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Skill Versus Mindset


I am often asked what prevents sales professionals in the financial services industry—Emerging Leaders to Top Producers—from consistently meeting their goals.

We’ve all been there. Sales forecasts aren’t looking as good as they could. Recruitment numbers aren’t as strong as they should be. Yet, goals are outlined, plans are established, and product knowledge isn’t an issue.

So, why aren’t I crushing my numbers?

Let me start by sharing the most common answers I receive from my clients when asked what is preventing them from executing their plan:

“I’m good when I’m focused.”
“My team knows what to do, but just can’t get it together.”
“I’m a serial procrastinator.”

Furthermore, you have the following in place:

  • Goals are clearly outlined.
  • You know exactly what you want to achieve.
  • Each goal has a timeline associated with it.
  • Each goal will significantly and positively impact your life and/or book of business.

If the above is true, why are you still stuck? Here’s the answer:

No matter how much experience you have in the financial services industry, no matter how good your plan is, if you aren’t focused consistently on specific behaviors, daily behaviors, you will not be as successful as you can be.

I know what you’re thinking. No one does this. It’s not how you were trained.

Let’s talk about consistency.

After working with tens of thousands of financial services sales professionals, I’m here to tell you that if you do not focus on micro, then macro is a hope. Believe it or not, a big part of how I work with clients revolves around managing behaviors, not results. And, if you are in a management role, I strongly encourage you to adopt this philosophy. Traditionally, we are taught to train for skill. I’m asking that you train for mindset. Think of it this way, if you’re focused only on the outcome (the macro), then you’re lengthening the time it will take to successfully reach your goal.

Sales professionals know their benchmarks, yet are not taking the time to answer this question, “What daily behaviors must be executed in order to achieve my goals?”

It’s really that simple, yet difficult for most to consistently commit to taking daily action.

Let me give you an example. If John’s goal is to recruit 6 people by December 31, 2018, I would coach John through how to build a plan around daily behaviors to meet or exceed this goal. We would identify items like number of first interviews, sources of interviews—basically breaking down all specific, consistent behaviors that need to occur in order for John to meet (or exceed) his outlined goal.

You see where I’m going with this? I challenge my clients to bring goals down to daily behaviors and focus on daily results. This level of detail in the sales world, coupled with accountability, gets people unstuck and pushes people to greater levels of success.

The example above really outlines the Sandler Success Triangle.

  • Attitude involves everything in your head, gut, and heart.
  • Behavior is made up of the actions you take and how consistent you are with those actions.
  • Technique is the strategy of sales or what and when to communicate.

Now sit back and think of a goal you need to achieve. What daily actions must you consistently take in order to meet or exceed your goal? Just don’t write this down and leave it there. Start to implement on a daily basis those tasks that need to be completed in order to achieve your goal.

Remember to do a little bit all of the time, not a lot some of the time.

Once you change your mindset and focus on consistent daily actions, you should more readily meet (or exceed) your goals. Let me know how it goes.

Glenn Mattson

Glenn Mattson

Glenn Mattson is a seasoned veteran of the selling profession, Glenn has personally built one of the leading offices for Sandler Training with his office ranking consistently in the top 1% of Sandler franchisees worldwide. He specializes in working with financial services producers and agency managers who want to shorten their selling cycles, grow their revenues, boost their productivity, and improve their operational efficiencies. Glenn's clients include many producers who seek to be MDRT qualifiers as well as Court of The Table and Top of The Table members who attribute a great deal of their success to the principles, practices, and, above all, the accountability Glenn brings to their practice. Glenn is based in Long Island, New York, but he's usually "in the field," working with clients all over the United States helping them to grow their business, revenues, and profits. Additionally, Glenn is a sought-after keynote speaker, available to speak to small or large groups on emerging business topics.