Quality of Questions



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Welcome to The Agent Leader Podcast. My name is Brent Kelly, your host. Thanks so much for joining me on another episode. As always, the purpose of The Agent Leader Podcast is to help you, the independent insurance agency leader, to help you gain clarity, build consistency, and to make that commitment to become your best version possible. I'm on fire today. Maybe not just necessarily me on fire, I'm on fire because I just invested a couple of days with incredible people. If you've ever been part of any level of a mastermind, a mastermind community, you know that the quality of the input certainly will give you the quality of the output. And the input that I've just been a part of in the last couple of days is incredible.

Well, the reason why is we just wrapped up session one of our Elite 50 Sales Mastery Program. This is our top level producer group. Incredible people that have been through our ProducerFit Core Program that were ready and able to take the next step of their development. This is by application only. And we've got producers in this room who have $3 million plus books of their personal commission, not premium commission, revenue, which is incredible. We also have some newer producers that have maybe in the business a couple of years, but are already on the right track, and that are just hungry, and I mean hungry, to get to those levels of the other producers in the room. And again, just the level of energy, the level of thought, the level of questions that are asked, because it's just such a good learning experience.

And I just wanted to share a couple of my takeaways from the session. Obviously not going to give away all the inner thoughts, but just some things that really are impactful that I took away, that I want to share with you, The Agent Leader Podcast listener. And really, the session today... It was a day and a half together. But the session today really started, the theme that I wrote down was it really all comes down to questions, right? Everything comes down to the questions. And there are two different aspects that I shared with the group at the end, I'll share with you. The quality of questions that we ask our clients, or future ideal clients, is the huge impact. And we spend an enormous amount of time working and refining and practicing and rehearsing those questions that unlock doors in your relationships, to grow your book of business. But from a producer perspective, or a leadership perspective of any kind, it's the quality of questions that we ask ourselves that are going to help us move forward.

I'm a big believer, just like any bad input, you get a bad output. You ask yourself lackluster questions, poor questions, average questions, you're going to get poor and average results. So my question to you, my question to this group today was, "What are going to be the level of questions you're going to ask yourself?" And here's one example. And just think about this question, if there's something that you want to accomplish, that's important to you, or maybe it's going through your mind, you've written down a piece of paper, whatever it is, and you go, and the question that most people ask themselves on something that they want to do is, "Can I do this? Can I accomplish this? Can I install this process? Can I begin to utilize a strategy?" Whatever it is, "Can I?" is the question, and it's a very average question. Why? Well, it casts doubt that you should even do it.

Now, I'm not saying every thought you should have, you should act on and go deep with. You've got to filter through that, but when you make a decision or decide, "Hey, this is something that's really important to my life, to my business, to my results." And then we say, "Well, gosh, can I do that?" Well, first of all, if someone else has done it, the answer is, "Yes, you can." But "Can I" is a very average question. The better question is, "How can I? How can I accomplish X, Y, Z? How can I make that a reality?"

And I think even a better question, if not the best question is this, "How will I ensure this works or succeeds? How will I ensure it works or succeeds?" Even a better question, we've gone from, "Can I even do this" to, "How can I do this?" You're doing some filtering and thinking to, "How will I ensure that this thing works? How will I ensure that this is successful? How can I make sure or ensure that the results are predictable and guaranteed for me, and/or my team, whatever the case may be, as we begin, or I begin to move forward in this?" It really comes back to your questions.

See, every one of us, we have doubts, we have fears. We have uncertainty, we have anxiety, whether we say it publicly, or it's spinning around in our head. That's natural. It's human. Every time we challenge ourselves, every time we get out of that comfort zone, whatever comfort zone we're living in, we begin to doubt ourselves. And I believe there's an evil doctor out there. His evil doctor name is Evil Dr. Yabut. We've got an idea, a concept in mind, we can see a compelling vision or future for us and our business. And the minute we begin to start that process, whatever it may be, Evil Dr. Yabut comes in and says, "Yeah, but you don't really need to do that. Yeah, but it's really not that important. Yeah, but it's going to be really hard. Yeah, but it's going to require some sacrifice, and I don't know that it's worth it." This evil Dr. Yabut. And I believe Dr. Yabut can be extinguished. Or certainly reduced to a much greater level by asking yourself better questions.

That's what I want to share with you today. What are the quality of questions you're asking yourself? Are they questions that are already riddled with self-doubt or uncertainty? Are they questions that say, "I've made a commitment. How will I ensure that I fulfill this commitment? I'm steadfast. I'm strong. I'm confident. I hope. I hope." Like, we continue to talk about Sitkins and always have fun with this concept that believe that many agencies and producers and live on hopium, this new drug. I'm asking you to change the quality of questions from questions built on hopium to questions that are built on certainty and confidence. It's a huge difference. And this group, this Elite 50 Group, they're all working for their best version, too. Even though many of them had great success, they're always asking themselves, "What's next? What's the next level for me? I'm not done yet."

The very end of the session, last story I'll share on this, and I'll wrap up this particular episode is I thought it was so fascinating. I took a picture. In fact, I just put it on LinkedIn and Facebook. So if you're connecting with me there, you might be able to go back and find it. But two of the youngest producers in the room, and I interviewed both of these producers, and it's always a challenge because we want to make sure that people that are in that room belong, deserve to be in that room. That's what makes the quality great.

So these two producers, because they're only a couple of years in the business, they don't have the biggest books yet. They, obviously, don't have the most experience. But there was just something about them that you could tell was different. Just the way that they spoke, the way that they... You would just visually see in them that there was this a little bit of spark in there of, "I will find a way to make this succeed. I don't know how yet. I really don't. I'm learning some of these things, but gosh, darn it. It'll happen."

At the very end, I'm sitting there, and I was looking on the video. And the camera was still up because we recorded the session, and we also streamed it for virtual attendees. And I could see both of these producers standing next to Roger Sitkins, also a mentor of mine, obviously, owner and CEO of the Sitkins Group, which I represent as the president. And both standing next to Roger and asking the question, "What do you see in me? What can I do? What's another thing I could do?" They just attended a day and a half, and they want more. They continue to ask Roger and others, and I'm certain themselves questions of quality, questions that will challenge and inspire them for greatness. And I put on that LinkedIn and Facebook post that I put on there, one of the things we love to say is this, "What will your story be when it's time that your story is told, whenever that may be? What will your story be? And I believe the best stories for you and for anyone start by asking yourself the best questions."

Last thought, more of an invitation. As always, we are looking for agencies for 2022, agencies and agency teams that are ready. They're ready for that next level of success, of production, of freedom that they're looking for to avoid some of the traps that may be holding them back. Our waiting list is now open for our first quarter of 2022 sessions of our inclusive model and beyond. If you just go to sitkins.com/AIM, sitkins.com/AIM, by the way, our first producer program of next year, which is part of the all-inclusive model, starts in January as well. You want to make sure you and your team get on the waiting list, so that we can get you the proper information. See if it's a fit, obviously, for you and your agency moving forward. We would love to have a discussion and help you tell an incredible story.

With that, I wish you all the best in your success. Thanks for listening. And by the way, feel free to share this podcast, subscribe, or follow, so we can continue to give out more information to you as the agent leader. All the best.


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