Today, in our data-driven society, information overload is all too common. What you do with all of this great and insightful information could help you grow your business and set you apart from your competition. Your clients can be fact–finding individuals, and you are trying to stay ahead of the ever-changing financial landscape. New products are launched monthly, new articles, new ideas–new, new, new! So how do you stay up to date, how do you stay in the forefront of the information society, and how can you take this information and use it to be a valuable resource to your clients?
I have great news for you. Don’t fret: The above information is at your fingertips! Every day, there seems to be new information that is published that pertains to your business. Over the years, I have been a collector, not a hoarder, of this information. If you were to visit me at my office, you would notice that it is loaded with insightful books, magazine articles and, yes, even articles that I have put into my “favorites tab” on my computer. I decided long ago that there was so much information out there by many experts other than myself, and I would be crazy not to read or try to learn from them. These pros write articles monthly and publish them online and in magazines. What is sad is that many in the insurance industry do not take to heart these articles or use them as education, or take what they can and develop presentations centered around some of the highlights or bullet points! Instead, they place these articles in an archive to come back to another day or mark them as important and never review them again. But, these individuals could have possibly passed by an article of true importance that may have led them to another potential sale and another satisfied client.
How much time do you invest in yourself or in building your business on a daily, weekly or monthly basis?
I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to train over 100,000 agents over the years. When I have asked this question—“How much time do you invest into building your business or into yourself?”—there are many agents or reps that cannot answer this question specifically. When I talk with top producers in the industry, they will answer this question without hesitation.
The common answers are 10%, 20%, 30% or even more! I challenge you to start by taking 30 minutes for yourself to educate and build your business. There are plenty of opportunities throughout the day to invest in yourself. I challenge you to read one article over your morning coffee and another over lunch. With these small investments on a weekly basis, you’ll have covered ten new topics. Consider that impact over a month, a quarter or even a year. You will find that this devotion will help you become an expert and in turn grow your business!
Where to start?
Go to your office, look around and gather those magazines, find those books that you bought but never took the time to open, grab a pair of scissors, some file folders and a couple of highlighter pens. Now that you have amassed your pile, the fun is about to begin! Pick up the first item on your pile, open it up and use those fingertips to look through the magazine or book. Do you see any articles that you find interesting or that may pertain to the challenges that you are facing today? If so, cut out the article, take out your highlighter pen, write down some notes, then file the article and toss the rest of the magazine carcass away. Take these notes and start to apply this insight and build your files inside your tablet or computer. Example: If there is information on social security, put these notes into your “SS” file. Next, while still on your computer, read the industry articles you’ve saved while on the internet, make notes, and file those as well. The articles you save and the notes you’ve made will be great references for situations that industry experts have run into or for overcoming part of the sales practice.
As you set aside 30 minutes for yourself each day, you will find time to take these articles and focus on the heart of what the article was about. After a while, you will have amassed 20-30 presentations that you are also an expert on, and by taking advantage of what is available at your fingertips, you will find that your clients are opening up more to you as you are finding new ways and new topics that not only educate them, but open up possibilities for you to find new sales opportunities for yourself.