Why am I thankful for the many blessings in my life? It’s simple: because I’m blessed and I know that.
This is the time of year when it becomes as clear as ever. Spending time with family, enjoying the freedom to exercise my faith and helping people are just a few of the many gifts God has granted me.
When you are grateful, you are happier, healthier, more optimistic and more productive! If you know that this is a law, why do people get bogged down with life and forget to be grateful?
Having an “Attitude of Gratitude” is a choice. Here’s the great news: being grateful requires little time and no money! Think about that for a moment. Why wouldn’t you do something that will greatly help you when it takes zero finances and very little time.
Gratitude attracts the right people. When you are grateful for your blessings, you are focusing more clearly on what you want to do in life. When you are more focused on the important things, life is easier and people see that you are going in the right direction. That is very attractive to all people. When you can attract the right people to be in your circle, your performance level will go up.
Gratitude improves relationships … all relationships! Things like saying thank you go so far and as we get older many of us forget that fact. When people know you appreciate them it makes them want to perform at an even higher level. People might not remember exactly what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. How you make people feel is critical. When you go out of your way to make people feel special and important, they will never forget that.
Gratitude cuts out negativity. When you are positive and you think about things that are going well, your outlook is better. You can improve your mindset by starting to count your blessings each day. When you focus on your blessings, then you are thinking about positive things and spending less time on negative things. Anything you do to eliminate negative thoughts or actions is a good thing. Limiting your negative thoughts will also help you make better decisions. You are less likely to overreact when you are being positive in all that you do.
Gratitude helps you solve problems faster. When you are faced with a problem, what do you do? When you see something is wrong, do you move to fix it or correct it rather than ponder and sulk about it? Can you convince yourself that the issue is really an opportunity or a challenge rather than a problem? The way you approach problems can make all the difference in the world in terms of successes versus failures. Be very intentional about how you face problems. People will notice if you react appropriately.
Gratitude encourages us to keep learning. Every single person we encounter on a daily basis is coming into a rough time or coming out of a tough time. When you can continue to be grateful in good times and bad, you will keep growing and learning. Most successful people are avid readers. They listen to educational audios. They surround themselves with other successful people.
Make a list of things you are grateful for right now. It doesn’t matter how big or small, put it on paper so that you are mindful of it. .
After you make the list, take a few moments to think about each item on your list. Why do you feel good about these things?
Make it a point to thank or show a person or people that you are grateful and appreciate them. You can send a note, a card, email, call them, etc. Practice doing this regularly.
Remember that gratitude is an attitude and a choice. Make it a habit in your life. Keep practicing it as often as possible. When other people see that you operate from a place of gratitude, you will attract people who operate the same way. Exercising this habit will make you a better person.
As you spend time with your family during the holidays, please take some time to reflect on everything you have been blessed with in your life. It will help you appreciate life more than ever before and be thankful for everything you have been blessed with.
Fill up your heart with the many blessings in your life and be grateful and thankful for all that you have and don’t worry about what you don’t have. Remember that where you are today is not where you will be tomorrow or even next week. However, you must be grateful in this moment in order to enjoy all the good things that are going to come your way in the future.
We hear people talking all the time about working to get referrals from clients. It’s one of the easiest ways to build your business, and all you have to do is ask! Most people will give you a list of people that might be interested in what you have to offer.
The key is YOU MUST be bold enough to ASK for what you want!
Why is it so hard for people to ask for referrals?
We’ve heard every excuse in the world. “But it feels awkward, and then my clients feel awkward and I get put off,” people say.
First, tell them so stop “But-ing” YOU! They are not a billy goat and neither are you.
Next, you want to know who made it awkward first? If YOU think it is awkward then YOU probably felt that way first and YOU made the client uncomfortable. You triggered them to feel that way.
Here are three easy steps to help you diffuse – or eliminate – your hesitance to ask for referrals:
Start your meetings by giving clients (verbally or in writing) a schedule or agenda for the meeting. At the end of that agenda, have a time for discussion about friends, associates and family members you might be able to help.
Don’t spring it on them without notice. Let them know in advance, and they will probably already have a list of names for your meeting. If the client is uncomfortable with this, give him/her a chance to tell you why before you discuss it.
For example: The last thing we’d like to cover with you is helping some people in your life that you care about. We’d much rather be working with someone you want me to talk to than with people whose name came off a list from somewhere. We can talk about some of the people you know, and if we decide it makes sense, we can figure out the best way to get in touch with them.
You want to always make the client feel like you added value to them. This can be during the appointment or it can be over time. Ask your client what he/she got out of the meeting, what they learned or what they have gotten out of the relationship they have with you. Be specific. Find out exactly what they found to be helpful.
Once they do that, ask them this: “What else?” Keep pushing until they run out of value items. Next, direct him/her to the ideas you hoped they would find helpful and ask if he/she: found your discussion helpful? Was there one specific idea you found particularly useful? What else? What else? Anything else? How about when I explained ….”
Doing this proves that you added value and knowledge. A client is going to have a hard time not helping you because look at what you’ve added to the relationship.
Now, you can ask your client about the people he/she knows. Your deal is to help people. You are giving your client the chance to help you reach more people. At this point, you remind your client that this was one of your scheduled agenda items. Ask he/she if anybody comes to mind:
You might say, “John, I’m glad you found the work we did here today so helpful. The last thing I promised you we would cover is helping some people you care about with the same help I’ve given you. Would it make sense for you to arrange an introduction for me, and how do we go about that? Who is the first person who came to mind?”
Now, once you get that first name … don’t stop! Keep going. If they run out of people, ask again. Are you sure there’s not one more person who might could benefit from what I’m doing?
Do it with confidence. Even if you are not confident, act confident.
Part of people struggling with this is they have the wrong attitude going in to the meeting. Practice doing this on people. Be firm, clear and self-assured when bringing up referrals. With practice the confidence will come and you will start nailing referrals on a regular basis.
5 more referral destroyers
If you’ve been in any type of sales job then you have heard that referrals are like golden tickets to help boost your business. Referrals can be the difference in being one of the top producers with The Alliance or just being average in the field.
Yet, few salespeople generate high-quality referrals.
Sure, anybody can get a few names and numbers here and there. Those “referrals” don’t always equal sales. Agents will often get to the point where they don’t even seek out referrals because they don’t yield sales early on. This is a huge mistake. The reality is that asking for referrals in the correct manner can make all the difference in the world.
Here are five mistakes people make when asking for referrals:
Not knowing what a good referral is. Few salespeople let clients know what a good referral is and think they already know. Mistake. Your clients need to know what you are looking for in a referral. If you don’t tell them, why would they know? Don’t say I’m looking for somebody like you. Questions like that just confuse your client and make them want to get rid of you … fast! Tell them exactly what you are looking for so they are clear.
Not understanding the psychology of a referral. Getting a big number of high-quality referrals from clients and prospects is not easy. We’ve read statistics that found less than 15 percent of all salespeople generate enough quality referrals to significantly increase their sales. To be successful at getting referrals, you must understand the psychology involved. Clients assume that anyone they refer you to will be more demanding and more critical than they have been. Clients will refer you to people with whom they have various types of relationships with. Some people will trust and respect your client, some will not. To make matters even more complicated, you have to understand your psychology of referral selling. What goes on in your head is just as important as what goes on in your client’s brain.
Calling the referred prospect. It’s natural to pick up the phone when you get a referral’s information. If you are going to call, make sure you are ready to talk to the person about what you are doing. If you can meet with the person in the next 24 hours, that’s even better. Ideally, you want to get a personal introduction from your existing client – not just a name and number.
Not helping the client give referrals. Even big producers who make huge incomes from referrals have clients who claim not to know anyone to refer. This is not possible! Don’t walk away from a client without getting a list of referrals. The true “closers” don’t walk away without a big list of contacts. How do they do this? Instead of being passive, they take the time to be persistent with clients and get high-quality referrals before leaving the client. They are not bashful and want as many specifics as possible about the referrals.
Not earning referrals. If you want a large number of referrals, you can’t just ask for them. You have to earn the right to get them by helping add value to your client first. The best salespeople understand this logic. The more value they bring to a client, the bigger and better the list of referrals they get in return. If the client believes you have earned referrals, they will gladly give them to you. This is true no matter what business you are in. If you’ve added value then you will be rewarded.
At The Alliance, we have what some people call an obsession with the future. We look back only to evaluate our mistakes and success so that we can create a better plan to move forward. We work hard today for a better life tomorrow.
We envision the future the way we’d like to see it and then do our best to see it through. In January 2015, immediately after our National Convention we started planning for our next big event – LeadCon15. We pictured hundreds of agents gathering from across the country at The Alliance Headquarters for training from some of the best in the industry. As July 23, 2015 approaches, we’re quickly realizing that this Leadership Conference is going to be even better than we imagined!
We started by building a brand new parking lot. We now have room for up to 600 cars in our new parking lot right next to The Alliance Headquarters. Now, agents won’t have to take shuttles back and forth to the hotels!
Our amazing carriers then came through to help us get even more food (which meant more meal tickets) for our agents! We’ll be providing six meals over the weekend to more than 400 agents!
We also carefully chose breakout session hosts and topics that will help agents learn our system and grow their business bigger than ever before. We’ve got sessions like How to go EVP FAST & Inexpensive, How to Grow a HotSpot, and The Power of Focus. You can see the full list of sessions at www.allianceeventures.com.
We’ve also decided to go green and make it easier for agents to find out what’s next by replacing our printed programs with the Yapp app for smartphones and tablets. Now you won’t have to wait to get to LeadCon15 to find out what’s going on and who is going to be there – you can access it right on your phone! Look for more details in your email as event time approaches!
With all of these amazing improvements happening, word got out FAST and our future is looking BRIGHT. We’re expecting over 1,000 people to come from all over the country and we couldn’t be more excited! We can’t wait to see everyone at LeadCon15!
We only have a handful of tickets left, so if you don’t have yours yet, ask your manager if he or she has any tickets to spare before heading to www.allianceeventures.com!
Approximately one in every three women and one in two men will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetimes and almost 8 million people worldwide die from the disease each year.
Today, February 4, 2014 is World Cancer Day. People all over the world are honoring those who have battled cancer and fighting for a cure, and National Agents Alliance is joining them. Many people have been affected in some way by the disease and want to help – but how? There are many ways that you can provide hope to people around the world who have been affected by cancer; we’ve created a list of simple things that our agents, staff, family, and friends can do to stand up to cancer and fight for a cure.
- Start with your social media platforms. Chevrolet has a campaign called “purple your profile.” They will donate $1 to the American Cancer Society for every Facebook and Twitter profile picture that’s turned purple on World Cancer Day, up to $1 million. It’s a simple way to show your support and tell your family and friends about the cause. You can learn more about this at www.purpleyourprofile.com. Even after World Cancer Day, you can continue to advocate for cancer patients through these platforms.
- Find a way to support the local community. You can do something as simple as donating to an organization that helps cancer patients and works to find a cure, or you can get creative. Have a bake sale, a walk-a-thon, a read-a-thon, cake walk, car wash, or any other kind of fundraiser to help support the cause. If you have some free time, you can also volunteer at a local organization or hospital.
- Educate yourself and others. You don’t have to be a smoker to get lung cancer or a woman to get breast cancer. World Cancer Day isn’t just about helping those who have already been diagnosed; it’s also about spreading awareness to prevent people in the future from getting cancer. Talk with your doctor about your health and get cancer screenings regularly. Encourage others not to delay screenings as well. Educating yourself and others can save lives and help others understand that cancer can be beat.
- Show your support for the ones you love. The battle against cancer can be won, but it’s more difficult to do alone. If you know someone who has been diagnosed, show your support, even if you just send a card. Anything you can do for them will be appreciated.
Many people associated with National Agents Alliance have been impacted by cancer, including Jane Albright, the wife of Alliance CEO Andy Albright. She has been cancer free for many years. Joe Burt, a well-respected NAA life insurance agent shared with us his battle against cancer. You can see his story in the video below.
Eric Thomas walked on to The Alliance stage at NatCon14 in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his t-shirt reading, “when you wanna SUCCEED as bad as you wanna BREATHE.” Agents had been impatiently waiting to hear ET, “the hip hop preacher” speak to the Alliance since he was announced as the convention’s keynote speaker in early December. Leading up to NatCon, several agents were tweeting about reading ET’s books and asking us when they could see him on stage at the convention.
The hip hop preacher is used to motivating audiences around the world, and this time his message was tailored to the agents of The Alliance. He spoke to the agents about absorbing as much information and knowledge at the convention as possible in order to take their business to the next level in 2014.
He also spoke about growing and turning ideas into actions that can turn your dreams into your successes, an idea that President and CEO of National Agents Alliance, Andy Albright reinforces to his agents through his books and other resources. Eric Thomas was a high school dropout from Detroit, MI who turned his life around and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree while becoming a well known motivational speaker. During the convention, ET stated that he wished that he would have had an inspirational father figure like Andy Albright in his life when he was growing up.
Many NatCon attendees were inspired by his words, posting quotes, photos, and messages of gratitude on social media platforms after he spoke Saturday morning. Andy was so inspired by him that he made Eric’s first book, “The Secret to Success” the book of the month for January in his book club. His speech was certainly a great way for agents to begin a successful year with The Alliance.
If you are interested in learning more about Eric Thomas, you can purchase his first book at www.shopatnaa.com. You can also preorder his new book “Greatness is Upon You” on his website www.etinspires.com.
As you may have heard, 2013 was a BIG year for the Alliance. In the past year, we’ve grown stronger and more successful than ever before and we’re going to make 2014 even more EPIC. But in order to gain success as a team, we have to grow stronger as individuals. Below we’ve listed some steps you can take to achieve new heights in 2014.
Reward yourself for your achievements.
You’ve made some strides that are worth celebrating, so make a list of all of the goals and achievements you reached in 2013. Celebrate your wins and take note of what you learned from your mistakes and what actions helped you become more successful. If you had a rough year, figure out what isn’t working and dedicate yourself to making changes for the better this year. If you had a great year, figure out what actions and resources helped you to become successful and use those as tools to become even more successful next year. Enter the New Year with confidence that you can do anything if you set your mind to it!
Now that you’ve got your list of achievements from the past year, make a new list of goals you want to achieve this year. Try to think of bigger and better goals for yourself in 2014. It’s hard to get anywhere if you don’t know your destination, so “hammer down” and set solid goals that you know you want bad enough to work to achieve them. Keep these goals with you all the time and make sure that you’re always working to achieve them. If goal setting is something that you struggle with, consider signing up for The Albright Challenge; it’s a great tool to help you stay on track and achieve your goals.
Keep track of your progress.
Make the commitment to look back at your goal list once a day or once a week to evaluate how far you’ve come and how much further you have to go. If you think that you could work harder, do it. If you think your goals aren’t challenging enough, set the bar a little higher. If you think your initial goals are a little too ambitious, take note of it and work to get as far as you can. The key is to stay committed to your goals and stay positive, even when things get tough.
Here at National Agents Alliance, we want to help all of our agents and staff members reach their full potential. That’s why we offer so many resources to help you out! If you ever feel like you need a little more training, or a little more encouragement, check out our list of resources available to you and make sure to take advantage of all of them (many are free!). Get fired up for 2014 because the Alliance is going to make this year’s goals BIGGER and better!
And don’t forget – National Convention 2014 (NatCon14) is coming up next week from January 10th to the 12th! Ticket prices will go up at the door, so make sure you get yours now at www.allianceeventures.com!
We loved seeing your pirate photos on Instagram in our first pirate contest. In fact, we had so much fun with Instagram, we’ve decided to do a virtual scavenger hunt! The cartoon characters from Pirates!! And the Tale of the Misfit Crew that you see are hidden on six different NAA websites. Complete the following steps to participate in our scavenger hunt!
- Browse through the pages of our NAA websites. Don’t forget that each character is located on a different website – you’ll have to visit six different NAA websites in order to find them all!
- Once you find a character, take a photo (or screenshot on a smartphone) of the character and post it to Instagram with the hashtag #naapiratehunt – you’ll have to post photos of all six characters to win!
- If you post all six characters on Instagram with the hashtag #naapiratehunt you will have a chance to win a one-of-a-kind treasure trove of National Agents Alliance goodies!
Now, start searching and don’t forget to post your pictures with our hashtag! We’ll be sending email blasts once a week giving you a hint about the location of each character. Here’s your hint for this week: This is one “eventure” you don’t want to miss!
If you haven’t looked over “The 8 Steps to Success” lately, it might be time to review them! It never hurts to keep your mind refreshed with these eight steps to make sure you are getting the most out of your career and personal life.
Step 1: Personal Use: In order to be successful, you must have integrity. Integrity is what guides you toward your goals. It’s your baseline for how to think and act. Andy says, “Integrity begins with knowing, believing, and investing in the products and services you offer.” Therefore, it is important to believe in the company and product you are selling in order to be successful. How can you convince someone to buy into your product if you don’t believe in it yourself? Make your business personal before you take the next step towards success.
Step 2: Work: In order to accomplish your goals, you must work for them. Nothing is ever simply going to be handed to you. In order to obtain those goals, it is important to set out a plan on how to reach them. You have to make a commitment, stay focused, stay motivated, and work hard.
Step 3: Listen: Listening is a key part of good communication skills. Without good communication, you cannot expect to be successful. Therefore, it is important to make sure you pay attention to your surroundings. Listen to what your customers want. Listen to the successful people around you. Listen and absorb!
Step 4: Read: Reading helps you to grow. How else do you expect to keep learning and keep your brain active? There is so much you can get out of a book that will help you to succeed. Don’t feel like you have to read for an hour, or read an entire book in one sitting. Take a few minutes out of each day to read, and allow yourself to grow. Andy has an excellent book list that has helped him and many others get to where they are today. Take a look, and pick a book!
Step 5: Attend All Meetings: Meetings are a great opportunity to network and grow. This is a time to learn about what is really going on at work. This is a time to learn new ideas and strategies to help you succeed. Attending meetings show you are serious about your work and that you genuinely care about what is going on.
Step 6: Be Teachable: Change is not always a bad thing, especially if you want to grow. In order to be successful, you must have the mentality that you want to keep learning and change at a fast pace. Being able to continuously learn opens the door for more growth and success.
Step 7: Be Accountable: It is important to be accountable for all of your actions if you want to achieve your goals. Being accountable for your actions doesn’t mean just your good actions; it’s being accountable for the bad ones, too. How do you expect to succeed if you can’t accept your successes and failures?
Step 8: Communicate With a Positive Mental Attitude! Positive attitudes attract positive attitudes. In order to be successful, it is important to be optimistic and be positive. Surround yourself with other positive people. Staying positive will only keep you on the right track to success.
If you don’t already have a copy of Andy’s book, “The 8 Steps to Success” don’t forget to pick up one from the NAA store and learn more about how these eight steps can help you succeed, just like they helped Andy and all of NAA’s top agents to succeed. If you have it, reread it to refresh your memory!
Many Americans feel stuck with jobs that they hate. They feel like they have to choose between happiness and success, but National Agents Alliance believes that you can achieve both. If you enjoy helping others and getting paid to do it, you can find success and happiness as an agent with the Alliance. Here are four tips to help you on your journey to have fun, make money, and make a difference.
- Develop real relationships with your customers. When you stop viewing your work as a “job” and start thinking of it as a chance to meet others and make a difference in their lives, it doesn’t feel like work anymore. Successful agents go into a customer’s home feeling like they’re going to help a family and make new friends; they don’t view customers as “just another sale.” If you’re sincere with your customers, they’ll be more comfortable with you and be more likely to work with you and give you referrals. When you’ve made a real relationship with your customers, you won’t feel like a failure if they decide not to make a sale – you’ll know that they’re comfortable with you and will contact you when they change their minds or will refer you to someone who might be interested.
- Strive for growth. You can’t expect to be happier or more successful if you don’t try. Start by figuring out your strengths and weaknesses and work towards improving them both. If you’re good at selling final expense insurance, aim to sell a few more each week. If you don’t sell many annuities, get more training and find out how other agents sell more annuities. When you give yourself a goal to strive for, you’ll feel more confident and will become more successful.
- Don’t worry about things you can’t control. Everyone has heard the old saying “There’s no use crying over spilled milk.” It’s true – there is no point in stressing yourself out about things that you cannot control. If you get a flat tire on the way to an appointment, don’t freak out and get upset. Call your customer and be honest about your situation, but assure them that you care and will be there as soon as you are able. If it takes some time to set up another appointment, send them a card or a gift to let them know that you’re sorry and that you care. If you freak out and get upset, you’ll just cause yourself more stress and people won’t want to be around you. Just keep calm and move on.
- Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, exercise, and eat well. Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t make many sales, just think of it as a problem you need to fix. Think about what went wrong and try to improve. If you’re down on yourself, customers may see your attitude as a lack of confidence in the product rather than in yourself. Talk with your upline or loved ones when you need encouragement. Remember that success doesn’t come without failure.
If you’re interested in more sales tips and motivation, sign up for the Burlington Fall Forward at www.allianceeventures.com and read our blog post, “The Alliance Knows Success Doesn’t Come without Failure.”
We’ve enjoyed all of the family and individual photos you’ve posted on Instagram for our latest “Get Your Ship Together” contest, but it’s coming to an end in just a few weeks! The winners of the Instagram Pirate contest will be announced during the Burlington Fall Forward event, so you’ll have to get your photos in by October 18th if you’d like to participate!
Check out the Alliance’s photo of our team members getting free doughnuts at Krispy Kreme on “International Talk Like a Pirate Day.”
Winners of the contest will be announced for 2 categories: Best Family Photo and Best Individual Photo. Winners will receive the following prizes:
• 2 (YOU and a guest) reserved seats with Andy for a meal during NatCon14 in Charlotte, N.C.
• 2 (YOU and a guest) of the best seats in the house at NatCon14 in Charlotte, N.C.
• $50 NAA Store gift card redeemable at NatCon14 in Charlotte, N.C.
• Your picture will appear in the NatCon14 program
You still have time to participate! Login to Instagram on your tablet or smartphone, follow National Agents Alliance, post your pirate picture with the hashtag #NAAPirates and you’re entered to win! Just remember that your submissions have to be in by October 18th!
While you’re on Instagram, follow Andy Albright (andysalbright) too!