As a financial services professional and business owner, I try to stay abreast of industry trends and best practices that could better my business. One of the ways in which I’m able to do that is through attending the Million Dollar Round Table’s (MDRT) Annual Meeting. During the exclusive, four-day event, MDRT members and outside speakers come together with the ultimate goal of idea sharing.
I carry a notebook with me throughout each meeting to keep track all of the innovative ideas shared by my peers that I can use to elevate my business. I can attest to the quality of advice and can point to several instances that have generated powerful returns.
Some of my most valuable lessons learned from MDRT meetings center on the secrets to high-achieving producers. I’ve condensed some of the most poignant pieces of advice from MDRT mind-shares to give you a glimpse into what you can expect to learn at an Annual Meeting.
Shift your mindset to focus on results, excellence and actions
Dedicate your time to the efforts that will bring you the results you desire. To do this, determine what few business actions you can focus on to see the biggest return on your efforts. Typically that includes efforts designed to bring in business, such as identifying new prospects, giving presentations and closing deals. Focus on high-value activities for your practice first and prioritize or delegate other tasks from there. Once you’ve categorized each function, identify the appropriate people or departments to complete the task that will drive the best results.
Strive to be the best at what you do both for your clients and for your business. You can’t realistically expect to be trusted with someone’s financial wellbeing as an underperforming producer or someone who accepts mediocrity. Clients will seek an advisor that they feel suits their level of acumen and excellence, so work to meet or exceed the types of clients you’d like to represent. No matter what echelon of business you reach, there’s always room to constantly improve yourself, your business skills and product offerings.
The key to strategic growth is to regular and honest self-assessments of your current abilities. Identify your weakest skills and find the opportunities to strengthen them through networking, classes, research, meetings, and more. Focus on one area at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. Every skill can be learned in roughly six months of practice, and all skills can be further refined. If that doesn’t sound appealing, or you simply don’t have the time to learn or refine your skills, partner with someone whose skill in that area reaches your excellence quotient.
Become an agent of action to drive your business in a positive direction and get out of your comfort zone. Fear of failure is one thing that stops agents from dreaming big and progressing to career milestones. Instead, you should latch on to the momentum that your business already creates to catapult and empower your future growth. Embrace the thought that as part of the trial, error and revision process failure only exists to bring good feedback into your business conversation.
Proactivity brings your business closer to where you want it to be, and is a device that helps you solve problems and overcome obstacles. Given an action-oriented mindset, challenges and difficulties serve to instruct your team’s actions, rather than obstruct its progress.
Setting goals like an executive
Goal setting can be a visionary exercise that gives you a holistic and big-picture view of your organization, your ideal outcome and how you plan to get there. This approach, rather than segmenting by department or short timeframes, gives you an overall trajectory that can be broken down into manageable sections, tasks and timelines. It also allows you to keep your sights set on future goals, measure success against them and shape current thoughts and actions.
Use the “Magic Wand Technique” to get a true sense of your long-term goals, which will help build out your short term milestones. Imagine you have access to a magic wand that would instantly let you achieve anything you want in your business without any obstacles, limitations or barriers. What would you need to do to get there without the magic wand? What barriers did it remove for you? What path did it take to bring you into your dream?
Take time to document in full detail exactly what you want for your business. Then use your vision to create an action plan with specific, reachable and measurable goals to grow your business. Break each goal down into individual actions with short-term and long-term deadlines and sub-deadlines to keep you on track and accountable. Make your goals present, personal and positive.
Every producer and agent with a goal to grow has the power to accomplish it. The only barrier to this growth is a failure to plan. Change that and focus on the right actions to get you there. If you’re not sure how exactly you’d overcome some of your challenges, consider attending a networking event or reaching out to some of your peers for support.
Latest posts by Doug Bennett, MDRT (see all)
- Best Practices Learned from Attending the MDRT Annual Meeting - June 16, 2017
- How I Went from the Edge of Financial Oblivion to MDRT’s Court of the Table - September 21, 2016