How many times do you need to be told “work smarter, not harder”?
It’s like a coach yelling at his players to run faster.
How? Tell me how!
A recent article in Inc. magazine contends the most productive sales people—the 20% who make 80% of the sales—know it’s better to have no opportunities than to spend time on deals they can’t win.
Think about that…
As an insurance agent or financial advisor, when was the last time you went all out on a deal you had no chance to win? For 80% of you it’s possible the answer is “this week”.
That’s a sobering thought, but what I’m sure of is that most who fall into that group don’t want to be there. They just don’t know how to get out.
I think of it a little differently. The best 20% know “how” to know which 80% they have no opportunity with.
When I’m not selling, I’m talking to someone who is.
We’re either talking about how to find deals or, for the lucky 20%, how to close deals. These discussions almost always lead to opportunities.
If the 80/20 rule applies to conversations, then imagine how many have absolutely no chance to get off the ground.
While typically not a sucker for the articles that begin with numbers, the Inc. article got me to thinking about how I try to sort through the everyday noise of selling and what training tips I can offer you.
I have four rules, and these rules have had a significant impact on Redbird’s insurance sales training:
Don’t be distracted by shiny objects
This is so, so hard. Distractions come in many forms, from chatty prospects to email to ESPN to LinkedIn. Admittedly, I have spent hours scouring the haystack of LinkedIn profiles for a needle. During the day I set aside the Internet unless I have a specific need. Do things with a purpose, not as a laxative to help you feel busy.
Perfect is for fourth place
You don’t get a trophy. Too often we let the process overwhelm the potential, from mindless Googling to chasing contracts for products we will never sell to over-analyzing every word of an email. I get it about typos… they are poison for credibility. Move quickly, make your point, prioritize your opportunities and chase them with a vengeance (and watch the typos).
Pick your spots
To the point earlier, 90% of the time I can predict the outcome of conversations with the 80% who aren’t making sales. They follow their heart, which tells them every prospect is an opportunity when their head knows better. Ask the hard questions in the beginning and the outcome will be much better. Hope is not a strategy.
Go back to rule #1.
Thanks for checking out these quick insurance sales training tips. I look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions.