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What It Takes To Get To The Top

If you want to qualify for the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), the 2024 requirements are a gross income of $128K with at least 37K coming from new business. If you want to get to Top of the Table (TOT), the gross income requirement is $769K.

Whether or not you pay attention to the MDRT, if you’re trying to reach these kinds of numbers on your own individual production, there are really only two ways to make that happen:

• Significantly increase your number of sales

• Significantly increase the size of your sales

Either of these paths alone could get you there, as can any combination of the two. But advisors who aren’t anywhere close to this level of production are always telling me about the obstacles that keep them from reaching it:

• Demands on their time from paperwork and client service, etc.

• Not being able to get in front of enough quality, qualified prospects

• Competition for clients’ insurance dollars by other local agents and online offers

• Overwhelming family demands that limit their time

• Not knowing what to do

• Not having enough energy to do more than they’ve done

The reality is that these obstacles are often excuses for two larger underlying challenges:

• Not wanting it badly enough, and

• Not having systems and strategies in place to increase your level of production.

Not wanting it badly enough. When you’re 100% committed to a goal, you figure out how to get the paperwork done and meet client service needs with a minimal investment of your time. You develop a plan to find more and better prospects. You find a way to position yourself to make competition irrelevant. You find time to provide your family with the love and support they need without being overwhelmed, and you figure out what you need to do and how to raise your energy level.

Not having adequate systems and strategies. Working with and interviewing Top of the Table (TOT) advisors, I’ve learned about many of the systems and strategies they use to achieve and maintain that level of success:

1. Intense Focus. The 2000 or so TOT members world-wide reached that level in almost 2000 different ways. The one thing they all have in common is being intensely focused on serving more and better clients.

2. Daily success routines. While it’s not true of all TOT qualifiers, many will tell you that getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and making healthy eating choices have impacted their ability to reach their production levels. Most have some kind of daily success routine, including start-of-the-day rituals, setting time for daily or weekly learning, personal development, and self-care.

3. Setting and pursuing goals. Interestingly, most of the TOT advisors I’ve interviewed on my podcast (see below) did not have getting to TOT as a goal, but they definitely had other, even bigger, longer-term goals. And they learned to “chunk” those goals down to smaller ‘process goals’, so they could keep track of their progress in increments.

4. Putting a high value on and protecting their time. Every minute of work time counts, and to maximize your production, you need to maximize your time. Top producers say “no” to almost everything that doesn’t directly help them reach their goals and delegate all of the less important work to others.

5. Specializing. Most of the top producers focus on one type of client or one type of service or product. They become specialists in their field, which increases referrals to their specialty.

6. Build marketing around an ideal client. Author Seth Godin tells us that we should be aiming for our “smallest viable market.” Top producers identify their ideal clients and build their marketing around them—in referral conversations, in how they introduce themselves, in their seminars and written content, on their web sites, and in social media.

7. Create a powerful team. It’s rare that someone gets to TOT without an exceptional team behind him or her. It might be family, but one way or another, they invest in great people to assist them, train their team well, and learn how to delegate everything that does not directly generate revenue.

8. Systems for everything they do. The more top players can automate their processes—from prospecting to client service and reviews—the more they are able to focus on their goal, whatever it might be.

9. Work with a mentor and a coach. Van Mueller, a TOT qualifier for more than 32 years, tells advisors that he has always had mentors and coaches and, to this day, still has a coach. Mentors can teach you things you don’t already know, and coaches can help you clear away whatever is holding you back.

This is not a plug for my services—it’s a fact. A great number of TOT qualifiers have utilized the services of a business coach to help them achieve their results.

If you’re serious about accelerating your business—whether it’s to qualify for the MDRT, Court of the Table, or Top of the Table, or just to grow your business into the mid-six figures and beyond, take the advice of members of the elite group of people who have made it there, and build your practice with the help you need.

What’s in your way? If you’d like to talk about it, contact me. You could easily add $50K-$100K to your business this year if you do.

And, in the meantime, keep REACHING

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P.S. You can find my Top of the Table interviews here:

16 Disciplines

I suppose it would have been more fun if I called them 16 “hot tubs” for advisors, or less intimidating if I called them “practices,” but after 17 years of working with and observing how the most successful advisors, it's clear that there are branches of knowledge involved. 


Practice these simple 16 disciplines daily and watch how quickly and easily your practice grows.

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