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Stop Stopping!

I often talk with clients and in workshops about the “success formula” Napoleon Hill shares in his 1935 classic, Think and Grow Rich: (1) Set a clear goal. What do you want to accomplish? (2) Develop a detailed plan to reach that goal. Define exactly what actions you will need to take (3) Take immediate (and, as Tony

Defining Success: 3 Steps To A Happier Life

In a world with so many coulds, woulds, shoulds and wants, how do you know how to select what’s best for you—what will make you successful? Is it being way rich, way famous, way beautiful or way powerful? Or is something that comes from the inside? Here’s how you tell: First, complete this sentence: “I know how successful I am by how _________(fill

Be the Best Version of You… Not a Copy of Another Advisor

If you follow America’s Got Talent, you may remember the audition of Hunter Price. Simon Cowell stops the young singer 31 seconds into his song, telling him a hard truth, “Hunter, I think what you were doing was very generic…” Then he compliments him and challenges him with a question, “I think you have a

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A Lesson From Tom Brady About the Winning Mindset

Maybe you’re tired by now of hearing the name Tom Brady. But bear with me here one more time…  Years ago, rapper and millionaire entrepreneur Jesse Itzler, bought a race horse with a bunch of friends, including Tom Brady. They named the horse “Guts”.  Itzler tells about the horse, this way: The horse came in 2nd


When I was working in the field training advisors, I was struck by how often they would arrange a conversation with a prospective client only to end up at a home with a dark porch or with an office no show, or that dreaded last minute cancelation.   Branch managers would actually tell new advisors not

Awareness is Part of the Cure

By now, you’ve been working on implementing that plan to make 2021 a great year.  But inevitably, while you’re trying to accelerate your business growth, there will be times when you’re overcome by any or all of these feelings and emotions: Anxiety Fear of the future Overwhelm Feeling that you’re “not enough” Feeling that you’ve

10 Thoughts about your business for 2021

I want to share 10 random thoughts about your business that may help you as the new year rolls in on us: 1. If you make ‘security’ or ‘certainty’ your goal you’ll be a failure.  Security and certain are the lowest forms of happiness. 2. A major reason advisors are not successful is that they

The Path

The ideas here and, admittedly, a lot of the language, have been borrowed from my friend, colleague, and sometimes mentor, author Steve Chandler. But they’re completely in line with what I coach advisors on every day: A lot of advisors have “shiny object” syndrome. They’re continuously pulled away from the prosperous business they want to

Stop Struggling! Attract what you want instead

If you are struggling with something—STOP! Hard work is often necessary if you want to succeed at something. But struggling usually isn’t, and doesn’t generally get you what you want any faster. Stop struggling and try instead to focus on the belief that you can have it. You have to be willing to allow yourself to have it.

Focus on What You Have and Give Thanks

Almost 30 years ago, my Thanksgiving dinner was only homebaked bread – not because I loved bread, but because I couldn’t digest anything else. I had lived through a horrific automobile accident, a diagnosis of colon cancer and the news that it had started to spread, two major abdominal surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and

Bring the Four Swordsmen of Client Service With You

Part II of Lessons From the Master: Building Trust I received a lot of positive feedback from last month’s discourse between the Young Professional and the blind Master. One subscriber, however, asked about the statement the Young Professional just tosses out about knowing how to build Trust with his Clients. “You’ve told us about being

The Right Business Entity for Insurance and Financial Teams

The COVID-19 crisis has shown us that you can’t really account for what might happen in the future. This has put financial planning and insurance at the forefront of everyone’s mind, with CNBC reporting that many Americans are now racing to buy life insurance. In the meantime, and partly in response to this increased demand,

Be Impressed, Grasshopper – Not Impressive

“Master,” the Young Professional addressed his mentor, “You have told us that in order to hire us, a client must Like us and Trust us.” “That is correct, Grasshopper,” the Master replied. “I understand how I can earn a client’s Trust,” continued the Young Professional, “But how do I get him to Like me in the short

Are you an Owner – or a Victim?

My friend and colleague, author Steve Chandler, divides leaders and business owners into two groups, the OWNERS who take charge of their businesses and their lives, (or as I refer to them in my book, The High Diving Board, the “Action Heroes,”) and the VICTIMS, the ones who want to blame what’s happening ‘out there’ for

SERVE…and Grow Rich

A few years ago, my friend and colleague, coach and author Steve Chandler, recently wrote this: “Most people try to move toward wealth in embarrassing, clumsy ways.  They have cynicism programmed into them from an early age.  So they want a course called Manipulate and Grow Rich, or Network and Grow Rich or Win People Over and Grow Rich.”  “They see companies like

“Quality” Problems and “Inversion Thinking”

When you’re successful, you don’t have fewer challenges, you have higher level challenges—Quality Problems. Quality Problems are the kind that if you try to tell most people about them, they would reply, “I wish I had your problems…” Examples might be: The Olympic athlete who wants to go from silver to gold; the performer who has the

Change Your Focus from Internal to External

For most advisors, marketing, or “prospecting,” is a challenge. They try everything: Cold calling, cold “drop bys”, calling from purchased (or provided) lists, calling their “warm market,” seminars, webinars, networking, Facebook advertising, LinkedIn connecting strategies, mailings, advertising in publications—even billboards. Any of these can work, at least to some degree. But if none of them

What You’ll Be Remembered For

It’s unlikely that you’ll be remembered for things you tried but gave up on.  What you will be remembered for will be the things you REFUSED to give up on. The problem I see with many advisors is that they give up too easily: They give up on deeply serving their clients. They give up

Identify Your Personal Roadblocks

You’re a talented, knowledgeable—even successful–advisor. But your business isn’t where you want it to be because you’re getting in your own way. Which of these personal roadblocks applies to you? You’re a Perfectionist – you hold back from taking action until things are 100% perfect. So, you never get to achieve at the level highest

Sandy Interviews Top of the Table veteran Kelly Smith

Kelly Smith has been a Top of the Table Advisor for 14 years.  He qualified for MDRT at the very beginning of his career. Kelly tells us about the importance of connections made throughout life, of continuously building your technical knowledge, and of being willing to grab onto new opportunities when they present themselves. You can

Happy Independence Day weekend!

Wishing you a Happy Independence Day weekend! While I’m pleased how many different countries my followers are from, as you might suspect, the great majority are Americans. Some are Republicans, some are Democrats. Some are liberals, some are conservatives. Some are male, female, white, black, straight, gay, elderly or  young. Some are of European, Hispanic,


In most of my conversations with advisors, there’s a point when they freely admit that what’s holding them back is…them. This is always true. All success comes from the inside. Most of the time, they believe that challenges like procrastination, perfectionism and endless distractions are the culprits. But these are symptoms of the real challenge, not

I don’t want to be silent…

I’m straying from my usual sharing of business tips and ideas today to write about something much bigger and more important. The last few months have tested us all, bringing out the best and worst in us. The best include doctors, nurses, and hospital staff who have become heroes, along with the providers of essential

Growing Your Business Virtually

  Some of my clients are busier than ever. Others are having difficulty adapting to the virtual world. If you fall into the second category, I have put together a program that will help.  Here’s what you can learn: Ways of communicating with your existing clients that go beyond what you’ve been doing and result

Focus Your Resources on an Ideal Client

According to Canadian management consultant, Grant Hicks, “75% of advisors have never defined their ideal clients.” In a recently published article, Hicks goes on to say that the advisors who do focus on their ideal clients grow their practice by 17% or more annually. Your business should be running on systems and processes that work

Make Time For You

While some advisors are telling me that they have time on their hands that they did not have before March of this year, many are telling me just the opposite–that they’re busier than ever.  Now that so many of us are working from home, it’s even more important to take time for yourself! I recently

Growing Your Practice in This Troubled Time

We’re all faced with the terror brought on by the coronavirus and the inability to meet with clients and prospects in person, coupled with the fears of a significant recession. These challenges certainly make it difficult to retain clients, and the idea of bringing new clients may seem like climbing Mt. Everest.   But, ironically,

16 Disciplines of Top Advisors

If you missed any part of Friday’s webinar or just want to see it again, here’s the replay.  You don’t have to figure out how to survive and thrive virtually on your own. Let’s talk through some of the steps you can take that will help you get there. Use my online calendar to schedule a discussion.

Let Me Think About It

After a recent webinar, Ben, an advisor who has been in the business for more than 20 years, asked me, “What do you do when you hear those dreaded words—“Let me think about it…” “What do you do now when someone says that to you?” I asked him. “My usual response,” he replied, “is something like, ‘Sure,

Actions to Take in the Time of COVID-19

“It’s the disaster everyone has been predicting for years,” Bob, an advisor in Ann Arbor, Michigan, told me during our online coaching session.  “My income is going to be down and who knows how many clients I’m going to lose,” he continued. In California, Rick, one of my clients who has been advising against investing

Knowledge is NOT Power

I recently worked with Ron, an advisor in Cleveland. Ron is one of the most knowledgeable advisors I know. He has every designation you can think of. He studies tax law so that he can advise his clients of the tax consequences of everything he recommends. He reads insurance policies and annuity contracts cover-to-cover, and

Get Them to Tell Stories About You

A while ago, I dropped into a well-known department store to buy a blue shirt. There was a good selection in my size and they were more or less in order on the shelves and in the bins. I found a shirt in my size. The sales assistant was friendly and professional. She told me

Work Ethic

The death of Kobe Bryant at 41 in that helicopter crash was a tragedy. He was someone to be admired in so many ways and from whom advisors can learn a lot. Just hours before Bryant’s death, LeBron James had remarked to a reporter that he, LeBron, had been inspired by Bryant’s work ethic throughout

Too Bad, Now You’re A Client!

This past week I was reminded of an old joke about a man who dies and goes to Heaven. Finding it a little dull, he asks if he might be allowed to explore the “Other Place,” and is allowed to go down for a visit. Upon his arrival, the Devil shows him a beautiful cavern

Give Them What They Want Most.

One of the biggest misconceptions about an advisor’s success is the idea that his or her services, planning and advice are what clients want most. They’re not. Clearly, your services, advice, and recommendations are important. But there’s something more important. And it’s not the results of your recommendations or the benefits you offer. It’s not the

Wishing you all the wonders of the season…

Thank you for being part of my online “family.” Use this Holiday time to rest and enjoy YOUR family, so that you’re refreshed for the year ahead. I’ll keep trying to help in any way I can.

What’s “Up” Doc?

“How do I get referred “up”? is a question I’m often asked . The answer is almost always a question from me, “What’s ‘up’”? The people who could arrange introductions for you don’t know what you want. A client with very little in the way of assets or insurance need believes that your primary work

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our family has a tradition at Thanksgiving dinner, answering the question around the table about what we’re each grateful for. For most of the adults, the response is about being together as a family. For the kids, it can often be about the food—especially the desserts. I am grateful for a loving family and friends. 

Sandy Interviews Top Of The Table Producer, Todd Veillon

Getting to the Top of the Table from Ville Platte, Louisiana, ranked the poorest town in his state, 7-time Top of the Table veteran, Todd Veillon built a family business on his passion for helping people. Todd tells us that if you’re hesitant about going to friends and family, you don’t believe in what you’re


A SIEGFRIED AND ROY BUSINESS OR A BLUE MAN GROUP BUSINESS? Siegfried and Roy were extraordinarily talented animal trainers and performers. Their wild animal act at The Mirage hotel was, arguably, the biggest show in Vegas right up until Roy Horn was attacked by their tiger, Mantecore, ending their show. They had to take a fire

Sandy Interviews Top Of The Table Veteran, Bhupinder Anand

London advisor, Bhupinder Anand, has been a Top of the Table member for 19 years. He is a top advisor in the UK, a world-renowned speaker, and advisor trainer.  Five years into his career, after learning and applying ideas he received from other MDRT members, he began his rise to Court of the Table and

Small Talk, BIG SALES: Lessons From A Master Producer

Last week marked the passing, at age 97, of Mehdi Fakharzadeh. Mehdi was one of the most successful insurance sales agents in history.  In his 90s, he was still taking on and servicing clients.  He achieved his success despite starting out with a severely limited grasp of the English language and American customs.  He made it to the

Are You Choosing to Be Unhappy?

Jerry owns an agency in the Midwest serving clients in three large closely-situated suburban towns.  Jerry loves the money his business generates when it’s working, but he hates everything about how it operates.  He tells anyone who will listen about his incompetent staff, lazy agents, useless IMO and rude clients, instead of taking the necessary required

Sandy interviews Top of the Table Qualifier Bob Greulich

Bob Greulich started his work career at age 14 and chose insurance as a career before age 20 when he found out what his company’s insurance agent’s life was like. Early in his career, he was fascinated by retirement plans, and that led him to a lifetime career as a top retirement plan advisor. “Find

Sandy interviews Top of the Table Qualifier Jim Silbernagel

Jim Silbernagel built an abundant practice in a City of only 4000 people. Jim talks about his Real Wealth program and Real Wealth Marketing, why it’s important to specialize but also to align yourself with other specialists and other tips to help you get to the Top. You can find the YouTube recording of our

Sandy interviews Top Producer, Tom Love

 “In 2013, three things happened that changed the course of my business,” says top producer, Tom Love. “My son introduced me to Simon Sinek’s 18-minute video…I hired a business coach… and I read the book, “The Challenger Sale.” “For me, that was the perfect Trifecta,” Tom continues, “My income has almost quadrupled since 2013.” In this interview, Tom

What Stories Are They Telling About You?

If you want more clients, get your clients to tell stories about their “magical” experience working with you. You don’t have to bring them 25% returns or save them from the devastation of a recession, but you do have to provide an experience that shows you care deeply about them and their situation. When your

Why They’re Not Calling You

Before anyone will call you about your services, they have to know that you’re there. My friend Connor used to tell a story about a tree limb that fell on his lawn. His wife, Judy, concerned that the neighborhood children could get hurt playing on it asked him to call someone to cut it up

What’s your ONE Thing?

In his best-selling book, The ONE Thing, Gary Keller asks: “What’s the ONE thing you can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” This question creates a great tool for advisors who find themselves doing too many things and easily distracted.      Every day I work with advisors


“If you want to be successful, get more knowledge.” This was the advice from Top of the Table member Douglas Eze, at the conclusion of my interview with him a few weeks ago. Eze emigrated from Nigeria to Canada after finishing high school at age 18. At 23, he moved to the U.S. At 24,


Happy 4th of July! This is the day that we in the United States celebrate the declaration of our independence from the rule of King George of Great Britain. And while we celebrate with flags and parades and fireworks today, tomorrow or next week we go back to our lives and find ourselves less than


Before his death in 2015, the famous publicist, Forrest Wallace (“Wally”) Cato interviewed me for an article he was writing that included an interview with Tom Hopkins and quotes from the Zig Ziglar, who had passed away a few years earlier. The following are excerpts from Cato’s interview: Wally: What do clients expect from a

Got “Analysis Paralysis”? One small step could end it.

You know you need to pick up the telephone and call people, or businesses, that might need your services, but the thought of doing it makes you feel too “uncomfortable” (read as “afraid”). You’re afraid–of being rejected and of appearing awkward and foolish. These are just two of the “Seven Paralyzing Fears” I discuss in

Watch Bill Bishop’s Interview

Fear of success…limiting beliefs…a negative view of your world… Are these the real reasons you’re not making it to the Top? Watch Bill Bishop’s interview of me on the Entrepreneur Resource Network where we discuss these internal challenges. Keep REACHING…

I Hope You Dance!

If you’ve had some success but you’re still not where you want to be, your situation might be caused by one of these three roadblocks: 1. You don’t want it badly enough.  To achieve anything of great significance, you need to possess a burning desire to make it happen.  Now and then, a client will consult me

Getting to the TOP

If you’ve qualified for membership in the Million Dollar Round Table and want to get to Court or Top of the Table, there are really only two ways to make that happen: 1. Significantly increase your number of sales 2. Significantly increase the size of your sales Either of these paths alone could get you

You Don’t Need More Information. You Need to ACT.

Troy, a financial advisor in Ohio, claimed to be making constant prospecting calls, but he barely earned $50,000 last year. “I’ve taken several sales training courses and am always reading sales books,” Troy told me during our initial coaching conversation. “I’m not sure why none of it is working for me,” he concluded. When I questioned

Getting New Clients is a Simple 3-Step Process

If contacting the people you already know to talk to them about their financial or insurance situation is uncomfortable, watch Sandy’s latest Vlog video. keep REACHING…

Focus On Where You Want To Go–Not The Wall! [from BECOME A CLIENT MAGNET]

If you’re racing toward a curve and you focus on the wall you don’t want to hit–you’ll probably hit it. Race car drivers like Scott Dixon and Jimmie Johnson know that whether it’s a wall or a wreck in front of you, your focus needs to be on where you want to go, not the

Gold Medals? Or Alligators?(from BECOME A CLIENT MAGNET)

In the Great Swamp Race, two runners led the pack. Fred was running this grueling race through twisted vines, muck and mire in the alligator-infested swamp, motivated by his desire to win the gold medal by crossing the finish line first. Ted, on the other hand, might have started out with the same intention, but

How to Lose Your Clients: 7 Sure Strategies

Today I want to give you some pointers on how to lose clients.  If you want to lose clients, employing these strategies will ensure that you do:   1. Avoid regular communication. Make sure that you never update clients about the status of their case. Don’t proactively report to them on a regular basis, whether


 “I don’t want to cold call,” Robert, a financial advisor in Michigan who I had been working with, began.  “But I don’t know how to fill my time.” We were discussing Robert’s second career, for which he had proclaimed his passion, but for which he just hadn’t been finding enough clients. “Let’s start with the people

Failing on Purpose?

Throughout my years as a coach, I’ve noticed a sad but interesting phenomenon: People often choose failure over success—on purpose. A few years ago, I asked a group of coaches who were attending the event at which I was speaking how many of them were there because they needed more clients. All 47 of the

Which Pony Would YOU Buy?

The story below is from an article by Jay Abraham. I’m passing it on to you this week because it’s a great illustration of a concept every professional and business owner should understand. ___ A farmer wanted to buy a pony for his little daughter.  There were two for sale in his town.  Both ponies were

You Lost Me At “Hello”

I was calling an advisor client of mine, Bill Peterson. The story is true but the name here is fictitious. The phone rang seven times, so I was expecting voice mail. Instead, I was greeted by an unhappy, bored, stressed female voice. “Mr. Peterson’s Office,” the voice grumbled crankily. “May I speak with him?” I


I’ve worked with CEOs who bemoan the fact that they are “forced” to work 60+ hour work weeks. Unless you WANT to spend that much of your time working, and to forsake having any kind of family or personal life, you shouldn’t be doing it. “But there just IS that much to do!” my client

It’s Time for an Attitude of Gratitude

I have a wonderful, supportive wife and an amazing family. I made it through 42 radiation treatments this year to beat cancer for the third time. I had the opportunity over the past year to work with a team of financial advisors spanning from Pennsylvania to South Carolina while continuing my work with my regular


In 2005, Steve Jobs gave the commencement address to the Stanford graduating class of approximately 5,000 students. “I never graduated college,” he began, and then held his audience’s attention as he told three stories. The first story was about “connecting the dots”.  Jobs told them that even though he dropped out, he continued to attend

SUCCESS: It’s about who you’re BEING

Success, however you define it, may not be easy to attain, but what you need to do to be successful is simple. You’re the boss.  The buck stops with you. If you want your organization to be successful, you have to get it from where it is at “A” to where you want to go–“B”. 

Who’s in charge of your business today?

I talk with CEOs almost every day who appear to have two people residing in their bodies:  The Fearless Leader and the Fearful Manager.  When the Fearless Leader is in charge, she has a clear vision of the company’s future and plans to get it there. She knows she will need to invest time, energy, human resources and money to

Be First, Be Daring, Be Different

Some time ago, I opened up a fortune cookie at the conclusion of a Chinese dinner and read this: “To Be Successful in Business Be First, Be Daring, Be Different.” I dropped the fortune into my nearly empty tea cup. But then it struck me that this little slip of paper extolled the exact advice

What’s your WHY?

“People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” ~ Simon Sinek Leaders who have worked with me know that I believe that business owners and professionals need to be crystal clear about their answers to three questions: Who do you work with? (Who are your customers/clients?) What do you give them that

I disappeared quietly…

I’ve been inspired to write this today by my daughter, Madeline. I just posted it to Facebook. While there are people who don’t want to know about all your trials and tribulations, Madeline told me, there are also people who would feel badly if you excluded them from the important things in your life—good or

Leading vs. Managing

  Image credit: Pixabay Leading and managing have become so synonymous with each other in our language that an employee might refer to his boss as either. But the two terms are not interchangeable. RetailerNow offers succinct definitions for leaders and managers: leading serves as the heart, they propose, while managing acts as the brains.

What’s your compelling message?

This month, I began working with the advisors at a national financial institution under an exclusive agreement which limits my ability to take on new financial advisor clients.  I will be finishing up my work with current advisor clients and will not be taking on new advisors. I will continue to work with CEOs and professionals in

Ask for What You Need.

Let’s talk movies.  My father loved the “lone hero” characters played by Gary Cooper, who faced off with all of the bad guys virtually solo in the 1952 movie High Noon. To my dad, Cooper represented the idea that action heroes had to find their way by themselves.  Dad believed that strong, successful people don’t

It May Seem Contrary, but…

It may seem contrary to Sandy’s best advice, but “Challengers” actually get higher marks than “Relationship Builders” when it comes to making sales. Sandy explains why, and how being a Challenger when it comes to making recommendations is actually the best way to serve your clients.


I often talk with clients and in workshops about the “success formula” Napoleon Hill shares in his 1935 classic, Think and Grow Rich: (1) Set a clear goal. What do you want to accomplish? (2) Develop a detailed plan to reach that goal. Define exactly what actions you will need to take (3) Take immediate


“I found a new way to talk with clients about referring me,” Ryan, a financial advisor, once told me excitedly on the phone.  “I use a diagram!  I’ll show it to you.” Ryan emailed me a little while later with this: Of course, I was interested, and I called him back right away to have

You’ve Got It Backwards…

Sandy explains how “I would do it if only I had the confidence” is a backwards concept, and how to get the confidence to get things done.

VIOLA DAVIS on “Imposter Syndrome”

Do you suffer from it, too? Shortly after winning her Oscar this past Sunday, actress Viola Davis (who has also won Emmy and Tony awards) told ABC News that she sometimes feels like she has “Impostor Syndrome”. “It feels like my hard work has paid off, but at the same time, I still have the Impostor, you

Super Bowl Comeback!

Desire, belief, and willingness can get you anywhere you want to go, even in the unlikeliest fourth quarter. In light of the unprecedented comeback in Super Bowl 51, Sandy explains the three essential elements you need to succeed.

Clean Out Your Attic…Forgive Someone

Last year, I did not take my own advice, and I lost my temper with a vendor. I suggested that a price was too high and the vendor, Erica, went ballistic in her email response, saying, essentially, “How dare you question my price after working with me in the past?” My response was less than

Happy New Year! By NEXT Year…

Plans for 2017?  Resolve to *never* make an empty resolution again!  By 2018, you’ll be a finisher. If you’re a financial or insurance professional, join my complimentary Business Planning Webinar this week at https://sandyschussel.com/2017, and download the Business Planning Template I’m giving away when you register.

Resolutions DON’T WORK. Create a BUSINESS PLAN This Year!

In college, my roommate Jack announced his big New Year’s Resolution—to finally stop smoking.  He was a long distance runner and was seeing the toll his habit was taking on his performance. By mid-January, however, it was clear that his resolution was was not to stop smoking cigarettes, it was to stop buying them.  Every time he

Don’t PURSUE Clients, ATTRACT Them

Do you pursue clients, or do you attract them? While both methods of finding new business work to some degree, finding the right prospects through attraction is a lot more fun and–for professionals and entrepreneurs who provide individualized service to their clients–it’s usually more effective than finding them by pursuit. Attraction methods involve drawing prospective clients to

Exercise Your Influence Muscle!

Even clients who’ve been adamant about not giving referrals will be willing to introduce you to someone if you’re specific about who you want to meet. But how do you figure out who to ask about? In today’s PowerMinute, I explain how to do your research… _____________________________________________________________________ Register for My Webinar Today! Want to substantially increase

Boo! Serve, Surprise, and Delight

Growing a practice or a business is way easier than most professionals and service entrepreneurs make it out to be. Their problem is that they’ve been taught that they need to be frantically and furiously networking, buying and then contacting members off of “hot lists”, writing press releases and making public appearances, and bombarding social

Relationship Question: Is It the Right Time…

We’ve heard all the theories on the “right timing” of getting referrals from your clients. But there’s an easy way to tell if it’s ok to ask! First, ask about the relationship…using the core questions in this week’s PowerMinute. _____________________________________________________________________ Register for My Webinar Today! Take advantage of my 17 years of experience working with financial

Focus on Where You Want to Go–Not the Wall!

If you’re racing toward a curve and you focus on the wall you don’t want to hit–you’ll probably hit it. Race car drivers like Scott Dixon and Jimmie Johnson know that whether it’s a wall or a wreck in front of you, your focus needs to be on where you want to go, not the

We KNOW That Referrals Are Good for US, but…

You got into your business because you wanted to help people. But the people you help want to do the same! Change your mindset to give CLIENTS the opportunity to serve those they love by referring them…to you. _____________________________________________________________________ Take advantage of my 17 years of experience working with financial and insurance advisors at all

Success Is About Action…

How is your world occurring to you? Play a game where you do and say what the “best” in your profession would, rather than what you would usually do and say. Sandy explains how being that successful person (by acting as though you are) will open the door to your own personal best. Want to

Give ‘Em a Pickle!

In 1973, at the age of 46, Bob Farrell sold his 55-store ice cream business, Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlors, and became a motivational speaker. Some time before that date, he had received a letter from a customer who was very disappointed.  She had asked for an extra pickle with her meal at one of his

To Close the Sale…

If clients like and trust you, they’ll want to do business with you. But when you’re trying to close a sale, you can’t be focused on pleasing people. You have to be focused on serving them. Want more help growing your business? Reach out to Sandy and talk about it.


MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Back next Tuesday, June 21st— PowerMinutes Coffee Break is up and running! Every Tuesday morning at 10 AM Eastern I’m hosting live, 15-minute *cups of coaching*… Get answers to your questions about prospecting, sales, marketing, time management, practice management and more. Nothing is off limits! No registration required! Just grab your brew and come to https://zoom.us/j/7120346888 or join us by Phone: (646)

Don’t Let THIS Be What Holds You Back…

COMING SOON:  Sandy’s PowerMinutes Coffee Break! Starting June 14th, join Sandy live for a 15-minute *cup of coaching* every Tuesday morning at 10 AM Eastern. Get answers to your questions about prospecting, sales, marketing, time management, practice management and more. Nothing is off limits! https://zoom.us/j/7120346888. For more information email: sandywillhelp@gmail.com, or text: 609-578-7207. Throw Away

Your Need Is the Ugliest Thing

“I most certainly did not need a lecture!” Marie, an internet consultant, wrote me this week. Last week, I had asked for proposals for help with an internet project I’m working on, and Marie had been the first to respond.  Her email had specifically addressed my request and was filled with enthusiasm, and she appeared to have experience in both of the areas

Do AWAY with Feel, Felt, Found, and…

There’s a more effective way to deal with clients than to simply try and get them from how they feel straight to your proposed solution. Here, Sandy explains how to find out WHY they feel the way they feel by reframing the WAY in which you go about helping them—by knowing which questions to ask,

Success Is a Choice

Almost everyone knows that to succeed at anything, you need: A clear, specific goal A step-by-step plan to reach that goal Immediate and massive action on the steps of that plan A willingness to persist until you reach the goal. If you’ve read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich or are familiar with Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, you know that

Do We Even Know What “Selling” Is?

Advisors and other salespeople often mistake “selling” for the art of persuasion. But really, it’s about making meaningful (sometimes emotional) inquiries into your prospects’ lives, so that they can determine for themselves that you have what they need.

What Will You Earn YOUR “Oscar” Doing?

In the wake of the Academy Awards, I’ve been thinking about what got most of the people who took the stage all the way to the point of receiving that coveted prize. Yes, a little luck and some great connections were involved in them getting those noteworthy jobs in the first place.  But for each person, when

Don’t JUST Watch Your R.O.I. . . .

We all know to watch our Return on Investment–but what about our Return on Effort?  Maximize your time and earn the money you deserve through our highest-value client arrangements! If the ROIs in your business are okay, but your ROEs are out of control, set up a time to talk with me.

Stop Making “Non-Promises”

A few weeks ago, I invited Marc–an IT consultant who had worked with me for a few months last year and gotten some very good results–to lunch.  We set the date, and then Marc said: “I’ll be there…unless someone calls me with work that needs to be done that day…I mean, business comes first, right?” After I

STOP Making Resolutions, and…

Resolutions DON’T WORK, and Sandy wants you to make decisions this year that really stick.  So DON’T MISS this video—with a brand new, action-packed intro.—to kick-start your 2016!

What Are You Seeing?

When you look at your practice (here you can also insert “business”, “career”, or “life”), what are you seeing? Is there a picture of how you want it to be?  A compelling vision that drives your work and interactions with people?  Are you on a mission to bring your message or your help to more

Say Thanks, and…

What’s the best way to choose what to do when you’re stuck on something major? Let “yes, yes, hell no!” be your guide. If your Intuition and your Reason are aligned, you need to reinterpret the loud voice of your Fear: it’s actually a sign that the first two voices are powerfully on the mark.

Too Much to Do? Eliminate THIS…

This week’s article was written by my friend and colleague Elise Holtzman in her lawyer newsletter Tuesday Morning Counsel, but it will benefit anyone who thinks he or she has too much to do: “You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage– pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically–to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way

Getting in Front of Centers of Influence

Create a referral network with Centers of Influence by finding someone you can act with. An advisor and an attorney, for instance, can create an infinite feedback loop of referral relationships just by mutually agreeing to send clients to one another. Sandy explains how to “trade referrals” thoughtfully with COIs in this month’s Power Minute.

“Bad Luck”: What’s TOO Important?

Dear Sandy, How do I get past my run of bad luck and get my practice back on track? It seems that every time I get close to landing a big client, something bad happens to kill the deal: My alarm clock doesn’t work and I oversleep; I forget an important document I needed for

The Psychology of Referrals

The referral conversation became uncomfortable because the advisor was uncomfortable. “Will my client think I’m needy?” You have to know that referrals are good for your clients by remembering that it’s not about you; focus instead on your desire to help. Now’s the time to join my *REFERRAL MASTERY WEBINAR SERIES*, Six Thursdays starting October 15th at 2pm EDT.   The Early Registration price will

Are You “Recommendation Worthy”?

“I talk to my clients occasionally about introducing me to someone they know who might need my help,” expressed Art, a matrimonial attorney I work with. “But they always tell me that they can’t think of anyone.” “Maybe that’s true,” I suggested. “Do you have a value discussion before you get on the subject of recommending you?”

Fear Is the Biggest Obstacle, BUT…

Fear keeps us from asking for what we need. But more than fear, our learned response to it is what stops us in our tracks. Sandy talks about using fear, instead, to move ahead.

It’s All in the Follow-Up…

Quick Note: I’ve made a new resource available for you. This recording of my one-hour webinar, 11 Tips to Help You Stay Focused on Your Goals, will clear the path to success in your business by showing you how to minimize distractions and delegate side-tracking tasks. (There’s absolutely no charge.) So, enjoy! ********** You met

You’re NOT Missing the “How To”

What’s one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves?  You may recall you have to choose to accomplish anything in business.  But it all starts with a desire to change, and sometimes, when we’re honest with ourselves, we’re even missing that.  Sandy will help you to uncover your truth–and to tackle the problem.

Choose to Make Time for YOU

I received this letter recently from a real estate broker: Dear Sandy, Perhaps you can do an article on finding time to make appointments with yourself and your loved ones; that is, the ones who aren’t too busy? When and why did this happen?  We have more “time savers” than ever before, but there is

Make Referrals About THEM

Anita, an advisor in her mid-thirties, was terrified about talking with her clients about introducing her to friends and family members who might need her help. “What are you afraid might happen if you talk to them about introducing you to the people they care about?” I asked her. “Well, I don’t know…,” she began.

Make a Referral Mindshift

Shift your perspective around asking for referrals, and more will follow. Sandy can help you move away from your NEED–the ugly thing that gets in the way. And whatever you do, KEEP REACHING…

Start Building Your Practice with People You Already Know

If you need a plumber, would you prefer to hire someone you found in the local phone book, or someone your neighbor used for a similar problem and recommends highly? If you need surgery, would you prefer finding your surgeon through your research on surgeons.com or seeing a surgeon who performed successful surgery on a

Learn to EARN Referrals

Satisfaction is the lowest acceptable level of service to a client. You have to know you deserve referrals–and to really earn them, you have to go for the gold! Want to learn more? check out my Referral Mastery Webinar Series.

Lost A Big Client? Be an Action Hero!

“I’VE JUST LOST MY BIGGEST CLIENT!“ Edwin, a management consultant I coached many years ago, blurted out on the phone one day.  “What am I going to do now?” Edwin’s one client provided him with half of his six-figure income. The loss was, he told me, through no fault of his own and at the “worst possible

What’s the Difference?

What distinguishes a successful person from a person who is not so successful?  This week, Sandy offers his advice on how “intensely focused action” can make all the difference.

“Buyer’s Remorse”

I thought I’d share an e-mail I received recently from an attorney who attended one of my programs… Dear Sandy, I am a corporate attorney.  At a recent event for alumni of my college, I met an alumnus, George, who had started a company with a partner and was looking for an attorney to help him with several matters on

Is This the Best Thing?

Are you finding yourself spending too much time focused on unimportant distractions and wondering how you can better manage your time? This week, Sandy offers a super simple, low-tech solution to this familiar problem. Implement his suggestion, and you’ll flow through your day focused on the progress that REALLY matters.

Dare to THINK of What You’d Do

Most of us let our fears get in the way of doing what we love. Seventeen years ago, I was so afraid to let go of my law practice and pursue something I loved, that I honestly believed I simply didn’t know what I loved.  This is the reality with which many of my clients

KNOW Your Value.

“You want me to call up my previous clients, just to see how they’re doing?” my client Alicia asked me two weeks ago.  She was astonished that I would suggest something so forward. “Isn’t that unprofessional–or unethical?” she continued. “Do you care how they’re doing?” I asked her. “Well, of course I do,” came her reply. “Why, then, would

Fail into Success

Too many of us are afraid that if we try something new or different, we will fail.  But some of the most successful people failed their way to their success. Take this example from American history: In the wake of a very American holiday weekend dedicated to rewarding us all for our hard work, I am

Business is a [Big] Game

The same professionals who tell me they are “struggling” or “overwhelmed” will often talk about the great time they had playing some recreational sport. On the field, they can be intense and aggressive.  They might be elated when they win or angry when they lose, but they go home and eventually let it go.  After

LEAVE Your “Safe Neighborhood”

Everything you want is outside the circle!  This week, Sandy recalls a tip from Psychiatrist David Viscott about taking risks in order to become your best, without which you can never achieve that ultimate, elusive goal: happiness.

Practice Ferociously, and Build Your Charisma Muscle!

There’s an old joke about a young musician from the Midwest who, while roaming around mid-Manhattan, stops a local to ask, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” Without hesitation, the New Yorker replies: “Practice, practice, practice!” Early in the Beijing Olympics, the American men’s beach volleyball team, seeded second in a bracket of 24 teams, was

Give It More Steam…

If you’re just starting out in a professional or sales career, you’re probably struggling to get things going. If so, take heart.  If you’re doing the right things, it will get much easier as you continue.  You just need to get some momentum going, and momentum is always easier to perpetuate than it is to initiate.   My

Advantages Are for Anyone; BENEFITS Are Better!

One of the Internet “gurus” I follow once summed up marketing in three sentences: Here’s what I got…Here’s what it will do for you…Here’s what I want you to do next… It struck me that this simple—if grammatically incorrect—triplet is at the core of everything I coach professionals and their sales teams to do in

Learn That Two-Letter Word

Are you overwhelmed?  You might be spreading yourself too thin, and wavering from the focus on what you most want to accomplish.  Sandy explains Warren Buffett’s insight on the difference between a successful person and a REALLY successful person: the latter says “NO” to almost everything.

Happy New Year!

This is a great time to start planning for business or personal growth in 2015.  As you do, here are a few tips to help you with the process, which I’ve honed over the years: 1. Put it all in writing.  A written plan is more likely to lead you to the results you want


A few days ago, an insurance company branch manager I’m coaching, Brian, was complaining that his agents were not doing what he told them to do. “I wanted them to talk with their older clients about introducing them to their children,” he told me, “But most of them didn’t do it.” “How did you ask

Start by BEING

Clients often seek me out hoping that I can help them DO what they need to do, so that they can HAVE what they want in their lives, and then BE the person they always wanted to be. But this approach is actually in the wrong order.  If they get help to BE the person

Say “Yes” to Your Dream

“I don’t know how I got to this point,” Richard told me. Richard was in his sixteenth year as an attorney.  He was still a “Junior” Partner in his firm because he did not bring in enough business to be promoted to Senior Partner.  He was still working sixty hours a week and, although he

Two Simple Words…

Tomorrow my American friends and I celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s a day to be with family, to eat too much, and to reflect on all of those things and people in our lives for which we are grateful. In my life there are so many:  A loving family and dear friends…good health…living in relative peace and

Persistence Means Trying MORE Than Once…

Peter is a top financial advisor with annual earnings approaching seven figures.  He is a consummate professional devoted to his target market: the “average” American who wants the advice usually reserved for so-called “high net worth” clients. There is nothing about Peter that suggests “salesman“.  His look is “regular guy”.  He dresses as his target

Approaching…the “S” Word!

“Branding” is just one end of the client-funnel.  This week, terrifying as it may be, I’d like to talk about what’s at the other end…the “s” word.  You know…“sales”. Whether you’re marketing your services, trying to get a new job, or looking for a business partner, at some point, you’ll be “selling” yourself or your

A $25,000 Idea…

This tip was utilized by Charles Schwab, earning his consultant a handsome prize: If you’re having trouble with your “Time Management”, try picking the Six Most Important Things, and prioritize them. Take the first one as far as you can each day and finish it, if possible, before you dare to begin working on the

WANT To or CHOOSE To?—Revisited

“I want to have some time to think or to plan, or to just take a day off,” Ron, a regional sales manager, recently told me. “Can’t your assistant help take some of the workload off your shoulders?” I asked. “Right now,” he responded, “I don’t have an assistant.  Terri, my former assistant, left four

QUALITY, Not Quantity: Leverage Existing Relationships

“I need to learn some new prospecting strategies,” Erin, an advisor in the Midwest, was telling me.  “I’ve done okay,” she continued, “But what I’ve been doing doesn’t seem to be getting me anywhere lately.” I asked Erin about her practice.  “How many clients—households—however you measure it, do you have now?”  “About 300,” she advised.

A New Response to the Fear Factor (cont.)

The President of Liberia reminds Sandy of an important aspect of “Do It, Anyway”: chasing your dreams no matter how scary they are.  The bigger they are, the scarier they’re bound to be!

Simple Pictures Are Best

When my daughters were little, I used to love to read them a particular book.  The book is so seemingly outdated that it has only recently been revived from out-of-print status by the miracles of internet shopping (and used copies now sell for just a cent).  It’s called Simple Pictures Are Best. It’s the story of a farmer


Recently, my friend and colleague, Lynn Schaber, told a story in her own weekly e-letter that I felt inspired to share with you here: Over 20 years ago, Lynn heard a tale from speaker Danny Cox, a professional trainer—the “Sonic Boom” Salesman.  He was known for his work as an Air Force spokesperson, addressing communities

Embrace. Your. Genius.

There’s a conjecture I like that we were all born geniuses—Einsteins, Mozarts, and Picassos—and that somewhere along the way, many of us lost that heightened quality. I’m not saying that we’re all duds now, nor that we all had perfect IQs back then.  I’m referring to “genius” as that special spark or talent—in anything—that’s far beyond

A New Response to the “Fear Factor”

When we were children, and we ventured out of our safe neighborhoods, we learned, “It’s not ok, back away!” But if you’re chasing your dream, the OLD response is inappropriate. Now, when you reach up and out, you need to learn that it’s OK to be afraid.

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100th Birthday Party: Your Mission Statement

“I know I don’t want to do this anymore,” Erica, a financial advisor working for a large firm, complained to me during our first call together,“But I just don’t know what I do want to do.” “Erica,” I responded, “Imagine you’re at your 100th Birthday Party.  Gathered around you are all the people you love

Level Your Ego: BE A LOSER.

Are you one of the many financial and insurance professionals who have avoided approaching doctors, lawyers, CEOs, military generals, celebrities, and a host of other people you think are in some way above you? My coaching colleague, Amir Karkouti, offered these words last week for professionals who are suffering from this fear-based affliction: “BECOME A

Commitment FIRST

If Sandy promised you a $100,000 bonus if you were able to double your income in the coming year, what would you do differently in your business or practice?  Then, answer this: Why aren’t you doing those things NOW?  Until you decide, mull it over like a warm wine in this 10th small sip of

Expectation vs. Agreement: Make Them Promise!

I often hear managers complain about how their expectations are not being met by their teams.  I hear all kinds of professionals complain about their staff, or their clients.  They’re expecting a certain result or behavior, and they’re not getting it. The problem is in their reliance on expectations.  Management—of a team, of your staff,

The Simple Word, NOT the Story

Don’t let perceived rejection devastate you.  Play the “No” Game: let them say it, and try to get as many as you can.  Hard to swallow?  Sandy explains how “No” can help your business grow.

See It from the Other Side

Reed, an advisor in LA, was telling me about his frustrations with a doctor-lawyer couple.  He thought they were already his clients, but he had left several messages for the lawyer-husband to set up a time to meet with them, and he had not yet gotten any response. “I finally had a great conversation with

Who’s the NEXT Person You Want to _____?

Don’t run in place like the puppy on the kitchen floor!  Instead, digest this tip quickly: slow it down, and work to take on individual prospects purposefully, not en masse.

Work the System! (Don’t Cook Your Mood)

This week, Ryan, a financial planner in California, asked me, “What do I do when I’m just in the dumps and don’t really feel like working?” A few weeks ago, I shared the thoughts of my friend and colleague, Steve Chandler, about the difference between “Doers” and “Feelers”.  The central idea is that Feelers have

Start “Branding” You

“A 15-minute call could save you 15% or more…” When you Google search “gecko”, GEICO appears first on the web list. I’ve been preparing for my web program on kick-starting your business next week.  So, this week, I thought I’d revisit (and shed some more light on) a classic business strategy: branding. In any practice, branding

Shift FEAR into Forward Gear

I started my coaching career helping people overcome their fears.  My book, The High Diving Board, and my audio program, Ten Steps To Overcoming Your Fears, are based on the premise that when we’re not where we want to be in our careers or lives, it’s because we respond to our fears by backing away from whatever

Sales Happen in THEIR World

Don’t shame or try to stifle your natural feelings of insecurity around your biggest clients. Do, however, put those feelings aside, by understanding that your clients are worried about themselves, too! Since sales can only happen on THEIR turf, change your focus to how you can help THEM feel more at ease.

CREATE Your Future

We all have two futures: A “default” future, and a “created” future. If you’re struggling to move your business forward, but everything you do seems to get you back to the same place—month after month, year after year—you are set to live your default future. Imagine if nothing changed next year or the year after. 

More on DOers

In case you’re still fuzzy from your nightcap (and that’s YOUR business), here’s a morning REcap of last week’s topic to get you going strong. It’s Sandy’s business to remind you to DO what you do no matter how you’re FEELing, and that the key is to pick your poison…or, your perspective.

Become a “DOer”

My friend and colleague, Steve Chandler, author of the Wealth Warrior, puts professionals in two categories: “Doers” and “Feelers”. Doers come to work having planned out what needs to be done that day and, no matter how they’re feeling at any given moment, the do what needs to be done. What Feelers do, on the

Dance ‘til It Rains

There is a Maasai tribal village in the African Savanna that has the incredible ability to bring on rain every time it does its rain dance. Each year, as the Dry Season drones on, the landscape turns from lush greens and golds to a shriveled, blighted grey-brown.  The rivers shrink until nothing is left but

A Fish Tale…Keep the BIG Ones!

You know you should throw the little ones back, but are you afraid to buy the bigger frying pan? Sandy spins a short, strong story of an old man and his grandson, and encourages us to invest in the infrastructure that will give us the room to really *cook* our successes.

Put an End to THIS Limiting Belief

In my book, The High Diving Board, I discuss Seven Paralyzing Fears, including the Fear of Rejection. Fear of rejection—of having someone say “no”—stops people from asking for help, support, money, a date, a job, a referral, or a sale.  Victims suffer what I call “Fear Factor” symptoms, including these: They become tongue-tied…Their paralysis makes

Who’s the BEST at What You Do?

If you’re NOT the best at what you do, either you don’t BELIEVE you are, or you haven’t COMMITTED to it yet. If you decided to believe you were, what would you do differently than you’re doing now?

What’s Your Slogan?

A Guest Blog by Andrew Chymych My friend and colleague, Andy Chymych, provided me with his article about slogans that I wanted to pass on to you this week.  Take Andy’s challenge below and create your own slogan.  Then, live by it.  If you want, I’ll help you craft one worth living by, so that to your

Alter Your Results…

All systems are made up of complex parts. If you’re dissatisfied with the results you’re getting, you must be willing to dismantle those parts to build toward the results you really want.

A “Story of Power”: WHO More Than YOU?

Once again, I was inspired by a recent article written by my friend and colleague, Steve Chandler, leader of the Wealth Warrior Movement.  Steve was responding to a question from a business/life coach who was afraid to reach out to someone he perceived as a “powerful person”—beyond his ability to benefit, or to attain as

Imagine You Couldn’t Prospect

My thanks to David Ward, a colleague who helps lawyers grow their practices, for this week’s hypothetical, which applies to all professionals: Imagine that a law were passed today, to take effect in three months, prohibiting you from purchasing and using lists, outlawing advertising or promoting yourself on social media, banning seminar-hosting or writing about

Quick-Fix Your Referral Mindset

Don’t deprive your clients of the opportunity to come to the rescue of friends and family. Sandy flips the fear of referrals on its head!

A Minute About Self-Discipline

In Sandy’s very first Video Blog entry, he warns us against the mistake of forgetting that “discipline” is a choice just like anything else.

The Curiosity Factor

“What’s the main reason your calls and emails are not getting returned,” I asked a group of advisors recently. Hands shot up throughout the room. “Value,” one of the advisors responded back.  “They’re not getting enough value from the call or the email.”  Heads nodded throughout the room in agreement. But the answer was wrong.

The Guilt-a-Beast

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been busy producing material that you may find useful. Two weeks ago, Postema Marketing Group sponsored a Webinar I presented called Making Client Referrals Easy.  The entire program is now available on YouTube, just by CLICKING HERE. This week, Sabrina-Marie Wilson released my interview on her acclaimed radio show “Abundant Success”, and it’s

Don’t Throw the “Quit Switch”

At the beginning of his classic self-help book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill tells the story of R. U. Darby and his uncle, who went out to Colorado from their homes in Maryland to strike it rich digging for gold. After finding a carload of ore, their mine ran dry.  They dug on for

You Can’t Count the Time You Spend Washing Socks

Many professionals complain about the long hours they work.  For some, at least, all those hours are being compensated.  These professionals are moving and shaking because they want to make as much money as possible—even at the cost of family time, recreation, and often, their own health.  It’s difficult to be sympathetic about their complaints,

Put Referrals on Your Agenda

A few years ago, I presented a teleseminar for advisors throughout the U.S. on referrals. During the live Q and A, Paul, an advisor in the Midwest, expressed frustration with his efforts to grow his practice by asking for introductions. “I ask my clients about people they know who could use my help,” he told

Even a DOG Can Do It…

My fellow coach Amir Karkouti shared a story with some of his colleagues recently that I want to share with you now: Some time ago, a team of scientists took a dog and put him in a cage where the floor had a very mild electric current running through it—just enough to make the dog

Be YOUR Valentine…Take PASSIONATE Action

I’ve taken to sharing a line with attendees at my workshops that I borrowed from my colleague, Mitch Axelrod: “Imperfect action beats perfect inaction every single time.” Too many of the people I talk with are waiting…waiting until they have their next license…waiting until their legal knowledge or product knowledge or some other knowledge is

Get Clients to Tell Stories…

“I’ve been at this for five years,” James, a financial advisor with a small solo practice, told me last week.  “How do I get people to proactively send me referrals?” “Deserve them,” I told him. “But all my clients are already satisfied with my service,” he protested. “Satisfying your clients isn’t enough to turn them

SUCCESS Interviews

A Guest Blog by Forrest Wallace Cato Today, I’m giving my weekly message over to Wally Cato, the acclaimed publicist and writer, who interviewed me, Tom Hopkins, and before his recent passing, Zig Ziglar.  A longer article containing the following excerpts appears in the latest Insurance Pro Shop® newsletter.  While our interviews were primarily focused on helping financial

DOWN with The Elevator Speech…

I was listening to an old interview with Michael Port last week, and I smiled when the subject of “elevator speeches” came up.  “We hate giving them,” he told Louise Crooks of BlogTalkRadio’s Keys to Clarity, “And we hate listening to them.  Why, then,” he continued, “Do we keep making them?” Despite plenty of sales

Handling Objections: A Strategy for Referrals!

You worked your way up to asking a client for a referral and, after a bit of squirming, you made the request…only to hear an evasive response: I can’t think of anyone. I don’t know anyone. I never give referrals. Let’s see how things go for a while. Everyone I know is already working with

SERVE, and Grow Rich

My friend and colleague, coach and author Steve Chandler, recently wrote this: “Most people try to move toward wealth in embarrassing, clumsy ways.  They have cynicism programmed into them from an early age.  So they want a course called Manipulate and Grow Rich, or Network and Grow Rich or Win People Over and Grow Rich.” “They see

Don’t Forget the Most Important Person

If you’re like most people, you found yourself juggling all of the things you had to do this past month, including social obligations and gifts galore, and you may have left someone very important off of your list by mistake…YOU!  If you could have anything in 2014, what would it be?  And why don’t you


A few years ago, I was asked to give the keynote address at the Thirtieth Anniversary Celebration of Princeton Toastmasters.  I decided to speak about Napoleon Hill’s discovery in the 1930s that the wealthiest and most successful people of his time were all following the same Simple Success Formula: If you conceive an idea for


A favorite hypothetical of mine: Let’s imagine two professionals in the same field.  We’ll call them Advisor A and Advisor B. We’ll give them the same educational background, the same training, the same resources and connections, and even similar personalities and work ethic. But when we put them out in the field, I can promise

Are Your “Gatekeepers” Killing Your Client Relationships?

I had been limping around for three weeks with a pain across the top of my left foot that didn’t seem to be getting any better.  I made it through five straight days on my feet for two workshops and an active vacation, but the pain did not subside.  So, I finally decided to visit a

The GREAT Little Marketing Secret: Send a Note Card.

Thank clients for their business.  Thank them for referrals.  Remind them about their appointments.  And do each of these…with a handwritten note.  Find an excuse to send a note card to people you meet, people who provide services to you, and people who you serve. We have all become so accustomed to communicating by email, text,

Small Talk, BIG SALES: Lessons from a Master Moneymaker

Mehdi Fakharzadeh is one of the most successful insurance sales agents in history.  At 92, he is still taking on and servicing clients. Mehdi achieved his success despite starting out with a severely limited grasp of the English language and American customs.  Now, at the top of his industry, he is famous throughout the world—with

Client Retention: They Changed Their Minds!!!

After two visits—a total of six hours—advisor Marianne had gotten an enthusiastic “thumbs up” from her new “almost clients”—a young professional couple with small children—to prepare a financial plan for them.  The plan would specifically include some much-needed life insurance.  There was no doubt the mission was going forward! But a few days later, just

Throw Away Your “To Do” List

Every week, I try to provide you with a message of value—either to keep you motivated, or to help you hone your skills to get more clients—or for whatever else you want in your life.  Today’s message has an almost Shakespearian relevance: “To Do” or “NOT to Do”…That is the Question! During my workshops, when

TEN TIPS for Boosting Year-End Numbers

With fewer than ten weeks to go in 2013, I’ve put together a list of the most effective ideas for my financial advisor friends to boost their holiday sales.  Even if you’re not a financial or insurance professional, I know you’ll find at least some of these ideas useful. 1.  Keep your schedule filled with

Holiday Sales are Easy as Pie

For most advisors, the Fourth Quarter means a year-end blitz to improve their production numbers, hours billed, and company or office standings.  Realistically, there are only a few ways to do this: 1) Find more clients 2) Find more ways to serve existing clients 3) Make more sales 4) Make bigger sales The majority will

The Keys to an UPGRADE Are in Your Hands

Nine coaches, myself included, were sitting in a hotel meeting room in Scottsdale, Arizona, mesmerized by Master Coach Steve Hardison, the guest speaker at our workshop.  To have Hardison coach you exclusively, you have to be willing to pay $150,000 up front, plus all of your travel and lodging to, from, and in Arizona (no

Did Your Prospect Make Her SECOND DECISION?

I’ve shared a good deal of information with you recently on being willing to brand (and speak up about) the special service experience that only you offer.  Consider this a prequel to all of that.  Good; so, you’re special!  But before we get into it… The last time you sat down with a prospect, you


You know the feeling: You gave the presentation of your life!  You were “on fire”.  Every question was met with a dazzling, intelligent, emotional, cogent, coherent answer.  Every idea that you could share with your clients or prospective clients found its way into your head and flowed bountifully into your words.  But… As you’re driving

If You Really Want It, Don’t Back Away

COME TO PRINCETON IN OCTOBER AND BECOME A REFERRAL MASTER If you’re a financial or insurance professional, join me on Saturday, October 19th for an all-day Mastering Client Referrals Workshop. Boost your year-end sales and start 2014 on a roll.  For details, take a look at https://sandyschussel.com/mcr-workshop Register by Friday to take advantage of the Early Registration Discount.  Or call me at (609)


Are you aggressively selling your services and finding that few prospective clients—even those who are clearly in your target market—are buying? Or, maybe you’re struggling to find new clients because you’re afraid that if you reach out to people you’ll appear to be selling—something you just can’t bring yourself to do? STOP IT! “What is

BE the Red Crayon (NOT the “SALESMAN”!)

As a coach, I work with all kinds of already successful people looking for help to bring their careers—and lives—to the next level.  Most are selling professional services of one kind or another, and much of the time, they are doing so as part of an independent business or practice.  Their next level is getting

Why Should I Buy It from YOU?

I have written before on the Three Universal Marketing Questions that anyone selling his or her services needs to know the answers to: (1) What are you offering? (2) To whom are you offering it? (3) Why should they hire you? The third point—the “why”—seems to be the most troubling for many people. “You should

Rejection Therapy

If you fear rejection—in your telephone conversations, or when you ask a prospect to engage your services—you’ll definitely want to spend just 24 minutes viewing the TedX Talk given by by Chinese-American entrepreneur Jia Jang. Jang talks about the fear of rejection that almost caused him to give up his dream of creating his own

Sales Skills for Financial Professionals: Powerfully Relate

Last week, we discussed the second of three basic yet essential skills that will help you get, and keep, more and better clients: (1) The ability to ask provocative questions (2) The ability to listen with total focus on your client (3) The ability to relate compelling stories and metaphors At last, we’ve made it to the Third Skill: 3. The ability to

Sales Skills for Financial Professionals: Listen with FOCUS

Last week, we discussed the first of Three KEY Skills that will help you master the art of getting and keeping clients: (1) The ability to ask provocative questions (2) The ability to listen with total focus on your client (3) The ability to relate compelling stories and metaphors In this article, I’ll discuss the second of these skills: 2. The ability to

Sales Skills for Financial Professionals: Ask Provocative Questions

To be truly successful at getting clients, your passion for your work must be accompanied by Mastery of Three Skills: (1) The ability to ask provocative questions (2) The ability to listen with total focus on your client (3) The ability to relate compelling stories and metaphors In this article, I’ll focus on the first of

Learn This “Secret” from Victoria

“It seems like you’ve already got nearly as many clients as you can handle,” I declared to Victoria, a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) who had just started working with me.  “So, how can I help you?” “Well, the truth is, Sandy, that none of them have any money,” she confided. Victoria is 27 years old

What’s MY Value?

How are we doing? What are you getting out of our work together? Anyone in a business or professional practice should be asking clients questions like these on a regular basis. A sincere discussion about your value—and the places where you could give more value—can help you keep the clients you have already and obtain

Focus on the SERVICE, NOT the STANDINGS.

Two years ago, Karen became a “Top Ten” representative out of the several hundred agents at her financial services firm.  She received a certificate, a $15,000 bonus, and a great deal of attention from her peers. Last year, she barely made it into the Top Thirty… In January, Karen called me for help.  “I didn’t


“I think I ought to go back to the way I was doing it before,” Ron, an advisor in Nevada, asserted to me in his weekly coaching check-in email.  He had just taken advantage of an opportunity to teach a one-session evening class on financial concepts for a local college’s adult education program. One of

Imposter Syndrome (cont.): Success ISN’T Chance.

“I’ve just been lucky,” my client, Jerry, responded when we started talking about the success of his financial practice. Jerry started working with me when he felt he had hit a plateau.  He was afraid to lose what he had built by raising his management and planning rates, and he wasn’t sure what he wanted

Imposter Syndrome

Several years ago, during a teleconference where Josh Hinds had interviewed me about my work, listeners got to hear one participant, Matt (not his real name), tell us that he was about to receive an acceptance of his offer to work with a big, new client.  “How do I deal with the feeling that I may have oversold them,”

Be Your Own Tree

Last week, I read an article by Dan Waldschmidt in the publication LifeHealthPro that inspired me to sit down and write this article of my own.  The gist of Dan’s piece was that just because some technique or strategy works for someone else doesn’t mean that it will work for you.  Not everything works for

Chasing Whales? (Start with JUST ONE.)

Bill is a financial services representative in the Southwest U.S. who told me that one of the greatest challenges for him was his fear of reaching out to the already “successful” people in his community who he thought he could help. “I have a list of these people I never call,” he told me.  “The


Two advisors start their careers with similar backgrounds—the same education and training—and similar connections and people skills.  Within two years, one of them is extremely successful, and the other is struggling. Maybe “the other” isn’t bringing in enough clients, or the right kinds of clients.  Maybe he is working so hard that he has no

“And How Are You Today?”—Yuck!

Call me Crazy (or maybe just call me “Coach”) but when someone rings to try and sell me something, I usually don’t hang up on him.  I listen and respond to his inquiry, and then I make suggestions to him on how to improve his approach. For most professionals, cold calling for new clients is

Work Smarter IV: A Fear of Success?

While most people think that the biggest fear we face in our professional lives is the fear of failure, the fear of success is actually much more insidious and damaging. Lisa, age 28, had been earning $40,000 a year at her corporate job and switched to a straight commission financial job working for one of

Work Smarter III: Focus on the Vital Few

“There’s just never enough time to do all the things that need to be done!” Dave, an insurance producer, told me during a recent workshop.  “Is it possible,” I asked Dave, “that you’re focusing on the trivial many instead of the vital few, and that’s why you don’t have enough time?” I explained to the

Don’t Be EVERYthing to EVERYone…

To Whom Are You Offering/Selling Your Services? The wrong answer to this question is “I offer my services to everyone”.  Financial advisors and coaches who tell me that they help [all] people reach [all of] their personal, career, or financial goals do not understand a critical truth about 21st Century business: clients want to work with experts and specialists. If You’re Everything

Take Mighty Swings

Baseball fans know that most of the great home run hitters also have unusually high rates of strikeouts.  The most revered of these players, Babe Ruth, once advised a fan: “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”  But most of us are too afraid of striking out to swing hard enough

Ask More Questions FIRST

Cheryl, an advisor who consulted me to help her find and keep more clients, was questioning why I told her to spend most of her appointment times asking questions, rather than telling her potential clients about her knowledge and abilities. “In the past,” she protested, “I spent as much time as I could telling them

Tell a Better Story

Brad, a financial representative with a major Broker-Dealer, was complaining about email and phone interruptions.  He knew he was getting so caught up in playing with his smart phone—trying to figure out how it could alert him only for certain contacts—that he was sacrificing hours of real work. “You make choices,” I told him, “about


Financial advisors avoid it whenever they can.  Coaches tremble at the thought of it.  Lawyers pretend it’s beneath them, so they won’t have to do it.  Even when I show them how to do it, they find ways to avoid it.  What is this unthinkable task?  …Asking for referrals. Why won’t they ask?  Either they’re

Are Your Words Powerful?

Jim is a Senior Sales Manager who oversees a dozen branch offices for a financial services company.  Each office has a Branch Manager who oversees 10-20 advisors. Last week, Jim told me how he had asked each of his managers to bring certain advisors of theirs to a meeting he thought would benefit them—and how


Russell Conwell, the founder and first president of Temple University, is best known for his famous inspirational lecture, Acres of Diamonds. At the heart of that lecture was a story about Ali Hafed (now available on my Free Resources page!), a farmer who sold his land in order to go hunting for diamonds all over the

Let Me Think About It

When a new client says “let me think about it” narrow down what he needs to think about by asking questions.


A few years ago, my fellow coach, Rich Litvin, decided to try speed dating.  About a month after his first experience, he went to a second speed-dating event, where he ran into another guy who he recognized from the first event. “Did you get many dates from the first one?” the man asked him. “Three,”

To Attract Clients, Create ADVOCATES.

My thanks to renowned publicist Wally Cato for his unsolicited, unpaid, over-the-top article about me in this week’s Insurance Pro Shop newsletter. Read the Article>> The other day, I was listening to a very successful advisor and entrepreneur talk about how client “attractors” are so much more successful and less stressed out than client “chasers”. My book,

Is SUCCESS Ruining Your Practice?

“I think too much business is the worst thing for my practice,” Brandon complained. Brandon is a financial planner who was working with four or five newer clients.  He was worried that he was too busy to be out looking for his next clients, and in a few weeks, he’d have no one waiting in

Handling Objections: Give Up the Need to Be RIGHT

Happy Valentine’s Day! Have you ever been aggravated trying to prove to some “nitwit” prospect that his objection to your offer makes no sense—so aggravated, in fact, that you ended up in an argument with him and, of course, ended all possibilities of ever making him a client? Why was it so important for you

Work Smarter (cont.): A Lesson in Activity Management

“I can’t get any work done,” one of my clients recently complained.  “I’m interrupted so many times each day that nothing seems to get finished.  I really need your help to manage my time!” “We can’t really manage time,” I told her.  “But we can manage our activities.” Then, I gave her three suggestions for

Work Smarter, NOT Harder

How many times have you heard some time-management “Guru” say the words above?  If you’re like most people, when you hear them, you nod, as if to say, “Yeah, that’s a really great idea!”  But you really want to scratch your head and add, “But how do I do that?” People often confuse hard work with struggling. 

Go (or DRIVE) the Extra Mile

In early December, my younger daughter, an actress, had a brilliant idea for a New Year’s marketing campaign.  “What if I could send casting directors and producers a little moving image of myself somehow—like, they could open a box and there, my reel would appear, before their eyes?  Like Princess Leia in her holographic message,

Planning Extended: Ask Yourself the RIGHT Questions

Most of us start our businesses or careers backwards.  Instead of figuring out what kinds of lives we want to have, and then making our professional choices as part of strategic plans to attain those lives, we first choose businesses or careers, and then let them take us wherever they decide we can go.  Over time, we

Essential Tools: Start with the END in Mind

More insurance and financial professionals than I ever expected showed up for my webinar last week on Business Planning for 2013. But I was even more surprised, in talking with attendees in the days that followed, to learn how many of these professionals could not answer basic questions about their essential numbers. Whatever field you’re

Ask a Thousand People!

My friend and colleague, Julie Blake, recently related this story to a group of coaches to which we both belong.  She was talking with her son Josh on the way back from YMCA winter camp: Josh: Mom, I asked a girl to dance with me at the camp dance. Mom: What did she say? Josh:

Essential Truths.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS… Make this New Year your best yet! I’ve been following coach/consultant Robert Middleton for many years now. Middleton, whose main market is independent professionals, claims to have recently found an old list of the tips below saved on his iPad, and now calls them “‘Pithy Sayings’ that teach essential truths.” I have further distilled them for


Magic happens in your career when you stop trying to call and drop in on anyone who might be breathing and have a few dollars, and start, instead, to take extraordinary care of your existing clients. I’ve been working with Bryant, a financial advisor in New York, who has been “just getting by” for nearly

Magically REACT

Several years ago, I appeared as a guest on the BlogTalkRadio program Greenpath to Wealth, hosted by Coretta Fraser.  At that time, I shared my Seven Strategies to turn yourself into a Client Magnet.  At least one listener from among my e-subscribers, Barbara, had questions that never made it onto the program.  But I’d like to

Don’t Ask, Don’t Listen

Many of you declared your employment independence some time ago.  You walked out of your jobs and into professions of your own.  Now, you would call the shots. But when the pride and excitement settled, one of the first things you may have noticed is that your business lives could be lonely.  And you still wanted

Stop Arguing with What Is.

“If you pay attention,” writes Byron Katie, “You’ll notice that you think thoughts like this dozens of times a day:” “‘People should be kinder.’  ‘Children should be well-behaved.’  ‘My neighbors should take better care of their lawn.’  ‘The line at the grocery store should move faster.’  ‘My husband (or wife) should agree with me.’  ‘I should


A colleague of mine recently drew my attention to Underearners Anonymous, a “Twelve Step Fellowship of men and women who have come together to help themselves and one another recover from underearning.” The website identifies 12 Symptoms of Underearning, many of which are recurring themes for the clients I work with.  A few of these

Field of Dreams

Whatever you think of Kevin Costner, he is the star of one of my favorite movies (which, thankfully, also features James Earl Jones and Ray Liotta).  In Field of Dreams, Costner’s character, Ray Kinsella, hears a whispered voice that tells him: “If you build it, they will come.”  Against the advice of all family members and friends, and

As If Your Life Depended on It…

I pushed too hard the other day.  Or did I? I was trying to get Janis, a relatively new financial services representative who works at a branch of a large insurance company, to take the last available seat in my workshop program.  I had offered her help with the tuition, and she had committed on

Your Systems are PERFECT(…for the Results You’re Getting)

The results you’re getting right now in your career—and in your life—are exactly the right results…of the systems you’ve created. If you’re not making or saving enough money, if you feel overwhelmed, or if things are just too hard, it is not because YOU are flawed—it’s because the methods you’ve implemented, by which you do your business

The “No” Game.

“I know it’s crazy,” exclaimed Barry, a young financial advisor in New Jersey, while on the phone with me.  “I want to be in this business and I want to be successful, but I can’t bring myself to make the phone calls I need to make—and if I don’t, obviously, none of that will happen.”

Don’t PLEASE People; SERVE People

In his recent Harvard Business Review article, “The End of Solutions Sales,” Matt Dixon reported the results of a study of 20,000 salespeople around the world.  The study grouped salespeople into five distinct profiles: 1. Challengers: These are salespeople with a provocative point of view that they’re not afraid to share with a customer.  They

It’s Just the GREAT POTOO!

My friend and fellow coach, Jason Westlake, took six executives deep into the Amazon last month for an unforgettable coaching/jungle experience.  He spent several weeks before the group arrived working with scientists in a remote area that has been barely touched by civilization. Here’s how he described his first night there: I slept by myself

Which Pony Would YOU Buy?

The story below is from an article (by Jay Abraham) that my coach and colleague, Rich Litvin, shared with me just the other day.  I’m passing it on to you this week because it’s a great illustration of a concept every professional should understand. ___ A farmer wanted to buy a pony for his little


“I don’t want to cold call,” Robert, a financial advisor in Michigan who I’ve been working with, began.  “But I don’t know how to fill my time.” We were discussing Robert’s second career, which he has told me that he loves, but for which he just hasn’t been finding enough clients. “Let’s start with the

Failing on Purpose?

Throughout my years as a coach and sales trainer, I’ve noticed a sad but interesting phenomenon: Professionals sometimes fail on purpose. A few years ago, I asked a group of coaches who were attending the event at which I was speaking how many of them were there because they needed more clients. All 47 of

What Do YOU Do?

I’m not a big fan of the ‘elevator speech’, because it often leads to a cutesy, stilted, ‘salesy’ presentation of what we do.  It’s confining, like the elevator it’s designed to be used in. I’ve been helping professionals for years to understand the importance and liberation of what I call their ‘audio billboard’.  If someone

Einstein’s Tip: Cure Insanity

Burt, an independent financial planner who was already making a good living, was looking for a way to further increase his sales. With my coaching help, he started a marketing (“prospecting”) program that was based on my Client Magnet discipline, paying attention to the fact that clients are usually tuned to radio station WII-FM (“What’s

When Is It OK to Lie?

Tell the truth. Our clients may lie, but when we do, we risk losing trust–and them.

Lessons from a Life Lived

Corey Rudl was an Internet Marketing Pioneer who—in June, 2005—tragically died in a car-racing accident.  At only 35 years old, his professional success was already an inspiration to millions of people in both the “online” and “offline” worlds.  What follows are the Five Lessons he used to preach to anyone who would listen: Lesson #1:

Half Full, or Half Empty?

Most people will immediately identify this question as the classic metaphor for how we view our lives.  Do we see them as half-full—filled with joy and wonder, with plenty of room for more?  Or do we see them as half empty—devoid of at least half of what we think we ought to have? For at

Make Your Final Offer

You need more business.  You need responses to your offers.  But you’re plagued by prospects who don’t respond to your emails or your calls.  Or worse, they “dangle” you like a fish at the end of their rods: They react favorably in the moment, and then become unreachable.  You hear, “Yes, we should talk,” and


My coach, Rich Litvin, emailed me this week to share a story from his own life that I wanted to pass along to you: Last month, I told my coach, Steve Hardison, that I am ready to play a much bigger game.  So, he asked me: “Who do you want to coach?“ A name came

You Lost Me At “Hello”

I was calling an accountant client of mine—we’ll call him Bill Peterson.  The phone rang seven times, so by then, I was expecting his voice mail.  Instead, I was greeted by an unhappy, bored, stressed-sounding female voice. “Mr. Peterson’s Office,” the voice grumbled crankily. “May I speak with him?” I asked politely. “He’s busy right now,”

Don’t Ignore Referability

Last November, my mother received a well-written letter from a law firm offering to represent her in a tax appeal, which might bring about a refund of some of her real estate taxes.  A simple “Attorney Representation Agreement” and a return envelope were enclosed. My mother, who understandably defers to me on legal matters, asked


If you celebrated Independence Day yesterday (U.S.), welcome back.  I hope you had a great time and were able to spend the day with family and friends. My coach and colleague Steve Chandler, who founded the Wealth Warrior Movement, gave me a lot of the language for today’s article. It’s one of those “I couldn’t

Stop Being a Victim!

You reach a certain point in your practice and then you come down with AD–Arrested Development. You need to stop being a Victim and take ownership of your practice.

Burn Your Boats…

When ancient Greek warriors landed on a shore to conquer an island, their Generals motivated them in a powerful way: They ordered the boats that brought them to the island to be burned, so that there would be no way to retreat. Burning your boats is a good way to motivate yourself to do the

End “Analysis Paralysis”

I often start a seminar by asking for a show of hands from professionals and entrepreneurs who have enough quality clients—they don’t need any more.  Usually, one or two people raise their hands.  If there are a hundred people in the room, however, that means that ninety-eight percent of them do not have enough clients (or

What’s Keeping You from Having What You Want? (Do You Dance?)

“…And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance!  I Hope You Dance.” —Lee Ann Womack I’m going to admit something to you now that not every coach will admit: Sometimes, coaching doesn’t work. The professionals I work with usually seek me out to deal with one of two major

Um…Beware of Verbal Pauses!

Actually, the reason I chose this subject is, well, actually, the work I do is, actually, helping successful people get more of what they want and, actually, most of my clients are professionals and, uh, entrepreneurs who are actually trying to get, ahh, more clients and, um, grow their businesses or practices, and, like, if

Too Bad; NOW You’re A CLIENT!

Recently, I was reminded of an old allegory about a man who dies and goes to Heaven.  Finding the venue a little dull, he asks if he might be allowed to explore the “Other Place“, and is permitted to go there for a brief visit. Upon his arrival down below, the Devil shows him a


There was a salad restaurant near my old office that I used to frequent for lunch.  The owner, Frank, was a hard-working, service-oriented man.  His staff would mix the salads to order, putting in grilled chicken, or pasta, or whatever else you might want.  Customers were always greeted with warm smiles. Frank eventually opened a

The BEST Advisor in Illinois

No, I don’t plan to share an opinion here about who the best advisor in Illinois is, but I wanted to make this point: Most of us know how to meet prospective clients, talk to them, and have them retain us, but the what we do is not a problem.  The problem is who we

Make Everything OK

Several months ago, a Facebook friend shared with me this “Magic Button”.  Use it RIGHT NOW by exerting less effort than Dorothy did; just CLICK ON IT TWICE!!!  Once to navigate beyond this page, and again once you’re on the Magical Site.  Just a few seconds, and you’ll be beyond the rainbow: OK, now that you’ve been


“I am an insurance agent who has now ventured into financial planning,” Gary, a subscriber, told me the other day.  “My biggest challenge,” he continued, “is marketing my services.  I have tried emailing my insurance clients, but have received no responses.” “What can I do differently?” he asked. I’d like to share some of my


“I found a new way to talk with clients about referring me,” Ryan, a financial advisor, once told me excitedly on the phone.  “I use a diagram!  I’ll show it to you.” Ryan emailed me a little while later with this: Of course, I was interested, and I called him back right away to have

How Do YOU Spell S-U-C-C-E-S-S?(*FREE* Personal Spelling Bee)

“…And he was rich, yes, richer than a king And admirably schooled in every grace: In fine—we thought that he was everything To make us wish that we were in his place. So on we worked and waited for the light, And went without the meat and cursed the bread, And Richard Cory, one calm

Are You Taking Action, or Making Excuses?

Beware the “BUT” Monster “I couldn’t make calls for new business this week like I said I would,” my client, Rick, lamented a few years ago, “Because you forgot to send me the chart you promised.” It was true.  I had agreed to email Rick a “Master Sheet”—an Excel spreadsheet that could serve as a


“What do I have to do to get more of the clients I want?” Todd, an attorney who is trying to become an equity partner in his firm, asked me. “The better question,” I responded, “is who do you have to BE to get more of the clients you want?” Todd was, understandably, confused. “What

The “Happiness Ratio”:

OVER-Deliver / UNDER-Promise Your client or customer wants to see a report as soon as possible.  It’s almost impossible for you to have it ready before next Wednesday, but under pressure, you promise it to her by this Friday. “Why did I do that?” you ask yourself.  Your intentions were good.  You didn’t want her

Build Your Business through Your Best Clients

Yesterday, my coach, Rich, called me with only one purpose.  He wanted to tell me that I was doing well!  We didn’t have a scheduled appointment. This marked the third time in our working relationship that Rich had called me simply to say “Great job!” or to offer his help. I’m telling you about his

MEMO TO SELF: Learn to Let Go!

As a coach who believes in this work, I have a coach of my own—Rich—who basically tells me the same things I tell my clients.  In any profession, we’re always learning. This week, Rich gave me an assignment that I sometimes give to my clients: Identify your five most recent new clients and tell me

Why People DON’T Get Help

I’m fascinated by the reasons that professionals who are feeling stuck, frustrated, or burnt out—or who are not where they want to be in their practices, businesses, or lives—don’t reach out for the help they need. These reasons include: 1) The John Wayne Syndrome: “Real men [and women] don’t ask for help.  They figure out

Live by Your Values…or Bruce’s Values (Revisited)

One way to be sure that you’re living the life you want is to identify what your values are, and then to allow all of your actions and decisions to be based upon those values. My friend Bruce, who died a few years ago, lived by five values that he shared joyfully with anyone who

Nine Referrals TODAY

“NINE referrals today,” Dan, a financial advisor in one of my workshop programs, wrote to me. This doesn’t sound like a big deal to some people, until they put it in perspective.  Up until that day, Dan was averaging four or five referrals per YEAR.  The fact that he could receive his usual year’s worth


I spent a couple of hours last week with Reed, an attorney who had heard about my coaching practice and asked to meet with me to see if it was something that could benefit him. As soon as we sat down together, I asked Reed what it would take to make our session amazing for

You Made a Mistake?…Quick, HIDE!

My father told me a story once about how he had owed a friend, Jim, $10,000 that he couldn’t yet repay. My father had honestly intended to repay the loan on time, but the money Dad was waiting for from another deal was delayed, and now he found himself pacing the bedroom floor at 1:00

COME SEE ME SPEAK! or Just Learn This Lesson…

This Saturday, January 21st, I will be giving the keynote address at a conference in Pennington, New Jersey, devoted to people who are “in transition”—the new code name for “out of work” or “between jobs”. The conference starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. and includes a choice of workshops to help people

How NOT to Succeed in Business

I consulted last week with a financial advisor I’ll call Alex, who had two concerns: (1) He was feeling “overwhelmed”, and (2) he was not happy that his income was “inconsistent”.  2012 would be a great year for him, he told me, if he could only solve these two problems. I learned that Alex had

Resolve to “Choose To”

Happy New Year! In preparing to write this week’s article, I decided to look at the blog entries I’ve written in Januaries past.  It was easy to find them—on my website, I just typed “resolution” into the search window on the top right. I found two different messages—the annually-recurring admonition to Stop Making Resolutions…and to

Okay, but Only Two More! I Mean It…

I hope you are getting the most you can out of this “season of miracles”.  There’s always room for something more than you expected. I usually don’t post an article of any kind in the last week of December, but I was so astonished by how quickly my five 90-minute-coaching gifts were snatched up, that…

My Gift to Five Subscribers

First, let me wish all of you who are a part of my e-letter family and any regular readers of my blog “Happy Holidays”, and a New Year filled with health, joy, and success. Trying to get a meaningful message out to everyone each week might be considered, by some, to be tedious work, but

Tell Them WHY

My client, Scott, sent me the video link last week to a TED Talk by author Simon Sinek, explaining his “Golden Circle”.  I’ve seen this video before, but for some reason, it had an even more powerful impact on me this time. “People don’t buy what you do,” Sinek explains.  “They buy why you do

Be a River

“A river can be wide or narrow, shallow or deep, swift or slow. But of all its characteristics, two are most distinctive: it makes its own path, and it flows relentlessly.” -Joseph M. Marshall, III in Keep Going: The Art of Perseverance When my wife and I last visited Arizona, she bought me Joseph Marshall’s

Wonders, Not Wondering

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I wrote most of what I am recounting here in REACHING… four years ago.  When I looked at this story again today, I found there was more reason than ever before to share it with you and the rest of my e-letter family. Nineteen years ago tomorrow, my Thanksgiving dinner was nothing but

But I Needed Help with SALES…

Marie is a sales representative for her own small company, offering businesses printing and web design services, but she has not been making much money at it.  She wanted coaching to do better, but she didn’t feel she could afford it. Last month, Marie took on an additional job as an account manager, and decided

Working Hard on the Wrong Work

A Case Study One of the problems I often find myself helping clients with is how ineffectively they are spending their time in their business or practice.  My clients tell me that I’m pretty good at catching them in the act of working hard, but doing the wrong work. It’s a coaching task: pointing out

Slowww Down

“I saw an old client last night in a tavern over a burger and beer,” a financial advisor I’m working with told me.  “He picked the spot.” “One hour of life talk and B.S. and a laugh or two—plus five short minutes of business in the parking lot at the end—and I sold him $4,000

Clients Crave Communication

My first ever Skype Sales Seminar with the South Florida Coaches Association. “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” In my book, Become A Client Magnet, there are two chapters devoted to a fictional Sales As Martial Arts class, wherein the wise old blind Master is enlightening the Young Professional. During one of


Okay, so you might be the world’s most interesting person.  But the prospective client you’re meeting with wants you to be interested in talking about her and her issues, not about you or your firm. Imagine you injured your arm, that it appears to be broken, and that you have been referred to an orthopedic surgeon.  He

Knowledge is NOT Power…

Two professionals start their careers with comparable financial and social advantages and connections, and identical training and education.  One becomes highly successful.  The other doesn’t.  How do we account for this? If we examined their careers more closely, we would see that the highly successful professional constantly takes action to get where he wants to go, while

Stop Blaming the Poor Economy!

Everywhere you turn, the news is bleak…“double-dip recession”, “millions out of work”, “nine percent unemployment”, “housing prices down”… But there are corporations sitting on huge sums of cash, and people who provide services just like yours who are making money, despite the economy.  Are they just luckier than you are?  Or, perhaps, are they thinking

The Kick-in-the-Pants Contraption

I just received the following e-mail from Melinda, who owns a unique invitation and engraving store in Islip, New York.  She is a graphic designer and does beautiful work right on her premises. Melinda had sought out my help on a project that we went on to complete successfully.  Toward the end of our work

You Need a Bigger Frying Pan

At the risk of telling too many fishing stories—especially since I’d be the first to admit that I’m not much of a fisherman—there’s a story that has been around for years that I wanted to share with you this week. It’s about the grandfather who decides one afternoon to take his grandson fishing on the

Be on a Mission!

In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill concludes that nothing happens until someone has a “burning desire” to make it happen. There has to be a decision and a commitment to make it happen—a mission to see it through. When I talk to a prospective client for my individual coaching work, I’m looking for someone

How to Stay Motivated

Last week, I stopped working with Ed, a financial advisor in Michigan. Ed wanted me to give him the “magic formula” that would double his income.  He wanted to get results he hadn’t been getting by merely learning some “new tricks”.  Most importantly, he wanted me to motivate him. Ed didn’t want to do the

You Already Know Enough

Troy is the National Account Representative for a company that provides and maintains Point of Sale (POS) software.  His job is to generate long-term service contracts throughout the United States in chain stores utilizing his company’s systems. Troy is constantly making calls, but he only earned $50,000 last year.  In the current economy, he is

Do you WANT to—or do you CHOOSE to?

Marianne is a therapist in northern California who works with families with troubled teens.  She has, over the past fifteen years, created a somewhat successful practice.  But she recently consulted me because she was worried that the economy had made it difficult to keep her practice full; she felt that she was no longer making

Go Where the Hungry Fish Are

As I was preparing to present a workshop in Indiana for a room full of financial professionals, I overheard a small group of them discussing fishing. “Chris,” I called out to one of them at the beginning of the workshop, “When you go fishing, are you looking for just anything that will take your bait,

“Approach-Avoidance Tango” Revisited

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the problem that occurs when a prospective client runs “hot and cold”—approaching you as if he’s interested and then blowing you off as if he’s not.  I called this phenomenon the Approach-Avoidance Tango, because it has the air of a dance. After reading my advice, Mitch, one of my

What’s Your “Default Future”?

I know we’re in the middle of a heat wave throughout the United States, but I couldn’t help thinking of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol this week.  Ebenezer Scrooge would have died a lonely, miserable man with no one to say a kind word on his behalf…if something unexpected hadn’t happened.  In his case, that

The “Approach-Avoidance Tango”

It can happen to anyone who sells a service:  We speak to someone who is thinking about hiring us.  She calls again with a question and leaves a message to call her back.  We’re enthusiastic about the prospect of working with her—but when we return her call, she’s suddenly unavailable—forever. This is the “Approach-Avoidance Tango”,

Become an Expert

A few years ago, I asked one of my clients, Carrie, if she had started thinking about saving for college for her one-year-old daughter, Megan. “It’s funny that you’re asking me this now,” Carrie replied, “Because I just recently sat down with a specialist in college planning.” When Carrie told me the name of the

10 Rules for Working with Clients

My friend Rich works for a large regional bank and sometimes does seminars for his fellow bank employees. Rich was kind enough to share his notes with me from a seminar he presented, entitled “Rules for Working with Attorneys”. It was clear to me that with a little editing, these rules could apply to work

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

In 2005, Steve Jobs—CEO of Apple and of Pixar Animation—gave the commencement address to the Stanford graduating class of approximately 5,000 students. “I never graduated college,” he began, and then he told three stories. The first story was about “connecting the dots”.  Jobs told how he dropped out of college, but continued to attend classes

Overwhelmed–or Exhilarated?

Nick is a successful financial advisor who is working with me on doubling his income this year. He agreed to call me on the Monday following his vacation to talk about the impact his time off had on him, but he didn’t—not on Monday, not on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Nick finally phoned to apologize for

You Can’t Skip Rapport

Jenny actually needs your services.  You know she does and, more importantly, she knows she does.  But when you suggest that you get your work started, she says “let me think about it.”  You graciously give her time, but she doesn’t call you again.  Then, when you finally do call her, you find out that

Sell The Experience, Not the Concept

You’ll have more success letting a prospective client experience working with you, than trying to explain what you do and how you work.

Make an Offer, and Let Them Say “No”

Nineteen years ago, I needed lifesaving surgery.  I worked hard to find out who the surgeons with the best reputations were, and then I made separate appointments with each of three doctors who had been most highly recommended. The first surgeon I met with did not impress me one way or another.  The second told

Too Many Clients

While some of my clients would love to have this problem, many of the professionals I work with who have been at it for years actually complain that they have too many clients, and they are concerned that they can’t service all of them adequately. But the real problem isn’t that there are too many

It’s Okay, but Can I Ask You Why?

In conversations with clients and prospective clients, all professionals and salespeople eventually run into what is commonly referred to as an “objection”. Most initial objections, however, are not really objections at all.  They’re Automatic Negative Responses (ANRs). You walk into a department store to buy a picture frame for your mother for her birthday.  You

How to Lose Your Clients: 7 Sure Strategies

Today I want to give you some pointers on how to lose clients.  Losing good clients is relatively assured if you follow these simple directions: 1. Avoid regular communication. Make sure that you never let clients know what the status of their case is.  Don’t proactively report to them on a regular basis, whether you’re

Three Ways to Blow a Referral Appointment

********************************************************************* There’s still time to sign up for my 10-week teleclass on Client Referrals, which starts this Thursday, April 28! **********************************************************************   Your good client, Joan, has referred you to her friend, Marie. You’ve arranged it so that Marie is expecting your call.  You make the call…and don’t get the appointment.   Maybe you’re making one

Who’s In Charge of Your Business, Anyway?

In the E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber talks about the fat man and the slim man, both of whom reside in the same body.  While the slim man is in charge, that body is exercising and eating right and doing healthy things.  But one cold and rainy morning, when the body gets up to do its


REMINDER Later today you’ll have your last chance to join my free teleseminar, More Clients TODAY!  Click here to learn more.   Japanese Samurai warriors were taught to “die before going into battle.” Learning to accept death as a plausible outcome of a battle, a warrior was able to fully give himself to the battle. 

I Could Close Anyone, If Only…

I doubt that it’s true when professionals say to me, “I could close anyone, if I only had enough people to see,” or “Anyone who comes into the office becomes a client…I just can’t get enough people in.” ANYONE? Well, suppose I accept that proposition.  What keeps them from having enough people to see? Before

Let Them Bring Their Blankets…

Everyone has fears that are not based on anything real. If you find that clients are backing away, don’t be impatient, get creative.

Whose Hero Do You Want To Be?

I sometimes ask prospective clients a question I picked up from internet list-building guru, Tellman Knudson: “Whose hero do you want to be?” The question is designed to get a client focused on his target market.  Once I know whose hero he wants to be, and he has described his “ideal client,” I ask him

Set It…And Forget It!

“Set it…and forget it!” the announcer tells us about the rotisserie oven he wants us to buy. Get it started, set the timer, and walk away.  The bell will ring when the chicken is done and the cooking will stop on its own. You won’t overcook it.  I like to use this phrase when I’m

Concentrate On One Room Until It’s Done

Ron, an insurance agent in the northern part of Texas, had the worst sales record for life insurance in his branch. “I want to do better,” he told me during our first coaching call, “but I guess I’m just afraid of prospecting.”  I asked Ron if he had ever talked with his more than 600

Maybe You Didn’t Ask Enough Questions

A member of my e-letter family, Paul, wrote me to tell me he liked the “date” analogy in my article, Stop Asking For Referrals. Paul shared an experience many of us has had: I met with a couple in their sprawling suburban home.  They were worth at least $13 million dollars.  Some of that money

Should I E-mail or Call Him?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about clinging to the “good old days” when thank you notes were sent on stationery and not via e-mail, and people used their mouths to have every day conversations instead of their fingers.  I e-mail and text with the best of them. But certain things are best done the


One of the biggest challenges the professionals I work with bring to me is their terror of asking clients to refer them to business associates, friends and family members.  I’ve been present during appointments where an attorney or financial advisor asked a client, without flinching, for over $100,000–and received it.  Those same professionals, however, could

Have a Happy New Year…But How?

The last time I wished someone a Happy New Year today, this thought stopped me mid-sentence: Everyone says it, but do they know how to do it? It’s difficult not to look at this week as the first week of a new chance to have what you want in your life–to be happy. So, we make resolutions. 

Are You On A Mission?

“What’s your mission?” I asked my client, Annette, a realtor who was disappointed that she was starting her third coaching session without a new client for her business.  I could sense from her silence on the phone that she was puzzled by my question.  “My mission?” she finally asked. “If you want to attract clients

Choose Your View

I want to share another e-mail with you: Dear Sandy, My grandmother, with whom I was very close, passed away in August. I was feeling good before that. I was feeling positive, confident, enjoying my career and the possibilities laid out in front of me.  Since her death, however, I have felt the opposite: negative, lacking

How To Avoid “Let Met Think About It Junction”

Last time, I wrote about how to handle the “let me think about it” objection. Right after it was published, one of my clients asked me if there was a way to avoid getting all the way to the point where it’s time to obtain a commitment and ending up at “Let Me Think About

3 Things to watch out for

I have two radio interviews coming up in the next week or so I wanted to let you know about. First, though, my friend and colleague, Jim Donovan, the author of the international bestsellers, “Handbook to a Happier Life” and “This is Your Life, Not a Dress Rehearsal” has just released a new book – maybe

Maybe you’re just not passionate enough…

Nobody has time to read all their messages–even great messages–anymore. So, I’ve decided to send shorter messages and pack as much content into them as I can. Today’s message is below, but first, I wanted to tell you that if you’ve been afraid that the training you need to grow your business is a bigger

Definitely not another pep talk on goal-setting…

Happy New Year! I’ve spent a few January evenings over the years writing articles to say, one way or another, “Stop making resolutions…set goals instead.” I’ve written about how resolutions are just wishes, while goals are solid affirmations that you announce the world and build plans around. Scrap that message this year! I want to

Join me this Sunday on BlogTalkRadio

SHOW DATE and TIME: Sunday, October 25, 3:30PM EST, 21:30 EU, 18:30 Brasilia SHOW TOPIC : BECOME A CLIENT MAGNET – 27 Strategies to Boost Your Client-Attraction Factor PROGRAM: BalanceWealth Radio with Coretta Fraser LOCATION: www.blogtalkradio.com/greenpath IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE SHOW Log on to www.blogtalkradio.com/greenpath-Click on the “play/chat” button to listen To join the conversation:


“I’m a great networker,” Elaine, a junior partner in her labor law firm, proclaimed during a workshop I was conducting for her firm, “but I can’t seem to connect with any clients that have real potential.” “Who do you want to connect with?” I asked her. “Well…anybody that might need our services,” she responded, with

What Stories Are They Telling About You?

If you want more clients, the goal of every existing client relationship should be to get your clients to tell stories about their “magical” experience working with you.You don’t have to win your case, or save them from the devastation of a recession, or get that old spot out of the carpet, but you do

Turn Your Clients Into Fiercely Loyal Advocates

So, you want your clients to be fiercely loyal advocates for your business or practice. You want them to shower their friends and associates with enthusiastic testimonials and shower you with unsolicited referrals. It happens for other professionals; why not you? Compare these two experiences: Awhile ago, I went into the Men’s Department of a

They need us now more than ever

As the economic downturn continues, we find ourselves with two distinct choices: We can cry or we can create. We can take action or we can make excuses. We can be owners or we can be victims. We can tap into the “gloom and doom” mindset all around us and talk “Victimspeak,” or we can

“Action Hero” or Victim-Part 2

“This economy is terrible,” Linda, an executive coach, told me recently, “My prospective clients are being laid off, they have no money, their companies have stopped paying for coaching, and I can’t fill my practice.”“Linda, what’s a full practice for you look like?” I asked. “Around twenty clients,” she answered. “How many clients did you

“Action Hero” or Victim

It’s easy to point out that people are being laid off and that your regular clients are cutting back on services. It’s easy to talk about how business is down everywhere, so it just makes sense that your business is down, as well. It’s easy to commiserate with friends and other professionals and business owners

Big Change Ahead / Handling Objections

Who has time to read these blogs, let alone write them? I have made a couple important decisions about REACHING… that I want to share with you. Beginning next month, the e-letter that leads to this blog will no longer be updated weekly. We’re going back to the original monthly format. The focus will be

Why They’re Not Calling You

Before anyone will call you about your services, they have to know you’re there. My friend, Connor, tells a story about a tree limb that fell on his lawn. His wife, Judy, concerned that the neighborhood children could get hurt playing on it asked him to call someone to cut it up and haul it

I really want to do this, BUT…

Last Friday, I was offered an opportunity to use the services of a coach who has had significant success, to help me move my practice to the next stage. I’m happy with how my practice has grown over the years and pleased that many of my clients have had great results with the formulas I’ve

Don’t Let Them Scare You!

Monday’s terrifying financial news may have your clients running scared. You may be finding that people are holding back. Contracts aren’t being renewed and new people just aren’t signing on. Even referrals are dwindling.If you’ve already been confronted by the hysteria, or you’re worried that it’s about to happen, don’t succumb to the herd mentality.

Why are you living? Why do you do what you do? Sixteen years ago, when my daughter Stefanie was nine and her sister Madi was six, I was dying. I remember waking after my second surgery, following months of suffering, with one horrifying thought: If I didn’t live, who would raise my daughters? Who would

Make The Difficult Decision The hardest part of learning to ride a bicycle–or setting up and sticking to a practice schedule–is DECIDING to do it.Last week I wrote about practicing ferociously. Here is how one subscriber, Rita, responded:“I resist practicing anything ferociously that would further my career, and then I wonder why. I get that

Too Persistent?

“I just read about Alicia and how reluctant she was to promote her business,” Jeanie, a long-time subscriber wrote me this week, “But what about someone who is too persistent?” “We know a husband and wife real estate team who are aware we have no interest in selling our house. They call to ask for


“I’m not a professional looking for clients, Sandy,” Todd, an IT Project Manager looking for a new position told me last week, “but I was told you can help me.” We arranged to talk on the phone. “My problem is that there are hundreds of applicants for every position,” he continued. “I interview well, but

Stop Feeling Guilty and Focus On These Seven Steps…

Peter is an editorial/corporate photographer, working on his own since 2000. He wrote me last week to ask for help with his focus and to find a starting place to improve his situation. “I’m making a living,” he told me, “But I know I could be more financially secure and more mentally satisfied.” “From following

Make a choice: “Action Hero” or Victim

Here’s one of the first responses I received to my offer to respond to specific questions: Sandy, My parents made me feel I wouldn’t amount to much. I believe I have been “living down” to their image. I start to pursue my dreams and then just feel like quitting. Or I don’t follow through on

Go ahead-Ask Me Something

Today I’m answering a call for help from a long-time subscriber. His e-mail last week got me to thinking: Maybe more readers have specific challenges and issues I can help them with–right on this blog. Can I help you with a specific kind of motivation? With your practice or business? With a decision? Email me

A Tale of Two Subscribers

Since a great deal of my coaching revolves around having a laser-focused target, I was bothered by the fact that my own message wasn’t very clear. Some of you joined my list for motivation and self-help tips. A few of you bought my books and CDs and fewer still eventually contacted me about my services

Please Help Me Give You What You Want I’m grateful that my e-letter is now read by subscribers all over the world. I’ve discussed changing careers with a woman in South Africa and fears about taking a service business to the next level with a retired teacher in Australia. But as my list has grown,

What Do YOU Do? 2

I‘m always amazed how people stumble and falter when they’re asked what they do for a living. Some actually dread the question. In the United States, “What do you do?” is the most often asked question in a social or business setting. When someone asks it in a group of people, they are simply looking

Gold Medals? Or Alligators?

In the Great Swamp Race, two runners led the pack. Fred was running this grueling race through twisted vines, muck and mire in the alligator-infested swamp, motivated by his desire to win the gold medal by crossing the finish line first. Ted, on the other hand, might have started out with the same intention, but

No More New Year’s ResolutionsHappy New Year!I know. I know… This is the time you want to sit down and make those resolutions.“I’m going to make a lot more money this year.” “I’m going to finally lose some weight.”Some of you will even take the first steps. You’ll spend a few minutes taking a look

Happy Holidays! I have no e-letter for you today, just a link to a wonderful, moving video about customer service and imagination. Enjoy your holiday and get ready for an incredible New Year. It’s only 3 minutes long and I promise you it will be worth your while. Here’s the link: Customer Service Video Please

Season’s GreetingsWishing you… every happiness this Holiday Season and prosperity in the New Year. Thank you for being part of my e-mail family. If you’ve purchased books or audio programs from me, or let me help you as a coach, thanks for your faith in me. I look forward to continuing our relationship in the

If you want more clients… Do it on purpose

“Before we discuss whether we’re all in sales,” I asked at a recent workshop of assorted professionals, “someone tell me what selling is?” “Getting people to buy what you’re offering,” one attendee answered. “Manipulating them into doing what you want them to do,” volunteered another. “Twisting their words around so they feel like they’re foolish

Focus on What you Have and Give Thanks

Focus on What you Have and Give Thanks Fifteen years ago tomorrow, my Thanksgiving dinner was homebaked bread-not because I loved bread, but because I couldn’t digest anything else. I had lived through a horrific automobile accident, a diagnosis of colon cancer and the news that it had started to spread, two major abdominal surgeries,

Bring the Four Swordsmen of Client Service With You

Bring the Four Swordsmen of Client Service With You Part II of Lessons From the Master:Building Trust I received a lot of positive feedback from last week’s discourse between the Young Professional and the blind Master. One subscriber, however, asked about the statement the Young Professional just tosses out about knowing how to build Trust

Be Impressed, Grasshopper, Not Impressive

Be Impressed, Grasshopper, Not Impressive “Master,” the Young Professional addressed his mentor, “You have told us that in order to hire us, a client must Like us and Trust us.” “That is correct, Grasshopper,” the Master replied. “I understand how I can earn a client’s Trust,” continued the Young Professional, “But how do I get

Even Engineers Sell

Even Engineers Sell “I’m an engineer, Sandy, not a salesman,” my client Ted pleaded, “Why do you insist on talking about sales?” “Ted,” I asked, “there are a lot of engineers who do what you do out there. Why do clients choose you?” “Wait, that’s not fair,” Ted exclaimed. “You answered my question with a

Are You Focused on The Right Solution?

Are You Focused on The Right Solution?Keri, a therapist with an MSW degree and state certification who specializes in teen problems’ recently consulted me to help her transition into being a coach specializing in motivating troubled teens.“Why do you want to change?” I asked her. “What will be the difference between your coaching services and

If That’s How You Treat Me, How Can I Send My Friend?

If That’s How You Treat Me, How Can I Send My Friend? Managing our activities in this multi-tasking world is one of our biggest challenges, so we have to be careful that we’re doing the right work when we’re overwhelmed: Return your calls and answer your e-mails-or have someone do it for you. Let something

Waddaywant? Establish a goal, devise a plan to reach it, and…

Thomas Edison had a ridiculous idea in 1878–to create a safe, cost-effective lamp that ran on… electricity! Everyone knew that attempts to use electricity to create light had resulted in fires, explosions and meltdowns; it could never be used to safely light anything. Edison, however, believed that it was possible to use electricity to create

Ask These Questions For Every Challenge

Ask These Questions For Every Challenge Coaches like to point out that there are no problems… just challenges. But, no matter what you call them, if you’re out there working for a living, you’ve got them.I can’t get enough good paying clients to support my family. I’ve got clients, I just can’t get them to

Burning Desire Epilogue

“Burning Desire Epilogue” Last week I wrote about Anita, whose loving parents and brother did all they could to discourage her in her burning desire to open her own business. I told you how by encouraging Anita not to let anyone dampen that burning desire, I helped her launch a successful telemarketing business, and how

Don’t Let Anyone Dampen Your Burning Desire

Don’t Let Anyone Dampen Your Burning Desire. At 23, right out of college, Anita took a job with a large payroll processing company that sold its services to small businesses. She learned to cold call, both on the phone and by walking into business locations in retail malls and industrial parks. At 25, Anita was

It’s Not a Secret

It’s Not a SecretLast Christmas, I sent some of my clients a video produced in Australia called The Secret, based on a book by Rhonda Byrne. At the time, the book and video were still pretty much a secret. About a month ago, Oprah discovered The Secret, and now the stores can’t keep the book

RE: Don’t be an apple

BE FIRST, BE DARING, BE DIFFERENT I opened up a fortune cookie last night and read: “To Be Successful In Business Be First, Be Daring, Be Different.” I dropped the little slip of paper into my near empty coffee cup. As I was discarding the cup, however, it struck me that this fortune extolled the

Why not just fail again?

FAIL AGAIN “I failed!” Richard, an insurance salesman, is working with me on growing his practice.  He was telling me about his recent attempt to run an estate planning seminar.  He had invited his clients and asked them to bring friends.  He was counting on 30 people, but he had deviated from our plan and

Why Did You Choose to Be Unhappy?

Happy Valentine’s Day!Thanks for helping me grow this e-letter. I have friends now from as far away as Australia, China and South Africa.This is a day we acknowledge the people we care about. I hope you all know how much I appreciate you.-SandyBut Why Did You Choose to Be Unhappy?Jerry owns a Midwest cleaning service

Certain success is guaranteed this year if . . .

Certain Success This Year Is In Your HandsDo you feel really successful right now? If not, when do you feel that way?If I ask someone to identify successful people, he or she is likely to name people who are rich—or, as one of my daughters used to say, “way rich” or “way famous,” using external

Stop Making Resolutions

Stop Making ResolutionsSo, what’s new?Thanks for subscribing to REACHING… I’m excited about how quickly it has grown and the direction it has taken over just a few years. I hope you’ll stay with us as we evolve.Here are some of the changes you’ll discover this year: Beginning this month, REACHING… will be weekly, instead of

“Do you want to be great?”

This question usually perplexes clients and they respond with a question like “What do you mean by that?” Engaging in a conversation about their own greatness, they think, would be a sign of arrogance or self-importance, and they do not want to appear “that way.” But most of us want to be great. We don’t

Make It About Them…

How do you get someone to do what you wish they would?  To buy something you’re selling?  To support a position you’ve taken?  To hire you? Among the quotations posted on the board above my desk is this anonymous one: “People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their

Just DO It!

Quite awhile back, in On Walden Pond, Henry David Thoreau penned one of my favorite quotations: “The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation.”  Later in his book, Thoreau furthers this sentiment by expressing that most people continue suffering all along to their graves, never having “sung their song”. Does this sound like you? 

Do What You Do Best

Joan is a sales representative for a company that supplies a line of software solutions to other businesses. Joan told me she was unhappy with her company because she wasn’t selling enough to earn a decent living.  In addition, her manager didn’t give her enough support, and she didn’t think the pricing of their products was

Defining Success: 3 Steps to a Happier Life

In a world with so many coulds, woulds, shoulds and wants, how do you know how to select what’s best for you—what will make you successful? Is it being way rich, way famous, way beautiful or way powerful? Or is something that comes from the inside? Here’s how you tell: First, complete this sentence: “I

Our Best Can Always Get Better

Hi! I said it last year, but it’s worth repeating, as we approach another Thanksgiving: I’m thankful that I have a great family, incredible friends and clients who inspire me even while they are hoping for some inspiration from me. I’m thankful for the feedback and encouragement I get from so many of you about

Stop Struggling!

…Attract what you want instead If you are struggling with something—STOP! Hard work is often necessary if you want to succeed at something. But struggling usually isn’t, and doesn’t generally get you what you want any faster. Stop struggling and try instead to focus on the belief that you can have it. You have to

Seven Minutes of Motivation

I am excited about joining Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup For The Soul), Jeff Keller (Attitude is Everything), Zev Saftlas (Motivation That Works) and several other great motivators as a guest speaker on Empoweringmessages.com. You can visit this incredible web site and click on any speaker for 5-7 minutes of motivational audio. While you’re there, you

Beyond the Borders…

Often we’re so busy finding the things in our lives we want to fix, we forget how much we have to be thankful for. I, for one, have a great family, incredible friends and clients who inspire me even while they are hoping for some inspiration from me. In September, dozens of you joined me

Intensive Coaching for Financial and Insurance Professionals | Build Confidence, Improve Communication, Lead

Intensive Coaching for Financial and Insurance Professionals | Build Confidence, Improve Communication, Lead