In May, I attended the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. It was an amazing event. With 350,000 fans packed inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis became the 57th largest city in the United States that day. As I watched the race and walked around the speedway, I thought of all the history and tradition that makes up “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
Several aspects of the day stood out and made me think about how we conduct ourselves and run our business.
The Indy 500 always takes place on Memorial Day weekend, a holiday dedicated to honoring our veterans, especially those who gave their lives in service. In the race’s opening ceremonies, taps is played by a member of the military band. During the performance, you could hear a pin drop in the speedway – the atmosphere of respect was astounding.
The trumpet player captured everyone’s attention and commanded their respect due to the meaning behind the ceremony. How do we gain that level of respect with our clients? Why can’t we develop a rapport that makes them want to intently listen to every word (note) and reflect on what we say?
Due to the 100th running of the race, the speedway promoted the city of Indianapolis, which is only appropriate – it’s a great place to live and grow up. The Indianapolis Children’s Choir sang “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful” before the race. A 10-year-old soloist performed flawlessly and made the hairs on my arm stand up. What courage for a 10-year old to stand up and sing in front of 350,000 people, plus millions more on television! She had to stretch herself to attain the confidence needed to perform on that stage.
Think about how many hours that little girl practiced for her 3-minute performance. What did she do to become so focused that the distraction of thousands of people and cameras in her face didn’t faze her a bit? Don’t our clients deserve the same amount of focus and attention?
Alexander Rossi won the Indianapolis 500 by driving across the finish line nearly on fumes. He strategized with his crew and made fewer pit stops by conserving fuel in the final laps. He painstakingly floored the gas and then coasted, holding the clutch in during the turns and short chutes. Then he ran out of fuel on his victory lap.
How much time do you spend working on your business instead of in your business? Rossi’s crew knew how much mileage they would have throughout the race. Do you know how much revenue you are getting from each appointment, client or sales call? If not, you might find it more difficult to execute a new strategy as our business changes.
Think about how you can build trust and respect with your clients, have the courage to stretch and change, and create strategies that will propel your business forward.
Mike McGlothlin is the Executive Vice President of Annuities at Ash Brokerage. His strength is helping advisors become more efficient and effective in their businesses. He and his team provide income-planning solutions focused on longevity and tax efficiency, and they also assist advisors with entering defined-benefit termination planning and structured settlement markets.
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