‘Film Don’t Lie’

By | June 17, 2019

I spent 30 years in Dallas, listening to talk radio – specifically, sports radio.

On Monday afternoon, there was a segment by one of the big-time local sport’s radio personalities called “Film Don’t Lie.”

This radio host had been around Dallas a long time and had written and talked about Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and more.

The message was simple and direct: If you screwed up, it’s on film. You can’t excuse your way out of the evidence caught on film because ‘Film Don’t Lie.’

Most producers have some weird combination of overconfidence and insecurity; they feel they are great salespeople even when the results don’t show it.

If Tony Romo laid a ball out, right into the hands of Dez Bryant and he dropped it, it’s on film.

If Emmitt Smith made a move and froze as the opposing linebacker stepped right by him, it’s on film.

And because film don’t lie, it will be replayed, dissected and discussed over and over.

For almost 50 years, ABC Wide World of Sports had an opening for all of its sports shows: ‘The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.’ The film they used to represent “the agony of defeat” was from a ski-jumping competition. This downhill skier didn’t make it down the ramp before he wiped out. It was played over and over and over, millions of times for 30 years.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could film our sales calls? “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat:”

“Hey boss, I got a BOR on this account today.”

“Nice, what did you do?”

“Just told him we could help him.”

“How big is the account?”

“About $25,000.”

“Good job.”

Or this:

“Hey Jack, how’d your presentation go today?”

“Ahh, not so good. Don’t think we are going to get this one.”

“Really, why not?”

“Not sure. I did a good job of showing him how we could help, but just don’t think we’re going to get the account.”

“Well, keep up the good work. The next one will fall your way.”

Both winner and loser felt like they did a good job, of course. Who is going to come back from a sales call and say, “Hey boss, I’m a loser. I’m lousy at building rapport. I have nothing different. I can’t find pain, and I can’t get them to commit to a change.”

You see, “Film Don’t Lie”, and because you can’t film the sales call, you ought to film the practice sessions. Just small segments at a time. Then put them on the big screen and dissect them.

Your producers will feel very self-conscious in the beginning, but with a little conditioning, they’ll get used to it and start to appreciate the coaching.

You’re probably thinking, “This won’t work with my group.” And you are probably right if you already feel that way. But it could work, and it could work really well if two things are true:

  1. People have a desire to get better.
  2. You have a sales process.

After 27 years of being in the trenches, working with over 6,000 producers, I empathize with any sales leader bold enough to work with their producers to actually improve their sales call acumen.

Most producers have some weird combination of overconfidence and insecurity; they feel they are great salespeople even when the results don’t show it.

Or to the contrary, they know they aren’t good salespeople but don’t have the courage to admit it, so they show up and pretend really well.

To amp up the desire, I do one simple exercise: Pull up your browser on the big screen. Do a search for how much money you need for retirement. Depending on which site you are on, you’ll see that you need about 22 times your annual living expenses. So, have them do the math: 22 times their $100,000 living expense is $2.2 million. To make this really impactful, have everyone’s 401(k) valuation in your hand so you can pass it out. Then subtract the difference between what they have and what they need and help them realize they are probably way behind the eight-ball when it comes to saving money.

Then, put up on the white board: Earnings minus tax and lifestyle equals savings capability.

Then, look them in the eye one-by-one and ask: “Who needs to make a lot more money so you can save a lot more money, so you can have a good life after this insurance career is over?”

You should get a lot of hands going up. You just built some desire, and being a smart leader, you need to reinforce this desire over and over.

Number two on the list above is simple: You need a sales process.

I’ve debated with hundreds of agency owners about their sales process. Telling a producer they should find pain is not a process; it is an abstract idea. You can’t role-play abstract ideas.

If you were a receiver’s coach for a football team, and you told your wide receiver “get open” but you didn’t tell them how to do it, you should be fired as a receiver’s coach.

Most producers have some weird combination of overconfidence and insecurity; they feel they are great salespeople even when the results don’t show it.

A great receiver’s coach would train them in technique. How to fire down the line. How to plant a foot and turn hard or how to make contact with the defensive guy and push off just enough to get open. For every single element of getting down the field and getting open, there is a technique that will help them improve.

So, it should be the same with your sales call. If you can’t map it out, step by step, technique by technique, you probably don’t have a “sales call” process. And if that is true, you have nothing to film other than gibberish (unintelligible or meaningless speech; nonsense).

There is a headline you can Google: Tom Brady Spent Sunday “Watching Film All Night” on the Bolts, Jan. 7, 2019.

Because you can’t watch film on your competitors, your next best thing is to watch film on your own producers. Watching them role-play your well-defined and meaningful sales call process is helpful if you want them to radically improve, because “Film Don’t Lie.”

About Randy Schwantz

Schwantz is founder of The Wedge Group. Phone: 214-446-3209. Website: www.thewedge.net. Email: randy@thewedge.net More from Randy Schwantz

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Insurance Journal West June 17, 2019
June 17, 2019
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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