Like most agents, I struggled when I started in this business in 1982. But, then I got extremely lucky, because I had three very successful producers take me under their wings and teach me how to consistently attract, set high quality appointments and close sales with my best prospects.
And, I quickly became a top producer like them. (Thank You, Mike, Phil and Ron!)
What Made The Big Difference In My Success?
What made the difference, was the 3 mentors I had early in my career.
Given enough time and money, I’m sure I would have eventually figured this business out on my own… with a lot of studying, and applying what I learned through trial and error.
The question is, without the guidance of my 3 mentors, would I have had the resolve, money and patience to make it happen? Would I have survived the early years in this business, let alone become a top producer?
Whether you have been in this great profession for 30 days or 30 years, if you are not seeing the results you want, then when are you going to do something about it?
One of the most overlooked and best ways to quickly improve your results, is to find a mentor. Someone who is (or was) already successful at what you want to do, and is willing to help you.
When people think of mentors, they may think of a retiree they met at their son’s little league practice who gave them some pointers on dealing with mortgage brokers. They may remember their neighbor who started a successful business several years ago and whose brain they’ve picked during the backyard barbecue. They may recall the experienced businessperson who took them under their wing and taught them all about business, customers and relationships – the one person to whom they wouldn’t think about making a major decision without consulting.
The first two examples above describe an advisor relationship, while the third describes a mentor.
Advisors can be extremely valuable, and you should try to learn all you can from them. Most people are happy to give you an hour or two of their time, particularly if you’re clear that this is all you want. Few people will resist this approach: “I’ve admired what you’ve accomplished in this field. Would you allow me to take you to lunch and ask you a few questions?” When you meet with them, remember that the more specific your questions, the more value you’ll receive.
A mentor relationship is much deeper, more personal and longer term. A mentor is someone who serves as an example, an advisor, a sounding board and ultimately a friend. That last attribute is very important. A mentor cannot really be effective if they don’t truly care about you, and vice versa. Truly effective mentors do what they do for one reason: They want to help you succeed. They aren’t working with you to make money off your business or to boost their egos.
They work with you because they are truly interested in helping people and giving back!
A mentor is someone who has proven skills and experience in the area you want to develop. A mentor is someone who has owned, developed, or run a successful business and has demonstrated that they have the skills required to succeed. They will also have had their share of mistakes and failures, and it is their ability to turn a those mistakes and failures into a success, that makes their input so invaluable.
Ideally, they will have had experience running businesses similar to yours, however, the industry is less important than the type of business it is. For instance, if you sell services, then a good mentor for you is someone who has built and/or run a business that sells services.
A mentor may be someone you hire to support you, or it may be a friend, a previous boss or colleague who shares their experience and wisdom willingly.
A good mentor is someone who has a personal investment in your success and is committed to helping you achieve your business goals. They are the first person to whom you turn for advice and they are the first to hear of your successes. They explore options and solutions with you, and they help you to deal with obstacles.
For this reason, a good mentor will always be honest with you. They will tell you if they think an idea you have is a good one, or too risky. They will also tell you if they don’t know something, and ideally, they will have an extensive network of other experts and suppliers to leverage, to get you the right answer.
Both a coach and a mentor play an important role in your success and in an ideal world, you might have both – I still do, even after 30 years in this business!
Yours in Success,
Lew and Jeremy Nason
‘The 9 Out Of 10 Guys’
Trainers, Coaches and Mentors