When ICONs speak

By Jim Ruta | June 27 2017 07:00AM

Photo: Photovisions

Jim Ruta’s Best Ideas from the 2017 Canada Sales Congress

The Canada Sales Congress faculty is charged with revealing what they do to sell life insurance with integrity, passion and extraordinary success. This year, we took “insurance master” to the next level – “icon”. Icons are representative symbols of the best in the business and we got the icon protocol this year. We heard the:

  • Inspiration that drove these icons to persist in their business efforts, the
  • Communication skills and strategies that attracted their extraordinary business, the
  • Organization they built to create performance consistency and the
  • Numeration they do to improve their performance

Here are my best ideas from our icons. You can use them to create persistence, attraction, consistency and improvement in your business too.

Jason Black, through his amazing story of triumph over certain death, twice, gave us his strategy to overcome anything – his WHY. Who is your life about? What is your inspiration to live? How will you go forward to overcome? Your “how” will present itself when the who is strong enough. And, Yes, just say, “YES I CAN” to your how. What’s your “why”?

Lianne Pereux took a new candidate marketing tool she started with and made it the centrepiece of her ongoing business development program. Her evergreen “Lifetime Project 100” idea of always replenishing her list of people she knows continually breathes new life sales into her business. It’s why she writes 150 insurance cases each year. How about your list?

Rene Pereux trained it and now still does it to excel. He knows “Activity generates activity”, especially with the “unaware sale” that is life insurance. The more calls you make, the more calls you will be inclined to make. For him, activity is a self-fulfilling prophecy. He stays focused on his activity and production goals with a simple list on them on a sheet of paper on his desk where he can always see it. How’s your activity?

Jerry Wiseblott says routines are a God send and he practices his talks so he can “call without looking”. His call list is ready the night before. Repetition is the key to awesome. He has 4 lunches per week with prospects because “People need to eat and everyone likes free food”. Get to know people over lunch. You don’t even have to mention life insurance. But it they do, it’s fair game. How many lunches do you have?

Paul Philip changed the perspective on prospecting from needy to helpful. To him, “Prospecting is just offering to help”. It’s the winning perspective on the hardest job in the business. Selling disability insurance premiums? He says, “Why not just invest 2% of your income today to guarantee the other 98% when you can’t work. Makes sense?” Yes, it does!

Tom Hegna changed the narrative for advisors. “We are in the words, language, questions and stories business.” He left us with some great ones: “Most people are grossly underinsured for life because of the 1% interest rate environment. Plan on no more than 3.8% income from assets.” Would you like to go to the bank or BE the bank?” “What’s on your keychain? How many of those keys do you want your spouse and kids to sell off to continue without you? The cottage? Second car? The place in Florida?...” “Spend all your money in retirement. Don’t leave any cash to your kids. Leave them cash value life insurance instead. It’s the most efficient way.” “Cash value life insurance can help you fund the 3 stages of retirement; The Go-Go Years, The Slo-Go Years and finally, The No-Go Years.” “You can do all your business at Starbucks over coffee. Some do and make Top of the Table.”

Bhupinder Anand built his business around high value service. Don’t give away your wisdom. He has no “free” or “no obligation” meetings. That minimizes his value. So, the first meeting is never “free”, it is always “at my expense”. That adds value and prestige to you, your knowledge and service. Value has little to do with money. Value is about doing for a client that which they cannot or will not do for themselves.

Léony deGraaf Hastings was inspired by the elder marketplace and committed to it. She put her money and her time where her inspiration was and soon came to “own” the elder marketplace in her local region. She organized herself, her business, her market and even her industry to become an industry celebrity for elders. She chose a niche and then the niche chose her as their professional for advice. What’s yours?

Stephen J. Pustai showed how “Life is more than business, success is more than money and the dream that we follow must encompass all of life.” Ultimately, the life insurance business is about being able to have “Love Letters from Daddy” – the proceeds of life insurance money to a grieving family.

Van Mueller is a naturally shy person who struggles to do his job every day. Struggles every day but qualifies for Million Dollar Round Table’s Top of the Table performance level. The business did not come easily to him. But, he wanted to be a “servant to his prospects and clients and that turned him around. Van’s lesson is that he learned the job of being a top agent. You can learn this job too when you pay attention and commit to do what it takes like he did after a 16-year stint at average to start his career. Here are some of his inspirational communication ideas:

People buy when they feel they are understood not when they understand what you are selling.

  • Ask questions of your prospects no one ever asks (where you know the answers) and you will get results no one ever gets.
  • You and your thinking are your only competition. Overcome that and you can change the world.
  • “Do you want to be rich or would you rather have an absolute guarantee you’ll never be poor?”
  • The more you share your faith, the stronger your faith becomes. It’s the same with the life insurance business. Practice makes performance.
  • This is a conversation business. You must know how to lead a conversation on the products you sell. The best way to be a conversationalist is to ask questions. When people do all the talking when they are with you they say YOU are a great conversationalist.
The big lesson from the CSC? “Be ready for anything.”
  • Be ready with your words.
  • Be ready with your inspiration.
  • Be ready with your communication and communications.
  • Be ready with your organization and order.
  • Be ready with your numeration and numbers.

Just be ready for anything, anytime and for any reason in your business. When you are, you too can be an icon.