I am sounding the alarm. Please consider this a call to action. With gridlock in the government, turmoil in the markets, and uncertainty at every turn, our prospects and clients need us to be at our best.

We can’t keep making excuses. We can’t keep saying, “We’ll try.” We can’t keep saying, “Someday.” The American people need us to step up and they need us to do it right now! This needs to be the best year of your career. 

The good news is that small changes can have a big impact on your practice. I talk to so many agents who think they are miles away from the success they desire, when in reality they are only inches away. The difference between greatness and mediocrity is smaller than you think. Please choose to be great.

Below you will find a few suggestions of small things you can start doing today to achieve success. I believe you will see the benefits in days or weeks rather than months or years. 

Stay positive. We are problem solvers, not fear mongers. A message of “doom and gloom” will get your prospects’ and clients’ attention, but it will not motivate them to take action. Instead, they will shut down, deny or give up. Instead, focus on the opportunity. You not only have the tools to keep people safe during the coming financial storm — you also have the strategies to take advantage of it.

Get passionate. Anyone who has seen me speak knows that I am excited about what we do. I like our products, but I love what we can use them to accomplish. You can take care of loved ones, you can protect people from things they are afraid of, and you can help them regain control of their financial lives. That is amazing.

Practice, practice, practice. When you aren’t thinking about what you are supposed to say next, you can actually listen to your client or prospect. This will change your appointments from canned presentations to instinctive, intuitive, wonderful conversations. Conversations build relationships, which is the ultimate goal.

Remember, this isn’t about you. You don’t need to tell your prospect how smart you are, and you don’t need to have all the answers. You just need to ask the right questions. (For those great questions, see my column from February 2013) If you focus on making a difference for your clients rather than making a sale, then they will reward you with more referrals than you can handle.

I say this a lot, but this really is the greatest time ever to be an insurance agent or financial professional. Get out there and show people what you can do.

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