Category: Financial Services

In Sales, Some Things Change; Resilience Doesn’t

 

As a motivational speaker on resilience and grit, I know that of the many qualities a salesperson needs, resilience – and the daily grit to remain resilient – are never mentioned enough. Perhaps it’s because resilience, the skill of being flexible, isn’t thought of as being cool. It is, and in fact, business resilience yields huge benefits.

Get Tough

I’d like to open these thoughts on resilience and grit by quoting Gary Galvin, CEO of Galvin Technologies:

“While salespeople will find success when they lead with empathy, they’ll find greater success when they respond with resilience.”

He is on the money. When I was in the insurance and financial services industry, I qualified for the Million Dollar Round Table through the resilient pursuit of my sales goals. Of course, I was sympathetic to situations involving my clients, but it was far more important to be flexible to their needs, and to put in the effort to immediately respond to questions and changes.

If I was going to be successful as a salesperson, I had no choice but to develop a flexible mindset.

Michael F. Kay, wrote an article for Forbes magazine (11/7/17) entitled: “Resilience Is A Mindset Of Awareness And Practice.” Kay listed several ways in which this mindset can be nurtured. Among the top methods for cultivation of resiliency are increasing our sense of control: you are not powerless when your sales plans change, you can change with it; it is important to maintain perspective in a changing situation; and you must develop a positive self-concept.

I would also add that if you are part of a sales team, associate with those who also have a flexible mindset. It is easy to be surrounded by negative or inflexible people. They cannot help you. The winners on your team will see opportunity even in adversity.

Get Gritty

However, to be resilient also requires the grit to keep going and to see the big picture rather than the immediate problem. Kori Miller, writing for Positive Psychology, presented a wonderful summary of grit as a component of resiliency:

“Grit is about sustained, consistent effort toward a goal even when we struggle, falter, or temporarily fail.

Resilience is our ability to bounce back after we have struggled, faltered, or failed. It is being able to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, take a moment or two to collect ourselves, and then get back to the business of pursuing our goal. It involves optimism.”

We cannot be resilient without grit nor can we possess a “gritty mindset” without resilience. As any successful salesperson knows, in real life we may misquote an important benefit, miss an appointment or inadvertently park in the CEO’s parking space. Those things unfortunately happen. It is how we respond to those struggles that count, whether it amounts to making a detailed correction, profusely apologizing (without fabrication) or sending a dozen roses.

In the end, resiliency and grit are about the courage to stand up after you have been knocked down and to keep smiling.

 

To hire Scott Burrows, Inspirational Keynote Speaker on Resilience and Grit for your next industry meeting, connect with his office today through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169

 

The Changing Landscape for Insurance & Financial Services

 

As a former insurance and financial adviser, I know much has changed in the past few years in the insurance and financial industry. Customers are more sophisticated and they want to be seen as people, not numbers.

Roi Agababa, the CEO of Novidea, a major brokerage software provider for all lines of insurance, recently wrote an article entitled “5 Key Challenges Facing the Insurance Industry.” One of the challenges he notes is that customer expectations have changed.

He points to the fact that “70 percent of customers expect [their insurance] business to tailor communications and services” based on transactions in the past. When they renew, they assume their experience will be “a frictionless experience – hassle-free, no waiting, and self-service where possible.”

This experience may sound less personalized, but it’s not. The new insurance buyers still want personal attention but on their own terms.

“Digital-savvy millennials are gradually replacing baby boomers as the main buyers of personal insurance and, with a phone always in hand, expect to transact anytime from anywhere.”

Business as Usual is Changing

Salesforce Research organization recently surveyed more than 6,700 consumers and business buyers of goods and services around the world. The results were far different than we might have imagined. Some of the highlights of what they found include:

  • When they call your office, more than 75 percent expect the insurance companies to understand their needs and expectations. This obviously requires a thorough knowledge of your products.
  • Millennials do their research. They have undoubtedly studied many aspects of your products before they call. Getting the sale means doing more, knowing more and approaching their needs without condescension.
  • Along with the point above, “59 percent of customers say tailored engagement based on past interactions is very important to winning their business.” When they ask for options or a presentation, they want it tailor-made not boiler-plate.
  • 84 percent of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business. Just because they may find you online or even prefer to correspond with you through texts and emails does not mean they want an impersonal interaction.
  • 63 percent of your insurance or financial services customers want new and innovative products; at the same time, nearly 70 percent are not impressed with ho-hum products that every other representative is offering.
  • Finally, there has been an increase of about 62 percent of concerns about cybersecurity than only two years ago. Expect your current and future clients to ask about cybersecurity within in your firm. How will you answer?

“Business as usual” will never be quite the same. The new generation of insurance and financial services buyers want seamlessness of transactions, expertise, and personalization.

In 2020, you must have the vision to meet your clients’ demands where they are, the determination and daily grit to rise above your competitors, and the dedication to being the best agent you can be.

 

To contact Scott Burrows, Inspirational Insurance and Financial Services Speaker, contact his office today through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169

 

Are You Determined to Make a Difference in Someone’s Life?

When I deliver keynote addresses as an inspirational insurance and financial services sales speaker, I often encounter attendees new to the industry who ask me why I was attracted to the industry in the first place?

It is an easy question to answer: “I believed then, as I do now, that having the right coverage can make a real difference in someone’s life.” I carried that belief when I first sold insurance and financial services. I made it into the Million-Dollar Round Table within five years.

Now that I speak to groups across the country, I believe it more than ever!

Selling insurance is a valuable profession filled with purpose providing the sales person has the vision to help people and is determined to sell what insurance can do. In 2017, insurance broker Ryan Stewman wrote an article on his blog “Hardcore Closer” that I wholeheartedly endorse. Stewman said:

“Here’s the cold hard truth: no one wants insurance. What they want is what the insurance provides. Insurance is forced on the consumer and I’ve never heard a person say they would love to have more insurance. What they would love is for their car not to get in an accident, or their belongings not to get stolen.” I would add that no one wants to get hurt, experience a business fire or see their roof collapse either.

While some might argue that insurance is a “necessary evil,” I don’t see it as an evil at all. As an insurance and financial services speaker, I reassure everyone in the profession that what they do matters. To be successful they must possess the grit to influence every prospect that not having enough coverage or the right coverage can be catastrophic. It can be a life changer – and not for the better. Why then, are so few insurance salespeople willing to develop that grit?

Low Motivation

In 2019, the “Agent Survival Guide” website listed four reasons why so many agents walk away from the profession. These include a lack of resources, having too high expectations and poor management. However, the number one reason was low motivation. The article stated:

“As an insurance agent, you have daily opportunities to change your clients’ lives for the better. You can expect to get out of this job as much as you put in. That means if you truly care about your clients and put your best foot forward in finding a plan that will fit their needs, you can find joy in the fact that you’ve made a positive impact on them and their future.”

If you view a prospect not as an income stream, but as someone whose life you can positively impact, then you will make a huge difference. Do you have the vision to make that difference?

Finally, the Kaplan Financial Education website (March 29, 2019) gave five reasons why selling insurance is a great career. My favorite reason is that you can make a difference. KFE stated:

“Insurance policies protect people from financial loss because of unexpected events and circumstances…the research you do and recommendations you provide have a real impact on a client’s financial well-being down the road…insurance agents have the potential to help people achieve their financial and personal goals. They also prepare clients for unfortunate events and provide a measure of comfort to clients during such events.”
There are few professions that will make such a difference in someone’s life. Insurance sales is one of them. Do you have the determination to make that difference?

To book Scott Burrows, Inspirational Insurance and Financial Services Sales Speaker for your next meeting or convention, contact him through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169,

They Once Called Banking “Dull,” No One Believes That Now

 

As a banking & financial services change management motivational speaker who came out of those industries, I am intimately aware of the myths. The biggest myth is that the profession is dull. As we all know, nothing could be further from the truth.

Banking Exchange Contributing Editor Ed O’Leary recently wrote:

“Banking has always been primarily a relationship business…so it seems to me that in a successful commercial lending business model, there remains the need for creative intervention of a human sort…at its heart, commercial lending is a highly interpersonal business where we earn our way by being creative with our customers and their needs and with our banks in the management of the risks of financial intermediation.”

While O’Leary is clearly well-versed of the changes that digitalization has brought to the industry, he is even more aware of the unjustified perceptions that have led to a decline in the industry finding bright new talent.

“The lack of newly trained talent augurs well for lucrative careers and job security. But what might it really portend for the industry? Maybe too many people have paid too much attention to the nonsense that banking isn’t innovative or interesting. I can’t imagine anything further removed from reality.”

If commercial lenders have been wrestling with how they will meet the challenge of change, financial services brokers have been going through even more turbulent times. In fact, and in strange ways, change is forcing all of us to come together.

Are you determined to manage the changes?

Managing the Changes in Financial Services

When I give keynote addresses to brokers on how they’re managing changes within their area of the financial services and banking industry, I am often told, “Scott, it’s overwhelming,” or “You won’t believe what’s coming next.”

Twenty years ago, with the exception of science fiction writers, no one in the financial services community could have imagined concepts such as “customer intelligence,” AI, Blockchain, FinTech companies, cloud computing, robotics or cyber-security for that matter.

One of the many projected changes PWC Global envisions for 2020 is the expansion of the shared economy for the financial system.

“By 2020, consumers will need banking services, but they may not turn to a bank to get them. Or, at least, maybe not what we think of as a bank today. The so-called sharing economy may have started with cars, taxis, and hotel rooms, but financial services will follow soon enough.”

There just may be, as the report suggests, a sharing of financial sources just as we currently experience with ride sharing and apartment sharing.

The changes will force commercial lenders and financial services organizations to be more inventive, more customer service oriented and more digitally savvy than ever before. The good news is that those institutions and leaders who have the courage to envision managing these changes will be rewarded with incredible opportunities.

Are you resolute enough to embrace the possibilities?

 

Engage Scott Burrows, Banking & Financial Services Change Management Speaker for your next industry meeting through this website or by calling us at: (520) 548-1169