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The 10-3-1 Method: Still Relevant

In this fast-paced insurance industry, it is important for experienced advisors and new advisors craving success to establish a work system that includes recording and reporting their daily activities. If you want to make every year better than the previous one, recordkeeping combined with regular reporting to an assistant and work peers can produce exponential sales and success. The tried-and-true systems put in place by industry giants should be passed along to the next generation entering the field or looking to improve their results.

Find A System That Works

I firmly believe that Al Granum gave us one of the best blueprints for success. At an MDRT Annual Meeting, Granum and his team of six advisors explained their scientific research to develop a sound system to sell cash value life insurance. For 10 years, his team tracked 50,000 prospects and discovered the 10-3-1 formula. If advisors accurately track their efforts, they will discover that, on average, 10 prospects and three fact-finding interviews with prospects equal one sale. What is noteworthy is that it does not matter whether an advisor is 25 or 55 years old, new or experienced; they arrive at the same results.

Granum changed the focus from sales that are unpredictable to the requirements for sales. These requirements are prospects, fact-finding meetings and reporting. Advisors start each day making 25 contacts between 9 and 10 a.m. For each try, mark a period. If you talk with a contact, change the period to a check mark. If you gather information, such as a birthdate, add a slash and add a second slash if you schedule a meeting. A shorthand system was developed to track advisors’ daily activities with half a point for each prospect, and one point for each of the following: fact-finding meeting, case opened, case closed, business meal. Your daily goal of five points and monthly goal of 100 points will keep you on track to success.

The Importance Of Reporting

I cannot overstate the importance of reporting. Dr. Karl Pearson, a renowned English mathematician, said, “That which is measured improves; that which is measured and reported improves exponentially.” To paraphrase: Advisors who measure results improve; advisors who measure results and report improve exponentially. 

Reporting is magic: It takes minutes to do it and your sales results improve greatly as a result. Report twice a week to someone you trust and who is nonjudgmental. Both of you know your daily goal of five points and 25 contacts. In a face-to-face meeting, report your actual activity.

It’s like looking in a mirror — you are accountable. It is powerful because you see what you planned to accomplish and what you actually accomplished. You celebrate your successes and you recognize where you could have done better and resolve to improve so you become self-managing.

In a monthly meeting, you report your activities with your peers. Again, you are looking in a mirror – you are accountable. This meeting is an opportunity to share ideas and congratulations with your peers and learn from their successes.

Client Quality And Quantity

Remember that you are constantly on a client-building mission to improve the quality and quantity of your active clientele. Keep up your recording and reporting habits. If you stop, you could experience premature retrogression, a condition that Granum described when he wrote “the greatest pitfall I have witnessed occurs when clients drift off their client-building mission and pay insufficient attention to the quantity and quality of their active clientele.”

Successful advisors avoid premature retrogression because they report and dead-file clients and prospects if they do not contact them twice yearly: once on their birthdays and again six months later. The dead-filed clients get the similar service as the active clients; however, they  have to initiate it.

To avoid premature retrogression, continue reporting biweekly and monthly with peers and those on the dead file.

So what do successful advisors want out of life? Exponential growth of their business, more quality clients, greater earnings, self-management, working less, avoiding premature retrogression. Is this possible? Absolutely, if you want it. Consider adopting Granum’s 10-3-1 method.

Remember whether an advisor is 25 or 55, new or experienced, they arrive at the same result. Find a mentor, a most valuable ally,  and adopt their methods to advance your career and the industry.

Frank Creaghan, CLU, has been an MDRT member for more than 50 years. He is the founder of Creaghan McConnell Group of Toronto, Canada, working with high-net-worth entrepreneurial families and their businesses. Frank may be contacted at [email protected] [email protected].

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