EP 233 – Narrow Your Focus To Grow Your Sales
In this podcast episode, you’ll uncover a powerful tool to create exponential revenue growth.
Narrow the focus of your target market and watch your sales will expand.
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This transcript was auto-generated. Please excuse any typos or grammatical errors.
If you figure out what it is you do as well as anyone else in the market, and you give yourself the opportunity. You fill your calendar with opportunities to let you sit in that zone of genius. This career gets really fun again. One of the greatest compliments we ever get from clients when we’re helping them find this zone of genius, This one thing they do as well as anyone else in the industry is when they look at us and they say, Andy, thank you for making this job fun again.
Welcome back to Bullpen Sessions. My name is Andy Neary and this is episode 233. Today, I’m going to ask you to quit trying to be all things to all people. Today, I’m going to talk about how your lack mindset could be costing you business right now. And I’m going to teach you a couple of things today that some of my peers are doing I’ve done and others I see having a lot of success in the insurance industry are doing to make sure they don’t have the problem of trying to be all things to all people.
You’re actually going to have a mindset shift today that’s going to help you completely flip the way you’ve thought about prospecting, and I can’t wait to talk to you about it. But before we get there, I want to make a quick announcement. Our next Broker Branding Academy is officially launching on May 10th, and by the time this episode airs, which will be the week of April 17th, the doors will be slowly closing.
In fact, we will be more than half full by the time you hear this episode. So if you’re an insurance advisor and you know the way prospecting has been done in the past has changed, you felt that shift after the pandemic? That man, The things I used to do just don’t work like they used to. This academy is for you.
It is going to give you the tools to prospect, to book appointments with the right prospects and the tools to do it in today’s environment. So you want to know more, Click the link in the notes. Let’s schedule call, Let’s get you enrolled. We are doing weekly informational sessions about the academy, so make sure you sign up for those as well.
And back to to today’s episode. All right. Let’s talk about trying to be all things to all people. I imagine if you’re listening to this episode and you’re an insurance professional, anybody who’s in sales today, your goal is to win more business, right? Your goal is to grow your book. And the problem right now is you might be operating from a lack mindset, a fear that there is not enough to go around.
Let’s face it, in today’s society, especially with everything that’s going on economically, it’s easy to to feel like there’s not enough going around. We’re having supply chain issues, monetary issues, you name it. Right. However, what I’m going to ask you to do today is to flip your mindset. I’m going to ask you to attack your prospecting from an abundance mindset.
We’re going to talk about that because when I look at the insurance industry right now and I was guilty of this myself, there is too much fear, a fear of not enough to go around going on around the industry. I remember having a conversation with a former boss of mine, and this was right at the moment I was considering launching my coaching business because I had some peers who wanted help with speaking.
They wanted me to help put helped them put talks together to go out and speak publicly. And I had made the comment to to my boss about the fact I was going to help other advisors. And I’ll never forget the comment he made. He had hesitations with me doing this because he simply said, if there are a broker in this country, they’re a competitor.
And that got me thinking back then. That man. So many in this industry operate from a lack mindset. You operate as if there is not enough business to go around. I see it when producers leave one agency to go to the next. What’s their modus operandi? They go right back after the business they had at the previous agency.
This is why the industry has had to create non-compete that are so airtight because producers just continuously go back after the same business. That’s an example of a lack mindset that there’s not enough not to go around, that there are not enough new prospects for you to go after. Now, here’s the other problem. When you operate from a fear mindset, a lack mindset, when it comes to your prospecting, you start putting pressure on every win.
You view all prospects as good prospects. You just want to talk to anybody because if you can get anybody in your pipeline, it’s an opportunity. But what happens is you start putting pressure on every one of those opportunities, especially if you have a specific sales goal. It’s late in the year and you’re short of that goal, or maybe you have a validation period or a validation date with your agency and that validation date is coming up.
You know that magical time when your salary goes away, what you do is you start putting pressure on every win. I know I’ve been there, but what happens is when you start putting pressure on every win, you get desperate. And I’ll be very clear with you. Prospects can smell your desperation and what you do is you try, try, you start selling them on your timelines, not theirs.
And a little secret in sales, again, whether you sell insurance or anything else is buyers are going to buy on their timeline, not yours. And I see advisors, I hear advisors talk about they need to go out and convince this client to hire them now, primarily because that producer has a specific sales goal. It has nothing to do with the prospects timeline or when is the best fit or time and fit for them.
It’s all about the producer. So when you are putting pressure on every when you start getting desperate, you start trying to talk to anybody and all of a sudden your pipeline is basically filled with bullshit. Pardon my language, you’re you have a bunch of you have a full pipeline, but none of these people are qualified and none of these people are going to hire you.
I know this is where I was early in my career. In fact, in 2014, and I know I’ve exhausted this story when we moved out here to Colorado and I found myself in a market where nobody knew who I was. I just wanted to talk to anybody because immediately I had this panic mode, right? This fear, this lack mindset that I have to grow a book, a business or else, and so I just started trying to book appointments with anybody.
I had no clear direction, no clear vision of who my ideal prospect was. I just wanted to talk to everybody. And what ended up happening is I was able to book a lot of first meetings, but rarely did meeting one turn in a meeting too, because every meeting I walked into, I was trying to close. Every meeting I walked into, There was a very good chance that prospect really had no desire to buy.
They were not a good fit for what I was trying to do at that time. I thought my specific differentiator was self-funding, so I ended up talking to a bunch of prospects who were not a good fit for self-funding, at least mentally and philosophically. And therefore I had a lot of appointments. I had what appeared to be a really nice pipeline that was going nowhere fast.
And as that pipeline started to get smaller and smaller, I my desperation increased. Some of you can probably feel me here on this. Think of January one renewals, especially from a prospecting standpoint, right? It’s so easy to feel like you have all this opportunity on January one. You’ve got ten or 12 different opportunities, right? And you’re feeling really good in September and October because you got all these opportunities coming up.
But then what happens is slowly but surely, one by one, some of those opportunities start falling off. They’ve ghosted you, they’re not good fits. They’ve chosen to stay where they’re at. And also in late November, those 10 to 12 opportunities are down to two or three. And what you thought was going to be an unbilled believable beginning of the year is starting to look pretty bleak and you are starting to get desperate.
This is what I’m talking about is when you are trying to be all things to all people and you are just trying to talk to anybody, you lack a plan to target the people that are a best fit for you. And this is where good sales opportunities go to die. This is where your prospects can smell your desperation.
And instead of operating from a place of abundance, you are operating from a complete fear of lack. And I am a big believer in the energetics of selling. Call me Woo woo, Call me whatever you want. What’s going on between the ears determines how much sales success you have. I’ve said it at length in our past episodes. It’s not a magic script.
It’s not a certain product or solution is going to change your career. It’s what you’re thinking as you’re going out and meeting with prospects. It’s what’s going on. The the self-talk that is going on between the ears as you’re prospecting. If you come at it from an abundance mindset, if you come at it from an attitude of there are plenty of people to help, if this one is not a good fit, no harm, no foul answer, the next you are going to have a lot more success.
But today’s episode is really focused in on how can you determine who’s a better best fit for you. So you stop trying to be all things to all people. So here’s the advice I’m going to give you. It’s something we teach in our complete game marketing playbook. If you want to broaden your reach, if you want to broaden your opportunities, go narrow.
Now, you might be cynical. Good. Dude, what are you What do you mean? Go narrow. Hear me out. Instead of selling all of your services and capabilities to the market, which is what, 98% of the agencies in this country do? Ask yourself this question Of all the things and all the capabilities and resources your agency has, what’s the one thing you think you do as well as anyone in the market?
What’s the one thing you believe you do as well as anyone in your market right now? Lean into that. Make that your differentiator instead of trying to go out and find prospects who just want to have a conversation instead of puking all of your services at them, build your entire sales and your marketing and sales strategy around this.
One thing you do as well as anyone in the market. Because here’s what happens. Here’s the mindset shift that happens when you realize you have the one thing you do as well as anyone else, and you’re going to make that the one thing you become known for. You’re going to start proactively going out and trying to find the prospects who are a good fit for that one thing.
And when you go out and proactive, only target the prospects that are fit for that one thing. The shift that occurs in your process is you’re now interviewing prospects as much as they’re interviewing you. Think about that for a second. How many times have you gone out to a prospecting opportunity and they’re interviewing you amongst four or five other brokers You’re part of their process At that point.
Your opportunity to win is completely out of your control. Instead, when you know who you know, what it is, you do better than anybody else and you’re trying to find the people who are fit for it. You’re now interviewing them. You’re bringing them into your process, not theirs. This is why I never liked the RFP process other than the fact, you know, beyond the fact questions are stupid and ridiculous.
It’s their process. Your becoming part of their process. The second you become part of their process, the second they’re interviewing you every opportunity. The opportunity to win a business is completely out of your control. And I don’t know about you, but there’s one thing I want to do in a sales process. I want to maintain as much control as I can, and the best way to do that is actually to bring prospects to my prospect.
Our process. Now there’s so I want you to think about these mindset shifts. What do you do as well as anyone in the industry? Some of my peers, the ones you know, some of our clients we coach for some might be captives. That is the one thing they do better than anybody else. I have a client right now who we’ve done some work with that they still they truly believe their number one differentiator is their customer service.
And I know how cliche that sounds, but here’s the deal. They’ve actually built an entire process around it. They’ve named it. What is it you do better than anybody in the market? In 2014, when I realized I had to shift, I had to start interviewing prospects and trying to find the people who are fit for me. I realized self-funding was my differentiator at that time, but at the beginning I was just trying to talk to anybody about it.
It’s when I got really clear about who’s a good fit for me, for this process is when everything changed. I’m going to talk about talk about that in a second here. But the question I want you to ponder as a team, as an individual right now, is what do you do as well as anyone in the market? And I’m going to challenge you to lean in on that one thing, go narrow, to broaden your reach, to broaden your name recognition.
I am seeing it happen time and time again with producers. We work with producers who are peers of mine that are absolutely killing it. It’s not because they’re just trying to sell anything to anyone. They know exactly what they’re good at and they stay in their zone of genius. It is that simple. So let’s talk about how you can do this.
Number one, again, the mental mindset shift I want you to make is think abundance. Don’t think like go through your prospecting opportunities, go through your activities as if there’s enough to go around because there is because if you go at it with a mindset of abundance, you’re going to go at it with confidence as well. Because, you know, if you walk in, in this particular prospect is not a good fit, no harm, no foul, move on to the next one, there’s going to be more when you interview them, you let them know who’s a good fit for your process.
And they’re not no harm, no foul move on. They’ll smell that confidence just like they smell your desperation. But this is going to create a much better result for you. So how can we do this? Well, after you’ve answered the question, what do you do? As well as anyone in the market? Ask yourself this next question Who is the best prospect for what we do now?
If you have been a part of our coaching programs and you have been you’ve been a part of the complete Game marketing Playbook curriculum, you know, we talk about building your ideal prospects brand identity, which starts with who’s your favorite client today? Who is the client you have with this differentiator right now, This one thing you are better at than anybody else who is the best client?
Who’s your favorite client? And ask yourself, why are they your favorite client? Now there’s two ways to define your favorite client. You got demographics. Is it their size, location, number of employees? More importantly, though, what’s their psychographics? That’s what makes them a good fit. What do they believe? What do they stand for? How do they think? How do they make decisions?
That’s why they’re your favorite client has nothing to do with demographics. Your job now is to go find more prospects just like that one. So when you get clear on who your ideal prospect is, you pair it with what you do better than anybody else. What’s going to happen is you’re going to stay in your zone a genius more often, and your entire prospecting strategy is to go out and find the prospects who are fit for your one thing.
Now this is where you’re going to look at me and say, Andy, that sounds very, very narrow. Too narrow for me. How in the heck am I supposed to go win business when I’m just going to be focused on one thing? Well, let me give you a couple examples, and I’m going to keep these people nameless, but I know peers of mine, one in particular, I won’t I won’t name right now who sells nothing but health insurance, captives.
That’s all he does. And he is he and his team have built their entire marketing and sales process around selling health insurance captives. Now, on top of that, he has built one hell of a brand because he’s working his butt off to create that brand name recognition I have asked you to do. But he has built his entire marketing and sales process around the one thing he does better than anybody else.
Health insurance, captives. You want to know what his results are? Well, on a bad year, he’s probably selling somewhere between 500 to $750000 in revenue. And on a good year, he is well over $1,000,000. He’s known for one thing. So what I’m going to urge you to do is if you’re struggling right now and you’re trying to figure out what your differentiators you admit, you’re attacking your prospecting with a lack mindset, the desperation starting to set in your validation date’s coming up or your sales.
You’re already way behind your sales goal and we’re only in April. It is so easy to just try to go talk to everybody and everybody. Anybody spray and pick prey, as we call it. But I’m actually going to tell you to go the other way, get really narrow, figure out what you love to do, what you’re as good as is any as anyone else in the market, and just focus on that and then build your entire marketing and sales process around that one thing and then sit down and ask yourself who is the best prospect for this program, for this strategy, for this philosophy?
How big are they? How many employees do they have? How do they think? What do they stand for? What do they believe? Why would they be a good, perfect fit for this? And then build your entire marketing strategy around that message? I know it sounds crazy because you’re I’m asking you to stop being all things to all people.
And it’s been a tradition in the insurance industry that all prospects are good prospects. Just go sell a bunch of shit to them. That is not how it works anymore. You need to figure out what you’re great at. What is your zone of genius? And you need to sit in that zone of genius and go talk to prospects to see if they’re going to let you sit in that zone of genius.
And here’s the other unintended positive consequence that comes out of it. When you figure out what it is you do as well as anyone else in the market, and you give yourself the opportunity. You fill your calendar with opportunities to let you sit in that zone of genius. This career gets really fun again. One of the greatest compliments we ever get from clients when we’re helping them find this zone of genius.
This one thing they do as well as anyone else in the industry is when they look at us and they say, Andy, Amy, thank you for making this job fun again. Success is not just financial. Success is also fulfillment. And I know about you, but if I can wake up every day doing what I love, I can wake up every day living in my zone of genius, but making good money, doing it.
There’s nothing better than that. So that’s what I’m going to leave you with today. That’s my advice. I’m going to ask you to stop being all things to all people. And if you want to have massive sales success in the insurance industry or if you happen to be listening in and you sell another product outside the industry, stop trying to be all things to all people become known.
For one thing, what is it you do as well as anyone in the market? Go find those prospects who are the best fit for it and build your entire marketing and sales process around it and your business will never look the same again. Because you know what happens when you mix clarity, which I hope I gave you today and you mix it with confidence, which you’ll grab confidence when you’re sitting in your own a genius, you’re interviewing your prospects, you become unstoppable and you do amazing things.
So go do those amazing, amazing things today. Be Good.