ATLANTA – To reach your customer, understand your customer.
The Million Dollar Round Table, Park Ridge, Ill., has started its 2011 annual meeting with a schedule packed with speakers embodying that philosophy.
The 5,800-plus attendees have flocked to sessions on topics such as understanding women, understanding adult children who are becoming caregivers, and understanding a firm’s own top employment prospects.
The early main platform speakers have talked about overcoming the kinds of hardships that MDRT members’ advice might ease
Walter Bond, a former star NBA basketball player with the Utah Jazz and Detroit Pistons, the opening main platform speaker, overcame a devastating, potentially disabling injury to become the first rookie in the NBA to play as a starter on opening night.
“The only way you make your dreams and goals a reality is by first developing the mind set to achieve the goal,” Bond said. “You have to keep dreaming. Whether it is for achieving your sales goals, learning new skills or expanding your knowledge, you first have to picture yourself doing it.”
Bond said he also learned during his eight years in the NBA about the importance of playing as a team.
Advisors can further their own careers by emotionally “connecting”–and not simply communicating–with clients and prospects when describing their services and how life insurance and financial products can fit into a financial plan, Bond said.
“People buy from producers they like,” Bond said. “If you really connect with the prospects, then when you leave their house, the decision to buy from you should be a no-brainer.”
Another main platform speaker, Don Meyer, retired as the NCAA basketball coach at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., in February 2010, after managing the team to 923 victories.
In September 2008, before Meyer retired, he faced a car accident that required one leg to be amputated. The doctor who performed the amputation discovered that he had cancer in his liver and intestines.
“I owe my life to my faith and my family,” Meyer said. “You have to establish goals and priorities for your life, find out what it costs to attain them, and then decide whether you’re willing to pay the price. You have to live a balanced life.”