Practice, Practice, Practice!

Few in our industry practice, or I should say, few do “low risk” practice. Unfortunately, most producers practice on their best prospects or clients.

Have you ever heard of an athlete making it big who hasn’t spent hours – thousands of hours – practicing on perfecting their skills? Not only is practicing especially important when you are trying to learn a new technique or skill, but it also applies to keeping sharp on the basics.

Tony Gwynn, a Hall of Fame career 300+ lifetime batting average hitter, practiced hitting 300 baseballs a day off of a tee! He is one of the greatest hitters to ever play major league baseball yet he practiced the most fundamental thing every day of his career.

Jerry Rice is another great example. During practice when he would run a route and catch the ball he would turn and sprint down to the end zone every time. Other receivers would practice running their route, catch the ball, toss it back to the quarter back and then jog back into line. When Jerry Rice was asked why he would spend all of his energy in practice sprinting to the end zone after every catch he replied that it was because he had an expectation that every time he caught the ball, he would be getting into the end zone. So he made sure that he did the same in practice so that it would translate to touch downs in the game.

The same should be true in the world of professional business. If you want to appear professional, self-assured and confident with your products and services your message must come across as second nature. The only way to accomplish this is through practice. You should practice your topics, technical explanations, and your response to possible objections. To ensure success, practice your presentation out loud. Practice the presentation with all members of your team who will be attending the meeting as well.

Practice, Practice, Practice! This will always make you better and keep your edge sharp!

Things to practice:

  • Practice asking questions! Practicing having a tool box full of questions for many different situations and actively listen to what responses you hear.
  • Be clear on your role and your team’s roles and how to leverage them.
  • Practice knowing your products and service offerings at your agency.
    • Practice the information that you should know – in and out.
    • Practice at what point in a meeting you should refer to a team member of yours and how to make that transition in the conversation smooth.
  • Practice your presentation skills:
    • Eye contact
    • Voice fluctuation
    • Body language
  • Practice your material!!!! You should not have to read your own material. All printed documents and presentations are for your prospects and clients to reference back to once you are gone.
  • Practice networking and be prepared for any and all situations that can arise.

 

There are a countless number of items that you can and should practice. I have named only a few situations and suggestions but the point is to be purposeful about each of your interactions with prospects and clients. Continue to take note on what works and what needs to be improved upon so when you have your opportunity to land that big contract you have been waiting for, you will be ready!

 Image source: http://chimeraobscura.com/vm/images/gwynnbox.jpg

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