Close Close

5 Tips From the Top

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

What You Need to Know

  • Douglas Eze reached Top of the Table status in just 10 years.
  • One of his tools was a program for helping clients eliminate debt.
  • Instead of asking for referrals, he asks for permission to set up workshops in happy clients' homes.

“If you want to be successful, get more knowledge.”

This was the advice from Top of the Table producer Douglas Eze, at the conclusion of my interview with him several months ago.

Eze emigrated from Niger in West Africa to Canada in his early 20s with a goal of eventually coming to the United States. At 24, Eze, an immigrant from West Africa, he was working as a server in an IHOP in Canada when he was approached by an agent who was recruiting.  Ten years later, he was at Top of the Table.

Eze attributes his success to few simple lessons:

1. Build an agency.

You can grow your business on your own but sharing fees with others will get you there faster.

2. Send letters to prospects that provide value.

Eze learned from a successful advisor that he could send a cold letter to someone attaching an article or something of interest.  His letter would basically say, “You have a unique business, and I have a unique business. Let’s get together for coffee or lunch and talk.” He points out that, with LinkedIn, it’s even easier, because you don’t have to look very hard for people to mail to.

3. Have something that makes you different.

Eze talked about finding a program for this. In his case, it was the MoneyTrax program, “Circle of Wealth.” He would ask a prospect, “What if I could help you find money in places that you’re throwing money away unknowingly and unnecessarily?” Then he explains his proprietary program to get them completely out of debt in nine years, building cash value at the same time and suggests they sit down to talk.

4. Be open to learning and collaborating with people that are more successful than you.

“A successful person wants to teach you stuff, but they don’t have the time.  I realized that quickly and figured out that if I’m going to talk to a guy that is making 1 million, 2 million, 3 million, 4 million dollars a year in the business, the only way I’m going to get his attention is to bring him a very successful client, so I can sit back and watch him and learn everything he’s got.”

5. Set up workshops through existing clients.

Rather than ask for referrals, Eze asks his clients if they’re happy with the information he’s shared and the product he has found for his clients.  Then he asks if they know anyone who would benefit from having the same knowledge.  When they say “yes,” he asks to set up a workshop in their home. While we’re still dealing with COVID, this could be a virtual workshop.

“Why don’t we do a financial literacy workshop at your house? I’ll pay whatever it’s gonna cost for the food and I’ll come in and educate your family and friends about the importance of money and the things you learned. Have them over the same way you’d invite them over to watch a ballgame — a basketball game or whatever.”

While we’re still dealing with COVID, you can turn this into a virtual event.

“Become a student of the business,” Eze concluded. “Watch other advisors on YouTube, read books about the business and find mentors who can teach you things.”

— Connect with ThinkAdvisor Life/Health on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.

Sandy SchusselSandy Schussel has been a coach and practice development consultant for insurance and financial professionals for the past 20 years. He is an approved Million Dollar Round Table coach and has served as the national sales training director for First Investors and Foresters. He is the author of two books, The High Diving Board, about overcoming fear and Become A Client Magnet, about attracting and keeping clients. Schussel‘s scheduling calendar is available.