As the first of a two-part growth strategy for your business, this blog post focuses solely on you, the advisor. Most agents begin their business with the “do it yourself” approach. This can work in the beginning but eventually, you’ll need assistance to continue to grow your business. It can be a difficult decision to ask for guidance in running your company, as you may feel uncomfortable releasing a portion of your control and ego. For most type “A” personalities, this is a hard concept to adopt, but it could be the primary reason you are stuck in the middle of the pack and not where you want to be.I recently had a conversation with an advisor who believes he has to act as Superman and control every aspect of his business. This agent is the quintessential micromanager who gets in the way of his own success. He constantly questions why he can’t exceed his competitors. He’s worked with several different IMO’s and blames them and others for his shortcomings in sales. Any good business coach can diagnose him fairly quickly.
In my experience, I have observed several traits that low performing advisors typically have. Here are five personas that these agents generally fit into:
- Mr. Meeting: The guy who wants to have meetings about the meeting we’re about to meet about. I refer to this as NRPA (Non-Revenue Producing Activity). Simply too many meetings.
- The MicroManager: This is the quickest way to stagnate the growth of your organization. It's possible to have an understanding without getting in the way, but it’s a very fine line.
- Mr. Show up and Throw up: The business owner who does not prepare or study for their exams. They think they know the material, so they don’t take the time to study, and they fail.
- The Bouncer: This is the person who blames everyone besides himself when things don't go as planned, and fires people along the way. They change IMO’s quicker than they change socks. They can tell you why everyone is horrible, but will not listen to suggestions nor look in the mirror for self-improvement.
- The Peter Principle: The business owner who was promoted to failure. They could’ve been a great salesperson or sales manager, but running a business is over their head and they’re terrified to admit it.
Be honest with yourself, and if you can identify with any of the types mentioned above, don’t fret. Self-awareness is the first step to progress. There is a solution that has been vetted out by some of the world’s greatest business leaders. Here's what some of these top leaders have to say and let's apply it to our own industry:
“I hire people brighter than me and get out of the way.”- Lee Iacocca
“Hire the smartest people and get the hell out of the way.”- Neil Welsh, Silverback Strategies
“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”-Steve Jobs
With these quotes in mind, would you hire a plumber and tell them how to do their job? No, because you’re hiring them for their expertise. Why not do the same with your marketing, operations, and sales support?
Our best advisors are successful sales representatives who rely upon DMI to help coach, develop, and grow their business. So, it’s okay to just sell. I repeat, it’s okay to just sell. You don’t need to be Superman.
Stay tuned for next week's blog about the lesson that has changed many lives.
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