The key to your life and business is relationships. People stay in relationships that focus on the relationship and they leave relationships when they do not.

Attract: You Are the Difference

All relationships are a reflection of the one you have with yourself. If you show up and are confused or lack confidence, who will be attracted to you? Only people who are themselves confused and lack confidence.

The top insurance professionals use what I call the authentic mindset. They are clear about who they are and confident of what they will and will not do. They align their intentions and actions to produce the results that will impact someone.

I developed my first focus formula to learn how I observed certain things. The formula has four steps: look, see, tell the truth, take an authentic action. The first thing I did was look at my relationships. What did I need to learn? I needed to learn how to relate to people, not how to sell to them.

The next thing I learned was how to see–see my relationships for what they were, examine my beliefs and behavior and identify the common denominators of successful achievement. I started to observe how clear, competent, capable and talented people were with others.

Then I had to tell the truth, separating fact from fiction. I had to be truthful about what was working and what was not with a view to be more effective and productive.

My authentic action was to develop the first generation of my personal value statement. Therein, I articulate my values and qualities about myself and share with you what actions I would take in your life.

So, when people ask me, “What do you do?” I say: “People work with me because of my passion, dedication and commitment to serve as a resource for their financial security.

“I show a genuine interest in helping you preserve and protect your lifestyle, assets and loved ones, and share a process that aligns intentions with actions. The benefit is the comfort, confidence and contentment you will feel knowing that you have honored your agreements to the people that matter most to you.”

Connect: Your Process of Relating to Others is Your Real Product

We advisors have a ‘one size fits all’ communication process. The problem with that is we are each hard-wired with one of four unique personalities and we tend to say the same thing to everyone. The consequence of communicating this way is that we have a one-in-four shot at connecting with the prospect.

The first personality is all about feelings. They are sensitive, caring, considerate, great listeners and get along with everyone. They see things through a wide-angle lens and make sure that everyone is happy. But because they care what everyone thinks, they have a hard time making decisions.

The second personality is all about results. They see everything through a telescope, are candid, to the point and want to know the bottom line. They live by the motto, I’m the leader; you got a problem with that? When I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you. They also tend to be impatient with people and processes.

The third personality is all about accuracy. They trust data more than they trust people. They thrive on being precise, detailed and follow step-by-step procedures. However, they are pessimistic and view everything in black and white.

The fourth personality is all about high energy. These are people with great ideas and concepts, with lots of things going on. They are articulate, persuasive and can talk to people and mix business with pleasure.

The Achilles’ heel of this high energy person is impulsiveness. They tend to have many things going on at once and go in many directions. They lack discipline and follow-through and overuse enthusiasm.

Can you see some points of conflict that may develop? The high energy salespeople are so conceptual that they round off phone numbers talking to the analytical CPA or attorney who is looking for accurate data.

The landmine of one-size-fits-all communication is that we create disconnects with people by not understanding their personality and what drives their behavior.

I developed a conversational format to stay away from the 66% who disconnect, which I call a CORE Conversation, C.O.R.E. It starts with a trust question, which asks: ‘What can I help you accomplish in the next 12 months that would make you feel happy with your progress?’

If someone shares that with me, I ask the following questions:

o What are the biggest challenges that you face?

o What opportunities in life would you like to capture?

o What are the most important relationships in your life?

o In your experience, what has and has not worked for you?

Through this dialogue, I have observed that I can connect with all different personalities.

So, I encourage you to use this tool, the CORE Conversation, to insulate yourself from the 66% group–the two of every three clients who are considering changing advisors–and connect with what people care most about by addressing their core issues.

Commit: To Get a Commitment One Must Make a Commitment

Every relationship begins with an expectation. A simple ‘I’ll give you a call’ creates an expectation that you complete, or not, by the action you take. If you make the call, you close the gap and have a positive energy result. If you do not, that gap is left wide open, creating a negative vacuum.

Making and not keeping a promise is just as bad to you as it is to someone else. You feel bad because you know you didn’t do something you said you would do.

I believe that to get a commitment, you must make a commitment. Demonstrate that to get a commitment from someone, you will make one to the individual first. Then follow through on that commitment, knowing that why you do something empowers you, not how.

Consider changing your mindset from closing someone, which suggests that someone has to win and someone has to lose, to a mindset of commitment to help the client make the decisions. You thereby align with the tremendous power of the Law of Intention.

It is a natural law, like gravity. When you use it appropriately, it is to your advantage and a source of great power. But if challenged, it will almost always humble you. The essence of that law is what you put into a relationship will be in direct proportion to what you take out of it.

I have observed in my own life that the way to keep myself in the 35% trusted group–the one in three Americans who feel they can trust others–is to communicate the difference between a real intention, a goal and a task.

An intention is the direction of your life, the purpose and the fuel that propels you. A goal is something that would make you feel happy if you accomplished it. A task is something that makes you feel relieved when it is done.

What is the feeling of people about buying insurance? Is that a goal or a task? It is a task, like creating a will or preparing a tax return is a task.

Nobody likes to do tasks. If you center your communication on task-based issues, you will encounter difficulty in getting people to honor the commitment.

The goldmine here is to convert someone’s tasks to powerful intentions. An intention is always to be something in your life, such as to be a successful entrepreneur, a great provider or a great parent.

Your golden opportunity when you talk to people is to remind them of this. Help them convert tasks to powerful intentions. That will drive their behavior and keep them focused on their purpose.

Call to Action:

Let me leave you with these thoughts:

o If you want something you have never had, you will have to do something you have never done.

o Your greatness lies in the unknown and at the end of your comfort zone.

o Resisting something is the first step to making a commitment.

Here are three things you can do to build great relationships, the key to your sales success:

o Be clear that you make the difference in every life. Know why people work with you. Ask your best relationships why they work with you and develop your personal value statement. That will remind you each time you show up in someone’s life why you are there.

o Be confident that your process of relating to another person is your real product. Help one person a day connect to what he or she cares about and his or her CORE issues.

o Be capable of honoring your agreements. The greatest gift you give to others is the example of your life. Make one promise a day to yourself and keep it. And always, always, be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else.

Stop asking yourself what someone else needs and start asking yourself what makes you come alive and stay committed. And then do that, because that is what the world needs and that is what this industry needs–more people who have come alive!

Lou Cassara is CEO and founder of The Cassara Clinic LLC and Cassara Associates, Oak Brook, Ill. You can e-mail him at lou@cassaraclinic.com. This is an abridged version of a presentation he gave at the MDRT annual meeting in New Orleans.

The top insurance professionals align their intentions and actions to produce the results that will impact someone

Three things

1. Be clear that you make the difference in every life. Know why people work with you. Ask your best relationships why they work with you and develop your personal value statement. That will remind you each time you show up in someone’s life why you are there.

2. Be confident that your process of relating to another person is your real product. Help one person a day connect to what he or she cares about and his or her CORE issues.

3. Be capable of honoring your agreements. The greatest gift you give to others is the example of your life. Make one promise a day to yourself and keep it. And always, always, be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else.