Hegna's Hotseat

Why Training Is so Important


ecember tends to be a tough month to get in front of people, and there is often a lot of downtime. However, contrary to this fact, it has always been the number one month for life insurance sales! If other advisors are closing with clients and prospects all across the country, what are YOU doing this month? You’ve got to spend any downtime developing your skills. You’ve got to have a HUNGER for knowledge. Much of what I learned came from studying experts like one of the best life insurance salesmen of all time, Ben Feldman. His son Marv says, “Everything was an opportunity to learn for me. It’s important to never stop learning and never stop prospecting.” Let me show you why your growth is so important and what you can do during downtime to optimize that growth.

When you digest knowledge, you want to be a picky eater. You need to know your specific, target audience and research everything you can about them. The military calls this having “situational awareness.” You need to observe what’s around you, research those surroundings, and target the audience that suits your expertise. In his book, Man on a Mission, Marv Feldmanshares how he targeted “companies that typically did $5 million or more a year in sales, as they typically had $500,000 in bottom line profits or about a 10 percent margin. I was also looking for manufacturing-type companies, not retail organization.” For me, I watched my own parents struggle with retirement, and I relate to the 78 million Baby Boomers about to face the same fate! I observed and exposed many suboptimal plans out there and learned how to optimize them! So who is YOUR audience, and how can you learn more about them? Well, this is why I always say you need to practice the words, language, questions, and stories you’re using when talking to clients and prospects.

Uncovering a client’s true problem is key. Clients are often unaware they even have a problem, and they won’t know you hold the solution until you show it to them. Sometimes, no matter how much research you’ve done, no matter how prepared you are, no matter how badly you want to present a specific product, a few questions can direct the conversation to an entirely different solution because of a problem you uncover. One chapter in Marv’s book is titled, “The Problem Is the Problem; the Premium Is the Solution—Not the Problem,” and in that chapter he talks about using visual cues in a client’s home or office. You also need to identify if the topics YOU are passionate about relate to your clients. For me, I’ve always been an advocate of golf whereas Marv is a gearhead. If you’re still struggling, you need to get back to the basics.

Don’t get complacent in your downtime! Keep actively training so that you’re prepared and alert in next year’s appointments. Marv’s book includes 100 go-to questions you can use to uncover clients’ life insurance, long-term care, and general financial needs, but don’t stop there. Enroll in my boot camp to enhance your situational awareness and learn how to handle over 100 common client objections that WILL come up in next year’s meetings. Never stop learning. Spend your downtime practicing your skills and increasing your knowledge. Immerse yourself in learning. The best investment you will ever make is the investment in yourself.

See you in 2019,
-Tom Hegna

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