Performance Tips

Annette Bau Joins Weylman Consulting Group

AB Bl Diamonds CropC.Richard Weylman, Chairman and Managing Director of Weylman Consulting Group is pleased to announce that Annette Bau has joined the firm as an Associate Director of Consulting – Women’s Market. According to Weylman “Ms. Bau will be actively engaged in our numerous consulting projects and as an accomplished author and advisor she will partner with the firm to develop additional educational materials and presentations on how to recruit, market, and sell to women. Ms. Bau has been a longtime friend and advocate for our firm and we are delighted to have someone with her deep experience and abilities join our team.”

Bau is a nationally recognized expert on how to market and sell to women. Her deep experience consulting with and coaching business owners and executives has enabled them to understand this unique sector and attract more clients. Working on our consulting projects that are primarily focused on marketing, selling and recruiting women she demystifies this market into understandable strategies and tactics that are vital to engage women and build strong relational acceptance of our client’s products and services.

An entrepreneur and top sales professional in her own right, Annette built a thriving financial advisory practice (a designated CFP®, Certified Financial Planner) targeting affluent and high net worth women. This experience coupled with empirical research has provided her with the insight to author four books including the “101 Insider Secrets for Marketing to Affluent Women, How to Get Your Share of This $20 Trillion Market.” In addition to speaking frequently on this important sector of the market, she has also created two educational forums including Advisor Marketing Practices and MillionaireSeries.com.

We welcome your comments to the blog, or reply privately to Richard@WeylmanConsultingGroup.com.

You Must Retreat to Continue to Compete

Now that the 1st of July has past and we are into the second half of the business year, it is time to retreat and then charge ahead. What? That sounds like an oxymoron! Actually no, because as you reviewed your Half-Time Report you undoubtedly identified areas that you know you need to revise, reenergize and refocus upon. From your experience and mine we both know how hard that is given your daily work flow. Even though your intentions are good and you know you must improve to have a winning second half, the urgent & tactical supplants the strategic.

Here is a better idea.

 

Look ahead a week or three on your calendar and carve out a solid half or full day to retreat with your support person(s) and other advisors with whom you partner. Even if you are a solo practitioner you need to carve out this time to focus on the future. This is not an extended staff or marketing meeting. Rather it is a “get a better understanding of where we need to improve and here is how we will do it meeting.”

Or as Albert Camus, put it in The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays, “In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.”

Having conducted hundreds of these retreats for our clients as well as for our own business there are several things I have learned that make this a productive time for all.

1)      Go off site and don’t go cheap. Pick a local location that is up market and provides an elevated experience. As an example all of our consulting project team retreats are either at The Wynn Las Vegas, The Westin on Tampa Bay, or The Hilton at LAX. Why? Each location fits the above criteria, which energizes our teams and all are close to one of our offices.

2)      The agenda should not be about what you or someone is doing wrong but rather how can we make things better for all of us. Here is a place to start:

  • Begin with the good things that have happened year to date and be thankful to all
  • Follow with a reiteration of your vision & goals for 2014
  • Engage every attendee to speak freely about areas they believe improvement can or should be made. Nothing can be sacrosanct, every comment needs to be accepted & written down on a flip chart to address later. This is not the time to solve; it is the time to identify.
  • Now share the areas you as an individual believe needs improvement and most importantly why.
  • Take a break and let people digest and refocus
  • Methodically work through every area of needed improvement (yours and theirs) and let innovation flow and get consensus on how each will be addressed and by whom.

3)      Create a 90 day plan listing every specific action to be taken including the completion date, the person(s) responsible, and obstacles to overcome.

This approach even with a support team of one will help you gain clarity on issues to be solved as well as establish the priority and timing of each action item. Those that you can’t get to now put on the next 90 day plan so you continually and incrementally improve.

  • Close the retreat with words of encouragement which simply put includes; words of Hope, Help, and Support of each other to make this year your best season yet!

Here is our 90 day plan template you can use to get this ball rolling in your business. Make as many copies as you need to list every specific action item.

Most importantly, once this retreat is held spend no more time getting ready to get ready. I have two signs which hang in my office that help me to move forward.

The first is “Start with what you have and give God something to bless”

The other is Napoleon’s famous quote “Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go!”

So with those words of encouragement I expect the next thing you will be able to say is

For solutions to your branding, marketing, prospecting, service, and leadership issues check out The Weylman Center for Excellence in Practice Management

C.Richard Weylman, CSP, CPAE and multiple best-selling author and Hall of Fame main platform presenter.

Reach him through Teri@richardWeylman.com

Or via 800.535.4332 or internationally at 941.828.3600

We welcome your comments to the blog, or reply privately to Richard@WeylmanConsultingGroup.com.

Tom Klose Joins Weylman Consulting Group

C.Richard Weylman, Chairman and Managing Director of Weylman Consulting Group is pleased to announce that Tom Klose has joined the firm as a Director of Corporate Relationships, Insurance & Advisory. According to Weylman “Mr. Klose will be actively engaged in the ongoing support of the many financial services companies who have licensed access to our online advisor marketing and manager recruiting platform, The Weylman Center for Excellence in Practice Management™. Mr. Klose has been a long time client of our firm and we are delighted to have someone with his deep field and executive experience join our team.”

 

Klose has a dynamic background in the Financial Services & Life Insurance Industry. His broad base of experience includes working with advisors, management teams, corporate home office executives, and international operations for major life insurers to help them elevate business performance in the marketplace.

 

His understanding and keen insight is based on over 30 years of experience in the industry, first as an agent where Tom achieved top recognition. He then rapidly moved into sales management and ultimately became an award winning agency builder. Tom was recognized for his strategic leadership abilities and became a Senior Home Office Corporate Executive, and finally a CMO in the dynamic brokerage general agency environment.

 

His real world experience coupled with his ability to recruit and develop people from specific markets, has enabled him to catapult some of the poorest performing sales organizations to top tier nationally recognized enterprises. Tom provides our clients with the guidance, leadership and proven execution strategies to help individuals and corporations ‘elevate their sales and marketing performance’ to impressive increased levels.

We welcome your comments to the blog, or reply privately to Richard@WeylmanConsultingGroup.com.

Your Half-Time Report

July 1st marks the 182nd day of the year and with 183 to go this is the perfect time to assess where you are now and where you’re going the rest of this year. Honest assessment is critical to hold yourself accountable to what you expected to accomplish during this business season. In business just as in sports, adjustments made now will determine what you will do the rest of the season.

It is easy to focus on what you have done right and the wins you have had, but winning seasons are also about understanding where you need to improve. Sure there are plenty of things unforeseen or out of your control that affect your success, but as my good friend & fellow Hall of Fame speaker W.Mitchell (who spends his days in a wheel chair) says, “It’s not what happens to you it is what you do about it.”

During the next week print out this tip & write down the answers to the following questions and when you complete them ask yourself, how is this working for you?

1) What is your new revenue goal for 2014?

2) What is your actual new revenue received now?

3) How many new clients do you plan to bring onboard in 2014?

4) How many new clients are actually onboard now?

5) What marketing events to reach new prospects are you planning to do in 2014?

6) How many events have you completed and what have been the results?

7) What specific niche markets are you planning to penetrate in 2014?

8) What progress have you made in each niche?

9) How much time were you planning to invest in out of the office marketing and prospecting in 2014?

10) What is the actual time you have spent based on a review of your calendar for the past 5 ½ months?

With this assessment you will have a true picture of where you are now, halfway through the season. For many you likely are on track for a winning season, maybe your best yet. For others you will recognize a winning season is well within reach by making specific improvements. No matter in which  place you find yourself , to ensure the second half is better than the first constant incremental improvement in your game is essential for long term success.

Yes it is easy to be self-indulgent and find reasons why things are not as you planned or self-congratulatory for all you have achieved but never forget complacency leads to mediocrity which almost always leads to disaster.

 GM, Kmart, Sears, Lehman Brothers, Circuit City ,Kodak are just a few examples of successful ventures that had it all and never saw reasons to improve. Don’t let their fate be yours.

Take your gift for business and polish it. It is time to adjust and hit this year out of the park!

C. Richard Weylman heads a team of consultants and certified coaches that specialize in Elevating Business Performance in Today’s Marketplace. He can be reached at Richard@RichardWeylman.com

Or by calling Teri Kotalarski at: 800.535.4332

Or via email at: Teri@RichardWeylman.com 

We welcome your comments to the blog, or reply privately to Richard@WeylmanConsultingGroup.com.

The Upcoming Potential Momentum Killer

Summer time has finally arrived for most of us. The kids are or are about to be out of school, the golf course is open, the boat’s in the water, even the tennis courts beckon. As challenging as this year has been for many, everyone needs a break. However, too often summertime opportunities become so tempting business momentum suffers. It is easy to find ways to spend our time out of the office. After all, prospects & clients are away on extended vacations so why shouldn’t you be as well?

However, keep in mind how you approach summertime always has consequences. If you practice “creative avoidance” and find every “good” excuse to be away from the business frequently there are consequences.  On the other hand, the efforts you could put forth in the summer – such as planning marketing activities, cleaning up databases, researching prospects and getting in front of new people – pay large dividends. No matter which path you choose it will determine how your fall quarter goes. Don’t get me wrong; to recharge and refocus on a real summer vacation is ideal and necessary. But be careful that self-indulgence does not replace self-discipline. Here is a way to see the difference.

This is Self-Indulgence                                                              This is Self-Discipline

1) We think about how we feel (I deserve it) or   We think about the consequences of creative avoidance

2) We decide to take more time away             or     We strike a balance and maintain business momentum

3) We postpone the consequences until later or   We feel great because we did the right thing

Ultimately the choice of course is yours. But remember if you have momentum this year don’t lose it, but if you don’t have momentum, lose no time in getting it.

C.Richard Weylman is an inductee into the Speakers Hall of Fame, chairman and Managing Director of Weylman Consulting Group, CEO & CDO of The Weylman Center for Excellence in Practice Management, and a multiple best -selling author.

To elevate your business performance this summer contact Teri Kotlarski, VP of Marketing at 800.535.4332 or internationally at 941.828.3600 or via email at teri@RichardWeylman.com

We welcome your comments to the blog, or reply privately to Richard@WeylmanConsultingGroup.com.

“But Before We Get to All of That”…………

I have done many presentations and written a great deal over the past several years (including The Power of Why – Breaking Out in a Competitive Marketplace) about the shift in power from the seller to the buyer. I have received feedback from hundreds of people about the sea change this understanding has brought to their marketing and sales presentations.

However at the same time many in the marketplace are still focused on a merchandiser’s approach when first beginning their sales presentations.

Specifically given the opportunity to explain what they do (“So tell me about what you do exactly.”) they deliver a litany of attributes and features about themselves, their business and their offerings. Don’t get me wrong, it is good to be proud of what you have accomplished, the firm you’re with, and the offerings you have. However, no matter how experienced and successful you are, if you tweak the opening of your presentation as I detail below you will get instep with what buyers want now. Most importantly, by using this tweak, prospects will pour forth with many of the issues they want to solve. You will have the roadmap needed to turn them from prospects to clients. Let me explain what I mean.

When you meet with a prospect to discuss their issues for the first time you have a unique opportunity to set yourself apart by not talking about you but rather shifting the conversation immediately to them.  Of course many say “Oh I do shift the conversation to them right after I introduce myself and my firm.” Let me be clear here, there is no need at the outset to introduce yourself or you firm in any detail.  Busy people will not meet with you unless they sense you have something to offer and are qualified to present it. You will have plenty of time to showcase yourself and your firm with your solutions. What people want to do when they first meet with you is to assess quickly:

a) Are you interested in hearing their story or telling yours?

b) Do you want to get to know them?

c) Can you potentially solve their problems or are you just selling something?

That’s it. So any opening conversation that doesn’t facilitate the answers to these 3 questions quickly will reduce buy in and limit their attention span.

Here is an approach that is right in the sweet spot of what prospects want today. It is delivered confidently and without pause or hesitation.

“I am delighted we were able to schedule a few minutes today to get to know more about each other and see if I can help you with any financial issues you are thinking about. Many people ask me what I do and what my clients say I do for them is (insert your value promise.)(Here is a generic one for illustration only) I help them organize their assets in a tax efficient way…….

BUT   BEFORE   WE   GET   TO   ALL   OF   THAT”

Now ask the following questions, be extremely curious and let them tell their story

“Tell me a little about your family?”

“How long have you lived in the area?”

“Where did you go to school?”

“What do you see in the future for your business /practice/career?”

Then begin the discovery process you currently use to discover their issues

As fundamental as this may appear and as close as it may be to what you think your already doing if it is not exactly these words and format, you are leaving opportunity and money on the table. To say nothing of the longer time it’s taking to close business.

My challenge to you is learn it, practice it, use it and see for yourself why hundreds of others have found this approach the path to shorter sales cycles and more business. Oh & BTW if you don’t have a Unique Value Promise (not a sales proposition) read my book mentioned above. There is a reason it is a CEO reads best-seller.  Click here to order  The Power of Why – Breaking Out in a Competitive Marketplace 

C.Richard Weylman CSP, CPAE is chairman and Managing Director of the Weylman Consulting Group which specializes in elevating business performance. He is also a member of the U.S.Luxury Board, an organization that identifies what financially successful people want from the marketplace today.

He can be reached at Richard@Richardweylman.com  or by calling Teri Kotlarkski, VP of Marketing at 800.535.4332 or internationally at 941.828.3600

RichardWeylman.com

WeylmanConsultingGroup.com

The Weylman Center for Excellence in Practice Management.com

We welcome your comments to the blog, or reply privately to Richard@WeylmanConsultingGroup.com.

“Tight Lines” – The real key to marketing and prospecting success!

As you read this I will be in Alaska fishing with clients, both of whom celebrate their birthday this week. I didn’t plan to be here for their birthdays, it just coincides with a speaking engagement I have in Anchorage tomorrow.

It is a great time to be in Alaska with nearly 24 hours of sunshine and temperatures that are by most residents’ accounts, downright balmy. When my clients heard I would be in town they quickly offered me a day of fishing in the Alaskan wild. They promised they knew of several great fishing holes and guarantee plenty of fish on the line or as they called it “tight lines.” My previous trips to Alaska have taught me that good fishing there like anywhere requires local knowledge of the right fishing holes.

””

The same is true in your business; good access to quality prospects requires local knowledge and real focus on specific “fishing holes.” Too often marketing and prospecting is all about fishing around all over the marketplace hoping to catch a good prospect.

Just as it is important to know where the fish are when you drop a line in the water, so too is it important to know where you will be marketing and prospecting.

A few facts:

  • The mass affluent market no longer exists; instead, today the marketplace is a mass of niches/targets/vertical markets.
  • Being in the Marketplace is easy but being found is not.
  • Prospects congregate and know one another  based upon what they do for a living; what they do for recreation; or the type of family, charitable, ethnic, cultural, or religious interests they have.

With these facts in hand you can choose the right fishing holes, increase your marketing and prospecting success and ensure you have tight lines.

How?

Ask your 10-15 best clients or prospects (yes, they love to talk about themselves):

1)      What associations or groups do they belong to that support what they do for a living?

2)      In what recreational clubs are they active?

3)      What special interests do they have and what organizations are they members of that support that interest?

Capture this information and realize that in every organization they belong to there are likely more people just like them. Then to find your fishing holes select 2-3 of the groups and put your marketing and prospecting efforts there. Just be sure you choose a group where you have similar interests or passions and at least some local knowledge. As an example, there is nothing worse than choosing people in the equine market if you’re not into horses.

I can assure you that this approach will help you focus your efforts and increase your marketing & prospecting success. Most importantly you will have plenty of “tight lines.” So go fish!

C. Richard Weylman is a current best-selling author, and speaks at conferences worldwide on topics designed to help audience members break out in a competitive marketplace. For topics and resources available to help you “Elevate your Business Performance in Today’s marketplace “visit RichardWeylman.com

Or inquire to our VP of Marketing, Teri Kotalarkski

At: 800.535.4332 or internationally At: 941.828.3600

Or via email

At: teri@richardweylman.com

We welcome your comments to the blog, or reply privately to Richard@WeylmanConsultingGroup.com.

“Frankly I didn’t have a problem until YOU showed up”

One of our many coaching clients wanted to understand why he just wasn’t connecting well with prospects and consequently asked us to critique his presentation skills. I had him record a meeting he had with a prospect so that we could gain real world insight into where he could perhaps improve. His initial rapport building although not what I would call personalized did break the ice and engage the prospect. At that point this advisor engaged in some discovery with the prospect to uncover opportunities where he could help this prospect. He did not use trilogy questions which would have given him deeper insight into the real issues this individual needed solved. But nonetheless he did uncover some important topics of concern to the prospect. But then the wheels came off!

The advisor said, “Well let me tell you what your problem is and what you’re doing wrong,” and then delivered a litany around not having the right plan, too many of the wrong investments, and no real knowledge of market opportunities. Sweet.

At the end of this dissertation by the advisor the prospect (likely looking the advisor straight in the eye) said with a very adamant tone, “Frankly I didn’t have a problem until YOU showed up.”

At which point the advisor attempted to backtrack with a variety of statements which concluded with  “well these are your problems.” Doubly sweet.

At this point the prospect said and I quote again, “This meeting is over. I thought you were here to solve my problems not to just point out what I am doing wrong and blame me for them.”

So what does this reveal for all of us?

First and foremost, always attack the problem(s) not the person.                                                                       Second, position yourself up front as a problem solver not an investigative reporter.                                                    Third, be keenly aware that what you say matters most to the person who hears it.

Here is how this should have been approached.

“Ok it is clear we have several issues we can work on together and solve them successfully. I am going to reiterate them to be sure we are both focused on the same things. You have a plan now that needs some review and possible revamping. You have some investments that although good when you first made them now need to be looked at given today’s market conditions and the direction you want your financial future to take. What else is important to you besides these issues?”

Notice with this approach issues are raised but only as a list to be assessed fully and then solved.

Too often when meeting with prospects and clients you can see the solution before the prospect even knows they have a problem. Be careful that you don’t start spewing forth the problems as if they are the prospect or client’s fault. Most of the time they aren’t, they are switching advisors because they sense they have problems and their hope is you will see them, address them and solve them. They really aren’t interested or receptive to being thrown under the proverbial bus.

That approach will certainly make the wheels come off.

C. Richard Weylman is CEO and CDO of The Weylman Center for Excellence in Practice Management and leads a team of certified consultants &coaches who specialize in “Elevating Your Business Performance in Today’s Marketplace”.

Feel welcome to contact Teri Kotalarski, VP of Marketing

At: 800.535.4332  or

At: Teri@RichardWeylman.com

We welcome your comments to the blog, or reply privately to Richard@WeylmanConsultingGroup.com.

Marketing to Women Effectively and Successfully

I am excited to be hosting Insider Secrets for Marketing to Affluent Women on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 2:00pm Eastern (1:00pm CDT, Noon MDT, 11:00am PDT).

Click here to register for free.

Presented by Annette Bau, CFP®, Author: 101 Insider Secrets for Marketing to Affluent Women, How to Get Your Share of this $20 Trillion Market

The opportunities available to an advisor for marketing, retaining and growing their book of women and couples are larger than any we have seen in years. The Newsweek article title summed it up: “Women are Poised to Become the Biggest Economic Engine The World Has Ever Known.”

“Due to a narrowing wage gap and rising female employment, the vast majority of new income growth will go to women,” the article claimed.  In addition they shared that females control over $12 trillion, or 65.4% of annual spending in the United States.  Other experts believe that number could exceed $40 trillion!

The Boston Consulting Group study asserted that “female economic growth represents the biggest emerging market in the history of the planet — more than twice the size of the two hottest developing markets, India and China, combined.”

The CEO of Avon who was also quoted in Newsweek shared that “Any company that overlooks the woman as the decision maker is making a huge mistake.”

Click here to learn more, attend our upcoming webinar and to register.

Just how big is the opportunity? Some of the best statistics include:

  • Women control 51% of all private wealth in the U.S.1 and make over 80% of buying decisions.
  • Women constitute 47% of the North American affluent market with assets above $500,000.2 According to the IRS, roughly 39% of the wealthiest investors — those with assets of at least $625,000 — are women. In this group, there are over one million women with a net worth of at least $1 million. Do the math: If you simply convert one-one hundredth of a percent of this market as clients, you’ll capture more than $100 million in client net worth.
  • Women-owned companies with 500 or more employees have grown by over 100% from 1997 to 2002.

1 Source: Federal Reserve cited in PBS Online, To The Contrary, Hot Topics Women & Philanthropy.
2 Source: World Health Report 2002, Merrill Lynch/Cap Gemini, Ernst & Young.

Advisors and agents who want to survive and thrive can’t afford to ignore or underestimate single or married. While it is guestimated in the financial services that 70% of women replace their financial advisor when their spouse dies.  While that is staggering, some firms are losing 98% of their clients (mostly female) when the first spouse dies.

To learn more on how to retain and increase your women clients access training options here.

We look forward to seeing you on the webinar!

 

We welcome your comments to the blog, or reply privately to Richard@WeylmanConsultingGroup.com.

Lessons Learned Taking out the Garbage

Recently I had the privilege of speaking at the Pete Hegener Leadership Award dinner hosted by the Economic Council of St. Lucie County, Florida. This prestigious award is named in honor of the late Paul J. “Pete” Hegener, the former president of Core Communities and the visionary behind the development of Tradition, an 8,000 acre Master Planned Community. The award recipient must exhibit commitment to a vision and the extraordinary ability to recognize and work with the talents of other individuals, being able to put their interests ahead of his or her personal goals.

My remarks began with a story from my childhood. As many of you may know I was orphaned at age 6 and being too old to be adopted I spent my childhood and teen years in many different foster homes. I learned a valuable lesson while taking out the garbage at one foster home that helped me understand at a young age the difference between leadership and managing.

Here is the story:

When I arrived at my third foster home I was given a list of chores to do, one of which was taking the trash cans out to the street for the garbage men. These were old beat up metal cans with skinny handles and seriously dented bottoms. They were always full to the brim and were too heavy for me at 8 years old to lift, so I attempted each week to push them down the rough asphalt driveway to the street.

For weeks I was frustrated that as I pushed these cans, their jagged bottoms would dig into the asphalt and tip over 2-3 times enroute to the curb and garbage would spill out. So rain or shine I would have to clean up the mess and continue to move these cans to the curb. However one glorious day I had an epiphany. Instead of pushing these cans which dug in and seemingly refused to be moved if I could somehow lift the front of the can maybe it wouldn’t dig in.

So, I took one of the skinny handles in both hands, lifted the front ever so slightly and magically the can followed me right to the curb. I used this approach every time thereafter and never had a can dump on me ever again!

Over the years of building companies and leading wonderfully talented people I have reflected on this event in my life countless times. I have always felt just attempting to manage people can be a lot like pushing those trash cans. There is plenty of effort expended and if people dig in from being cajoled and pushed, then mutual frustration becomes the reality.

Leading people on the other hand is a lot like my epiphany moment. Get out in front, lift people up and lead the way. Managing from behind is not an option. Here are a few things I have also learned from experience about leadership:

1)      Any communication that tells people they are wrong will not be received. Allowing people to explain why they think they are right opens the door for correction.

2)      Praise and cooperation works better than scolding, intimidation and orders.

3)      Treat mistakes as wonderful opportunities to teach.

4)      Allowing people to fail is the only way to ensure their success in the future.

5)      Start every meeting off with wins (the positives), as no one wants to go to meetings where the topic always is what is wrong & needs to be fixed.

6)      Hire & surround yourself with people better than yourself. They will inspire you and the culture created will inspire them.

7)      Invest in your people. Unless you build people you build nothing that lasts.

8)      Be sure every individual sees the difference they are making in the organization & with clients. It gives them confidence and real ownership.

In summary, we all have opportunities to learn through life events and education. If you’re a leader then LEAD your team.  People want direction, guidance, and knowledge of your game plan for a successful future. If you provide these things people realize you are all about them and not about you. As I said when I closed my remarks at the leadership dinner, “Pete Hegener demonstrated leadership not management.”

A good lesson and example for all of us who want to leave a legacy.

C.Richard Weylman CSP, CPAE has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame. To date 219 individuals have received this honor including legendary communicators such as Ronald Reagan, Zig Ziglar, Og Mandino, Jim Rohn, and General Colin Powell.

To inquire about Richard presenting at your next event contact speak with Teri Kotlarski at 800-535-4332 or via email at teri@richardweylman.com

Also feel welcome to visit RichardWeylman.com

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