Many people are too scared to live and work for their dreams. Basically, they’re scared to live up to life’s potential. In fact, one of the biggest failures is giving up before you even tried, all because you were scared.
As Andy Albright said in the Millionaire Maker Manual, “We say that it takes YOUR WORK to make the DREAM WORK;” and that’s where many people fall short.
Whether it’s the risk, the fear of failure or loss of what you currently have, one thing is certain: being scared will never lead you to your dream. While failing is a very real outcome, so is success. But success isn’t achieved through fear, only through fearless actions towards your goals.
In order to break free from your fears, there are several things you can do:
- Decide and Declare What You Want To Be: Resolve to be what you are reaching for. If you want to be a top producing life insurance agent, then decide that you are one.
- Believe In It: You need to believe in yourself and your dreams in order to achieve them. If you believe you are a top producing life insurance agent, then you can begin acting like one. You just have to have a little faith.
- Go For it: Your dreams will always remain “dreams” until you act upon them to make them your reality.
Here at National Agents Alliance we fully believe that it’s never too late to start living your dream and be who you want to be. Don’t let YOU stand in your way!
There are some obvious differences between people who achieve success and people who don’t. At National Agents Alliance we don’t settle for mediocre and we look to recruit like-minded people who specialize in turning challenges into triumphs.
In the NAA business model, as in life in general, success or failure is up to you. We have all the training necessary for learning the business, but no one can do it for you. Our leaders search for men or women who first believe in themselves and have some common traits found in winners.
Attitude is more important than ability. There are plenty of unsuccessful people with great ability in the world, but the winners in life all have a great attitude. We want people who develop the attitude that nothing is impossible, people with a burning desire to succeed, and someone with the intelligence to follow the footsteps of our great leaders who have already done it. NAA agents with the right attitude will not try to “re-invent the wheel,” but are receptive to learning what has been proven successful.
Success in our business is about leadership. The ability to influence others, whether it be to purchase one of our products or to teach others the business, is a characteristic we look for in new agents. This ability can be developed if the individual is “Teachable,” one of Andy Albright’s 8 Steps to Success. Agents possessing the right attitude already mentioned, can become future leaders by copying the best-of-the-best at NAA. Have you developed this characteristic yet?
Are you a good listener? In the 8 Steps to Success, NAA CEO Andy Albright emphasizes that you first “seek to understand.” Leaders, with that winner’s attitude, actively, and respectfully, listen with the intent to understand. This means listening to your mentors, as well as your clients, because leaders never stop learning, and it’s an interesting fact that NAA’s top income earners master this skill first to sell more.
Talent on its own will never make you successful. We definitely want talented people in our National Agents Alliance business, but more importantly, we look for new agents willing to learn, who will listen to our successful producers, and who ultimately, possess a great attitude…a belief that nothing is impossible, an attitude that “I can, and I will.”
We are in the people business, so it is imperative that your enthusiasm is genuine, and when it is, it will be infectious. It rubs off on everyone you contact.
When you are building your agency, ask yourself this question: “Would I want to be led by me?” Remember, as you strive to improve your communication skills, you communicate enthusiasm through your words, your voice quality and your body language. You are looking for quality people and your enthusiasm acts like a magnet to draw these people to you.
The greater the enthusiasm felt by the team, the greater the action and the greater the momentum, because the team is motivated by a common goal rather than fear. Team spirit is developed. As the great coaching legend John Wooden of UCLA said when talking about team success: “It’s amazing what is accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit.” The same is true with your National Agents Alliance team, and everyone prospers.
Your enthusiasm does not have to be loud and flashy, and, in fact, that type of enthusiasm will turn most people off. As the leader, you just need to express enthusiasm through consistent action. Every day, in everything you do, your energy, your demeanor sets the tone for your team. The best-of-the-best at National Agents Alliance excel at building relationships with clients, carrier representatives and team members through their enthusiastic personality, always being genuinely “up,” loving what they do on a day-to-day basis.
Through practice and experience, successful people carry a positive, enthusiastic energy and naturally attract the attention and interest of the people around them. Through Andy Albright’s 8 Steps to Success, agents learn the importance of always communicating with a Positive Mental Attitude (Step Number 8), and that even negative situations can be presented in a positive tone.
To be the effective leader, present yourself in a positive and enthusiastic manner, do not let negative people or circumstances drag you down, and make sure your enthusiasm is sincere, not phony. The easiest way to attract the kind of people you want on your team is by becoming one of the people you seek yourself.
Ask anyone who is going through a difficult time in their marriage, or with a child, or even butting heads with a co-worker and they will tell you that difficulties in relationships can negatively impact every area of our life. Because relationships are so important to success at National Agents Alliance, this is doubly true for our agents.
In the creation story, the first gift bestowed on the very first person was the gift of a companion. Humans are designed to live together, and the vast majority of our happiness in life (or lack thereof) comes from our ability to have good relationships. This is obvious in your NAA business.
Most of us have learned somewhere along the way that having good relationships is not easy and takes the effort of both parties for success. Perhaps you’re in a relationship right now with a spouse or other important person and that relationship is no longer what it used to be. Maybe there is tension from work, or maybe you’ve just lost interest and drifted apart. Whatever is affecting the relationship, it’s important to use a few basic skills to repair it. All the success in the world can be diminished in value if you have no one to share it with.
Whether the relationship is at work or personal, there are three basic tools that can make things work better. The three tools are time, effort, and imagination. Sadly, the first tool is so simple it is often overlooked. Time is as simple as sitting at the table together eating a meal instead of grabbing a meal on the go, or in the case of a key relationship, it can be the commitment to spend a week’s vacation together or to sit and read to a child every night for fifteen minutes.
One single, working mom shared the story of how she always gets up 30 minutes early and fixes a big breakfast for her three boys. Their teenage lives are busy and full of sports and activities, but she made the commitment to spend time with them before the distractions of the day, and it has kept her family close. While these things may not be easy, they pay huge dividends, and the good things in life generally require some effort on our part. She clearly feels that this extra effort is a key to her children’s well-being.
Imagination is the ability to see the relationship the way it could be. Be creative and plan a special date with your spouse and then make it happen. Celebrate a holiday or a birthday in a unique way. Find a funny card to send for no reason at all or bring a coworker a piece of homemade dessert or an interesting newspaper article. Just use a little imagination and have some fun with it.
Top producers at National Agents Alliance learn quickly that a key factor for success in life is having good relationships with family, team members and clients. We will never do well in sales or recruiting if we can’t conquer the basics of healthy relationships, and life’s successes seem even sweeter when you have someone to share them with.
There is always room in the world for one more leader. When we hear the term ‘leader’, many of us imagine the president of a huge corporation, an army general or the ruler of a country. However, true leadership starts right where you are now.
Leadership, simply put, is the ability to influence others. It means you help others change their thoughts and actions in a positive manner and for the good of the organization, team or even a family unit. Think about it. Don’t you want to be a leader with your spouse, with your children, with your agency, and with your clients? Don’t you want to have a positive influence?
How does someone become a better leader? Leaders help people see their own potential, and have a real desire to see them move toward it. A leader at home can convince the children to do well in school. A leader at National Agents Alliance can influence a client to protect their family, and can help their agents to be more successful at sales and recruiting. A quick look at any endeavor, and one can quickly see that compensation closely follows leadership development.
The top leaders in National Agents Alliance have all learned leadership principles from Andy Albright and all desire to emulate Andy’s characteristics. They have all learned that true leaders are trustworthy, because if people don’t trust you they won’t follow you. They have learned that leaders care about more than just someone’s success; they care about the whole person. Ask any top producer about their key team members and they will be able to recite far more than just the monthly stats; they’ll be sure to know all about the agent’s family members, and their goals and dreams, too. At NAA, our leaders share a vision that goes way beyond just knowing facts.
From Proverbs 28:18 we learn that where there is no vision, the people perish. Good leaders have a vision: my child can get good grades, my agency can grow 100% this year….they see beyond today, and they are good at painting the picture for others so they can ‘see’ it too.
Learn to see further down the road than others, and become a master at communicating your vision in a way that makes others want to go where you see. When you do, you’ll join the group of the great leaders at National Agents Alliance.
One of the many benefits of being a life insurance agent with National Agents Alliance is that we encourage our agents to get their spouse on board and work together in your new business venture. But sometimes when work and personal life are combined, it creates a melting-pot effect that could ruin your marriage. Knowing how to work and live together is key to keeping your relationship intact.
Forbes has revealed some tips on how to keep your “happy” marriage intact while working together:
- Define your workspace: If possible, pick two separate areas away from your partner and designate it as your “official work space.” Being in a separate space will help avoid distractions from your spouse, which can be as simple as their phone ringing throughout the day. If you don’t have a space large enough to accommodate both of you, establishing office hours may provide a fix.
- Create office hours: Create your “office hours,” so that you can focus on work and then have time for each other after your work is done. This helps to prevent an overlap of work and your personal life.
- Communication: It’s imperative that you learn how to communicate with each other without getting defensive with one another. In fact, it’s not a completely absurd idea to book an appointment with your spouse to talk about business-related concerns, this way you can completely focus your attention to the task at hand.
- Dealing with distractions: This might be the biggest hurdle for most people working from home and with their spouse. “We’ve gotten into the habit of being distracted,” says Diane Gottsman, owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in etiquette training for corporations, universities and individuals. “We now have to get into the habit of focusing on getting what we need to get done, taking our breaks, and at a certain point shutting down and being present with our spouse and with our friends.”
The following are LifeHealthPro.com‘s “Top 12 Cheesy Sales Lines to Avoid:”
- “What will it take to earn your business?”— Uh, maybe you could act like a professional and show me how I’m going to benefit from your product or service?
- “Is price the only thing holding you back?”—No, but the fact that you think price is the most important issue shows your complete lack of sales ability.
- “Here’s the phone, why not call your wife right now and talk to her?”—Seriously?
- “Don’t you want to save money?”—No, I’m an idiot. But, please insult my intelligence again by asking another stupid question like this.
- “If I could show you (insert benefit), would you be interested?”—How about you ask me a question or two so you can figure out how your product will help me?
- “This price won’t last long.”—Really? You can’t come up with anything better than that?
- “At this price, we’ll be sold out by the end of the day.”—Sure…and your new shipment arrives tomorrow morning.
- “I don’t think we’ll be offering this incentive next week.”—Yeah? I bet it will be better then, so maybe I’ll wait.
- “What do you know about us?”—Didn’t I just see a scathing story in the news last week?
- “What do I need to do to get you into…?”—You’re not “getting” me into anything with that approach.
- “Have you heard about us?”—No, and do you really think this question is going to make me want to listen to your sales pitch?
- “What are your needs?”—Why don’t you ask me some good questions that take a bit of thought and effort and I’ll tell you?
National Agents Alliance wants to know: Are you guilty of making a sales line faux-pas?
No matter what you do in life there is always going to be a “Negative Nancy” to try to bring you down. The key to success is identifying those barriers and bringing them down instead, because they only serve to make your journey to financial freedom even harder.
During your journey with National Agents Alliance, you will encounter these people along the way, and some every day—but how you handle them will determine whether or not they will block your path to success.
Business strategist Terry Starbucker offered advice in his article, “The 3 People That Stand In Your Way Of Business Success (and How To Push Them Aside,)” on how to identify these people and how you can move these people aside:
- The Naysayer: “You can’t do that!” “Are you out of your mind!” “No way” The Naysayer lives in a bizarro world where nothing gets done, every idea is silly or stupid, and resentment and jealousy are written on their sleeves. At the urging of my first boss, I eliminated the word “CAN’T” from my vocabulary. Banished it. Cast it off. Once that’s done, an amazing thing happens – you can’t HEAR it on the outside either. It no longer registers – it’s just there. So when I encounter the Naysayer now, it’s like the “wah wah wahs” you hear on a Peanuts cartoon.
- The “Frenenvy: “Oh, that’s interesting…” “Good luck with that.” “Geez, I’d like to help, but…” The Frenenvy, not to be confused with the “Frenemy,” is someone you know pretty well who is content to let your dreams and ambition essentially “lie there.” Not a Naysayer, but yet, a person that could “infect” you with the same inertia that they are exhibiting. It’s one of those 7 deadly sins at work – envy. You are going places, and talking about it. Putting it out there. And that can make people you know pretty nervous – not about you, but about themselves. (I know, because earlier in my life I’ve been a Frenenvy). Envy is powerful. So yes, they stand in your way, but in this case, these persons are your friends, so “the push aside” isn’t necessarily casting them away, or ignoring them. It’s just that they have issues to work through, so when it comes to your dreams, they just can’t be in that particular glide path.
- YOU: “I’m scared” “I’m not trusting my instinct” “What if I fail?” That voice inside your head -it’s dangerous. It never forgets anything, all the way back to when you messed up in Kindergarten and got called out by the teacher in front of everybody. All those embarrassments and insecurities, buried beneath your dreams. That’s the YOU; you need to always be aware of, and the awareness itself is what will save you. Because your instincts ARE good, and as a dreamer, you’ve already taken some of the hardest steps. For us, it’s “coming to terms” with our fear that will keep it at arm’s length. Trust yourself, and all of those internal barriers will fall away.
Every now and again we lie to ourselves, and sometimes we do it without even realizing it. Sales people are some of the biggest culprits of this, and eyesonsales.com has revealed some of the most common lies sales people tell themselves:
- Sales Lie #1: “I could reach my quota if my company lowered their prices.”
No, just do some work on your sales technique. If you rely solely on price to close deals then you condition your customers to constantly push you for a larger discount or a better price.
- Sales Lie #2: “I’ve got this deal in the bag.”
If a client tells you that they’re interested, that everything looks good and that they will get back to you in a few days, it doesn’t mean that the client is going to definitely buy from you. No deal is guaranteed until the other person signs the agreement, gives you confirmation, or places the order.
- Sales Lie #3: “The competition is always offering better prices.”
While some competitors will consistently beat you on price, the reality is that most companies are competitively priced. It’s a rare situation when a competitor will out-price you on everything you sell unless the products are different, eyesonsales.com says.
- Sales Lie: #4: “If I don’t set a sales target I won’t be disappointed.”
By doing this, you’re basically saying that you don’t want to succeed and you don’t want to work hard. Top performing sales reps always set high, ambitious goals and their targets are usually higher than those set by their company. They use these goals to inspire and motivate themselves to achieve more.
- Sales Lie: #5: “No one is buying.”
This is a huge misconception. Regardless of the economy, people still make buying decisions. They still make purchases. Stop wasting time thinking about the people who aren’t buying and find the people and companies who are buying!
- Sales Lie #6: “I don’t need to practice my sales presentation.”
If you want to be a good salesperson you have to practice, because practice makes perfect. The best sales people seldom take their sales appointments and meetings for granted. They rehearse the questions they need to ask. They run through their presentation to make sure they have included the necessary details and that their presentation flows in a logical manner and that it addresses their prospect’s situation and/or needs.
I ran across an old article that originally appeared in 1997, titled “In War against No-Shows, Restaurants Get Tougher,” by William Grimes, and it is especially relevant for us as salespeople with National Agents Alliance.
The owner of a restaurant in Chicago, had an epiphany a bit over 10 years ago when he began adding up the cost of no-shows and found that the grand total was $900,000 a year, a figure that got him thinking, fast.
He made a change in the restaurant’s procedure that underlines the status of a restaurant reservation, which is less than a contract but something more binding than “I promise.”
He instructed his receptionists to stop saying, “Please call us if you change your plans,” and start saying, “WILL you call us if you change your plans?”
The no-show rate dropped from 30 percent to 10 percent!
In other words, by asking a question and eliciting a response, the receptionist created a sense of obligation. Getting that soft commitment made a huge impact. When we say “May I send you some information?” that is asking the prospect to give you permission; instead, “I’ll send you some information, will you look it over and we can talk again in a few weeks?” is asking the prospect to commit to the next step. Ask for some commitment — not permission.
If they’re too busy right now, “Will we be able to talk more about this when I call back in a few weeks?” is asking for commitment and implies that they need to be ready for that conversation when you do call back. Top producers at National Agents Alliance learn to get that small commitment so the prospect will be ready for the call. On the other hand, “May I call you in a few weeks?” is simply asking for permission.
People like to honor their commitments. If the call ends and they have only given you permission, why would they care what happens next? The ball is not in their court. But if the call ends and they’ve committed to doing something, odds are good they’ll do it. And if asking for that commitment doesn’t feel right, then it probably means you’ve got more work to do in building interest. Make it your goal on every call to ask a version of “Will you?” as opposed to “May I?”