I worked with an investment advisor some time ago who always had his daily commission goal on his blotter in front of him. It was on the top right hand corner of the page. As he made a sale he would cross off the higher number and write down the new lower one considering the sale. It was a constant battle but it was motivational to him. He made a point of getting to zero every day. He was an excellent producer but it was a grind.
A chance discussion with a staff member one day changed his approach forever. He was a high-end advisor but his assistant wondered if he could take care of her middle income parents. He couldn’t say no to her. They were delighted he would agree to help them even though they were not in his market. He discovered that helping these two people was more gratifying than chasing the commission dollar. Their appreciation was more inspirational than crossing off the last commission total.
The lesson was obvious to him. He immediately exchanged the commission target on his blotter for the number of people he wanted to help each day. Now, he started targeting helping people, not selling them. Ironically, and maybe as you would expect, the more people he helped, the more money he made. When he focused on people rather than his income, the income came faster.
Soon, he was exceeding his old commission targets and feeling better about himself and his business too. What’s more, and likely because of his new approach, the referrals began to pour in. He was doing well by doing good. It’s a lesson for us all.
My advice to you? Think more about helping people with your business than selling them a product or service and earning commission dollars. When you do, you will attract more sales AND more commissions. It’s like I say, “When you help more, you sell more.” It’s the only way to do business if you want to stay in business for the long haul.
The RUTA Report – Real Usable Tactical Advice – is provided exclusively to the Canadian Life e-newsletter each week by veteran financial industry consultant, speaker, writer and media commentator Jim Ruta. Starting at age 22, he led one of Canada’s largest insurance agencies by age 40. Jim has been featured around the world including the MDRT Main Platform and has several best-selling books to his credit. He is Managing Partner of Boston-based InforcePRO Software, a unique automatic presentation from existing policies system.
Do your business goals focus on production or people? Production goals are usually about numbers and facts. They focus on sales and commissions. It’s what coaches and managers have been pushing for years. But, it's not the most powerful and self-inspiring way to do it. There is a better way. Let me share a story that might just change your perspective on sales and sales goals.