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Archive for December, 2012

So What Do I Do NOW?

Posted By Michael Roby | Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…BUSINESS PLANNING. Advisors across the hemisphere are planning for 2013. However, we tend to forget Business Plans contain four critical elements:

  • The Preparation
  • The Plan
  • What’s Next?
  • What If’s

“The Preparation” includes gathering all of the information that addresses where you are today; Facts & Figures molded into an analysis of the current situation, along with a description of your “Perfect World.” Perfect World details your dreams, goals, and Now Composite IIIobjectives. “The Plan” provides step by step strategies, tactics, and corresponding activities and timelines for attainment. “What’s Next?” is the question that gets you to focus on what you need to do today – RIGHT NOW –  to make the outcomes you desire come to reality. Why focus on “What’s Next?” Because it is all you have.

“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him about your plans.” – Woody Allen

“What If’s” allow you to be nimble, and have options and alternatives. Because situations and circumstances change, you need to be prepared to react and change plans. Don’t do so every time things go against you, but be aware of systemic changes that can affect your plan.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and..

Work Hard & Have Fun!™

The Window To The Sale™

Posted By Michael Roby | Monday, December 17th, 2012

“The eyes are the window to the soul.” – English Proverb

There’s no question peoples eyes (along with other facial expressions, body language and other non-verbal clues) reveal a great deal about what they are thinking about those things they see and hear. Nothing replaces the value of looking someone in the eye and watching what they do their eyes when presenting recommendations and selling. While the eyes may be the window to the soul, however, they may not be the Window to the Sale™.

Advisory practices which involve knee-to-knee recommendations and implementation account for only a portion of business we transact. Buyer initiated transactions, phone sales, catalogs, and online sales happen in the absence of face-to-face interaction. So what is the Window To The Sale?

Let’s assume the following:

  • Your solution solves their problem.
  • They need it.
  • They can afford it.
  • They trust you (or the person who referred you.)

All of these factors can be present, and you can still not make the sale! So I ask again, what IS the Window To The Sale?

Questions are the Window To The Sale™.

Your ability to ask quality questions, and how well you listen to the answers you receive, contributes greatly to your sales success or lack thereof. The best questions cause your client to examine situations, ask their own questions, and trigger them to take action.

Are you asking the right questions and asking them the right way? Your answer to this question can make all the difference in your sales results.

Work Hard & Have Fun!™

Choosing To Be Professional

Posted By Michael Roby | Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

A couple weeks ago I grabbed my iPhone and took a picture. It was from a segment on ESPN on the National Football League (NFL). The two people on the right played professional football. The gentleman in the middle is Mark Schlereth, but his friends call him “Stink.” During his playing career, Schlereth endured 29 surgeries. Twenty of those surgeries were performed on his knees. The man on the right is Tedy Bruschi, who came back to play after having to sit out a year as a result of suffering a paralyzing stroke. Big, strong men who played a violent game. Men who sweat and bled making a living while entertaining others. Men who (legally) assaulted and at times hurt other men playing a children’s’ game, and today make a living talking about that game.

There is something that is “funny” about the picture, in fact almost comical. Something seems to be amiss. Not quite right.


They are wearing suits and ties.

These big, strong men who love and played a violent game and get paid to talk about that game are dressed professionally on a sports television show. Do you really need to wear business attire to talk about sports?

The answer is, of course, NO! However, ESPN’s revenues are growing at 9 percent a year, with a projected $8.2 billion in revenue in 2012, according to research firm SNL Kagan… talking about sports! One of the reasons for the success of the network is they strive for professionalism in all they do, down to the attire of their studio personalities and reporters. Businesses grow when run professionally!

A professional is a person who is paid to undertake a specialized set of tasks requiring specific knowledge and training, and to complete them for a fee. Professionals exude quality in all they do and all they produce. They maintain high standards for conduct, appearance, and production. Professionals treat people with respect. They maintain their personal and professional integrity at all times and expect the same from colleagues and associates.

If a guy called “Stink” can be a pro when reporting upon and analyzing a gladiator sport, so can we. Our business will be the better for it.

Work Hard & Have Fun!™