October 21, 2019

Always Be Learning

"Always Be Learning'
Chad Soileau

Almost every sales professional at some point or another has probably watched the 1992 movie Glengarry Glen Ross, about a sales competition in a Chicago real estate office. Alec Baldwin plays a successful sales manager brought in to inspire the office’s sales team to close more business. In his iconic speech, or what many would consider a tirade, he includes the advice to “Always Be Closing”. A reminder that a salesperson should always be looking for the opportunity to close in every situation and make the sale.

As I thought about this scene, I had a similar thought, but instead of “Always Be Closing”, the real task is to find better clients and to find better clients we should “Always Be Learning” as a path to more success in our practices.

With that thought, I’d like to offer a few suggestions on how to do that and, hopefully, you can pull from it a few ideas on how you can “Always Be Learning”.

  •  Advanced Designations or Licenses – Acquiring either will not only expand your personal knowledge in any given subject, but it will also serve as validation of your knowledge and skill to prospective clients.

  •  Peer Groups and Industry Groups – A great resource to gain more knowledge on industry best practices from peers and industry partners within your profession.

  • Blogs, Books and Podcasts – Probably the easiest and most effective of the learning channels. All are easily accessible and offer flexibility to your learning style and time constraints. Horizon produces three separate podcasts: The Confident Advisor Practice, Confident Wealth, and Inside the Plan with the 401k Brothers.

  • Coaching Classes/Services – If there is a topic that interests you or an area you feel you can use some improvement in, consider this option.  You can schedule this around your schedule and focus on strategies that you want to improve on or learn more about.  Utilize Horizon and Cetera’s coaching opportunities.

  • Industry Events and Workshops – These are usually offered at different locations around the country and include helpful tips and quick tips on the “hottest” topics in the industry.  They are usually very affordable and also provide networking opportunities. More information on some exciting opportunities in 2020 coming soon.

  • Mentoring and Being Mentored – An excellent opportunity to either teach, learn and/or grow on a first-hand basis.  It is always refreshing to exchange ideas and practices with colleagues.  Sharing your experiences and listening to others explain their processes can always lead to a fresh approach to some of the basics.

  • Notes and Analyzation of past calls and meetings with clients and prospects – To be a student of your craft, you have to be able to look back on your work and analyze what went well, what went wrong and ask the question of where can there be an improvement.

The idea is in order to get better at what you do, to find better clients and close more deals, you have to look for ways to improve. The best way to improve is always learning and growing your base knowledge in not only your profession, but your personal life as well.

And I think this quote from Seth Godin, a daily blog that I receive, sums it up well:

“Better clients demand more, pay more and talk about your work. Better clients make it easier for you to level up, and better clients challenge you to dig deeper and do what you’re capable of. You don’t do better by working more hours. You can’t work more hours. You do better by finding better clients.”