career to learn the tips, tricks, and techniques that will help you not just survive your first two years in this industry, but I am convinced will help you realize the dream you had when you first got started.  I offer an affordable personal coaching program that I guarantee will pay for itself inside of 90 days. You have up to a full year after our last coaching session to ask for your money back, no questions asked!

Added bonus – I will let you test drive what a coaching session would look like! I offer a no-obligation, no pressure, 30-minute, completely free, coaching session. “Try it before you buy it,” so to speak. If you are interested, please click here to pick a time that works into both of our calendars!

Let me help you join the 11% of first-year agents that survive!!!

It’s Supposed To Suck!

It’s supposed to suck! You are creating something out of nothing.” -Brian Hicks

The first time I heard Brian Hicks say this I nearly snorted water out of my nose. (Important safety tip: When listening to Brian speak, time your drinking with care.) I laughed and then realized this was no laughing matter. It was literally a matter of life and death. Maybe not to your existence on this planet, but the life and death of your business.

Perhaps you came into a career in sales understanding exactly how hard it was going to be to get your business up and profitable. You may have been completely ready for the rejection and noes you were going to receive. You may have fully understood that when the prospect said no, they were just saying no, not now. You may have had so much money in your bank account that you weren’t worried that you were 90 days in and still hadn’t made a sale. But after 22+ years of hiring and training commission-only salespeople, I have yet to meet someone like that. They may exist, just like Sasquatch and unicorns.

Spoiler Alert

Ramping up your business is brutal. You most likely started with no accounts, no customers, no solid leads, no product knowledge, no understanding of the companies sales process, no clue as to how to organize your time, and no way of knowing where to start. (Are you discouraged yet?)

I don’t want to go off on a religious rant here but I believe that we were made in the image of God. It is my belief that God spoke the world into existence out of nothing. I also believe that you have that very same power to create something out of nothing. Maybe not the universe, but you certainly have the power to create a long-lasting, profitable, rewarding career in sales.

As I look back on my life, I realize that I am really bad at a lot of things. I was never going to be a world-class athlete or musician. I can’t spell to save my life (thank GOD for spell check!) I lack patience. I think everything is a contest and losing at anything literally makes me sick to my stomach.  I could go on but I don’t want you to lose all respect for me…

My One Super Power

I do have a superpower. I have learned how to create something out of nothing. Across multiple careers, inside and outside the VB arena, in different states, with multiple companies, holding different levels of responsibilities and with varying levels of leadership, I have always been able to create something out of nothing. Perhaps you find this braggadocios, and maybe it is, but that really isn’t my heart. I tell you this to give you hope! If I can do it, so can you! Trust me…

If you understood the journey I have been on, you might wonder how I was successful. The truth is that somewhere along the way I started to believe that I could effect change. I knew that I could envision success and set out to achieve the goals and objectives that would allow for that success to be realized. I never knew in advance what all the obstacles and challenges were going to be, but I had faith that I would figure it out on the way. It was only through looking back that I realized how I had been creating something out of nothing my entire life.

Spectacular Failure and Unmitigated Success

Listen, I have had some spectacular failures. Some of these failures can be attributed to allowing myself to stagnate in my pursuit of the ultimate goal. Sometimes I allowed challenges and problems to paralyze me. Often I allowed myself to become comfortable and/or lazy. More than once I buried my head in the sand hoping things would just get better on their own…. They never did.

On the other hand, every successful endeavor I have pursued, I remained diligent at creating the next thing for my business. Creating something out of nothing doesn’t just happen once in your business. You create that next customer by prospecting, You create that next sale by learning how to overcome objections. You create financial success by creating a budget (including setting aside money for retirement) and sticking to it. You create your life or you let life create one for you, and I promise that is not going to end well.

Choose Wisely

Every day you have a choice: Are you going to allow someone else determine your life or are you going to go out there and create something out of nothing? My hope for you is that you will decide today that the hard work is worth it. You possess the ability to create a business out of nothing. Get to work! Your future lies in the balance.

Please encourage someone else by sharing a time when you pushed through discouragement. Just leave a comment below.

Tim Martin – Personal Coaching – SIV #035 Shownotes

This episode was originally released on 2/2819

If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got.

I can’t tell you how overwhelming and humbling the response to the re-launch of the Success Is Voluntary blog and podcast has been! Your emails, phone calls, and comments on the website and Facebook have meant more to me than you will ever know.

One of the crazy, unintended, but gratifying side effects of the re-launch has been that several people have asked if I was available for personal coaching. The answer is yes I am, but only for the right person. Before we get into who I accept into my coaching program I want to tell you a story.

My Story

The year was 2011 and I was stuck. If you are a movie buff I would assume you have seen the classic movie “Groundhog Day.” I was so stuck in my career development that every day seemed like I was Bill Murray’s character, Phil. I was doing the exact same things over and over and over and over again. I was desperately stuck. I was making great money and should have been in a very comfortable place in my career. But the simple fact was that I wasn’t getting better. Worse yet, I was (and it’s hard to say this humbly) the absolutely highest performing sales manager in my organization. I really had nothing to learn from my peers or my bosses.

The Turning Point

I decided to do something radical.  I decide to hire a personal coach after a very successful sales career of just over 14 years. Hiring this personal coach saved my career, and also quite frankly my sanity. I had to do something different or I was going to burn out. I made the very hard decision to seek professional help. This decision completely changed my career arc and opened doors to opportunities I could never have imagined. And best of all, just like good old Phil, I was able to once again move on with my life.

My Belief

Because of my incredibly positive experience, it is my belief that every salesperson and sales manager needs to hire a coach. They owe it to themselves, and the people that are counting on them.

The 3 Reasons You Need To Hire A Coach

  • You are stuck in your excuses.
    • Your coach is going to ask you the hard questions. Oftentimes this is somewhat akin to therapy (don’t ask me how I know that.) What I mean is that often the person being coached already knows the answers to the hard questions. They just need someone to call them out on it. One of the excuses I told my coach was that the market was saturated. He simply asked me how many millions of dollars in sales had been made, by my company, in my market the previous year. When I told him the answer, he asked me what percentage of those sales my team had made….. When I answered less than 10%, my excuse evaporated like light fog in bright sunlight.
  • You are stuck in your bad habits.
    • Many veteran salespeople fall into bad habits over time. Perhaps their skill level helps them to overcome some of these bad habits, but by removing their bad habits the veteran salesperson will see their sales skyrocket. A perfect example is that every sales organization, since the beginning of time, has taught their salespeople to get referrals. In fact, most sales organizations require their new salespeople to ask for referrals when they are training. So then why is it, according to the SalesBoard.com, that 85% of veteran salespeople don’t ask for referrals. Especially since the Sales Board also claims that the closing ratio of referral business is in excess of 70% better than cold calling. Clearly the veteran salespeople need this and many other bad habits culled out.
  • You are stuck with your self-limiting mindset.
    • Zig Ziglar stated that the biggest obstacle to sales was the 6 inches between your ears. I have now professionally coached salespeople for just over 21 years and I couldn’t agree with Zig more! One of the mindsets a personal coach will teach you is how to reframe the word rejection. If you are in sales there are series of simple of equations that lead to the sales person’s closing ratios. Many new and veteran salespeople see getting a no as being personally rejected. A personal coach will help you to change that mindset to see it as simply a metric result. In other words in the B2B sales world, if we call on 100 small businesses in person 25% of the time the Decision Maker will come to the counter. 60% of the time they come to the counter they will give us an appointment to present our solution. Once we present to the Decision Maker, the closing ratio of business owners who agree to our value proposition typically is around 50%. If you do the math, 50% of 60% of 25% is about a 7% success ratio. 7% doesn’t FEEL very good. It is easy to FEEL like we were abject failures 93% of the time. But if you look at it as a metric result, you quickly understand that if you want 7 accounts all you have to do is simply walk through 100 doors! Can you see the difference in mindset that creates?

Let’s Be Honest

My guess is that if you are really honest with yourself, you would admit that to some degree you are stuck in your excuses, stuck in your bad habits, or stuck in your self-limiting mindset. In fact if you are like most people I work with, you are probably stuck in all three areas.

Maybe you are comfortable continuing on the way you are, but I believe that personal coaching will take you to the level of success you dreamed of when you started your sales journey. If you are ready to join the top 10% of the producers in your company, you must get unstuck!

You Deserve It

You and the people in your life deserve your very best effort. The future of your clients and/or the people you lead hangs in the balance. Will you free yourself from excuses, bad habits, and self-limiting beliefs?

Let’s Do This Thing

The next move is up to you! You were made for greatness! Don’t allow yourself to stay stuck. Listen, I’m not the right coach for everyone. Quite frankly, not everyone is a good client for me.

Who I Work With

I want to work with people who are committed to making their career, and their life, the absolute best that it can be. I’m looking for people that won’t settle for less. I only work with people who are ready for change and are willing to do the work. If that sounds like you, contact me by email at [email protected] or  CLICK HERE to find out if we are a good fit for each other. If we don’t make that “love connection,” I can’t encourage you strongly enough you to find someone else.

Exponential Growth Is Within Your Grasp

Your growth as a true professional salesperson can be exponential. I would highly encourage you to take the plunge and hire a personal coach today! I promise you that you will thank yourself for it and so will your family.

As Always… It’s Voluntary

You don’t have to get coaching. You don’t have to raise your hand and say you might need help. You don’t have to continue to grow. All of these things are voluntary, but so is success!

Again, If you are interested in starting a discussion about coaching CLICK HERE

Why?

Some days it is hard to remember why you went into sales.

Some days you get your head handed to you. Some days that big client you were counting on (and had already spent the commission check in your mind) backs out of the deal.


Really, Why?

Why do you keep going? Why is it that you believe things are going to get better? Maybe like many salespeople, you are overly optimistic. But I don’t think so.

I think you have a bigger reason than just making money (at least I hope so.) The challenge is that it is easy to sometimes lose sight of what really drives us.

There was a reason you went into sales. There was a reason you chose the company you represent. There is a reason you are still there. There is a reason you don’t have your resume on CareerBuilder.com


Powerful

One of the most powerful exercises I have done with my team isto have them go around, introduce themselves and tell why they are working for (fill in the blank) It doesn’t matter the carrier, the responses are always inspiring. Sometimes they make people in attendance cry.

I have had people talk about

  • Not missing their kids grow up
  • The desire to not have to travel for work every week
  • They were stuck in a dead end job and saw no future for advancement
  • They were sick of making other people money
  • They wanted to chart their own destiny
  • They never wanted to say no to their kids, for a legitimate opportunity, due to finances (mine by the way)
  • Being able to set their own schedule
  • Building a business that will pay them for years to come
  • The desire to help someone get the same benefits they were able to get when they made a claim
  • And on, and on, and on…

He’s a Lumberjack…

I’ll never forget a gentleman on my team who talked about the first Christmas after he started with Aflac. He was able to buy presents for his wife and all his kids (not an insubstantial number by the way.) He still had some money in the bank and a full pipeline of future clients who had committed to moving forward.

Until he started his insurance career, he had been a  lumberjack in Washington state. He talked about how during the winter months the work was almost non-existent and they were always broke at Christmas.

His wife told him, in no uncertain terms that Christmas morning, that he was never doing anything else. He cried. I cried. The entire team was at least misty.


What’s Your Reason?

So what about you? Why are you here? Why do you stay in this business? What keeps you putting one foot in front of the other?

I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or send me an email to [email protected]

The Soft Stuff Is The Hard Part

First a quote: “The soft stuff is always harder than the hard stuff.” - Roger Enrico, Former CEO, PepsiCo

I have facilitated countless change management workshops over the years. It is one of my favorite topics and has been one of our more popular workshops. I consider myself to be a passionate student on the subject; always studying, reading, learning, and growing in this area.  It is a fascinating topic.

The research on failed change initiatives is significant. Research from McKinsey and Company shows that 70% of all transformational change efforts fail. According to 2008 research from IBM, the need to lead change is growing, but our ability to lead others through change is shrinking.

My experience with major change efforts suggests change management, as a leadership responsibility, is not the most concerning issue. Most change initiatives, in which I have been a part, were fairly well managed and, in most cases, poorly led. Organizations today need more effective change leadership, not more change management.

What is the difference? Change management is about the tasks, things, buildings, equipment and processes involved; what will start, stop, change, be replaced; what will be different, etc. Change management is about anything and everything that can be scheduled on a Gantt chart, planning document or calendar. There is usually a start, a stop and a process and sequence of events to be managed.

Change leadership, on the other hand, is about the people. The soft stuff! It is about the emotional transition people must make in connection with significant change.  We’re talking about a psychological journey of sorts through predictable stages of change. Change leadership is about helping others navigate through normal and natural reactions to change. As much as we may want to tell others to simply “get over it” and move on, people must go through it. Moving through the emotional stages of change is also a process. These psychological transitions cannot be scheduled, planned, or put on a Gantt chart. It is about the soft stuff and as Roger Enrico said, “The soft stuff is the hard part.”

Let’s take relocating your family to a new home, perhaps in a new state, as an example. The change management list will be long, and perhaps feel overwhelmingly complex. A brief sampling of the list might include: finding a new home or apartment, getting out of your current lease, finding new service professionals including, barbers and beauticians, dental, medical and insurance providers, researching schools, renting a moving truck , forwarding your mail, getting a new driver’s license and updating utilities companies. Again, just a short sampling of a very long list to be managed.

Change leadership, also just a sampling, will include supporting your family while informing friends and relatives of the move, saying good-bye to neighbors, sorting, packing and perhaps disposing of favorite possessions, finding new friends and new social gatherings like churches, clubs or sporting groups. It will require going through loss and separation while still working through the uncertainties of your family’s new environment and looking forward with anticipation. I have seen research placing home relocation as one of the top 10 sources of personal stress, often straining marriages and other family ties.  If you have ever relocated teenagers, you know first-hand what I’m referring to.

I’m not suggesting change management, as a skill and leadership responsibility, is unimportant, clearly it is extremely important to the success of any change event. I am, however, suggesting change leadership doesn’t get nearly enough attention and often gets short shrift compared to the time and effort invested managing the hard stuff. Always remember, the soft stuff is the hard part when leading change.

Bonus Quotes Below.

How will you live and lead differently, or better, this week?

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Have a great week!

Bryan Yager
208.376.1701

“Expanding Your Capacity for Success”

Bonus Quotes:

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” – Peter Drucker

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” Lao Tzu

“Change cannot be put on people. The best way to instill change is to do it with them. Create it with them.” – Lisa Bodell

“Few things are more important during a change event than communication from leaders who can paint a clear and confidence-inspiring vision of the future.” – Sarah Clayton

It Worked So Good…

We stoped doing it.

I love innovation and technology! So many things that show up on my Amazon suggestions call to me to just hit “Buy with 1 click!” So many information products (classes, seminars, resources, do it for you programs, etc.) sing to me.

I’ve seen a lot of marketers claiming that you no longer have to cold call. How cool! Wouldn’t it be awesome to just use social media? “Who needs to cold call,” the charlatans cry out. Just buy my course for $1,999 and I’ll show you how to leverage LinkedIn!!!

I’m not alone. As I work with sales teams all over the country, I regularly see organizations that have walked so far away from the basics of sales, they couldn’t find their way back with gps.

The reality is that we aren’t really leveraging technology. Technology is leveraging us.

Please understand that I am not a technology hater. I am more connected than I probably should be. Technology has made many aspects of our lives much easier (not necessarily any simpler.)

We get so caught up in learning the new tool that we forget to do the basics. Why? It is very safe to spend 4 hours learning how to do LinkedIn searches. Nobody can tell us no when we are watching videos.

Instead, we start spamming inviting people, we have zero connection to, to learn about our awesome opportunity. When they don’t respond or tell us they aren’t interested, at least it was so easy to ask we don’t feel the rejection the same way we would on the phone or in person.

(more…)

“What part of ‘I’m not interested are you to dumb to understand?!?!?!?”

WARNING: This post is not for weenies! To use the techniques described, you must have HUGE cojones!

Almost 15 years ago, I meet THE. WORST. HUMAN. BEING. on the planet. At least that’s what it felt like at that moment. I’m not sure if I caught him on a bad day or what.

I was trying to get on this business owner’s calendar for 20 minutes. He had already wasted 15 minutes telling me he was too busy to give me 20 minutes, but I digress. He kept telling me why he and his employees didn’t need Voluntary Benefits (VB). I kept trying to convince him that he was wrong. As you can imagine, I was losing and losing badly. I should have taken my dad’s advice, “Never try to teach a pig to sing, it just wastes your time and annoys the pig.” Well this particular pig was definitely annoyed when he turned 93 shades of red, put his finger right in my face and screamed, “WHAT PART OF ‘I’M NOT INTERESTED’ ARE YOU TOO DUMB TO UNDERSTAND?!?!?” Spit was flying and I was sure the vein in his forehead was going to explode at any moment.

I’d like to tell you how I was able to turn his objection around and close the case. That would be a lie. Instead I slinked out the door, with my tail between my legs, vowing to find a way to overcome that objection in the future. I took me several more years to formulate and then test the concept of, “WHATEVER their objection is, that is exactly the reason they MUST move forward!” I really believe that.  But how do I attack the “What part of ‘I’m not interested don’t you understand?’ objection? It took me almost five years, but I figured it out! Let’s get to it shall we?

The Exact Reason They MUST Move Forward

Objection – “What part of ‘I’m not interested’ don’t you understand?”
What most insurance agents say – “……………… “ Click. (The sound of the agent leaving or hanging up.)
Why that’s the wrong thing to say – Most agents just pack up and go home. It’s pretty hard to close a sale from the parking lot.


What you are going to say from now on

You – “That’s exactly why I’m here! I knew before I got here that there was no way you would be interested. Again, that’s exactly why I’m here!

Them – “…..(confusion showing) “What? What do you mean that’s why you’re here?”

You – “(Said with great confidence and a little humor.) Like I said, I knew you weren’t interested. See, if you were interested you would have called me! What I have found overwhelmingly is: Once a business owner sits down, takes an objective look at how our programs work, understand that it doesn’t cost them anything, and can even drive revenue to their bottom line, well then all of a sudden they are very interested. I get it, you are not alone. No one wants to meet with us, until they meet with us. Let’s do this, if you will either sit down with me today or early next week, I promise to keep it to 15-20 minutes. If you like it, great! If you still aren’t interested, I’ll help your throw me out. That’s fair, isn’t it?

Them – “(In their best Robert Deniro voice from Analyze This) You. You! You’ve got a gift my friend!

Why this works – It is the exact opposite of what they expect. They have a script that gets sales people out of their office. In fact, their script is so good that when it doesn’t work, they don’t know what to do. Other than give you the appointment!!! Trust me, I have used this technique dozens and dozens of times. There is no “magic bullet” when it comes to overcoming objections, but this one is close.

Conclusion: Even the most difficult objections can be meet head-on. The best way to meet these objections head-on is to use that objection as the exact reason they need to move forward. Done properly, this technique is devastating. So devastating it might even give you an unfair advantage. That’s all I’ve ever asked for out of life: Just one or two unfair advantages!!

Question: I dare you to leave me an objection in the box below that you think I can’t turn into the exact reason they need to move forward. I promise you that I will answer all comments!

Parting Thought: If you enjoyed this article, (and why wouldn’t you?) please consider sharing it with as many people as possible! You can “Like” it on Facebook or tweet it by clicking the buttons below. Perhaps you can pass it on to your friends through email (there’s a button for that too)? Show the VB world that you are coming for them!!!

“Power Hour” and the $10,000 Mistake

This post first appeared February 24, 2014

If you haven’t turned 21 lately, or like me, had a child turn 21 lately, you might not know what a “Power Hour” is.  In Arizona, last call is 1:00 a.m. on weekdays (2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, more on that later).  It seems there is a recent tradition that many young adults have a celebration of becoming old enough to (legally) drink by inviting all their friends (at least the ones over 21) to join them at a bar starting at midnight on the day they are actually turning 21 and drinking the hour until last call.  As you can imagine these invitations go out through Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.

My youngest daughter Victoria was no exception, earlier this month when she hit the big two one.  In fact, she convinced us to allow a “few of her friends” to come over to our house around 8:30 p.m. to “pre-game” for her “Power Hour.”  A few friends quickly turned into 18 and the party was on.

As her father, I was recruited to be one of the designated drivers.  Everyone was having a great time and many were already feeling no pain by the time we loaded up the gang and headed out to the bar my daughter had chosen, McFadden’s at the Westgate Center in Glendale, AZ

When we arrived at McFadden’s the party had actually grown to over 25.  As everyone gathered around Victoria went boldly up to the bouncer and presented her I.D. showing very clearly, that as of one minute ago, she was indeed now legal to drink.  The bouncer very rudely informed her that she still wasn’t allowed into McFadden’s, as they don’t recognize someone as being 21 until the following day.  The crowd quickly got ugly. (Did I mention alcohol had been flowing?)  I tried to intervene and asked to speak to the manager.  From the way he walked over to talk to me, I knew instantly that this conversation wasn’t going to accomplish much.  It quickly became apparent that he hadn’t read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”  In fact, I’m not sure he had read too many books period.  I very politely asked him what day it was.  He affirmed to me that it was indeed the day I thought it was.  I then asked him what day someone born on that day, say…….. 21 years ago might become legal to drink.  He agreed, it was that very day.  So no problem, right?  Wrong!  He said that it was still the previous day as far as their business day was concerned and that until he closed out that business day he and McFadden’s wouldn’t consider my daughter to be legal.  Seriously dude, I have 25+ people that are ready to come in and spend a ton of money and you are going to turn your nose up.  You may have noticed I have given you the name of the bar (McFadden’s at the Westgate Center in Glendale, AZ) several times.  I’m doing that so that the name burns into your mind.  I hope you remember this post the next time you are in the area and are ready to pick a place.  There are some great bars and restaurants in the area.  McFadden’s isn’t one of them.

Someone suggested we walk the 50 feet or so to Saddle Ranch.  Saddle Ranch is a country bar.  You can tell it’s a country bar by the hay bales outside and the mechanical bull inside.  Once again, my daughter boldly approached the bouncer with her ID at the ready.  She loudly announced it was her birthday and handed over her driver’s license.  He swiped it through his handheld ID verification machine and held it up so that everyone could see that it read “Age 21” in big read letters.  A cheer rang out from the assembled crowd and we started to walk in.  It took a few minutes for the bouncer to check everyone else’s I.D. (except mine….sigh).  While we were waiting, a different bouncer, who had seen the cheer ring out stopped the manager of Saddle Ranch and let him know it was Victoria’a 21st birthday.  He came over to us, congratulated her, asked her how many were in the party, and then offered to buy the first round for the entire crew!  What a difference!!!  I know how much that cost (approximately $200), because I bought the second round.  Well earlier I mentioned that last call on Friday and Saturday was actually 2:00 a.m.  Since Victoria’s birthday fell on a Saturday, her “Power Hour” turned into two hours.  Very conservatively we spent $600 (25+ people X $8/drink X 4 drinks = $800).  Saddle Ranch wanted it, McFadden’s didn’t.

So how is this a $10,000 mistake?  Let’s say that none of the 25 people that partied with us that night ever return to McFadden’s (I know I won’t).  And that the average bar tab is just $50.  Let’s also say they might have gone there a total of 4 additional times in their lifetime, that are now not happening.  So here is the math: 25 people X $50 X 4 lost visits = $5,000 in lost revenue. But it doesn’t stop there.  What if each one of them convinced just one other person not to ever go to McFadden’s again?  We just doubled the $5,000 in lost revenue to $10,000.

But actually it get’s worse.  Much worse.  Here is what I have observed over the last several years.  People that are around 21 post EVERYTHING on social media.  They aren’t just telling a friend or two about their bad experiences.  They are telling EVERYBODY in their social network.  Just that night I saw no less than 10 Facebook posts about how McFadden’s had been rude to us and how awesome Saddle Ranch was.  I’m sure there were more than 10 but I’m not connected on Facebook to all of my daughter friends.  I know that it was also tweeted and countless pictures were posted on Instagram with #McFadden’s Sucks, #PartyAtSaddleRanch.  Honestly this night turned into a much bigger mistake than just $10,000 for McFadden’s.  If you think that each person that attended reached 100 people that night via social media, and that it affected the behavior of just 10%, then McFadden’s lost more like $50,000 by being rude.  Conversely Saddle Ranch paid less than $200 (in free drinks) to get some of the absolute best marketing it could possibly hope for; the spontaneous endorsement of raving fans.

Recap: You can’t afford to have your clients upset with you.  They won’t tell just a few people.  There is a good chance that they can reach thousands with their message.  I currently am connected to 1785 people on LinkedIn, 480 on Facebook and have 2,101 people that follow me on Twitter.  How many of them would you want to hear about how great you are?  What if the news wasn’t so good?

Question: What do you want your clients to say about you on social media?