Sales Skills

The First Step Towards Growth is Awareness

By April Baker, CLO

There are many things about ourselves that we must be aware of to grow. Being honest with yourself about your strengths, weaknesses, interests, and opportunities is essential to reaching your full potential. Being fully aware of where you are today and where you want to be in the future will create a clear sense of direction.

Before entering the insurance business, I spent 20 years in the fitness industry as a coach, trainer and nutritional consultant. To do my job, and do it well, I needed to know my client’s mindset, physical strength, mental well-being, personality traits, instinctive behavior, eating habits, etc. I knew that I could not be successful unless I possessed a deep awareness of each and every person that I served. Most importantly, I needed to guide my clients towards self-awareness. 

When I entered the insurance industry and joined Beyond Insurance, I brought the concept of assessments with me. If assessments were so vital in the fitness industry, would the same principles apply to insurance and risk management? Absolutely. I soon realized that one of my unique skill sets was my desire and ability to design and deliver performance-based assessments. Assessments have fueled my life-long passion and mission of adding value to people and helping them become the best version of themselves. 

As the Chief Learning Officer of Beyond Insurance, I have built several assessments to guide insurance and risk management professionals towards self-awareness. Just like the fitness industry, my clients and colleagues need to become more aware of performance indicators that correlate to their goals. 

First, as an insurance professional, it’s important to assess your unrealized growth potential if you have business development opportunities.  You need to look at your skills regarding prospecting, cross-selling, referrals, negotiation, and more.  Next, you need to evaluate the strengths of your organization as well as growth opportunities within.  Step back and look at your brand differentiation, product focus vs consultative approaches, overall process and procedure, relationship management systems, customer experience, etc.  How do you rate when it comes to organic growth—the top indicator of a dynamic, forward-thinking firm?  Plus, understanding the effectiveness of your sales leadership and sales culture is also critical.  Do sales behaviors and values align with corporate culture? Consider how you attract and develop talent, how you approach goal setting and how you empower sales professionals for success.

Taking advantage of proven, existing assessment tools will allow you to most effectively evaluate these and other important criteria to increase your awareness and position yourself and your organization for growth.  You will then be empowered to design and implement action steps to improve sales culture, attract talent, and significantly improve business development results.  You can take the first step to increased awareness by checking out our free assessments.

As James Russell Lowell, an American Romantic poet once said, "No one can produce great things who is not thoroughly sincere in dealing with himself."  Assessments enable you to understand where you are and where you want to go. Being transparent and honest with yourself is an essential component of any self-evaluation. They also serve as an important step enabling you to set proper goals and implement strategies that have a direct correlation on performance. You must know yourself to grow yourself and the first step towards growth is awareness.

Learn more about the author, April Baker.