I took my boys to the Mets game this past weekend. Wanting to avoid traffic, we left the house early and arrived at the game an hour early.
Being the avid baseball fans that they are, I took Ryan, Kevin and Kyle into Citi Field early to watch the team take batting practice and "warm-up."
The whole team was on the field. Hitters were taking batting practice. Fielders were taking ground balls and outfielders were "shagging" fly balls. Pitchers were "loosening" their arms out in center field and the bullpen. This was all happening one hour before the game was scheduled to start.
So I thought...what time do these guys get here. The game has a 4:00pm start time. It's a little after 3:00pm and the whole team is here, in uniform, out on the field preparing for the game. Do they get here ninety minutes early or is it two hours. Whatever it is, I am impressed.
Then I thought to myself.....my average client. He/she opens each day at 8:30am or 9:00am. Some open earlier, some open later. If I were to be at their Agency one hour before "start time," what would I see? Would the team be there? Maybe an hour is a little carried away. How about thirty minutes before start time? Or fifteen minutes? Or do they pull up at 8:55am, run inside and start their day at 9:00am.
Curtis Granderson bats first for the Mets. If the game starts at 4:00pm, I wonder what his first at-bat would look like if he pulled up to the stadium at 3:55pm and walked straight out to the batters' box for his first at-bat. He would probably strike out because he wasn't ready. So how does he get ready? He arrives ninety minutes or two hours early for the game. He "shags" fly balls in the outfield and takes "bp," or batting practice, an hour or so before his first at-bat.
Then there's us. We show up five minutes early and as soon as we walk in the door...the phones start ringing and Mrs. Smith "pops in" with a question about her monthly account. Her monthly account which is off by two lousy pennies.
Professional athletes are paid HUGE salaries for their performance in the game. To be at their best, they arrive early so they can prepare to be their best and perform at a HIGH level. But us. We show up five minutes early and never isolate ourselves or give ourselves to practice or simply "warm-up" before the lights go on and it's time to start the "game." I wonder, would we be better, would we achieve more, if we gave ourselves a chance to get ready or prepare before the first pitch each day.
If you want to "get better," consider arriving a little bit earlier for your next day. When you do, Don't jump right into the emails and beginning of day activities. But rather, spend time planning your day, reviewing word tracks, and mining for opportunities that you can capitalize on once the day officially begins. Without the extra time, we are more likely to strike out when the clock strikes 9:00am.
Author: Tim Lindon | Tim@TimLindon.com (Your 212 Coach)
“We are distracted from distractions by distractions.” – T.S. Eliot
So, you’re thinking of all the things you want to get done today, right? May I suggest cutting the list in half? Or even smaller. You will be thankful that you did, trust me.
Go alone to a quiet place.
A beautiful place and just breathe.
Rest your brain
Idea: Today, if you have a rocker or a porch swing, be diligent and use it. If you don’t have one, take a slow stroll through a Flea Market or a Garage Sale and find one.
Today — NOW — MOVE AWAY FROM THE NOISE!
Share your ideas and experiences with us here!
Peace, Love and Gumbo
Hello Marvelous People:
Let’s examine a recent selling dilemma that occurred with one of our students in our Sales Performance School.
Scenario: A hard working, excited salesperson has put a bunch of quotes/offers out in the marketplace since the beginning of the year.
Problem: While it is guaranteed that there can be no consistent, reliable results without “Activity” - “Activity” does not guarantee results, especially, if it’s the wrong activity.
Bigger Problem: if you are sincerely generating the right activities and you are not getting the desired result you want,(a sale) then your confidence will be destroyed.
No confidence = No fun.
“Now when you gave your prospect/client that quote/offer, was it over the phone or via email/fax?”
“When you shared your quote/offer, did you and the prospect/client agree to the next day/date you will see them or the next day & time you will call them?”
I mention this because so frequently, those new to the sales profession give up too early. One of the reasons they are subjected to unnecessary rejection is because they don’t position themselves properly in the minds of the prospect from the very beginning.
I’m trying to help you avoid the emotional roller coaster one goes through when he/she really believes that a prospect/client is going to move forward with their quote/offer and the prospect/client was NEVER EVEN REMOTELY CLOSE to moving forward with the quote/offer.
Please understand - if someone is nice, respectful, courteous or amiable. That’s all it means. BUYING SIGNALS ARE SOMETHING entirely different. Don’t mistake the two. Know the difference.
1. Maintain control of the dialog. Not because you are a control freak; but because your job is to deliver WORTHWHILE PRODUCTS/SERVICES to those that need them.
2. If you’re in an industry that allows you to see them face-to-face, then this appointment will yield more results than a phone appointment.
3. Don’t over talk "product"
4. Do talk in terms of the BENEFITS that your product/service will offer. Your clients only care about what’s in it for THEM! Would you please make it about them? It isn’t about you!!]
5. The more time passes, the faster they go from hot to lukewarm to cold.
6. Create the sense of urgency now or risk spending too much time making follow up calls to prospects that will never buy.
Marvelous People, we need you to leave a comment on our feedback form or drop me your comments as Marvin@MarvinLeBlanc.com
What we are looking for are:
1. The actual things your prospects/clients say to you that indicate they are interested
2. The last 3 sales you made, what were the verbal or non-verbal buying signals you observed
3. Future topics that you would like to see us discuss
My future writings will include the cumulative insights of your comments and feedback.
The best gift is a referral! If you or someone you know would like to know how to SELL smarter, work LESS and sell MORE please click here for more information on my coaching program.
I like to define attitude as a person's choice in response to a situation. A positive or negative attitude toward a person, thing, place, event or idea is a form of judgment. It is greatly influenced by the person's upbringing, environment, education and social interactions. But attitude is not permanent; it can be changed. Social influences can alter a person's attitude, which is why communication is vital.
Attitude is one vital trait that can be formed but cannot be destroyed without your consent. You do have control over it. You always have a choice in how to respond to life's daily challenges and circumstances.
Your attitude is important to your team and what they think about your attitude likewise is important. Teamwork will succeed if members among the team make it work. The team will benefit if all team members are willing to cooperate and share the same goal.
To avoid misunderstanding and disagreement, it is vital to know your own positive and negative attitudes when dealing with people while at work or at home. Inappropriate attitudes cause work and family rifts, party division and political faction.
“The right attitude will always carry you to the right place and the right people at the right time.” – Marvin LeBlanc, Author, Come Hell or High Water: Life Lessons from Hurricane Katrina (Facing Life’s Greatest Challenges, No Matter What)
Please enjoy this guest blog post from Cordelia Gaffer. Learn more about Cordelia here.
Do you really know which direction you are going? How many times have you been on this nutrition and fitness journey? In a recent periscope, one of my attendees said that using the word “lost” implies that it can be found again. So do you want to lose weight, you want to ‘reduce’ your weight? Do you want to be thin or maintain optimum health? What is your true vision?
It is time to get clear on your vision and here are the steps to do it.
Please enjoy this article from Wisdom Group. In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. How does Gladwell arrive at this conclusion? And, if the conclusion is true, how can we leverage this idea to achieve greatness in our professions?
Gladwell studied the lives of extremely successful people to find out how they achieved success. This article will review a few examples from Gladwell’s research, and conclude with some thoughts for moving forward.
Violins in Berlin
In the early 1990s, a team of psychologists in Berlin, Germany studied violin students. Specifically, they studied their practice habits in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. All of the subjects were asked this question: “Over the course of your entire career, ever since you first picked up the violin, how many hours have you practiced?”
All of the violinists had begun playing at roughly five years of age with similar practice times. However, at age eight, practice times began to diverge. By age twenty, the elite performers averaged more than 10,000 hours of practice each, while the less able performers had only 4,000 hours of practice. The elite had more than double the practice hours of the less capable performers.
Natural Talent: Not Important
One fascinating point of the study: No “naturally gifted” performers emerged. If natural talent had played a role, we would expect some of the “naturals” to float to the top of the elite level with fewer practice hours than everyone else. But the data showed otherwise. The psychologists found a direct statistical relationship between hours of practice and achievement. No shortcuts. No naturals.
Sneaking Out to Write Code
You already know how Microsoft was founded. Bill Gates and Paul Allen dropped out of college to form the company in 1975. It’s that simple: Drop out of college, start a company, and become a billionaire, right? Wrong.
Further study reveals that Gates and Allen had thousands of hours of programming practice prior to founding Microsoft. First, the two co-founders met at Lakeside, an elite private school in the Seattle area. The school raised three thousand dollars to purchase a computer terminal for the school’s computer club in 1968.
A computer terminal at a university was rare in 1968. Gates had access to a terminal in eighth grade. Gates and Allen quickly became addicted to programming.
The Gates family lived near the University of Washington. As a teenager, Gates fed his programming addiction by sneaking out of his parents’ home after bedtime to use the University’s computer. Gates and Allen acquired their 10,000 hours through this and other clever teenage schemes. When the time came to launch Microsoft in 1975, the two were ready.
Practice Makes Improvement
In 1960, while they were still an unknown high school rock band, the Beatles went to Hamburg, Germany to play in the local clubs.
The group was underpaid. The acoustics were terrible. The audiences were unappreciative. So what did the Beatles get out of the Hamburg experience? Hours of playing time. Non-stop hours of playing time that forced them to get better.
As the Beatles grew in skill, audiences demanded more performances – more playing time. By 1962 they were playing eight hours per night, seven nights per week. By 1964, the year they burst on the international scene, the Beatles had played over 1,200 concerts together. By way of comparison, most bands today don’t play 1,200 times in their entire career.
Falling in Love With Practice
The elite don’t just work harder than everybody else. At some point the elites fall in love with practice to the point where they want to do little else.
The elite software developer is the programmer who spends all day pounding code at work, and after leaving work she writes open source software on her own time.
The elite football player is the guy who spends all day on the practice field with his teammates, and after practice he goes home to watch game films.
The elite physician listens to medical podcasts in the car during a long commute.
The elites are in love with what they do, and at some point it no longer feels like work.
Now that we’ve reviewed the trends uncovered by Gladwell’s research, what can we do about it? All of us want to be great at something. Now that we know how other achievers have gotten there, what can we do to join their ranks?
One approach: We could choose a field and practice for 10,000 hours. If we are currently working in our target profession, forty hours per week over five years would give us ten thousand hours.
Or… We can look at the question in reverse. Where have we already logged 10,000 hours of practice? What is it that we do really well? What tasks do we perform so well that people ask: How did you do that? Sometimes when we fall in love with practice we don’t even recognize it!
If you’re running a company, what does your company do better than anybody else? What is it that the individual members of your company do better than anybody? How do you create an environment that gives everyone on your team the opportunity to practice?
Business is tough, especially now. Yet even in the midst of a challenging economy, there are individuals and companies that prosper beyond all expectations. Practice plays a major role in success.
Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. Through interviews and statistical analysis, Gladwell determines why some people and organizations achieve success far beyond their peers.
I have a question. What were the results of the recent “2015 CUSTOMER ADDED VALUE” meeting you had at your company in the quarter?
Be honest. You never had that meeting now did you? That is a PROBLEM. That spells future PAIN for you in 2016..
Why do I say this? Because if you don’t provide the ADDED VALUE, your clients and prospects will find it from your competitor. And this will happen easily. If you do nothing.
Perhaps a great goal for you is to “GET DONE” some vital thinking.
Define what ADDED VALUE for your clients and prospects really IS. Define what ADDED VALUE for your clients and prospects LOOKS LIKE. Write it down, put a plan in place to determine exactly how you will provide more value to your clients and prospects. This exercise will be well worth the time if you can convert the ideas into action and WOW your clients with added value.
(Do you have some clients that will tell you the truth about how you are doing in this area? It’s probably time to take them out for coffee anyways right?)
So do that, and be sure to let me know how it works out for you.
Peace, Love and Gumbo
Marvin LeBlanc LUTCF, CNP
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.
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 (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):
1. Your current client calls your office with a service question.
2. Your current client emails you with a service question.
3. You run into your client at a coffee shop, school function, church function or community function.
Are you seeing more opportunities yet? What other scenarios can you think of that I've not mentioned?
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.
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.
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 Click Here to download " 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 appointments.