Category: Scott Burrows

I’m Tired of the “Bitter Pill” Jokes – You Too?

 

As a pharmaceutical sales speaker, who has a broad background in sales and motivating pharma sales teams, I am tired of the “Bitter Pill” jokes. What I mean by that are people minimizing your professional background and efforts. If this past 18 months has taught us nothing else, it is that the world has once again turned its attention back to our industry. Are you motivated to meet those needs? You are not a joke; you matter.

Pharmaceutical sales are important. You must strive to be professional, knowledgeable and committed to the industry.

Netherlands-based “The Future of Healthcare,” online magazine wrote (April 23, 2020):

“The representative must be focused, now more than ever, on building networks and relationships with customers… these networks will be very essential in pitching new product launches. They need to be very agile in their efforts to provide the relevant and highly personalized pitches valued by the customers.”

Focus is essential

In this post-lockdown era, your clients have a pent-up need for knowledge. Will you stand-up and deliver that knowledge to them? Steve Jobs had a great quote on focus I’d like to share:

“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

He was absolutely right. In my pharma sales keynote talks, I stress that the very best salespeople are those who can take complex information and distill it down into a few important sentences. The trick however, is to have the product knowledge and the confidence to expand on those sentences to give your customer as much detail as is required.

To get to that point there must be an intense commitment; a laser-light focus to the utmost of professionalism.

How do you reach this type of commitment? How do teams, your team, achieve greatness? There are three essential elements I address as highly important:

Vision: In pharma sales, you must have a vision for success. You must carry it with you and allow nothing to clutter it. Learn more, do more and be more. Pharma sales are unlike any other form of selling. When it comes to your work, your vision, let nothing and no one make a joke out of what you do or your highest purpose. Your work will ultimately make a difference in someone’s life.

Mindset: Is your mindset one of playing it loose and not taking yourself seriously? Or is it to develop that laser focus, drive and purpose? If you see yourself as building networks, building credibility and having a standard of excellence, that is who you will be.

Grit: Anyone can decide to be a “decent” Pharma sales rep for a week or a month, but it takes the right amount grit daily grit to be truly successful and outstanding. Grit is a difference maker. No matter the setback, challenge or even triumph in the moment, grit keeps us all on point and very real.

 

What you do is no joke. It is vital. It is important. Believe in that mission, and above all else, believe each day, in yourself.

 

 

To contact Scott Burrows, Motivational Pharma Sales Speaker, please reach out to him through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

Nothing is Back to Normal, and That’s The Point

 

Recently, as I was presenting to a group in-person, on resilience and strength, I emphasized that nothing is back to normal. Last year I presented to the same group virtually and next year? Next year is next year. There was a time when we knew we could count on small changes such as registration fees, or venues or host hotels – and we adjusted. However, given all of changes from vaccines to variants to politics, mandates and on and on, all we can count on is that we can expect changes.

More than a Season

A recent study of 200 major organizations published McKinsey & Company said that “(M)ore than 90 percent of executives said they expect the fallout from COVID-19 to fundamentally change the way they do business over the next five years, with almost as many asserting that the crisis will have a lasting impact on their customers’ needs.”

No executive leader should deceive themselves into believing that everything is going to snap back to normal. In fact, McKinsey also found that 66 percent of the hundreds of executives they interviewed agreed this was the most challenging time of their careers.

Most executives have undergone an emotional shift from these times as a temporary period of having to endure change and upheaval to the acceptance of change as a long-term state of business. The old playbooks of management, marketing and sales will truly be as fluid, let’s say, as the playbook of an NFL team.

Is it Bad?

This need for resilience, and indeed for organizations to develop a stronger and grittier attitude may turn out to be a good thing.

In a report prepared by Psychologist Heather Craig (February 22, 2021) she pulled together a number of important workplace psychology research reports on resiliency and summarized those resilient employees shared several important attributes including: more effective communication; positive workplace relationships; a better social support system; a strong network of trust and (most importantly) they managed stress better than organizations that were not focused on resiliency.

It has been determined that resiliency is a learned process. In business or association life, we all once strived for “no surprises.” We wanted stability, predictability and probable outcomes. We can’t have that anymore. However, if the trade off are positive new skills and a higher degree of staff and industry cohesiveness.

Grit not Surprising

How do organizations develop greater resilience in these times? How do they arrive at a mindset and a vision of overcoming the challenges of constant and often surprising change? It is grit, the determination to not give into adversity but to have the strength and courage to adapt.

Grit is not “fancy,” grit is hardly mentioned in business schools, associations or keynote speeches. Yet, as a motivational speaker on developing resilience and organizational strength I know that grit is the essential ingredient that determines the success or failure of employees during the toughest of times.

There is no challenge we will face that can’t be overcome with grit.

 

For more information on booking Scott Burrows, Change Management & Resilience Motivational Speaker for your next event, contact him 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

Is Safety for the Other Guy?

 

As a safety motivational speaker, I have never thought it was my mission during a safety keynote speech or breakout session to scare anyone. Because I know, I know what many of you are thinking “Safety is for the other guy. I don’t need lectures, Scott. I know what I’m doing.”

Look in the Mirror

There was a time, as a D-1 football player and martial artist, when I looked at myself in the mirror and thought I was invincible. In addition to sports, I also worked with hazardous materials and heavy equipment at a golf course job, and was trained how to handle my duties safely. There was nothing you could have preached to me about staying safe. In my mind, safety speeches were for the other guy.

One evening my buddies and I headed to the beach to celebrate my latest kickboxing victory. It was a short drive later in the evening to scavenge for firewood, and I figured I could forgo my seatbelt as we scoured the area for supplies. It was a split-second decision not to snap my seatbelt into the buckle, and in retrospect, a lazy one. My friend lost control of his car, hit a mound of sand and sent the car hurtling end-over-end on the beach. When I woke up, I was a quadriplegic. This time, the mirror didn’t lie. I was not invincible. I couldn’t even move a finger.

In 2020, when we were all in lockdown – and seemingly super safety-conscious, national safety and Worker’s Compensation experts found that there were as many accidents as there were in 2019. In fact, statistics for 2019 and 2020 were higher than 2018. Accidents included slips and falls, back injuries, manufacturing incidents, trucking and construction accidents.

By “accidents” I am not referring to scrapes and bruises, but serious injuries; crippling injuries, surgeries and hospitalizations, and tragically, death.

In every case, the workers took on the attitude that safety was for the other guy. Safety didn’t apply to them, just like the seatbelt didn’t apply to me.

An Inescapable Philosophy

My accident changed my life. As I began my rehab, I realized that I was the other guy. It wasn’t about “me and them,” but us. In that hospital setting, supported and surrounded by incredible healthcare providers, I worked hard to get function, to feel better and to pardon myself. I vowed to help others and as a result, I arrived at my philosophy of vision, mindset and grit.

I understood that many of us live in a time where procrastination is easy. In fact, procrastination has gotten worse and not better. After all, why pay attention to a safety video when there are emails that demand response? Why worry about a training podcast when there are texts to send, videogames to play, social media posts to answer?

Vision, Mindset and Grit, requires each of us on the job, whatever we do on the job to realize that nothing is more important than safety. The “Other Guy” is you; the guy in the mirror.

We must all develop the Vision of making our workplace and each other safe; we must have the Mindset of making safety our most important mission and to have the daily Grit to keep safety top-most in our minds.

If we are not committed to safety, we will pay the price. Like an unpaid credit card bill, it will come back to haunt us. Safety may not be “fun,” but it will cost us if we ignore it.

 

For more information on booking Scott Burrows, Safety 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

Resilience and Grit, A Physical Impossibility?

 

It’s a funny comparison, resilience and grit, but as a resilience and grit keynote speaker, I know that what seems opposite are connected.

When we think of “resilience,” we think of a strand of cooked spaghetti, a rubber band, stretch-band or something that bends every which way in the wind but returns to normal. When most of us think of “grit,” we think of holding-fast, grinding it out and never yielding.

As a grit and resilience speaker I know that we can’t have one without the other and in fact, they need each other.

Taking it out of the “physical” and into the organizational, I can almost always predict who in an organization will adjust to change and who will encounter problems.

In November 2012, Laura Quast wrote an engaging article for Forbes on why people resist change. She listed 5 reasons:  fear of the unknown, mistrust, loss of control, bad timing, and every person’s tolerance for change.

The Resilience and Grit Equation

Taking the five points above, I like to turn them around and look at them through the lens of my personal philosophy of Vision – Mindset – Grit. Why? Because I believe that no matter what change you are going through, with resilience and grit, you can accomplish far more than you ever thought possible.

  • Embracing the unknown – Every great inventor, athlete, actor, CEO, sales person, artist, or most anyone who has risen to greatness did so because they embraced the unknown. They drowned out everything negative and had a vision of themselves as being successful, with the mindset of overcoming any challenge and the grit to fight it out.
  • Be in control – No one can be in control one-hundred percent of the time, but we can develop the courage to be resilient no matter what is thrown at us. We can visualize taking that control and understanding we are stronger, tougher and braver than we think.
  • Faith in the future – The resilient person is the one who has the vision and resilience to understand that things will work out IF the effort is made to use the daily grit to make it work.
  • Timing is perfect – The person with resilience and grit understands that “things change” and nothing stays the same. The drive to work changes, the shift from in-person work to virtual to hybrid, new machinery, executives, the organization itself changes. Do you have the vision of seeing yourself in a new role, a new office and even new co-workers? The timing could be perfect to allow yourself to stand-up and shine.
  • Tolerance for change – Who has the tolerance for change? You do. Who is resilient enough to adjust and thrive no matter the situation? You are.

 

The resilient person understands that there is no substitute for grit. It may not be “fancy” day to day, but resilient, motivated employees are those who make organizations work and with purposeful grit, they elevate companies to greatness.

 

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

 

You’re Much Tougher Than You Think

 

Speaking to audiences across the country about overcoming adversity and developing resiliency, it has been my honor to motivate organizations going through tough periods of change and challenges. In my keynotes about overcoming adversity, I recall my own challenges while still in my hospital bed,  formulating my life philosophy of Vision, Mindset and Grit.

“It was Easier for You”

Recently, I had the honor of addressing an audience in-person and an attendee started his comments in this manner:

“Scott, I admire how you were able to overcome adversity, but after all, you’re special. Before your accident you were a martial artist and D-1 football player. You already had a tough mindset and the vision of wellness.”

The mid-level executive went on to explain that soaking wet he was 140 pounds, and barely topped 5’6”

But I am not special, and while it was true that after the car crash, I was a quadriplegic with multiple injuries facing the fight of my life, I am constantly inspired by the stories of others when facing obstacles and finding the grit to push through their challenges.

Two stories come to mind. An executive who, many years back, lost his job to an acquisition. He launched his own company at 73, and has become quite successful. He still works at 82. The inspiring part is that he simultaneously battled cancer and nursed an ill-wife. Another friend survived several tragedies as well, and became an award-winning author. In addition, she lectures throughout the country on pet adoption and mentor’s at-risk children.

If we develop a vision to overcome adversity, have the mindset to be resilient no matter what life throws at us, and the grit to fight whatever has been dealt, we can rise up against our toughest opponent: ourselves.

You Really Are Much Tougher Than You Think

In 2018, Psychology Today featured an interview with researcher and social activist Emilia Lahti in an article entitled “Are You Tougher Than You Think?”

Lahti wrote about toughness and the Finnish concept of Sisu, having the ability to tap into courage and determination. Whether you are in a company about to be acquired or you are launching a product line or facing any kind of uncertainty, you are tougher than you think. Lahti pointed out five important attributes we all need in life:

Stand up for what is important; for your company, your team, for yourself; adopt an action mindset (don’t just sit there); overcome your inner critic (and by the way, I met incredible martial artists who were not much more than 100 pounds); ask for help (we’re all connected) and foster courage and determination in others (the more you believe in yourself, the more others will believe in you).

You are much tougher than you think, more resilient than you know, and more determined to succeed than you realize. Call upon those strengths and you too will have the vision to overcome adversity, the mindset to be strong no matter the situation and the grit to believe in yourself every day.

 

To book Scott Burrows, Overcoming Adversity and Resilience Motivational Speaker for your next in-person or virtual event, contact him today through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

 

Change is All-Around Us, It’s Time to Rise Up

 

As a motivational speaker for the insurance and financial services industry, I have never seen as much sweeping change as we are experiencing now. I say this as someone who worked in the industry and made it to the Million Dollar Round Table and who carefully follows every industry development.

2020 changed everything, but 2021 will raise those changes to a whole new level.

Regulation 187 and Beyond

The amendment known as New York State’s regulation 187 is just a number to some, but it signaled the start of sweeping change in the insurance and financial service industry. Though its origins go back, to pre-pandemic 2019 it picked up steam across the nation.

Bill Unrue, industry insurance expert said at the start of 2021:

“The rule requiring insurers to act in the best interest of the consumer will likely become the standard for the U.S. life and annuity insurance industry over the next few years. The rule demands more simplicity and transparency within the annuity and life insurance sales experience to prevent what some call “consumer financial exploitation.”

In addition to the changes moving us all to greater transparency, more clarity and policy language that’s easier to understand, is another trend that can no longer be ignored: the 2021 Digital Climate.

Retail and commercial consumers are comparison shopping online as never before. And, what is surprising, are the consumers of that insurance. In a CNBC article on “panic buying” of insurance during the pandemic (October 21, 2020), it was found that:

“There was a 13% increase in life insurance applications among the under-44 age group in the third quarter versus Q3 2019, compared with a 9% jump for 45- to 59-year-olds and 0.4% in the 60-plus category.”

While the industry saw a jump in insurance sales in 2020, and that finally, more Americans are getting insured after years of decline. The so-called panic buying during the pandemic also meant that transparency was at an all-time high and climbing. The Millennial buyer, being an early adopter of all things digital, is seeking easy-to-find comparative coverage rates, superior, online customer service and a commitment of insurers to offering ethical and crystal-clear language as never before. What’s more, with states adopting similar rules to New York State’s regulation 187, anything put out online will be subject to intense scrutiny.

What is Your Vision?

You can turn your insurance and financial services future into a tremendous opportunity, and it’s apparent that customers are receptive as never before, but it’s going to take every ounce of your vision to make it happen. Do you have that vision?

Your mindset must be to offer exceptional and transparent customer service, to be as digitally savvy as you can be and to offer product that is unquestioned on the basis of its comparable value. Pre-pandemic, Americans had fallen off insurance purchases, now it is up to you to take advantage of the renewed interest. Can you embrace that mindset?

However, understand this is not the same industry that it was less than five years ago. It can be better, but it is up-to-you.

To be successful, will take the daily grit to outwork the competition and to convey the importance of what you are doing and why your mission is so important. You can be successful, but it is a commitment as never before.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Insurance & Financial Services speaker for your next event, through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

 

There is no Medicine Like Grit

 

In my motivational presentations on Grit for healthcare organizations, my audiences are sometimes puzzled when I stress the importance of grit in every aspect of medicine and patient care. The relationship between grit and healthcare is stronger than you might imagine.

The Predictor

From physicians in training, to medical equipment sales teams, the topic of grit has come into greater prominence over the past five years.

Allen F. Shih wrote a groundbreaking article for the Journal of Graduate Medical Education in 2017 entitled The Importance of Grit in Medical Training. Shih, a physician and educator himself, understands that it is impossible for medical schools and residency programs to predict success.

To get into a medical school or competitive residency program has long been thought of as the domain of the intelligent and super-intelligent. However, intelligence may not be enough.

Studies of teachers and even West Point cadets has shown that some “intangible factor” beyond test scores, extra-curricular activities, demographic information or GPA indicates those candidates who will fight it out, dig-in, reach down and succeed.

According to research into grit:

“Some have suggested that grit should be integrated into the medical school admissions process by asking recommenders to speak to an applicant’s perseverance or by inquiring about grit during the interview process. We echo these sentiments.

“We expect grit to be an important metric in undergraduate and graduate medical education…we suggest that the academic medical community assess objective measures of grit in their review of applicants.”

As a keynote speaker on healthcare grit who has explored the topic with groups as wide-ranging as nursing students, pharmaceutical sales teams, orthopedic associations, hospital administrators and therapists, I have determined that “qualifications,” while important are flawed. “Over-stressed” measurements such as the need for admissions committees to debate statistically insignificant GPA candidate comparisons often push the topic of grit aside.

What Got You Here?

In a sense, my own journey started in healthcare, as a patient in a large hospital where an accident left me a quadriplegic. I not only understood that unless I developed the philosophy of Vision-Mindset-Grit, that I could languish in that bed and stumble in self-pity. I did improve and my life is much better than I expected due to a vision of wellness and a mindset to go farther than anyone thought was possible. It was grit that separated me from others in my position.

However, in the day-to-day journey that helped me off that bed and allowed me to stand-up and go forward, I was aware of those around me: physicians, surgeons, nurses, physical therapists and all the wonderful support personnel.

What interested me in my many talks to them over the months was that often the most skilled, supportive and compassionate healthcare providers weren’t necessarily those who graduated number one from their many classes and licensing, but those who clawed and fought for every victory and achievement.

These incredible people who formed my team saw in me, what I saw in each of them. They pushed me as others had pushed and elevated them. In the end, we all stood tall together.

Make no mistake, that grit not only belongs in healthcare, but may be its very life-blood.

 

To book Scott Burrows, Motivational Speaker on Healthcare Grit for next event, contact him today through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169