It’s fantasy football draft week, where many leagues are essentially won and lost in a matter of 90 minutes. The pressure is on, as the split-second decisions you make during the draft can make you look like a genius or a novice. Championships are won with a combination of a good strategy and some good luck.
Many of the traits that make a fantasy football player an expert who goes deep into the playoffs year in and year out are the same kind of traits that elite life insurance producers use to gain an edge. Here are a few examples:
- Prioritization. In preparing for a fantasy football draft, experts formulate a strategy that includes prioritizing how they want to build their team. Depending on their league’s format, they may know that two of the first three draft picks they make will be running backs. No matter how the rest of the league drafts, they know they will wait until the later rounds to draft a tight end, kicker and defense/special teams.
Top life insurance producers also excel at prioritization. They set up their days to make sure they are spending as much time as possible meeting with clients and prospects or setting up meetings with clients and prospects. They delegate other duties related to running the business to subordinate staff so they can maximize time spent with clients and prospects.
- Knowing the rules, and how the rules can impact their success. In fantasy football, different leagues play by different rules, and the experts tailor their drafts and their lineups to maximize their point potential specifically for these different formats.
Top life insurance producers continuously stay on top of regulatory and compliance issues to make sure they “play within the rules” in operating their practice. And just as fantasy football experts will lobby the other “owners” in their league to select formats they would prefer, top life insurance producers actively participate in industry associations that work on behalf of the industry. Staying on the sidelines while others make important decisions that impact your business makes you a follower, not a leader.
- Taking advantage of the resources available to them. A simple Google search will yield millions of results for fantasy football, from player and position rankings to strategies to “sleepers” and more. People who want to win their leagues will take the time to dig deeper into these resources rather than simply printing out an ESPN draft kit. The experts drill down and identify undervalued players and figure out how long they can wait before drafting a “steal,” and their research also reveals players to avoid — or to avoid drafting too early.
Life insurance producers also have a staggering amount of resources available to them that can help them improve their marketing, prospecting, product knowledge, closing skills and more. Are you taking advantage of all the marketing, mentoring, lead generation, practice management and incentive help your BGA or FMO is willing to provide?
Carriers also offer plenty of help with product education, often tailored for specific audiences. For example, are you aware that many carriers now offer product information in multiple languages? And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all the great information available from magazines and websites like Life Insurance Selling and LifeHealthPro.com. Lots of new content is added every day, and it’s all available for free, right at your fingertips.
- Getting your game face on. Preparing for each week’s fantasy football game by carefully selecting your lineup based on the most up-to-date information available is similar to preparing for meeting with a prospect by compiling everything you can about that person. While “winging it” can sometimes lead to your bench players outscoring your starters and adding one to the loss column, winging it in a prospect meeting will lead to lower conversion rates because you might not be aware that the prospect recently moved, got a new job, started a family or got divorced. While it may not be good use of a top producer’s time to check out a prospect’s LinkedIn profile or recent Facebook posts, having an assistant responsible for this can help you identify sales triggers.
- Pick with your head, not your heart. Fantasy football experts throw personal team allegiances to the wind and draft with their head, based on players they think will produce the most points. Even if you are a die-hard Green Bay fan, you will not hesitate to draft a Bear or a Viking over a Packer if the move will help you win games. Yes, it may be more fun to pick and root for players from your favorite team, but you can’t let your loyalty cloud your better judgment.
Same goes for the products you present to your clients. Just because you like and believe in an index universal life product from a particular carrier doesn’t mean it is the right choice for every client. You have to stay open to different products from different carriers to make sure your client has the best coverage for his unique situation.
Whether in fantasy football or in your practice, the difference between achieving a record-breaking, championship season and languishing in mediocrity lies largely in how well you prepare for your battles.
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