Notice the title says fact-finding conversations, not fact-finding appointment. As insurance and financial services professionals, we certainly want to work by appointment. However, it is not more appointments we need, but more conversations.
1. Forget appointments.
You can have many more conversations than you can have appointments.
The old way of thinking is: I must see three appointments a day, or I will not succeed. We were all trained this way. Relax. It's not your fault. This way of thinking used to work. But things have changed, and we must change our thinking about how to be successful.
Try thinking along the lines of: I must have one informal fact-finding conversation for every hour I work.
Well, Marvin, what's the difference between an appointment and a conversation? And why is this important to me?
People don't want to come in to see you for an appointment. People don't want you to come see them for an appointment either.
You may be using too many old think techniques. Of the licensed professionals in my Marvelous Performance Schools, 65% do not have an internet presence, personal blog, Web site or LinkedIn account. These are the people wondering why they are struggling to meet their goals. They are stuck using old thinking methods that are not working. (By the way, did you know 100% of Fortune 500 executives have a LinkedIn account? You can connect with them in groups on LinkedIn. But this only works if you are actively using LinkedIn.)
Here's the solution: Conduct informal fact-finding conversations when the opportunity presents itself. Not only when you have an appointment.
Example scenarios that happen every day (and much more frequently than the number of appointments you are conducting daily):
We live in a world that has more opportunities than at any other time in our careers. And I've been in this industry since 1987.
2. Stop selling products.
Our customers and prospects require us to engage with them much differently today. Old think continues to work less and less effectively. Most of the companies you represent are also still stuck in old think. If I see another company-produced product brochure, I think I will be nauseated. We don't sell products; we sell benefits. Nobody goes to the hardware store because they want to buy a drill. They go to the hardware store because they want a hole that the drill will give them.
3. Start asking questions.
Try this: "Mr. (Customer), may I ask you a question?"
Most people will allow you to ask them a question--the key is that you must be prepared with the first question. You may have some great questions that you prefer over my own, but if you want access to the questions I use, please visit www.marvinleblanc.com/LIS to download a free copy of "The 21 Interest Bearing Questions."
If you're on the phone with the customer, simply start at the top and read the question to the caller. If you have a chance encounter with a customer, you literally can pull out the sheet and read it to them.
Or try saying: "Mr. (Customer), we don't have the answers to all these questions. I need this completed." Hand them the sheet of questions. They can email or fax it back to you. You should plan to follow up with them until you get the sheet back. After all, a customer should give you their spirit of cooperation.
You might be saying, "Well Marvin, my clients are more sophisticated than that." Not true. The more intelligent they are, the more they need you to simplify the process. They may be an expert in their area, but they are not the expert in your area. You are.
Here's your call to action:
1. Carefully review the 3 key points I just gave you.
2. Honestly try the ideas presented here for 21 straight days.
3. Track your progress.
4. Think simple.
5. Think differently.
6. Think conversations, not app
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When someone describes you, what is the one word most frequently used to describe you? Do you know what that word is? Do you even care? You may say, Marvin why the heck should I care? Well here's why. Because your life has a purpose. You matter. Your life's legacy can be that you were a "difference maker".
DIFFERENCE MAKERS ARE PERMANENT MARKERS IN A DRY ERASER WORLD!!
You can choose how large your COMMITTMENT is to "difference making".
Just for your family and that's all? Great!! That's huge. The world can benefit greatly from people like yourself that's committed to "taking care of their own". How about your family and your neighbors? look outside. Is there a neighbor that just needs to sit and talk with you over a cup of Community Coffee?
How about your family, neighbors and the community you live in? (that community you live in, which group of people there are going through a world of hurt?)
How about your family, neighbors, community and the state you live in? (I bet you know what the biggest problem your state faces. Hint: your family, friends and neighbors talk about it all the time. How can you make a dent in the problem?)
How about your family, neighbors, community, the state and the country you live in? (A pebble in a pond makes a ripple that reaches wide)
You may be thinking: "Oh now hold on Marvin, you're taking this thing way too far?"
Explain to me WHO told you that you can't be a difference maker for all 5 of these groups.
Who are these people?
Do you even know their names? Let me tell you exactly who these people are.
They are DREAM KILLERS!! Yep, I said it. Who are "they"? Do you even know their names? Have you ever sat down with them and shared a meal?
Obsess with memorizing and repeating this question over and over until it becomes a part of your very fiber.
Ready for the question? Here it is.
WHY NOT ME??? (write that down!!! Go ahead, no one's watching. Now put it in your purse, wallet or on your refrigerator. (somewhere you visit often.) It requires no special talent, no special training, no special college degree or ANY degree or even a High School diploma to commit to a life of being a "difference maker".
What it DOES take is:
2.Daily Random Acts of kindness
4. We, we, we. Not me, me , me.
Now be honest - if you don't already possess these 4 traits of a difference maker, can you not develop these 4 traits?
All it takes is to CHOOSE. The world needs you now. I could care less what your past is. The only thing that matters is the choice to be a difference maker now. Live in the present.
Will you choose to be a Permanent Marker or a Dry Eraser?
I hope you enjoyed today's message.
Speaking of choices, our "Community" of readers could really benefit from your ideas and tips on how they can be better difference makers. Be sure to use the comment and feedback feature we have provided. Be selfless. Be a Giver!
Until next time!
Peace, love and Gumbo!!
Marvin LeBlanc, LUTCF, CNP
Please enjoy this post is from a guest blogger Darleen Lenyo.
So many times, especially in sales, especially starting out in sales, we’re concerned with what we are going to say. We allow ourselves to get fearful, create “horror” stories in our head of things that could go wrong, and we want a plan of action, a script, to make the call. And sometimes, more times than not, because we don’t create those scripts or that plan of action, we don’t make the call.
Did you know -
What does this mean to you? The words you use are important. But what’s most important is the energy coming from you. Be sincere. Be enthusiastic. Share your knowledge. Bring something of value. Come from a place of contribution. Ask questions. Find out what they need and strive to help them.
People love enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is contagious. People love passion. Passion is contagious.
People love to be included. Share your knowledge, your passion, your enthusiasm.
Peace, Love and Gumbo
Marvin LeBlanc, LUTCF, CNP
Attention: Small business owner or struggling salesperson
Are you sick and tired of looking at the wall while making phone call after phone call, only to find no prospect wants to talk to you
about your offering?
Are you an experienced business owner or salesperson that used to generate business by knocking on doors or shaking hands at networking functions?
Do you find that somehow in today's fast-paced world that's not working for you?
So are you ready to try something different?
Here’s a valuable FREE gift, from me to you: Visit a coffee shop close to your office. Or perhaps stop by a popular mom and pop restaurant. Think of any place you know where the patrons of a business are prospects that you would like to obtain as new customers. Envision yourself visiting a location wherein its customer base might have a need your product/service can meet or exceed.
And when you visited one of these places that you know has clientele that you wish to serve, approach the manager and offer them $200 (or whatever amount you want).
Here’s a example: have the coffee shop manager agree that you'll pay $200 worth of coffee for the next 35-40 people that walk in. The only stipulation is that the manager allows you to:
1. say hello to the patrons,
2. tell them that the coffee is on you today and
3. share your business card with them AFTER they give you permission to hand them the card.
Don't shove your card on them. They will smell your commission breath.
Just have fun. Don't be pushy. Be personable!
Now slow down and honestly think about this: if you casually shook hands with 35-40 people in this laid-back environment that you created for yourself, how many of these people will eventually become your client? One person? Two people? Perhaps more? I’d be willing to bet that just one new customer is worth more than $200. Over the course of your career you probably have spent thousands of dollars on advertising and marketing.Most of it probably did not work.
This does work–try it now! And by the way, you have my permission to send me $200 or at least your story about how this simple concept worked for you.
Until next time...I wish you Peace, Love and Gumbo!
"Forget success - Focus on Significance!"