During a slow month, I’ve sat at my desk and wondered: “How can I meet my monthly bills?” I’ve looked over my appointment book many times, gone through recent contacts and made follow-up calls and emails, and scheduled more networking lunches. Especially in the summers and in the holiday seasons, I have felt frustrated with the business cycle and struggled to maintain a positive outlook. It’s easy for me to look beyond myself and understand that this phenomenon affects many sales professionals. In this post, I want to suggest what annuity sellers like you can do about it.
You are a small business owner if you maintain an agency and sell life insurance and annuities or work as an independent contractor. You could be one of the lucky ones with less overhead because you work from home. It depends on your workplace setup how much you must earn each month to cover your overhead. However, as a salesperson, you need a strategy for staying motivated during slow periods. I’ve published on here before what you can do to drum up sales. Let’s consider what you can do for yourself. You need a holistic approach that focuses on mindfulness. Here are three strategies to try, and you can use them in any order and as little or as much as you want.
- Use your laptop or smartphone to create a daily agenda. It should include everything that is important for you to achieve in a day. For example, your list might include ongoing tasks such as calling new leads, preparing letters to thank clients for their recent appointments, and updating your Facebook page. You might also have one-time entries on the list, such as going to the office supply store and buying flowers for your secretary’s birthday. When you use a daily agenda and accomplish tasks, you see how effective you are on any work day. Add entries during the day or move them to a future date.
- Download a mindfulness app such as Aware, Calm, Headspace, Stop Breathe & Think, or Meditate. This app will be with you on your mobile device and accessible at any time of the day or the night. This is something you want to keep handy (whereas you might want to leave your daily agenda only on your workplace desktop, laptop, or tablet). This type of app helps you calm down and focus your mind at work or during another activity. If there is a task or a set of tasks making you feel overwhelmed, take 3 to 5 minutes to breathe and meditate and set the purpose to accomplish them. (Recently, I sat in Starbucks writing this post and felt stressed when 30 people walked in the door. The sudden surge in foot traffic made the dining room feel crowded, but I had to finish my post.
- On my iPhone, I switched over from Pandora to my Calm app and started deep breathing. It goes something like this: “Breathe In, Hold, Breathe Out.” After a couple minutes, I felt calmer and returned to writing. See the results for yourself!
- Go on an Internet news site and read about what consumers are thinking this week. The truth is that our industry serves consumers who feel less inclined to purchase an annuity when anxious about the economy. Today, I read Ashlea Ebeling’s piece on Forbes.com and found an interesting perspective on why consumers might try a qualified longevity annuity contract (QALC). I decided that this could be a link to send to new customers or post on social media.
There are numerous ways to spend time during the workday and to help yourself maintain a positive outlook. This is a must if you will continue to earn a living through annuity sales. I will add another post in the near future on the mindfulness research, especially how it increases sales.