Quantum Leaping Your Career: Part Two

Practice and rehearse.

I love the idea that when passion and skill come together, the result is a masterpiece. Now just imagine the result if you added practice to the mix. No matter how great you are at doing what you love, you’ll be better prepared to share your masterpiece if you commit to ongoing practice.

Conversely, when was the last time you saw a presentation so atrocious that it was obvious the speaker was completely unprepared? Have you ever been that speaker? If so, there’s a good chance you didn’t practice enough.

You never want to lose a sale to, or compete against someone who is better prepared than you. If you do, and you lose a sale to someone who studied harder and knows the account better than you, shame on you for even being in that game.

You get only one chance to make a good first impression.

If you’ve ever watched Shark Tank, The Voice or other weekly TV competitions, you know that the contestants have just a minute or two to distinguish themselves from the competition. How hard do you think those people have worked in order to make a spectacular impression in so little time? How hard would you be willing to work if you knew that a two-minute presentation could totally change your life?

Think about “TED Talks.” People who have an opportunity to present them are internationally recognized experts who are given just 18 minutes to speak. Could you convey your message in 18 minutes or less? To quantum leap your career, pretend you’re giving a “TED Talk” and that this is your one shot at the big time.

Business is based on relationships.

Even in our totally automated, digital world, business is still built on relationships and relationships are built on trust. Do other people consider you trustworthy? Do you keep your word and do what you say you’re going to do?

Try something different.

One of the first things we teach our young producers is the definition of insanity: Doing the same thing repeatedly while expecting a different result. If you’re not getting great results and yet you continue to use the same strategies and behaviors, you’re on the fast track to nowhere.

Don’t wing it.

Salespeople who just “wing it” often think they can speak or sell off-the-cuff because they know the topic so well. Although they may consider it a sales shortcut, they still need a system behind what they do. The reality is that it takes a long time to figure out what you’re winging— about 10 to 15 years for the average producer. In other words, following a system is much more efficient than winging it.

Shortcuts rarely work long term. Sure, they may give you a short-term advantage and provide a decent living in the process, but eventually somebody will beat you.

It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep that matters. It’s great to make changes that will help increase your income, but what’s more important is to ensure that your Me, Inc., is operating at a profit.

Love and appreciate your team.

Behind every great producer is a great team. Without their support, no producer can make it. That’s why you have to love them, respect them, appreciate them and let them know how much you value them.

Wow the client.

It’s critical to provide a client experience that sets you apart from the competition. If clients aren’t impressed and if your efforts don’t elicit a “wow!,” you’re just like every other salesperson.

Never stop learning.

Without question, knowledge is fundamental to success. At a recent private Producer Training Camp, one of the agency’s most profitable, senior producers was among those given the option of going through the training. Keep in mind that this is someone whose annual personal income easily exceeds $500,000 a year. Not only did he participate, he took more notes than anyone else. In spite of his success, he says he’ll never stop learning because if he did, someone might outperform him.

The bottom line

It doesn’t take much to outperform your competition. If you’re not doing all the things we discuss in these articles, especially this one, I guarantee you your competition probably isn’t either. You’ll probably get by just fine, even if you never embrace change and continue doing what you’ve always done.

However, if you want to quantum leap your career, you must do things you’ve never done before. Isn’t it time you took the bullets out of your gun and stopped shooting yourself in the foot? Or maybe you’d rather just sit around and wait for that roast duck to fly into your mouth. It’s your choice.

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