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Are Your Agents Sales Professionals or Sales Laborer?

The thousands of agents I have observed are mostly sales laborers. They spend their day:

  • Answering the telephone
  • Opening mail
  • Handling inquiries
  • Resolving Problems
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Calling Prospects
  • Reacting

Take a hard look and see if you are doing the same. Read on and you'll find a way out.

In between the above activities, you have client appointments. The client appointments, the opportunity to make your money, get sandwiched in between the activities that generate no money. In other words, you have two appointments consuming a total of 3 hours a day and the other 7 hours you spend in non-revenue-generating activity.

Although I have often heard doctors criticized for their lack of financial understanding, they know so much more than the average financial planner about running a business. Look again at the above list of laborer activities. Does your doctor do any of these activities? No. He spends his time in client appointments, back to back, all day long. The entire day is one long fee-generating party.

Your doctor is a professional, not a laborer. Are you a sales professional or a sales laborer? If you do not like your answer, here's the way out.

Refuse to do the laborer activities by hiring someone to do them. Your first reaction to my suggestion will be something about not having enough money, or when you make x amount, that's what you'll do, or someday when…..

You've got it backwards. When your doctor first opened his practice, he hired an office manager who acted as receptionist and he hired a nurse. He hired two people before he had one patient! Then, he could spend his time visiting with other established doctors generating referrals, spend some hours a week on the staff of a hospital and generate billable services and pursuing the activities which would build a lucrative business with an abundance of clients. Your doctor pursued a simple financial concept that many agents do not get: invest today and reap the rewards tomorrow. Sure, you tell your clients that, but look at your business to see what you believe.

Too many agents are focused on minimizing today's expenses and they will never create the tomorrow they desire. Most agents do not understand the simple model of a successful professional practice. The model is that you do everything to maximize the most valuable resource for its highest and best use--the agent’s time must be spent in selling activities. The time for those activities must be created BEFORE the activities occur. You must create a CONTEXT before you can create the CONTENT.


Hire a service assistant if you do not already have one. They will do the activities on the list at the top of this article

Hire a sales assistant that does all of the sales grunt work. Activities such as setting up seminars, sending out the direct mail, calling CPAs and setting up appointments to meet them, calling your clients and getting referrals and finding out the groups they belong to that you can speak at, sending out a newsletter to your clients and prospects, etc.

For 120 days you may have negative cash flow. But then you will notice a transformation. You will wake up one morning and notice that you are a Sales Professional! You spend your day meeting with clients, prospects, referrals, referral sources, networking, giving talks, writing articles--all of the activities that only a professional can do, the items you cannot delegate. Business is being referred, you have more appointments, your are getting larger clients and your monthly income is hitting new records.

You're skeptical that this risk will work? Here's a tip. If you want to see how extraordinary you are, you've got to raise the stakes. You've got to take risk beyond your comfort zone to operate at a higher level. And if you need a reminder to stay on track, just call your doctor's office to make an appointment and see how many weeks you have to wait for an opening.

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© 2008 Financial keynote speaker—Larry Klein