There are plenty of people in the workforce that do “something,” but not so many who do what needs to be done. And this is both a problem and an opportunity.
Success in efforts to maximize sales of the right life insurance and annuity products to the right people depends on being among the well-few that others count on to get the job done right. That takes thinking.
(Related: Someone Is Out to Get You. Count on It.)
Here are nine questions that can serve as a guide to thinking your way to success:
1. “What if this isn’t what my customer needs?”
What if I’m trying to force it, attempting to make it work–and it isn’t? Most of us tend to push forward as fast as we can to come up with a solution. Kids often compete to be the first in the class to raise their hand when the teacher asks a question. And it’s often the wrong answer, but they do it again the next day. The goal is not to come up with any answer; it’s to come up with the right one. Slow down; it takes thought.
2. “What if I put it aside and revisited it tomorrow?”
You need to write a letter, memo, or article, but the clock is ticking and you can’t get it started. You hate the assignment, your boss, yourself, or all three. You tell yourself to keep a low profile so it won’t happen again.
The goal is not to wrestle the task to the mat or do battle with it; it’s to do your best work. That takes “noodling,” putting it aside and let your brain work on it for a day or so. It’s amazing what happens when you let your brain work on it.
3. “What if I asked them for their thoughts and ideas?”
The heart of marketing and sales is problem solving. They also demand a “bring it on” attitude to be successful—and that can be a problem because it blocks other views and ideas. Asking what others think is an effective way to test your idea, plan, or confirm the appropriateness of your solution. It gives you something to think about.
4. “What if I offered several options instead of just one?”
This may seem dangerous, but it’s as threatening as putting people in a “yes or no” position, and “no” is easier to say than “yes.” Offering several options creates a new dynamic where there’s room for give-and-take. It makes it possible to come to a positive decision.
5. “What if I don’t have all the information I need to make the right recommendation?”
Not long ago, an older woman, a widow, living in a condo community was seen accompanied by a man on several occasions. After a couple of “sightings,” the rumor spread with brush fire intensity that she had a boyfriend. A few weeks went by and someone said, “That was her brother who was visiting her from Europe.”