The Million Dollar Round Table has set a new record: More than 8,000 members from around the world made their way to Toronto, Canada, last week to attend the association's Annual Meeting. There, the members networked with their peers and colleagues, discovered cutting-edge strategies designed to help propel their practices to new heights of success, and gained the inspiration they need to forge ahead.
During the Main Platform sessions, they were inspired to be brilliant and reach for the stars by Simon Bailey, founder and CEO of the Brilliance Institute, which innovates and inspires organizational transformation of the world's largest corporations.
Bailey told the audience that brilliance is released when "you are celebrated rather than just tolerated." What makes people come alive, he added, is when they love what they are doing, connect with the people they meet, and learn how to create the WOW factor. All of the attendees in the room, he said, are the "wow" the world has been waiting for.
But as agents and advisors providing financial products and services to their clients, they must learn to deal with something they confront every day--rejection. For his part, he said, when he was trying to sell his book, he received no fewer than 13 rejections before he was able to find some level of success. "I had to persevere," he said.
As agents, they also have to learn how to release their brilliance. The main secret to releasing brilliance, he said, is hidden in the way people conduct their daily routines. He encouraged the attendees to get up 15 minutes early every day, and to always remember that how they start their day determines what the rest of the day would be. They should then meditate, read something that inspires them, and then "stretch to try to align themselves with the day."
They should also let the people they come in contact with know that they care about them. He recounted the story of how he had always wanted to hear his father express his love for him. His wish was eventually granted—his dad told him that he loved him on his death bed, and he was genuinely touched.
As financial professionals, he said, "you have to let folks know that you care. Go and be brilliant this week. You can do it," he said
A life without insurance
Another Main Platform speaker was Melina Ahmadpour, a 24-year-old college student who touched the hearts and minds of the attendees as she shared her Life Lessons story.
Ahmadpour and her family had a nice life until her mother, who had no life insurance, was diagnosed with cancer and was told she would die in a year. Life changed in an instant for all of them, she said. The family lost everything--including the mother's disability income insurance and their home.
Her mother had no life insurance, she said, because no one had talked to her about it. Ahmadpour had to drop out of school because she could not afford the tuition and struggled with just making ends meet from one day to the next. "My fridge was empty, and I was constantly trying to put a roof over my head," she said.
Things remained bleak, and she was leading a pretty desperate life until she won a $7,500 scholarship from Life Happens. After that, her life changed remarkably and for the better, and she is now on an "amazing journey." She is doing an internship at New York Life and wants to become an agent, and hopefully, an MDRT member, sometime in the future.
"You are the best of the best," she told the audience. Many people do not have life insurance because they have not been told of its unique value. "So, when you hear no from your prospects," she said," remember me, and keep on persevering."
The power of pictures
When agents hear no from their prospects and clients, they can also turn to the power of pictures, according to Anthony Matthews Jones, another speaker at the meeting. Jones, with AMJ Financial, is a trained singer and actor, who kept the audience spellbound as he mixed his oral presentation with his artistic talent.
The greatest asset an agent possesses, Jones said, is his ability to show his prospects and clients that they have a problem that the agent can solve, he said. But one of the most difficult aspects of the profession is the ability of the agent to help the prospect see the problem for himself.
One way to do this is to paint pictures that will enable the prospect to see the problem for himself and come to the conclusion the agent wants him to come to. "They will then ask us for solutions to these problems by themselves," he said. Once the agent has managed to get the prospect to this point, providing and effecting solutions for the prospect then become easier.
Prospects will often forget the words agents use, but they will rarely forget pictures, which help them understand products, concepts and ideas. At the end of the day, Jones said, the use of pictures makes the prospects' financial lives real and complements the words that are used.
By Ayo Mseka