Michael Whitehouse: Salesman, Trainer, Educator, Speaker. My thoughts, events, and presentations.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Protecting Your Children From Success
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Put Down The Donut
Note: At the time of this posting, I was an agent and manager with American Income Life, a fantastic company which is one of the best places to learn the ropes of sales while helping to educate and protect families who really need the insurance protection AIL has to offer.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Lessons Far Larger than the Office
Yesterday, I found myself involved in a fairly epic apartment moving project. I had thought that I was volunteering to help out for a couple hours with many other people. I discovered, as I was riding in the truck, which was the only way for me to get back to my car and which was not going back to my car until it was unloaded, that almost everyone else who was supposed to help had bowed out. This meant that the moving team was myself, a man of moderate strength, another slightly stronger than myself, and a roommate of limited carrying capacity but a great deal of pluck.
Did I mention that the closest place to park the truck was about 150 feet from the door?
It was during this adventure that I found that my time at American Income Life had well prepared me to tackle the unloading of this truck. What I might have seen as an impossible task a year or two ago was tackled in a reasonable period of time.
Every Obstacle is Merely a Challenge to Be Overcome
AIL has taught me that in any situation, there is a way to win, no matter how difficult it looks. The key is to focus on success in the task rather than focusing on the obstacles to the goal. A year or two ago, I would have been quite frustrated finding myself in a situation where we were expected to do more than anticipated with less resources than we should have had. Yesterday, I simply applied myself to solving the problem.
It Never Hurts To Ask
One concept that is very important to train in a new salesperson is the idea that it never hurts to ask. Most people will not be upset if you ask them for something, as long as you are willing to accept a negative answer with a pleasant smile. Thus, when I encountered a curious neighbor, I immediately asked him for assistance and he provided us with a second dolly.
Work Smarter Not Harder
When we looked at some of the things that we would have to move and the distance we would have to move them, I first thought it would take all night and possibly result in the removal of my arms. Then, I applied my large human brain to the project. By using the dollys and other tools available we were able to make short work of an impossible task.
I am not trying to suggest that my time at AIL has prepared me for a successful future in the moving industry. Rather, the concepts of pushing myself and my limits, having faith that people will help me, and being smart about how I work apply not just to creating my success in the field and in the office, but have made me a better and more successful person in all aspects of my life.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
I Jogged Today
When I don't exercise for too long, I start to get what I can only describe as a clogged feeling in my chest. It is like a car that is constantly driven at low RPMs which accumulates gunk which can be cleared by taking it up to 5000 RPMs for a bit to flush everything out. I have not had time to get to the gym, so I figured I might as well take advantage of the gym that nature provides.
This got me thinking about other things that I should make a habit of. You see, I am in the terrible habit of taking my hands off the steering wheel of life. I get too caught up in the day to day distractions and worries that I forget about the long term. It's not a new year, but this weekend does start a new quarter, and in business, a year is too long to wait, so let's make some resolutions for 2011Q3.
Jog Every Morning (when it is not so hot as to cause heat stroke)
The great thing about being out of shape is that exercise does not take very long at all. Even with my breather, my jogging adventure took all of 8 minutes. As I get better, it will take a little longer, but I suspect that I can get up 30 minutes earlier to get a bit of exercise.
Make a Blog Post at Least Three Times a Week
I enjoy writing, and I have heard unsubstantiated rumors that some people like reading this. I have not written much lately, not because I have had nothing to say, but because I have not believe that I had the time. Again, I suspect that this post will take all of 20 minutes. Obviously, I can find 60 minutes per week to write.
Listen to More Sales, Leadership and Inspirational CDs
My new car has a CD player, and since I got it, I have been listening to various CDs which I will link to at the bottom of this post. My closing ratio has nearly doubled since I have started doing this. Speakers like Zig Ziglar remind me of the attitude I should be carrying in my work which I occasionally forget.
Get Back on the Video Blog
I stopped my video blog for two simple reasons. My rechargeable batteries stopped holding a charge and I never got around to getting new batteries. I suspect I can surmount that mighty challenge and return to video blogging. The other issue was that I started trying to do things that required more editing, and by more I mean any editing. I got too busy to actually edit them together, so I never uploaded them and didn't record one for the next day because I had one pending. When one is busy enough, it's all to easy to be stymied by stupid things.
There we go. Four simple things for Q3.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
What is Exciting?
This trip to Pittsfield will be intense. There are hundreds of people to see and only 5 agents, so we will be working long and hard to see as many people as we can. Some people would look at this and just see a whole lot of miserable, hard work. I think about it and feel like I'm preparing to perform on Broadway.
You see, I don't really get excited about babies. (I pretend to so as to seem more normal, but they don't do much for me.) I enjoy sports sometimes, but I don't get too excited about that either.
What does excite me is the chance for something awesome. When I saw "awesome", I mean it in the traditional sense: causing of awe. This group of people we have seen this week may well be awesome. This weekend, cramming about a week's worth of appointments into three days will be awesome. We will be focused like we've never been focused before. There are no groceries to shop for; no bills to pay; no friends to call back. We will have one mission and one mission only: three solid days of excellence serving our members.
Three days of excellence. That is exciting.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
America was once the land of opportunity, and it still is, but the current generation has been led to believe that opportunity is no longer available for common people. Either you get lucky and strike it rich or you will be doomed to struggle your entire life. The third option, the path which most successful people have taken to get to success, that of working hard and working smart to get where they want to go, is seen as a non-starter for most people.
This concept is, of course, extremely relevant to my current line of work. American Income is one of those opportunities that, for the right person, will allow them to climb from wherever they are to wherever they want to be. It's not easy. It's not for everyone, and it doesn't hand you success on a silver platter, but it does provide the opportunity.
The problem for me is that most people I meet do not see themselves as people who will ever be successful. If I tell them that they could be making $100,000 per year within two years, they will assume that either the position is not one that they can succeed at or that it is some kind of scam. They would rather work an hourly position for $9.25/hour for the rest of their lives than take a commission position where they can earn what they are worth. This makes sense if they think they are only worth $9.25. Thus, we are in the peculiar position of having to undersell the opportunity to make it sound more believable.
The tragedy is that parents are teaching their children to settle. I don't know if they are trying to protect them from disappointment or simply justify their own failure, but they are hobbling their children by teaching them that they are what they are born as and should never expect anything more, and, worst of all, that anyone who tries to show them better is clearly trying to take advantage of them.
America is more the land of opportunity than it has ever been, if only you are willing to step up and seize that opportunity.