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The Secret to Inspiring Others & Selling Smart Ideas

Posted By Donna M. Gray, Friday, June 28, 2019

The Secret to Inspiring Others & Selling Smart Ideas

“Ideas are the true currency of the 21st Century,” writes public speaking coach and author Carmine Gallo in his book, Talk Like Ted. “So in order to succeed, you need to be able to sell your ideas and yourself persuasively. That ability is the greatest skill that will help you accomplish your dreams.”

To provide the tools to create strong presentations and deliver winning talks, Gallo studied hundreds of TED Talks and interviewed the most popular TED presenters and top researchers in psychology, communications and neuroscience. The result is expert advice on creating and delivering engaging and memorable presentations. Below are Gallo’s tips for inspiring any audience.

  1. Let Loose. Passion is contagious, but you can’t inspire others unless you are inspired. It is vital to express your enthusiasm and passion for your ideas. Identify your connection to the topic, and inspire listeners with this meaningful connection.

  2. Master the Art of Storytelling. Because stories stimulate and engage the human brain, storytellers must tell stories that touch the hearts and minds of listeners, as well as express passion and inspire.

    For an  example, listen to public-interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson deliver the 2012 Ted Talk, entitled, “We Need to Talk about an Injustice.” Stevenson’s passion for his topic generated the longest standing ovation in TED Talk history. Not only did he spend a majority of his speech sharing stories, but he also welcomed his grandmother and Rosa Parks onstage to share their personal stories, too.

  3. Have a Conversation. Only after creating an emotional connection, building rapport and gaining trust, can you practice true persuasion. In order to achieve this, your presentation should feel relaxed, similar to having a discussion with a friend. Consistent practice and internalizing the content are two ways to create this conversation.

  4. Stick to the 18-Minute Rule. Nobody likes a long, overloaded and meandering presentation. Instead, you need to inform, while also holding people’s attention. So what’s the best length? Only 18 minutes.

    TED Talks curator Chris Anderson says, “Eighteen minutes is short enough to hold people’s attention … [and if you make points precisely] … it’s also long enough to say something that matters.”

  5.  Lighten Up. Research from the Mayo Clinic shows that laughter relieves stress and increases endorphins, but improves the immune system, relieves pain and enhances mood. And humor can help charm your listeners because it makes you more likable, which in turn, makes others more willing to do business with you.

Ideas can change the direction of your life and potentially change the world. “You don’t need luck to be an inspiring speaker,” Gallo writes. “You need courage — the courage to follow your passion, articulate your ideas simply and express what makes your heart sing.”

Tags:  AIMS Society  Branding  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Networking  productivity  Professional Development  sellability  time management 

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Turn a Prospect’s ‘No’ into a Positive Experience

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, July 20, 2018

 

Turn a Prospect’s ‘No’ into a Positive Experience

 

When it comes to discussions about sales strategy, one of the most entrenched concepts is “don’t take no for an answer.”

 

But the reality of sales prospecting is that “no” is an answer you will probably hear — often. Despite your best efforts, it is sometimes the only answer the prospect is willing to give.

 

Insisting on changing “no” to “yes” can, in fact, do nothing more than turn off a prospect and shut you out from any future discussions about what benefits and services your company could provide in the future. Persistence in the face of a repeated “no” can lead to antagonism and frustration for both you and your prospect. Once your prospect perceives you in a negative light, trying to turn that perception around will be almost impossible.

 

Taking “no” for an answer, when done right, can turn a negative into a positive and lead your prospect to possibly becoming a valuable client.

 

At the outset, you need to respect your prospect and their answer. At that first or subsequent call, a prospect may have his or her defenses up, expecting a lengthy, ambitious pitch that does not respect their time or response. Accept “no” graciously and you just might surprise them, prevent that feeling of antagonism and leave the conversation where he or she might be willing to reconnect with you in the future.

 

After you accept a client’s refusal, don’t just walk away and treat the prospect as a waste of time, either. Having shown respect for their answer, it is now time to reach out and build a foundation for the future. Ask their permission to speak again at some point. Aim for a second conversation in the future to reconnect or send an email about something of interest to them, just to keep in touch. This is an opportunity to build a relationship and shape your brand in the prospect’s mind.

 

Your main objective should never be to force a “no” into a “yes,” but to avoid a bad sales experience. One helpful strategy is to do some homework before making the call. Identify the prospect’s need and have an answer that shows why your product is their solution. Not only does this give you a firm basis for conversing with your prospect, but it also saves time — for the both of you. First, you’ll avoid calling upon someone who has no real need for your product, and they won’t have to listen to a pitch about something that has no relevance to them.

 

Most importantly, when doing your homework, make sure the person you contact is someone who can say “yes.”

 

To prepare, turn to LinkedIn, the prospect company’s website, and any other publicly available material that helps you understand who the decision-makers are and how your product or service will benefit them. And when you make that call to that person, listen to what they are saying, ask questions, and learn how what you are selling will complement their business.

 

Respect, courtesy, and a little homework may not conclude the sale today, but invoking those concepts can open doors to a future book of profitable business tomorrow.

Tags:  agency value  AIMS Society  business value  efficiency  Insurance Education  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Networking  productivity  Professional Development  sellability  time management 

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Spring Clean Your Sales Process

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, April 13, 2018

Spring Clean Your Sales Process

Spring cleaning. We do it in our homes, so why not do it at the office?

Taking the time to declutter and dust off some things in your professional life will give you a breath of fresh air. But we're not just talking about tidying your desk. When it comes to sales and marketing, we suggest you perform a mini-audit and evaluate procedures.

Take a fresh look at your personal sales performance and ask yourself what's working and what isn't. Look at where leads are coming from, conversion rates and customer demographics. If you don't already have a platform to track sales data, go ahead and start one now for reference throughout the year.

If you're in a management position, look at your lineup. Consider the strengths of each sales member. Should you reconfigure to make smarter plays? If someone is better with new customers but struggles when it comes to retention, place then at the forefront of the customer journey. Have a one-on-one with every member of the team to see how they're doing. It will likely prompt them to evaluate their own performances and potentially make some changes too.

Next, look at your sales process. How can you declutter and streamline your method? Can some steps in the process be re-tooled or daresay eliminated? How are your marketing materials — outdated or ineffective? Your entire process should be flexible to each client's needs, but also effective to your daily workflow.

Consider the bigger picture, too. How does your sales process relate to your company's actual operations? What about the insurance industry as a whole? Throughout this process, take the time to learn from your customers. Get feedback on how you're doing or things they'd like to see changed. Do they want more or less communication? Fewer phone calls and more emails? How can you adjust your sales process to meet their wants and needs?

Spring-cleaning is also a great time to reevaluate your goals. If you made new year's goals, where are you on the path to meeting them? Go ahead and revise them or set some new ones. Determine tangible ways you can get there, whether it's new clients to talk to, networking events to attend or a new marketing strategy to launch.

You'll thank yourself for taking an afternoon to check in. You'll eliminate unnecessary procedures, avoid making mistakes, sharpen your sales pitch and simplify procedures.

Tags:  AIMS Society  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  productivity  self-improvement  time management 

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The ABCs of Gen Z

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, September 29, 2017

The ABCs of Gen Z

While we were all busy talking about the millennials, a new generation took over the top spot size-wise in society. Known specifically as Gen Z, this new group that you need to know about was born between 1997 and 2015 (meaning they range in age from almost 3 to 20). While it's true they aren't yet your latest hire or even your newest customer, you need to get prepared. After all, time has a funny way of creeping up on you, and the worst thing that a salesperson can do is ignore a looming trend.

So what do you need to know about Gen Z?

  • They now account for 26% of the population.
  • By 2020 (that's just three years away!) they'll account for an astounding 40% of all consumers.
  • They're the most technologically fluent generation ever. They use more mobile apps and mobile phone features than any other demographic segment in connection with retail, and the majority of their online time overall is spent on mobile devices.
  • They don't sit through ads. They won't wait to work their way through heavily sponsored content.
  • They're all over the place, using five screens on average — smartphone, TV, laptop, desktop and tablet.

As we continue to learn more about Gen Z, there's one thing we want to caution you about — don't be too quick to judge. Already labeled as screen addicts, Gen Z has now been shown in recent studies to have attention spans of just eight seconds.

Sounds pitiful, doesn't it?

But Jeremy Finch from Altitude, a product development company, looks at this stat differently, saying Gen Z actually has highly evolved eight-second "filters." As he explains, "They've grown up in a world where their options are limitless but their time is not. As such, Gen Z have adapted to quickly sorting through and assessing enormous amounts of information. Online, they rely heavily on trending pages within apps to collect the most popular recent content."

Looking at it that way makes Gen Z sound rather savvy, doesn't it?

Will you be as savvy at reaching them?

Tags:  AIMS Society  efficiency  Insurance Education  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Professional Development  self-improvement  sellability  teamwork  Technology  time management 

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What Are Your Best Tips for Maintaining Work-Life Balance?

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, August 11, 2017

It's back-to-school season, which means many of us — students and parents alike — have to get back into the swing of juggling the demands of work and school, both of which have fixed and often competing schedules. Maintaining our sanity requires flexibility and ingenuity.

Tips from business experts. If your office offers flexible or remote work options, you're in a great position to shape your schedule to suit you! If not, you might find the 26 time-management tips I wish I'd known at 20 shared recently by Business Insider to be helpful. Our own experience has convinced us to add No. 27: Don't neglect yourself during busy times. Running the work-school marathon requires you to be well-rested and nourished in both body and soul.

Gratitude. The next time you schedule a business call while watching soccer practice or answer emails while you're waiting for your take-out dinner, whisper a small "thank you" for cloud-based software. We are the first generations who can take our offices with us on our devices, allowing us to make the most of found time — whether it's while waiting for a hair or doctor's appointment, waiting in the car-pool line or observing a child's piano lesson. Just remember to respect the boundaries between your two lives, and try to stay present as much as possible so you don't accidentally send an unfinished email or dismiss your child trying to tell you a story.

How do you find time? We all struggle with work-life balance, and balancing a thriving career in insurance while caring and being there for your family can be challenging. But insurance professionals are among the best at using tools and time wisely. In the comments section below, please share one or two of your favorite time-management tips with AIMS Society readers. If we all work together, we can find the best way to maintain our own perfect work-life balance.

Tags:  AIMS Society  business value  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  Networking  productivity  Professional Development  Relax  self-improvement  Social Media  teamwork  Technology  time management  vacation 

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