‘Principles of Engagement’ Teaches Agents Service, Not Selling
For the last 10 years, Lou Cassara’s clinic, ‘Principles of Engagement,’ has been striving to help thousands of sales professionals build stronger, more meaningful relationships with their clients.
“The process of creating significant relationships is a communication process based on service, not selling,” says Lou Cassara, president of The Cassara Clinic, Oak Brook, Ill.
“This is not a sales training program,” he says. “This is a venue where it really helps people create significant relationships.”
Lou Cassara joined Northwestern Mutual in 1982, and has been Top of the Table for the last 10 years. He describes how he got into the business of training agents. “I got off to the quickest 3-year start in the agency. People started asking me how I did it.”
Cassara continues, “After a few years, I was asked to do a workshop on how I operated to the agency. My presentation was very little about product, it was more about the process I had used.
“It’s a thought process and a communication process, far more engaged on the process of creating significant relationships,” he says.
Cassara’s clinic takes on a different approach from many other sales training programs. He focuses more on relationships and less on products and memorization.
John McTigue, managing director of The McTigue Financial group in Chicago says “I think we have too much of a tendency to focus on what the product is going to do for the individual. Lou’s whole approach is trying to figure out what the person’s primary motives and goals are, and showing the products as a way of helping a person achieve their goals.
“All of a sudden I’m not trying to sell someone $1 million of variable life,” says McTigue. “I’m trying to figure out how I can have the biggest impact on this individual.”
Cassara’s program not only emphasizes the relationship between the producer and the client, but also focuses on the relationship with one’s self. “I start with you, focusing on who you are is more important then what you do,” he says.
“It starts with attracting people by articulating clearly who you are, and why someone will want to do business with you,” says Cassara.
McTigue has had about 80-90% of his agents participate in Cassara’s program. “Because it’s not a canned pitch, I think the participants have more confidence and are more comfortable.
“When they say what they do and how they can help, the sincerity level is much higher. They’re really saying what they feel, not what somebody else told them to memorize,” he says.
Andrew Higney, an agent with The McTigue Financial Group, has gone through the program three times in his 13 years in the business.