Developing your sales skills will build your confidence and increase your closing ratio.

As kids when we messed up on something all we had to say was…”do over” and we got a second chance at having a better outcome. As we start a new year we get our own “do over”. We get to turn the page and start over.

However, your “do over” should actually be…“do different.” What do I mean by that?

Most “do over” plans look outward (to others) and not inward (to yourself). These “do over” plans look outward to find a different market, the best product, different lead source or asking your IMO for more points. That is why you are trying to have another “do over.”

Doing the same planning each year with this mindset perpetuates itself year after year with the same disappointing results. Do not be fooled or believe that some offer, product or program will help you “have your best year ever!”

Do it different…by starting now and take (look inward) responsibility to change your future to accomplish your goals. Your success is your responsibility and is not as hard as you think it is. Real sustainable success comes when you develop your skills in three areas.

First, you need to develop “you” and your sales skills. “You” are what any prospect or client buys.

What is your sales process for every client? How do you present yourself? How do you conduct and control the interview? How do make the prospect feel? How do you use the fact-finder and questions to help you and the client understand the client’s situation and needs?

No one is born a salesperson. Acquiring effective sales skills requires an investment of your time and money. Since it is an acquired skill, it is also perishable over time if it is not continually used, refined and practiced.

Find a sales program or sales course to learn and understand the sales process. Better yet, look for opportunities to learn from those within our industry that are performing at the top. There are many opportunities to learn from these successful businesses.

Successful producers master the fundamentals of sales skills — and they would insist that you do the same. Take advantage of these powerful opportunities to learn what they are doing and replicate it. There are many good resources available to help you acquire and hone your skills. Adapt the sales process to your style and practice, practice, practice.

When you craft your sales skills around solving the problems that life and annuity products can solve, you will build a successful business that is not dependent on a unique market, carrier, product, lead or anything beyond your control.

Developing your sales skills will build your confidence and increase your closing ratio. More importantly, effective sales skills lay the foundation for you to develop the other two skill sets that are important for your success: prospecting & marketing.

I will address each of these skill sets in another article…coming soon.

If you think that I am being too elementary or too basic, consider this. At the beginning of each football season, the legendary football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, started the first practice by holding up a football so every player (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior) on the team could see it and would say, “gentlemen, this is a football.”

Every year was started the same way: making sure that all the players had a firm grasp of the fundamentals. Coach Bear Bryant knew that to develop individual players to be champions and to win championships each player needed to master the fundamentals of the game. Championships could be won or lost by one person on the team not executing on the fundamentals.

So actually “do different” is not so different after all. The fundamentals are within your grasp to achieve.  Do over by do different.