Insider Secrets from the 2018 Canada Sales Congress

By Jim Ruta | September 18 2018 07:00AM

Brian Burlacoff at the 2018 Canada Sales Congress | Photo: PhotoVisions

Finding the Power of Passion

From my booth beside the stage at the Canada Sales Congress, and from working with all the speakers, I get to understand the talks as well as I understand the speakers. It’s that special insight I want to share with you, so you can see what I see. When you do, I believe you can start transforming your business with your own take on these ideas, so you might one day join the ranks of our Canada Sales Congress faculty.

Most of our faculty are not professional speakers. They don’t speak every week. Some have never spoken publicly before. Some have to be coaxed into sharing their “secret sauce” in public. Some have to be coached through their presentation and their talk. Most worry that they are off the mark.

Yet, they demonstrate that golden characteristic that makes them great – their willingness to do it anyway – despite their fear and doubts. They take on the challenge of speaking under bright lights and before more than a thousand people the same way they take on the toughest prospects. They just do it. They give it their best and they always shine – win or lose.

If there is one overarching lesson from the CSC this is it. Our faculty demonstrates the same courage it takes to make the toughest calls by presenting to their toughest critics – their peers. It’s this courage that separates average advisors from awesome advisors. Our faculty resists their fear and shares their stories despite how they feel before they start. And, without exception, they are all exhilarated when they are done. The hardest sales are like that too, aren’t they?

You might think that their talks would get repetitive, but this is six years in a row now that we continue to be blessed with fresh new ideas from fresh faces. Apparently, there are as many stories as there are advisors and they all have a little twist on the principles and processes that create success. It’s another lesson to advisors everywhere – you don’t have to do it their way, you can do it your way, so long as you do it every day.

Here are the best ideas I heard at this year’s CSC – ones that I believe can help you with your business.

Brian Burlacoff’s idea about “preserving cashflow for peace of mind when life changes in the blink of an eye” is a brilliant line. Critical illness provides “choice, dignity and control” he says and coming from a cancer survivor, you know he knows it and means it.

Amy Tong says the business still can be. She does it with a real passion for the business. She uses life coaching ideas to connect with her clients and drive her business forward. Her case size varied last year from $150 per year to $50,000 per year. It’s all about helping clients do what they want to do.

Erica Lee redefined selling millennials as personally educating millennials to access this almost untapped and forgotten market. For her, insurance is an investment to protect their other investments. She backs up her stories with a solid online presence.

“Everyone has a plan. Every plan has a price tag. Every price tag can be changed” was just part of the advisor masterclass put on by Dr. Guy Baker. Closing? “Where would you like to go from here?” Want to be referable? “Be known for the problems you solve not the solutions you sell.

Need business? “Go see someone. Activity breeds activity.”

“Do you love people and this business enough to ask everyone you know to buy?” asks Cleo Castillo, who talks to people in line at the grocery store and Costco. Use qualifying questions. Serve the people who say yes. When you treat your clients like you love them you show them how you will treat their referrals.

Brian Scott showed us that advisor revenue is a lagging indicator, but activity is a leading indicator of new business. That means activity leads the way for revenue. Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong. Tell people you “work at risk” and do not charge a fee.

“Your words give you power and control” said Jennifer Powers. But, what words are you using every day that are not attracting the results you want? Rejection just means “wrong person”. Prospecting is just “helping”. No means “not now”. Who are you blaming for your troubles? Don’t victimize yourself. You’re not a victim. Stop acting like it. Own your personal power.

Will technology replace advisors? Jim Brownlee reminded us that ultra high-tech Apple sells it s products through “product geniuses” in their bricks and mortar stores. Be like an in-demand tour guide and not an obsolete travel agent. Jim Burton advises that we will “use technology and not be replaced by it”. Michael Rogers encourages using technology to leverage your advice.  

“The most affluent prospects are the most vulnerable” observed Whitney Hammond. Help them and you will earn a seat at their advisory table. Accountability creates high performance not high maintenance. Want to sell bigger policies? Buy the biggest policy you “can’t afford” and then work hard to pay for it.

We are so lucky to be in this business – the price is the same everywhere. If you can have 15 appointments per week, you will find success or success will find you like it did Kyle Richie who has built businesses in two cities. Find ways to impress the people who impress your clients – like their children. Confidence and high energy sells.

“Would you have any objection to reviewing your life insurance polices with me?” asks David Hull. Act fast on delivering insurance policies and especially rated cases. Prospect 24 hours a day. Spend more time preparing than selling. Don’t get into illustration wars. When business owners die, so does their credit – back it up. Despite the large cases, he’s rarely sold a premium larger than what he owns.

Insurance advisors have never been more needed than today and never less trusted. Joe Jordan calls advisors “Advocates for financial responsibility”. Your value comes from the size of the problems you solve not the money you make. Make the business more human – tell more stories. Your purpose is to make the money last longer than the people.

I’m sure you see an idea or two that can help change your business. Put into practice today. That’s all you need to become an icon.