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Archive for the ‘Business Commentary’ Category

When Sales Skills are Life Skills

Many are the skills we can develop which help us to grow, making a positive ripple effect of our efforts on others, gradually wider and fuller.

Some aptitudes have wider applications than others – consider cooking versus negotiating skills.  The significance, the impact, of some talents may expand beyond the borders of their logical environments.

Take characteristics of time management and effectiveness, discussed in an ‘advice’ column in the March edition of The Insurance & Investment Journal.

Long-time speaker and advisor coach Jim Ruta examines how top life insurance producers maximize their business output, i.e. their sales success, by efficient use of deadlines and persistence in their practice.

For instance, what industry leaders do is, “They squish years of average advisor production into one”.  A major component in achieving this is adhering to creative, meaningful deadlines.

A good example of how having a deadlines mind-set is valuable is in connection with vacations.  Anecdotal evidence indicates that people accomplish more going into and coming out of vacations than if they’d worked straight through.  (I wish I had followed this adage more.)

Using his tips to advisors as guide, there are practices which can benefit many others in society, including…

  • Address a high priority opportunity or issue each day
  • Start each work day in front of an opportunity
  • Establish limited time periods in which to accomplish basic requirements, such as administrative
  • Bypass the basic ‘to do list’ concept, in favour of directly slotting in the activity in one’s calendar
  • Record measurable achievements, and use them as implicit motivation to keep improving with higher numbers, on an ongoing basis
  • Maintain using deadlines to getting things done in a quicker manner

Insofar as the precipitative ingredient of persistence, the value of this behaviour is illustrated in an anecdotal truism: sometimes prospects do a better job of selling ‘no appointments’ than advisors do in gaining appointments with them.  In that context, there’s a sale made in every such encounter.  This can be in part due to assumptions made by the advisors about the viability of eventually converting certain prospects.

As with other versions of fishing, a focus combining patience with persistence will periodically land a prize, perhaps even a big one.  The formula for advisors to absorb, namely a strong approach + inspiration + persistence = success, applies to those in the much wider ripple.

Opportunities to apply these techniques, be they relating to work, family, or leisure, are as discoverable as ever.

 

 

A Wider Range of Employee Benefits

To what extent might we see the landscape expand in what are deemed to be ‘employee benefits’, in relation to being potentially taxable?

Take the case of the electric automobile. (more…)

Minting More Customers

A post nearly two years ago provided my observations about perhaps the most popular of ‘atypical assets’, namely collectible coins. Here’s a revisit of that commentary, with some updated points.

The Royal Canadian Mint has become much more than a creator and distributor of Canadian daily coinage. In addition to special orders for foreign governments, transit authorities, etc., it has expanded offerings to the world of coin collectors and investors, in Canada and beyond. (more…)

Life Lessons from the Winter Olympics

We’ve just had the latest round of the Olympic Winter Games play out in Korea in the latter part of February.

Some nations, particularly the three highest medal count countries – namely, Norway, Germany, and Canada – found relative success after their long journeys to southeast Asia. Other countries didn’t have their usually expected triumphs (U.S.A.), and one wasn’t even able to compete under its national flag (Russia) – so, bigger is not always better. (more…)

What is ‘Independent Advice’?

An article in the current edition of The Insurance & Investment Journal raises the age-old conundrum of receiving ‘independent advice’. It should be noted that the report is in support of the idea.

Why has this been such a prevailing issue, frequently a hot topic of reportage? (more…)

Travel Tips

Open any travel related periodical or insert, and chances are that, in addition to glowing enticements to visit sites far or near, there will be some degree of tips from supposed experts. Sometimes the expertise is limited to lessons learned by the author about specific destinations; sometimes it’s more general ‘rules of thumb’ (not the green kind).

Case in point: the spring edition of CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) Magazine devotes several pages to recommending travel locations for 2018, with brief comments from CAA travel specialists. Some remarks are more insightful than others. (more…)

A Hurdle is not a Stop Sign

Perhaps all of us, at one time or another, have been tempted to feel discouraged, perhaps quickly, by setbacks on the long journey to accomplishing major goals.

Indeed, if looking at statistics, one can easily be ready to throw in the towel, especially if that towel is frequently coated with rejection.

Many of us are familiar with the 80/20 rule, which anecdotally applies to a wide range of endeavours: (more…)