Are You A Sales Representative Or A Business Owner?
The answer to this question in the headline could very well hold the key to your future success in the financial services industry.
Do you see yourself as an employee who is directed and driven by your manager to achieve company goals, or as a self-starter who will marshal your resources to achieve your own goals?
Are you willing to take full responsibility for your own actions and commit yourself to success without blaming others for not giving you the training and support you feel you need?
In other words, are you finally ready to stand on your own two feet and say, “This is mine!”
One of the many strengths of this great country of ours is that it spawns and encourages entrepreneurship. Throughout history, men and women have seized that opportunity and pursued their dreams by building businesses that have served our country well.
We, in the financial services industry, are privileged to have that same opportunity. But some of us have either failed to recognize it or have shied away from it. Those in the latter category have at least made a choice. But it is to the former group that this question is directed.
First, you may ask why is this distinction important. It has often been said that your attitude will determine your altitude. This is very much the case in this instance.
The attitude of a business owner is far different from that of a sales representative.
Business owners take full responsibility for their actions. They then determine a course of action and accept the risks that are needed to accomplish their goals, whereas sales representatives look to the company to provide direction and resources, accept little responsibility for the outcome of their actions and try to avoid all risks.
How then, will this attitude influence a business owner’s behavior? We must consider the actions taken by business owners to illustrate this different perspective.
First, by accepting full responsibility for their own success, business owners feel free to develop a dream–a vision of the future or a goal that they know they are capable of accomplishing that provides them with a sense of self-fulfillment.
Each day, they will succeed in their progress towards their goal of solving client problems and reaping the rewards of both achievement and finances. It is that long-term vision that determines their everyday behavior and provides them with a sense of accomplishment.
Business owners will put together a plan that specifically identifies how they will go about implementing this vision. Here, they decide what markets to pursue and what products to provide.
Our industry has changed dramatically over the last 10 years, making this a vitally important decision that will influence how we allocate our resources. Although there are still essentially three basic markets (i.e. personal, estate, and business) the proliferation of products and the technology that supports them requires these business owners to consider if they can effectively address all three, or if they need to focus on a specialty area.
One thing is certain, they will realize, as we all should, that no one person could address all of these markets with all the different products available and do the job effectively. We all need help. This can come in the form of support staff or through joint venture arrangements.
Business owners will not only realize their strengths, but their limitations as well. They may choose to follow the principle of working to maximize their strengths and hiring out their weaknesses.
All too often, ineffective sales representatives will spend too much time trying to overcome their own personal limitations while neglecting the improvement of their strengths, thereby watering down their abilities to average achievers.