You make it look so easy.
That's the irony of the sales business-
the harder you work, the easier it looks.
You're a successful salesperson. I know
that because sales excellence requires
curiosity and thirst for knowledge and
you're reading an insurance magazine.
As a successful salesperson, you know
practice makes perfect. That was one
of the things we heard from Michael
McIntyre, our featured motivational
master this month. He started his own
insurance agencies, trained legions of
agents, rang up billions in sales and
wrote an insightful book on how to do it
all-The Authentic Salesman. But before
all that, even before his first sale, he practiced
for days in front of a mirror. You
wouldn't have guessed that he would
have needed to do that. He seems polished
yet personable, like he's never had
a bad day in his career. It seems to have
come easy to him.
But salespeople know that's the farthest
thing from the truth. Michael said people
constantly ask him how sales superstars
do it. Simple, "They don't want to
do the same things you don't want to do,
except they do them." Again, easy, right?
Just do the hard stuff.
This reminds me of something sales legend
Sid Friedman used to say: always do
what you said you would do. He was saying
you are only as good as your word.
That's true of anybody, but especially of
salespeople, who make promises and ask
for trust in return. That's not a sale; that
is faith that you earned.
Salespeople also often seem to be the
most popular folks in the room-never
lonely or overwhelmed. Yet another fallacy.
As Linda Koco pointed out in this
month's cover feature, "Sell More with
Less," salespeople are increasingly alone
out there, trying to live up to their promises
and clients' expectations in a time of
These are demanding times. We have
an economy about as ugly as a University
of Maryland football uniform. Even
the producers with wealthy clients are
competing hard-not only against other
advisors, but also the I-want-it-when-Iclick-
this-button expectations in this
But even more important than dealing
with all your challenges is to rise
above them. For inspiration on that,
you couldn't do much better than this
month's Perspectives guest, Joseph W.
Jordan, senior vice president at MetLife.
He's an important guy with an important
message about living a significant
Joe was a former football and rugby
player and a typical hard-charging sales
guy, until one day he realized he lucked
into an important profession that can
change people's lives. Now he is spreading
the word that it is not all about the
numbers-the product details, the scenarios,
the sales goals and all that. Selling
insurance is about saving families
and businesses during the hardest days
of their lives. You can be the reason a
mom and her kids don't have to leave
their home and sacrifice their dreams.
We all know that more activity leads to
more sales, but what motivates someone
to pick up the phone time after time
and hear no? It is the knowledge that
every prospect who says yes is another
future that you saved. Does that sound
corny? I suppose it does. But I can't see
any shame in wanting to be a hero. It's
easy-just be excellent.
Steven A. Morelli