Category: Scott Burrows

Adversity Builds Character: What You Can Learn From It

It’s not too much of a stretch to say that you’ll find very few people who actually appreciate adversity. Why would anyone want that? No sane person would want problems. And often, people wish for the day they have everything they desire, no wishes left ungranted.

To many, that’s the very definition of heaven: a place of bliss and peacefulness without disease, war and want. So, who in his right mind would want adversity?

Adversity is the opposition to progress — or so it seems.

The idea that adversity actually builds character and a more meaningful life has been around for more than two thousand years. The first inkling of such an idea seemed to have come from the ancient Greeks, specifically the Stoics. We now think of someone as “stoic” if they face adversity with a positive attitude (or at least without complaining).

So yes, adversity can build character. But how does that work? Why do problems present an opportunity to build one’s person, one’s character?

Stoics would say the obstacle is the way. The idea is that in facing an obstacle, one learns important lessons about themselves — about how they approach and solve problems. It’s not such a far-fetched idea if you think of it this way: An obstacle isn’t just a meaningless challenge or an annoyance, but also represents your limits. The obstacle literally refuses for you to pass unless you find a way around it, over it or through it.

The very experience of meeting your obstacle head-on and thinking about where you want to go opens up new avenues of thought, new ideas, new perspectives. The mind is a problem solver. It desires to uncover any question, any challenge and any problem. And from that new set of thoughts come new beliefs about your abilities, about how you treat others and what your responsibility is to them and yourself, and about your purpose.

This belief gives birth to a new resolve about your purpose, your desires and your actions. It all comes together into a conviction that turns into a strength that is visible for everyone around you to see. When you embrace the challenge that adversity places in front of you and do your best to overcome it, you have literally taken on a new character.

If you let it, adversity opens you up to a new life where your thoughts, words and actions bear new fruits you never would have thought possible. That’s how adversity builds character, which, in turn, leads to a new life with bigger and better possibilities.

Take a look at real-life adversities people are facing every day. Real people are facing real problems. How can this adversity lead to character development and a better life?

For one thing, there are no guarantees in life. But as long as you don’t give up on yourself and on others, there’s always a possibility — and opportunities are still there to be had. The realization that you’re not powerless even in a tough situation is incredibly empowering and transformative.

The reality is there are people in the world today who have faced similar adversity to your own, and somehow they overcame them. They might say that there seems to be some luck or fate playing its part. But I would like to think more often than not, we create our own luck or at least set ourselves up to have a “luckier” outcome.

If you open yourself up and let the adversity you’re facing shape your perspective in a positive way, you too can find a path that not only helps you deal with the problem at hand, but actually changes your character for the better.

To contact Scott Burrows, Inspirational Overcoming Adversity Speaker, contact his office today through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169

What Will It Take for You to Reach Your 2020 Goals?

 

The Mindset of Success

As a motivational speaker on setting sales goals and sales achievements, I am a believer in developing a goal-setting mindset before anything else, and having the determination to see it through. I am not alone in this way of thinking.

Business writer Jason Alten recently discussed what he considered to be the seven most important goals for any sales person to reach their full potential. The first goal was simply this: “Start with the end in mind.” To quote in part from his comments:

“Ask yourself what the end result you’re looking to realize is so that you can make decisions and set goals that will help you get there. Too often businesses set goals that aren’t connected to the overall vision of where they want their business to be in a year, or even the next quarter.”

If you lack the mindset, the overall vision to define where you want the business to go in the months ahead, as well as the determination to reach your long-term goals, the results could be poor at best.

Kristen Baker in her sales article entitled, “The Ultimate Guide to Setting and Hitting Sales Goals” asks:

“What’s one thing virtually every business does — no matter their industry, target customer, or product or service? They set goalsGoals ensure employees are driven, on-task, and producing work that impacts the business’s bottom line. They also ensure your business is constantly striving to grow, improve, and most importantly:  boost revenue.”

Who Will Take Charge?

While both Jason Alten and Kristen Baker are correct in that without having the mindset and the determination (or drive) to set goals there will be lackluster results, I would add an additional dimension.

When I began in sales. I had only recently been discharged from rehab after an automobile accident that left me a quadriplegic. In the hospital, going through months of rehabilitation, I realized it wasn’t just a matter of mindset and vision, or even determination that would see me through, but the daily grit to make that happen.

My physicians and physical therapists could only do so much for me. It was up to me to develop the grit through good days and bad to reach my goals.

I was successful in the financial services and insurance sales industry; in fact, in just five years I made it into the industry’s Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT). I applied the same lessons I learned in my rehabilitation to setting my sales goals in as a financial adviser.

I had to develop the vision to see myself getting better each day, the mindset to do what needed to be done to realize the vision, and the determination to endure the many sessions and the pain associated with the rehab. But what moved and sustained me was the grit to grind it out and tell myself that some days would be good and some days would be rough. There was no choice but to keep going.

Grit must come from within. Grit will help every sales person reach their goals. The best of the best will have rough days, and grit will encourage you to stand up to it. Grit makes each sales person better than they ever thought possible. No one can give you grit, you must make it happen.

 

Meeting Planners: to book Scott Burrows, Inspirational Speaker on Setting Sales Goals and Achievements for your next meeting, contact him 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,

Do You Have the Grit to Win?

 

As an inspirational speaker on having determination in pharmaceutical sales, pharmaceutical sales reps usually find it funny when I use the word “grit” in conjunction with an industry known for its ultra clean manufacturing and production.

However, having the sheer tenacity and the daily determination to go out and sell in good times and bad is having the grit to win. Do you have it?

In their September-October issue, the prestigious Harvard Business Review in an article entitled Organizational Grit, had this to say about healthcare:

“In health care, patients have long depended on the grit of individual doctors and nurses. But in modern medicine, providing superior care has become so complex that no lone practitioner, no matter how driven, can do it all. Today great care requires great collaboration—gritty teams of clinicians who all relentlessly push for improvement. Yet it takes more than that:  Health care institutions must exhibit grit across the entire provider system.”

As a pharmaceutical sales rep, the provider system is relying on you to bring them new innovation and information. Your grit must match the grit of the health care practitioners who are looking for better solutions. They value your collaboration providing you are willing to go the extra mile.

Psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth has spent her fine career analyzing grit. She recently stated:

“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality.”

As a pharmaceutical sales rep in the digital and connected age, it isn’t enough to present the same studies over and over again. You must push yourself and become an invaluable asset.

The topic of grit has also fascinated The South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP). The organization feels strongly that predicting success in a group of students, pharmaceutical sales reps, healthcare professionals or virtually any occupation it isn’t a matter of who has the highest IQ but ultimately, who has the most grit to rise above the crowd.

Can Grit Be Cultivated?

According to SACAP, even if a pharmaceutical sales rep (or any other professional) has never thought of themselves as having grit, it can be cultivated by having the determination to focus on five important drivers:  courage, conscientiousness, perseverance, resilience and passion.

Courage has nothing to do with how heroic you are. It relates to how thoroughly you know your product; how much work you’ve done above and beyond everyone else so that the HCP relies on you. Consciousness is a statement of how seriously you take your mission; how aware you are of the importance of what your product represents. Perseverance is more than making appointments; it is telling those you call on that you are in this for the long-haul and that you will be there for them. Resilience represents that you will “go out into the world” not only when times are great, but when numerous obstacles and challenges are in your way. Finally, Passion. Do you love what you do? Do you believe in what you do?

Grit is the ground it out, daily affirmation that what you do and what you sell matters. If you are determined, if you have that desire, you will become that special pharmaceutical sales rep among many.

 

To contact Scott Burrows, Inspirational Pharmaceutical Sales Speaker on Grit and Determination reach him through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169

So, Doctor, when is the Best Time?

In delivering motivational talks on helping pharmaceutical sales reps get better results, I know all too well the dreaded refrain that many sales reps hear: “I think the drug has strong possibilities, I just don’t think that now is the right time.”

Procrastination

Of all of the sales objections, procrastination is one of the most difficult to overcome. It is a conversation stopper and delayer. In fact, it can delay a sale indefinitely to “maybe” next month, next quarter, next year.  It is a way to express an objection without seeming to hurt your feelings. The intention is to have you leave the office thinking they are nice people. In truth, they’ve delayed your sale and weakened sales results. But why?

Sales performance writer Bryan Gonzalez, in his January 2019 article for HubSpot entitled “The 7 Most Common Sales Objections by Prospects & How to Overcome Them,” lists procrastination as one of the most cumbersome objections.

“Prospects are busy. They will push anything off to tomorrow because today is swamped. Don’t let them! You have a solution they needed yesterday. Reassure them that this is not a buying conversation. You just want to show them what you do, and see if there’s value for them.”

If you have made it into the office, be determined to provide valuable education without being overbearing. You are there to educate as to what the drug can do and how it will help their patients.

Laura Tobias wrote an article for the Lincoln Health Network entitled “Bringing Pharma Reps Back to the Top.”

One of the observations Tobias made was:

“Some medical schools have entire classes devoted to teaching students how to encounter sales reps – doctors are essentially taught how to say ‘no.’ They are also trained to tell patients not to take highly advertised drugs and to instead opt for something that is more effective, even if it’s less known…” If a sales rep calls on a practice with the same information, the same approach and a lack of interest as to the HCP’s needs, it should not be a surprise if procrastination and a lack of interest are the result.

Last year, Michael Kirsch MD wrote an article for KevinMD entitled “How Should Salespeople Sell to Doctors?” in which he gave an example as to why physicians are often put off by sales reps.

He wrote that his practice was called on by two pushy salespeople who focused on the dollars the practice could make rather than the patients that could be helped.

“Not once did either of them mention, even by accident (that they) might help a human being,” said Kirsch. “These guys were so clumsy and so transparent that they weren’t even adept enough to feign an interest in contributing to the health of liver patients.” The sales reps missed the point entirely.

Unless sales reps are determined to give health care providers a reason to not push them away, many HCPs will revert to their training and conditioning that tells them, in essence, “This sales rep lacks the vision to see my mission of helping patients and to be the best I can be in my practice.”

The HCP may be telling you they want to put off the decision, but what they may really mean is that you are lacking the grit to form a meaningful relationship and to provide them with the knowledge they need.

 

To book Scott Burrows, Motivational Pharmaceutical Sales Speaker on Getting Stronger Results for your next meeting reach us through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169

 

How Will You Motivate Your Employees to be Safety Strong?

 

How do you motivate your employees to be safety strong and safety resilient? How determined are you to create a shared safety vision throughout your organization?

As a safety motivational speaker on creating strong safety teams, I know there is a huge difference between talking about safety in meetings and having the toughness to be safety strong. A commitment to employee safety requires the resiliency and grit to live safety every day.

What Happens When Teams Aren’t Strong?

There is a quote from the famous British safety consultant Sir Brian Appleton who said:

“Safety is not an intellectual exercise to keep us in work.  It is a matter of life and death.  It is the sum of our contributions to safety management that determines whether the people we work with live or die.”

Appleton was commenting on the tragedy of the Occidental Petroleum Piper Alpha offshore oil drilling rig when in July 1988, 167 men lost their lives in a series of explosions on the rig off the coast of Scotland.

Every man on that drilling platform was given training but in the end the safety experts were shocked to learn there was no plan, no common safety vision and in fact, not even an awareness of how to evacuate the structure. The experts concluded that there were at least 55 things that could have been done – and weren’t done.

It is, of course, easy for us to think that 1988 was a while ago – and overseas in Scotland, after all we’re much safer “over here” in 2019. However, the most recent tabulation from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics paints a different picture. In 2017, more than 5,100 lives were lost on the job, including more than 1,300 in trade, transportation, and utilities, nearly 1,000 in construction, and more than 300 in manufacturing. Serious injuries were in the hundreds of thousands.

The numbers are so staggering that we lose sight of a simple fact. Each injury or death represents a person with hopes and dreams, with families and friends. Each one was exposed to safety training. They may have even been a part of their company’s safety team. So, what happened?

You are the Team

Safety is personal. Carl Potter, writing for Electric Energy Online, said every time there is a serious accident the safety professionals gather the team and spend a great deal of time analyzing the reasons.

“If you want to be a professional in your industry and live a long successful career, learn all you can about your job’s safe work procedures. Encourage safety meetings and briefings that engage and teach. Find ways to help yourself and others learn the procedures. Being a professional is to take personal responsibility to “Learn, Learn, Learn!”

When I give my motivational talks on safety, I emphasize that “the team” is “us.” We are responsible for learning, and for teaching. We can’t help others if we neglect ourselves. You are the team. You must be determined to be safe and to help make others safe. It is not a passive exercise.

Potter continued: “I have attended many a boring safety meeting. Most often we just took turns reading the safety guidelines. However, just like in Sunday School, often the words went in one ear and came out the other.”

If you are determined to motivate yourself, you will in turn motivate others. The strongest link must be you, and you must have the grit to believe it and to live it.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Motivational Speaker for Safety Teams for your upcoming national or regional meetings through this website or by calling us at: (520) 548-1169

 

 

Keeping Teams Focused and Engaged Saves Lives

 

I consider my work as a motivational speaker for safety teams much more than a keynote speaking exercise. For me, the mission of motivating safety teams to stay focused and engaged prevents accidents and saves lives.

NIOSH

In a study published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) by Royce Moser, Jr, MD, MPH, Dr. Moser states:

“Simply calling a group of people a team does not make them one, as has been demonstrated too often when a ‘group’ effort was totally unsuccessful because a true team had never been formed.”

Bringing employees together and telling them they are a safety team does not make them a team, even if they share a common manual or they are exposed to the same safety signs. Dr. Moser continues:

“The manager will frequently find it essential to instill a sense of cooperation and support among the professionals and staff involved in order to obtain quality results… the essential criteria of a team are that the members are working together on a common taskeach member is essential to the effort, and the team effort is necessary for the satisfaction of individual needs.”

The onsite staffing service, Staff Management, emphasizes that a strong safety culture is one where employee teams feel personal ownership for the safety of everyone in the organization. Leadership teams should be champions of safety:

“Successful employee engagement in safety programs depends largely on the motivation and support of leadership teams. All members of the leadership team should strive to set positive examples and abide by the same safety policies expected of their employees…behavior-based safety can include leadership taking the time to observe employees and provide feedback, encouraging employees to stay safe and ensuring they are informed about all required safety procedures.”

How Determined is Your Safety Team?

As the two references above and other studies show, safety teams must be determined to commit to making a difference in their organizations. It is an active process where every member of the team must share a common vision to make their workforce safe no matter the size or the mission of the company.

Rebecca Timmins, writing for Safety + Health magazine, talked of a safety team vision where every member of the team must ask themselves: “What organizational structure do we need to support and sustain our vision?”

Ms. Timmins concludes: “Getting the ‘structure’ right improves the likelihood of success, with the side benefit of improving overall organization functioning.  Ensure you have well-defined roles and responsibilities for everyone to flourish. Ask for input on your vision from a diverse group of people and be open to refining it…make sure you and your people have the skills and capabilities needed to realize the vision.”

Without the safety team having the determination and the daily grit to make their shared vision to safety work, employees will not embrace the importance of safety. They will not be engaged.

Without a safety focus and shared engagement, the safety team will be little more than an assembled group of strangers; however, with focus and the resolve to make a difference, the safety team will prevent accidents and save lives. Be determined to make that difference.

 

Hire Scott Burrows, Inspirational Safety Team Speaker for your next meeting through this website or by calling us at: (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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Changes Ahead for Healthcare: Be the Provider not the Patient

 

Speaking to audiences on managing change in the healthcare industry, I often compare hospitals and clinics that are content with clinging to an outmoded mindset to patients awaiting miracles rather than getting legitimate medical help.

No matter your place in the healthcare system, change is either at your doorstep, or it’s coming at you from all directions. The changes are not coming quietly, and will demand a new vision.

Dr. Stephen Klasco, interviewed for Modern Healthcare (May 2019), said:

“We’re going through a once-in-a-lifetime change in healthcare from a B-to-B [Business to Business] model to a B-to-C model [Business to Consumer]; the physician and administrator as the boss to the patient is the boss. If you believe that … you have to fundamentally change how you view things.”

The medical facility and its providers must have the determination to manage the changes sweeping over the industry.

Managing Healthcare Change from All Directions

About a year ago, healthcare writer A.J. Abrawal identified at least six factors that are bringing about change in the industry:  technological advancements, a shift to practices that are more for-profit than non-profit, the changing landscape of the Affordable Care Act, the widespread use of patient data, the modernization of payment options, and more readily available healthcare advice.

Taking any of the changes identified and combining them with Dr. Klasco’s comment, it is easy to envision a scenario where healthcare is soon to become increasingly closer to a supermarket concept of picking and choosing options from a shelf. In fact, it’s about to become literal. For example, the October 4, 2019 issue of Supermarket News states:

“Next month, Sam’s Club plans to begin testing a program that offers members bundles of health care services — including medical, pharmacy, dental and vision care — for a low annual fee. [It is] Called Sam’s Club Care Accelerator Together with Humana.”

It is a given if the Sam’s Club model becomes successful, other national supermarket and wholesale stores will follow. By bundling services, consumers are manifesting a desire to implement a set of changes that the healthcare industry should have seen evolving quite some time ago.

In a 2018 survey sponsored by Aetna, it was seen that patients clearly want greater choice in their care. They want a more holistic approach of diet and exercise rather than relying on a practice for all of their care. Patients are more educated about their desires and treatment than ever before. The study summarized, in part, the findings in this manner:

“It’s clear that in the changing health care environment, transforming care delivery means considering care of the whole person. New care models such as value-based care, in which doctors are rewarded for improving patient outcomes, are creating opportunities to do just that…”

In this shift patients are wanting more choice and asking more questions. They are literally shopping for the best combination of services for their needs, and overall, they are demanding much greater transparency in how they are treated and billed. The industry will have no choice but to change to meet these needs in the years to come.

Book Scott Burrows, Motivational Healthcare Industry Change Management Speaker for your next healthcare industry meeting through this website or by calling us at: (520) 548-1169