Six ways to get more done more quickly – the magic of deadlines

By Jim Ruta | April 06 2018 07:00AM

Photo: Freepik

How do top producers produce so much business?

“If you can sell one life insurance policy, you can sell a hundred. The trick is squishing them all into one year,” so said the late, New York Life ICON, Freddy D. Donaldson. That’s the key, isn’t it – getting more done more quickly to maximize the payoff of your efforts. It’s what industry ICONs do so well. They squish years of average advisor production into one.

For instance, Van Mueller, achieved MDRT production this year by January 7th, barely a week into the New Year. A couple years ago, he told me he produced MDRT Top of the Table qualification by April 30th. He said he wanted to get that out of the way early and enjoy the rest of the year. There is a lot of squishing going on there.

So how do these otherwise ordinary people achieve such extraordinary results? One powerful way, is the creative setting and working of meaningful deadlines.

The best example of this business acceleration strategy is planning vacations. Yes, everyone accomplishes more going into and coming out of a vacation than they would have had they worked right through. A fast-approaching vacation forces the competitive spirit in any advisor to get work done before they go. That same spirit forces them to catch up quickly upon return. This idea works like magic.

Here are 5 more ways you can use this same deadline power to do more every day and every year:

  1. Use the “I must do one thing every day to find a new client” approach. This creates a simple and easy to accomplish daily deadline. Make it a daily habit and you are much more likely to do that one thing today and find that prospect.
  2. Set up a “Must be in front of a new prospect by 9am every day” rule for yourself like my friend John Kanary recommends. Maybe this is something you do on the way into work every day? Set it up and you have a deadline you’ll find hard to miss.
  3. Use the “box time” approach to time management. Give yourself an hour a day to make prospecting calls or to clear email and you are creatively using the power of deadlines to get more work done more quickly. Van’s idea of getting TOT done by the end of April is an excellent example but on an annual scale. Same idea.
  4. Rather than using a “To Do List”, how about actually booking the time into your daily calendar for that particular “To Do”? That way you set up both a deadline to start a prospecting, sales or communication project. That makes you even more likely to finish it.
  5. Keep records to break records is a way of using number deadlines to achieve more. Just writing down your activity and results numbers on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis, means you have those same “deadlines” to beat every time. It makes you work like magic.

Using deadlines creatively is the magic that top advisors use to get more done more quickly. It’s an easy trick anyone can teach themselves and squish a couple years into one.

How do top advisors sell the mega case?

Many advisors believe that finding someone who has the capacity to buy mega premium is next to impossible. But, two recent cases say otherwise. Prospects who purchased 7-figure, annual life insurance premium policies had little or no life insurance prior to writing the big cheque. No evidence suggested that these people were going to buy the big one. The first, a fifty-something senior, corporate executive had only $200,000 of coverage. The second, a business owner over the age of 70, had no life insurance whatsoever. None. It would have been easy to suppose both prospects were a dead end.

This insight is important when hunting down mega cases from mega prospects. Many advisors think that all well-heeled, mega-prospects, past middle age already have plenty of life insurance coverage and there’s no reason and no point to calling on them. With that prejudice in their heads, most advisors never make contact. That’s clearly a mistaken view that costs a lot of advisors a lot of commissions.

What is true though is that some prospects have been better at selling “no appointments” to advisors than advisors have been at selling them “appointments”. It’s like when you’re fishing and finally make the trophy catch. That giant has been very good at staying away from the bait for a lot of years. Success takes persistence.

It’s also true that a sale is made in every sales call. Either the advisor sells the prospect on the appointment, or the prospect sells the advisor on “no appointment”. It’s one or the other. But, if you want to sell the mega case, first, don’t prejudge potential wants or needs for anybody, regardless of their socioeconomic status or how big a “fish” they might be. Remember that they just might be very good at outsmarting sales people. But, you might just have the perfect bait to lure them out of the shallows if you try hard enough. Ask everybody. Ask all the time.

Second, in both cases, the advisor who got the sale, persisted with the prospect where other, equally talented advisors, had not. Many tried but stopped before they struck gold.

Their persistence made the difference. It’s instructive to know that in one case, even some elite advisors quit too soon despite there being a huge case on the line. The quitters forgot that a great approach or strategy, may not be enough – if you only try it once. Fishing is like that too. The very best advisors know that: A Great Approach to a Great Prospect + Inspiration + Perseverance = Sales Success. This applies in all cases for all advisors.

Remember that anyone can be a great prospect, regardless of how successful they are and what you think you know about them. It takes inspired perseverance to get to and then sell the best prospects. Frankly, today, there are many more prospects who need a million-dollar premium life insurance policy than there are advisors with the intestinal fortitude, or visceral aptitude to ask them to buy. This idea could be worth millions to you. Knock and the door may be opened unto you.