Category: Goal setting

You May Be Your Biggest Competitor

Speaking to sales teams or individual sales reps about overcoming objections, I like to casually ask this question: “Just out of curiosity, who is your biggest competitor?” Most will answer, “In my space, it is ‘X’.” They will name a specific company. Yet, every once in a while, one person will answer “It’s me, Scott, my greatest competitor is the person I have to look at in the mirror.” To that person, I give a knowing nod and smile.

Look Deep Within

It is Bill Gates who is famous for saying “I am not in competition with anyone but myself. My goal is to improve myself continuously.” He is right.

Sales, as we should know, is not a business skill, but a way of life. In effective selling I believe we must overcome objections to ourselves first, and then to our family, friends, prospects and ultimately, customers. I first learned this valuable lesson in the most unlikely of places, the hospital, after a life-changing diagnosis and in front of the toughest customer I would ever face — myself. After an accident I went from being an athlete to a quadriplegic. I learned to see myself in wellness and not as a disabled person; to not pity myself when I measured progress in quarter inches, not feet; and to overcome negativity and the hundreds of excuses I could have made for myself. I had a choice to overcome objections or give into them.

It was during my recovery that I took a sales position in the financial and insurance industry and within five years I became a member of the Million Dollar Round Table.

Don’t Invite Me to the Pity Party

In life, there are always people who will say, “I wouldn’t blame you if –” (you gave up, or quit this job, went into another field, or moved away). These are often the same types who will convince themselves that the competition is too much, or the product or service your team is selling is inadequate.

I first encountered this attitude in rehab.

They would wrap their pity in comments telling me they never thought I could have come “this far,” or to accept what couldn’t be changed. I chose not to listen. I knew there were still improvements I could make to my health challenge and to not accept that I had done all that I could. I was learning important lessons of overcoming sales objections.

Just as a lawyer never asks a court witness a question they can’t already answer, as a sales person there should be no opposition to a sale you can’t answer. In fact, before going into any presentation know exactly how you will respond to an objection.

If you don’t know information on the customer before you call on them, chances are the sale is lost before you make it. When I was in rehab, I could have defined myself as someone with a terrible back injury. Instead, I studied everything about my injury, I asked a thousand questions and I was determined to understand that no two injuries are identical. It gave me a well-spring of optimism and a commitment to always do my best. I didn’t know how far I could go; I only knew that in terms of my own life or in selling against competitors, I could do more than accept a situation; I could overcome the challenge in front of me. Of course, I learned a sense of acceptance, but the acceptance was never based on pity. If I had a bad day in rehab or lost a sale, I knew the next day would be better. It always was.

Truth is, I have had more good days than bad. I faced down the toughest competitor I ever had and sold him on the future.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Keynote Speaker on Overcoming Objections for Sales Teams through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

Why is Building a Great Team So Difficult?

 

In delivering keynote addresses and workshops across the country on teamwork and what it takes to build a great team, the common refrain is always, “Scott, why is it so darn difficult?” It is, and I might add it’s not your imagination.

Bill Green, writing for inc. magazine (March 20, 2018) noted: “The only way to build a winning team is to recruit and train people you believe can manage different parts of the ship without needing you to handhold them through every decision. This means thinking hard about how you can teach them to make their own decisions.”

Building a great team often requires the leader, the manager, or chief executive to lose ego and have the vision to allow her people to succeed or fail on their own merits.

The next question I usually encounter is, “Scott, suppose the team becomes so effective they no longer need the manager?”

That’s the point, isn’t it? How can a team develop the determination to rise above the task ahead of them if the leader always sticks in his two cents to auto-correct even the most minor detail? Assuming the manager has hired good people, why not have the faith that they will develop the grit to accomplish the task they’ve been given?

Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Building a great team does not mean, of course, that there is no communication between the manager and the team. In fact, it is the opposite. There must be constant communication. The leader must have the determination to never let the team down in terms of supplying information and communication. In turn, every team member must apprise every other member (as well as the manager) of every development. This is where trust comes into play.

No team can function without honesty, without an understanding of everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. This is not a bad thing. Again, quite the opposite. Honest evaluation doesn’t make one team member “weak” or another “strong.” It makes everyone more effective and valued. It also helps the team to be more organized and efficient.

When a team has the shared vision to be successful, and to sublimate ego to achieve an excellent group outcome, it leads to a sense of mutual support and an amazing flow of fresh ideas. Ideas rarely spring to life from thin air. They build on other ideas. When a team is determined to work together, it is not uncommon for “creatives” to have excellent technical questions or for technical minds to suggest amazing marketing ideas. As a keynote speaker on teamwork, to me, one of the saddest things is when team members admit they were so disappointed in the group that they intentionally withheld ideas.

The shared vision of everyone on the team to be successful and to make a difference is self-fulfilling. When a team is successful on one project, they are highly likely to be successful on another.

Do you have the determination to build great teams in your organization? It may involve getting out of comfort zones, to work together to support rather than divide, and to celebrate honesty and efficiency over ego.

We should all build great teams because they lead to the greatest organizations. At the end of the day, that should be all that matters.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Inspirational Keynote Speaker on Teamwork today through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

 

Comfortable Sales Goals Lead to Sleeping at Your Desk

 

Not long ago, I was leading a seminar on real estate sales and setting sales goals when a new agent asked if I thought daily prospecting and follow-up did much good. She clarified she prospected when she had a chance, but she was more interested collecting referrals. She shrugged when I questioned how she defined goals for collecting referrals. Then I asked if she felt she had the grit be successful. The word “grit” stopped her cold.

What are Your Goals for Real Estate Sales Success?

Depending on the source, the failure rate for real estate agents after one year has been estimated at between 75 and 87 percent. Most of the agents who do make it barely squeak by. The old rule of thumb said that about 80 percent of the brokers make 20 percent of the profits. The new norm is even more intimidating. According to industry experts, it has now become the 90/10 Rule where 90 percent of the realtors earn 10 percent of the commissions and ultimately, just the top 1 percent of the realtors earn 40 percent of the commissions!

Mike Lalji, a highly successful real estate broker for the past 35 years, described some key elements that characterize a “1 percenter.”

“Those 1% Realtors…pretty much make whatever their written goal is for the new year. They write their goals a day or 2 before the 1st of January of the new year… they develop good interpersonal relationships with family and friends and are self-motivated.”

The Close.com website in a January 2019 article entitled “Why So Many Realtors Fail After 2 Years (and How Not To)” listed a failure to set goals as one of the key reasons new real estate agents fail to make the cut.

The article cited a sophisticated scientific paper printed in 2015 in Nature magazine. Simply put, the article stated that written goal setting and the determination to follow it through erases all differences between gender, ethnicity, race and other factors.  No matter where new agents start out, if they write down their goals and have the grit to follow it through, they have an infinitely better chance of succeeding.

The Joy of Prospecting

Alexis Petersen writing in January 2019 for RIS Media, an online real estate magazine, stated several goals in order for agents to be successful and listed the following as being important:  setting realistic prospecting goals, committing to prospecting ideas – including cold calls and visits as well as referrals, focusing on quantity prospecting (not just to friends and family), following up on every call, email, text or inquiry, and my favorite, “Make prospecting part of your daily routine.”

Petersen echoed other articles written by industry professionals. It is having the determination to write down and set goals, the grit to prospect every day, to follow up on every lead, and to network whenever possible. As a real estate sales professional, you must have the vision to separate yourself from the pack and be part of the 1 percent who believe they will succeed.

Don’t get comfortable and wait for the market to come to your feet. It won’t. Have the courage to stand up and be a professional real estate agent, fighting each day for your success.

Book Scott Burrows, Inspirational Real Estate Keynote Speaker on Sales and Goal Setting, through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

Year of Change Ahead for Financial Advisors: How Will You Respond?

Every one of us involved in the financial and insurance industry knows that 2019 will be a year of change.

Bob Veres, writing for Advisor Perspectives (December 10, 2018), pointed out at least five major challenges that will impact financial advisors this year. They include new “BI” or best interest standards and fiduciary oaths; planning for the coming Bear market and making clients your partners in the financial planning process; the pressure to shift away from AUM (percentage-based) portfolio revenue models to flat fees; the trend away from traditional insurance agencies to self-directed purchases; and the opportunities in utilizing customized “Robo” software within your practice. Veres concluded that change is never easy and financial advisors and insurance brokers must prepare for whatever is next.

Will You Evolve or Be Left Behind?

How will you adapt your business this year? Have you identified your strategies to meet the comprehensive financial planning needs of clients about to retire as well as younger generations embarking on their careers?

As a financial advisor, in order to stay ahead you will need to wear many hats in managing client expectations. Will you be able to show clients at all stages of their careers the value that you are bringing to the investing equation, and are you determined to make the necessary emotional investment and to be an educator as well as advisor?

In 2019, and beyond, financial advisors will need to focus on new niche markets to differentiate themselves. They will need to embrace the latest tools to set themselves apart in a highly competitive financial advisory market. It will not be a matter of offering customer service, but tapping into technology to access changing regulations and ultimately to use that information to recommend the right insurance and investment products.

The questions asked above, and many more, can only be answered by one person:  you. The expanding workload, the deluge of information, evolving fiduciary rules, the need to offer clients greater transparency, and the maze of ever-expanding investment options will require each financial advisor to have the grit to maintain their success and to rise above average. “Average” advisors will suffer from average on-line ratings especially as more millennials enter the work world. Average will mean being left behind.

Be a Student, Be Coachable

The most successful financial advisors will be those who understand that they are students and not “professors.” Being a student, even if you have been in the business for many years, means updating your practice management, understanding and employing new technologies and the educational components necessary to help your clients reach their goals. It means attending conferences that offer niche market products and opportunities, evaluating the latest practice management solutions and being facile enough to use the social media to set yourself up as an authority.

While new investors may not be sophisticated in terms of investing, they understand technology and how to access information. Financial advisors must match that intensity and sophistication and have the knowledge to answer tough questions their clients find online. It is a tall order but a tremendous opportunity.

The year ahead is where the financial advisor will be a student who is determined to learn what is needed to make the practice successful.

 

For more information on how financial advisors can develop a winning vision, contact Scott Burrows, Financial and Insurance Industry Motivational speaker, through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

 

Everybody who has ever had a career should learn the importance of setting goals. While we may set off on a career path with the intention of simply gaining a reasonable income, what comes next? Setting goals is the first step in securing successful achievements. (more…)

Technology has changed the way we live. Often times, it gets very difficult to keep track of one’s own identity, in our hyper-connected world.

Even more so, if you are at the helm of an organization. When you set up a business initially, you know exactly what your aims are. However, a few years down the line, you begin to lose perspective. Your goals become opaque. (more…)

Life is easy to get lost in. We focus so much on the daily grind and the automated routines we have set for ourselves that we tend to forget to look within to see if we are truly satisfied with the kind of life we’re leading.

A lot of things about life are out of our hands, but the things we value and the things we focus on are completely within our control. (more…)