You got to hand it to the Dubs. They trade in real wit. Sharp wit. Life changing sort of wit.
Think Brendan Grace or Brendan O’Carroll or Brendan Gleeson, or even Brendan Behan, to a more seasoned cohort.
Reilly can recall it as though it was yesterday.
January 7th 2014 was the first Tuesday of the new year and the temperatures and icy conditions outside were Baltic.
They were almost as frosty in the room where he was delivering a session on ‘Your Best Year Yet’ to a group of Life Insurance salespeople.
‘How in the name of J- – – – – could you expect us to have our best year yet!’ boomed a man with an accent that would have been pitch perfect for the Joe Duffy show. He was even called Joe.
‘What do you mean Joe? asked Reilly, playing for time.
‘I mean, look at the recession. People have no money to buy insurance. Look at the government. They have no interest in us. And look at the weather. You couldn’t let a dog out in that cold never mind attempting to see a client.
‘How would you expect us to have our best year yet in these Third World conditions?
Reilly had learned one absolute from thirty years trucking with groups. The group always have the answer to any question raised. You just have to give it a bit of space.
He let the silence reign for the most uncomfortable time confident that nature abhors a vacuum and someone will always seek to fill it.
The reply came from big Sean Byrne, legendary Dublin football man, and Area Manager of Acorn Life in Dublin. In a reasonable and understated tone he says.
‘Joe, in order for you to have your best year yet in 2014, you’d have to first put yourself in danger of getting business.’
As Frank Carson might have said ‘it’s not what he tells it’s the way that he tells ‘em.’
Either way but the atmosphere in that room transformed from utter gloom to uncontrollable laughter. Reilly couldn’t get them to stop and he wouldn’t dare. Laughter is the single most effective method of getting people engaged and connected.
Even Joe Duffy couldn’t conceal the twitch of a smile on the corner of one of his lips. That’s the thing about the Dubs. They can dish it out but also can take it in equal measure.
Reilly moved quickly to save his face. Building on Sean’s theme he probed.
‘Joe, what would you have to do put yourself in danger of getting business in 2014?
Eager to regain some lost reputational ground Joe was quick on the draw.
‘I’d first have to change my attitude?
‘What do you mean? says Reilly encouragingly.
‘I’d have to stop focusing on doom and gloom and focus instead on success and abundance and genuinely helping people.’
‘How would you do that Joe?
‘Well, over Christmas I was hanging around a lot with people who were down in the dumps. They were complaining about the economy and the government the weather. I need to get some distance from them and start getting around people who are positive and upbeat and have a can-do attitude.’
‘What else could you do Joe?
‘I’d have to think more like Frank Bettger.’
‘Who was Frank Bettger?
‘Bettger was probably the most prolific Insurance salesperson of all time. The interesting thing was that he was an utter failure to begin with. That was until he got the formula.’
‘The formula for success in sales and life. A wise and helpful mentor once told Bettger that the formula for success was as simple as ‘seeing the people.’ The extended version of that formula is also contained within one line. ‘Show me any person of ordinary ability who will enthusiastically tell their story to four or five people a day and I’ll show you a successful person.’
‘When you think about it, although there’s only one sentence in that formula there are five components to it.’
‘Firstly, you don’t have to be a genius or even extraordinary to lead the field. All you ever need is ordinary ability and as a result of this session I believe I have that again.’
‘Good man Joe,’ cheered the room.
‘Secondly I could rewrite two stories. The first is the story that I’ve been telling myself all Christmas. A story of lack and scarcity and suffering.
‘The other is the story I’ve been telling my prospective clients. I’ve actually got so many great stories where our products have really helped make a massive difference in peoples lives. I just need to dust those off and begin telling them again with enthusiasm.
‘I once heard that the word ‘enthusiasm’ derives from the Greek word ‘entheos’ which means ‘to give hope.’ Our products actually do give our clients hope. I need to begin shouting that out again from the rooftops.’
‘How would you increase your enthusiasm Joe?
‘I once heard Kevin Heffernan, the former Dublin football manager, say that ‘in order to be enthusiastic you first must act enthusiastic.’ What he was saying was that even many of the greatest footballers would feel tired and lethargic before an important match. What they all possessed however, was the mindset to act enthusiastic even when they didn’t feel like it. It’s a case of faking it and the feeling follows.,
Joe was in the flow and there was no stopping him now.
‘And the final thing I’d need to do is simply see the people and do this daily. At the end of the day you’d put yourself in awful danger of getting business if you were to do that everyday.’
Reilly winked at Sean Byrne.
10 WAYS TO PUT YOURSELF IN DANGER OF GETTING BUSINESS IN 2023.
- Get around a tough crowd. There the expectation to perform is higher.
- Cut loose from BMWs – Blamers, Moaners and Whingers.
- Get around people who make you laugh. It’s the single quickest way to change your attitude.
- Edit the dominant stories you’ve been telling to yourself. They’re the most important stories you’ll ever tell.
- Edit the stories you’re telling to your clients. These are your products and what benefits they’ll bring to your clients.
- Double your levels of enthusiasm even if you know you’re faking it.
- Start seeing people. In person, on line, in print and on video.
- Do this daily.
- Create a plan to guide you.
- Get an accountability buddy to encourage you on the difficult days and praise you on the victorious days.
‘You are the average of the five people you are surrounded by the most.’
- How will you put yourself in danger of getting business in 2023?
- Have you got a plan for it?
- Have you somebody to hold you accountable for achieving it?
You could do worse than join Reilly and a small group of businesspeople who are coming together to plan how they will put themselves in danger of getting great business in 2023. Expect to learn how to map out your strategic plan on just one page.
As Jim Horan, the iconic American businessman once said, ‘one-page plans causes very busy people to stop and think. As they start to write, it confirms both their clarity and their confusion.
Imagine starting 2023 from a place of clarity!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.