Category: Banking

Serious Question: Are You Focused on Being a Good Servant?

 

As a motivational business speaker for the Insurance & Financial industries and former member of the Million Dollar Roundtable, I’m aware of all of the reasons new agents fail. If I were to choose one reason above all of the others, it is that those who fail, tend to place their commission checks above their dedication to service. In other words, new agents are often more worried about the immediate gratification than the long-term benefits of service and reward from that service.

It is easy to get defeated when those first checks don’t match expectations. It’s a shame, because victory is so close if only, we have the vision to see it through and the dedication to service above all else.

A Servant’s Mindset

We are here to serve our valued clients. The better we serve, the better we do financially, personally and in terms of purpose. The most successful agents are those who understand that we often serve our clients through their darkest and most challenging times. It is a high honor and an important responsibility.

We must be there for them, and if we are, our success will follow. But what, exactly, is the servant mindset? Many people use the term without fully embracing it.

You may have heard the expression “servant leader,” where the leader, be it a CEO, company president, department head or manager, understands that their role is to support those who work for them.

In terms of the insurance agent, being a good servant to one client, your client, is every bit as important as the CEO of a multi-billion-dollar insurance and financial services company must be of service toward thousands of employees.

But what qualities should every good servant agent have? I will list at least 8 qualities of servant leadership we should all have as agents:

  1. We must empower and allow our clients to ask questions, to understand, to gain knowledge and to make decisions based on the information you give them.
  2. We must constantly learn. I am not only talking about “products,” but what is happening in the market, what are the future challenges and opportunities to be faced together between you and your client.
  3. We must be teachers. A good servant teaches and makes things clear. Knowledge is King and we must help them understand.
  4. We must include our clients. But isn’t that always the case? Sadly, no. Being dedicated to service involves transparency. Clients need to know “the why” of it all; why this product, why is it best for me, how does it compare to competitive products?
  5. Honesty and ethics. Of course, it should go without saying, but being a good servant is placing the clients interests ahead of all other interests.
  6. Ask questions show you’re engaged. Don’t answer every question before you ask it.
  7. Listen. This goes hand in hand with the above. When a client shows apprehension, concern or uncertainty, it is not an invitation to steamroll. They are the customer; you are there to service their needs.
  8. Are you more placing commissions above being a good servant? If so, understand that clients instinctively understand you are not there for them, but for yourself. This is why some relationships soon fail.

 

Being a good servant or servant leader for that matter, requires the vision to see yourself in a successful insurance and financial services career, the mindset to be the best at that job you can be, and the grit to get better every day.

 

 

For more information on booking Scott Burrows, Insurance & Financial Services Motivational Speaker contact Scott today through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

Now, more than ever, Every Business Must Be Resilient

 

As a motivational resilience speaker with a passion for small business, I know how tough it has been. My background as a small business owner, manager and consultant, made me aware of what every small business employee knows: the pandemic may be hindsight for several industries, but small business challenges continue.

Our Survival is Based on Us

In March 2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, issued an important report, The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Small Businesses. No small business, from the aircraft parts manufacturer with $90 million in revenues, to the pizzeria with $600,000 in revenues was surprised by the conclusion (the italics are mine):

“The effects of the pandemic will continue long after it ends. The pandemic changed patterns of consumption and forced businesses to find new ways of serving their customers. Some businesses have died, some have been born, and many that survive will have been permanently changed.”

Across America, no small business was spared; but in most large cities, especially foodservice, hospitality, travel and leisure, transportation related, niche schools and day care services, things were particularly bleak. If conditions weren’t bad enough for white-owned businesses, they were even worse for minority-owned businesses.

Everyone associated with a small business is being asked to dig deep as never before. The strength of every small business in America has not been in technology or raw ingredients or marketing, but in its people. We are innovative. We always find a way.

Its Time to Stand Up

In February 2021, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce published an article entitled:

4 Ways to Make Your Small Business More Innovative. This was especially important in light of recovery from the effects on the pandemic. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce agreed (the italics are mine):

“Big or small, innovations involve solving problems and challenges, whether with products or services, internal systems and processes or changes in the marketplace. But people in a company often get stuck in silos, unable to envision much beyond their area of expertise…rotate employees to different roles so they gain a broader understanding of the company’s challenges and opportunities. Have company leaders take a day each month to work in someone else’s shoes. Even the owner—especially the owner—should get her hands dirty on the factory floor, or perhaps answer customer service calls now and then.”

This is not the first time that small business has had to rise to the challenge. American small business has not only survived, but led the way through a Great Depression, recessions, diseases, Wars, famine, natural catastrophes and now – recovery from a pandemic.

There is nothing we can’t accomplish.

How do we stand up?

We stand up by having a shared mindset. Not individually, but as a company, organization, association, to overcome and out-innovate every challenge in our way.

Americans love this. It’s in our blood. It’s part of who we are.

We stand up by having a vision. Our vision is to succeed. Our vision is to work together and to see ourselves getting through this. If we’re stuck in our thinking, then let’s un-stick; if one door is closed to us, what’s our vision to open another door? If we can gain perspective from where we are, let’s have the vision to change perspectives.

Finally, no challenge has ever risen up for American small business that wasn’t overcome with the daily grit where we were determined to win. I know we can do this, and I know we will succeed.

 

 

For more information on booking Scott Burrows, Small Business Motivational Resilience Keynote Speaker for your next event, contact him through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

How Alert and Agile are You to Industry Changes?

 

The buzz in the insurance and financial industry is focused on the changes all around us. As a national insurance and financial industry keynote speaker audiences are constantly asking me questions about changes in regard to the financial bearing of COVID-19 on the industry, the hybrid workspace model, payment processing, legal challenges following the pandemic and similar issues. While each factor is important, to my mind the most important issue is YOU.

YOU is Not an Acronym!

Insurance expert Patricia Moore recently (May 3, 2021) stated that the industry is shifting to more customization, personalized communication and a strong desire for you to be there when they need you.

Aren’t those self-evident concepts? Unfortunately, not. As an insurance and financial industry keynote speaker and a member of the Million-Dollar roundtable, I believe that many agents were caught flat-footed when the pandemic hit because they failed to be alert and agile. It was business as usual prior to the pandemic and many agencies have not fully recovered as we enter the second-half of 2021.

The one question everyone needs to be asking themselves is “Do I have the vision, mindset and grit to be successful?” The question requires investigation on our part.

In terms of customization, no matter how much YOU feel that the customer can find online, it still comes down to your delivering solutions that match the customer’s needs in this unpredictable climate. Do you have the mindset it takes to provide real answers to your customer’s needs and not cookie-cutter fixes? Will you visualize what changes lie for your customers in the year ahead and the grit to deliver on your promises?

When we refer to “personalized communication,” we are not talking about a snail-mail letter with fancy penmanship! Now, more than ever, insured individuals, organizations and corporations want to know that you are there more them. While we live in digital times, with digital payments and digitized insurance options, it doesn’t mean that customers don’t want to hear from you. In fact, we are seeing that the opposite is true.

One of the chief complaints I hear in meetings and seminars (virtual or in-person) is that they never hear from their agents. In some cases, they don’t even know their names! Do YOU have the mindset to be there for your clients? Do you have the vision to service their needs, day-in and day out? Are you willing to have the grit to update them, offer them your expertise and care about them as people? We are, after all, in the people business, not the premium business.

Finally, are you willing to really be there when you are needed? Being there is more than a cute slogan and catch-phrase. Your clients need you as never before. Are you willing to stand-up for them in times of trouble and challenge as never before?

Will you be there for them should times get tough again? Do you have the grit to tell them that you appreciate their business and that you have their backs no matter what the future brings?

To be successful YOU must be alert and agile. 2021 can be your best year if that lesson is remembered.

 

For more information on booking Scott Burrows, Insurance & Financial Speaker for your next event, contact him through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

Staying at Home Doesn’t Mean Stuck at Home

 

In my work as a motivational pharmaceutical sales speaker, one of the most often asked questions I hear these days is, “With all of this social distancing stuff, I’m stuck at home. How can I do my job?”

The answer is that the challenge isn’t one of distance, but of mindset.

Limiting Contact, Not Determination

We are in an unusual time, between vaccine availability and rising cases. Chances are your company is asking you to stay home. As well, many healthcare providers are not only overworked, they want to limit outside contacts.

The temporary new normal turns pharma sales into a major challenge especially if you are selling a new drug and need to provide samples, demonstrate, educate or provide safety information. If things were not tough enough, we all know that patients are fearful of office visits and have cut back on them. This affects prescriptions.

Pharmaceutical industry writer Jessica Merrill commenting on the impact of social distancing on sales stated (November 13, 2020) that:

“The impact of curbing sales reps and medical liaison interactions could be felt more heavily for drugs that rely on hospital-based physicians…many hospitals are limiting access, restricting the ability of company reps to enter the facilities. Primary care physicians too are fielding increased calls from concerned patients.” The sense of urgency to see patients has lessened as, obviously, are educational dinners, trade shows and the like.

If you are allowing tough times to discourage you, it is time to reset your thinking.

Drugs are still being launched. Education is still critical. Your competition is still out there. Are you determined to sell in tough times? Do you have the daily grit to see it through?

When One Road is Blocked, Find Another

Jessica Merrill talked about “Short-Term Triage, Long-Term Impact,” and she is correct. What you do now will impact on your success in the months and years to come. It is a matter of developing a vision of success.

Now, and certainly for the foreseeable future, most sales reps will have to rely on the virtual and digital space to communicate. According to industry statistics, during “normal times,” about 50 percent of the time healthcare providers are receptive to sales calls. However, in these times only 10 percent will open a sales email. That’s quite a drop. How do you get around it?

The key is creativity. Find more engaging approaches to communicate. Out-hustle the competition through committed customer support. Work at show-casing your products in a fresher way or with a more research-based approach or a more interactive method. The point is to be determined to set your company apart and above.

Keep in mind that virtual communication is largely in its infancy. We are on the verge of change. What is necessary now may become an accepted and permanent change in the years ahead.

The pharmaceutical industry has been looking for ways to lower costs and reach more customers for years. A mixture of innovative digital approaches combined with in-person calls could move the industry needle toward greater efficiency and impact.

Through vision, determination and the daily grit to rise above the obstacles that confront us, you and your sales team may well change the sales model forever. Staying at home doesn’t mean stuck at home, it means seeing possibilities from no matter where you sit.

 

Scott Burrows, Pharmaceutical Sales Motivational Keynote Speaker is booking appointments for in-person and virtual meetings and events. Contact Scott today through this website today or call: (520) 548-1169