Takeaways from Excell Spring 2016

Twice a year we invite advisors from across the country to attend our Excell conference, and twice a year I’m amazed by the wealth of insights shared. From billion-dollar ideas to getting a glimpse into the future of running a business, every attendee walks away with a renewed commitment to the profession and a list of tangible takeaways. Our most recent lineup of keynotes at Excell Spring 2016 left each advisor with a rally cry to better their business. Here are three questions posed by some of the world’s best speakers that can help you become a more effective leader:

Robert Herjavec on Rethinking Your Drive

Having seen hundreds of men, women, and even children pitch their products on his hit show Shark Tank, Robert Herjavec is an expert when it comes to understanding what makes one entrepreneur more successful than another. As he spoke on this very topic, one particular message resonated with me: No person has ever built a great business for a paycheck. Sure, you may start out needing to pay your mortgage or wanting to put your children through college, but there comes a point when no amount of money will make you as happy as discovering your true purpose – that thing that gets you out of bed in the morning. This passion translates into every part of who you are, inspiring innovation, creativity, and the unending desire to change people’s lives for the better.

If you were to appear on Shark Tank to talk about your firm, would Robert or his fellow Sharks want to invest in you? If the answer is no, then it may be time to reevaluate your drive, your goals, your business model, or your very reason for becoming an advisor. Nothing will derail your business like a lack of belief in what you do and how you serve others.

Daniel Pink on Rethinking Your Power of Influence

In speaking at industry events throughout the year, I often ask advisors, “What comes to mind when you hear someone call you a ‘salesperson’?”

Most advisors respond by saying it evokes a negative feeling of some shape or form. I, on the other hand, have always seen it as a positive. That’s because a true definition of a good salesperson isn’t about being manipulative but about being persuasive. Manipulation is trying to move someone into a place that isn’t in their best interest, while persuasion moves them because it’s truly best for them.

As Mr. Pink exemplified, through extensive research, the sales industry has changed more in the past 10 years than in the previous 100.

The ABC (Always Be Closing) mindset of yesteryear has been replaced by Attunement (the ability to see things from another’s point of view), Buoyancy (the ability to stay afloat in a sea of rejection), and Clarity (the ability to sort the signal from the noise). Of the three, the idea of providing clarity particularly stood out. Technological advances have made it easier than ever for people to access information. Where experts, like you and I, have the edge is in making sense of all of that information. When it comes down to it, it’s all about how you position yourself.

When you talk to your prospects, how do you explain your value? Perhaps, you are relying on old-school tactics to sell your services. Rethink your strategy and show your clients you offer a value that no amount of independent research and no computer can provide. And, best of all, this value is truly in their best interest.

Ty Bennett on Rethinking Your Relationships

Shortly after stepping out on stage, best-selling author Ty Bennett asked our Excell attendees an important question: Why in the world would anyone follow you as a leader? His personal experience with this very inquiry led him to discover the one factor which contributes to loyalty time after time. The secret is simple. Employees don’t work for companies, they work for people.

As he went on to speak about how partnership is the new leadership, he shared examples supporting the idea that those who invest in their people are the ones who also receive the highest ROI for their firm. The time you give and the care you take with your internal stakeholders is directly proportional to the trust, passion, and commitment they reciprocate. For some, this may be a necessary wakeup call, while for others it confirms what we’ve known all along.

What can you do each day to go the extra mile for your team? Businesses need relationships. Successful businesses need strong, healthy relationships. Right now, the opportunity to grow as a leader and partner is ripe for the taking. Don’t let it pass you by.

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