The PIRL Transformation

What does a PIRL producer believe? How do they act? How do they live?

In this article, I’ll share our philosophy and what becoming a PIRL Producer will do to transform your life.

Every producer I know has some area of their business they want to improve.

For the vast majority, it usually revolves around making more money.

For those who make good money, it’s usually a mixture of finding additional lead sources because they are worried about sustaining that level of income, or they are looking for a smart way to do business because they are grinding it out.

To make a high six or even seven figures in this business, the traditional model requires a lot of grinding.

Seminars, meetings, illustrations, paperwork, driving, chasing, marketing, advertising, convincing, and selling.

All of this can be a grind if you are doing much of it yourself.

I understand.

For years I went to bed Sunday night with a pit in my stomach dreading going to work Monday morning because I knew I’d be on the hook for prospecting, cold calling, and doing my follow up calls in my tickler file.

Any day I’d go home without spending enough time on the phones to get new appointments left me with a sense of guilt that I knew I didn’t get the job done that day.

Man, how I hated those days…they are still fresh in my mind almost 20 years later.

I was truly blessed to discover an alternative that changed the course of my life forever.

That discovery led me down a road that was both challenging and fulfilling in ways I never could have imagined as a 21-year-old newlywed trying to make my way in life.

The discovery colors everything I do now and have done for the past 16 years. It’s created the ultimate lifestyle (I work from home in my lake house) and made me a multimillionaire by my thirties.

So. the first and most important philosophy of the PIRL Producer is based on the discovery that set all of this in motion for me.

PIRL Producers are Marketers First.

Now, before you start with the whole “I’m not good at marketing” bit, hang with me, because this one shift will do more for your business, income, and lifestyle than any other single thing I can share.

My very first marketing mentor blew my mind when I learned I was in a completely different business than I thought I was in.

I thought I was in the Insurance business. But he showed me that if I wanted to achieve my goals and make my life and business infinitely more enjoyable, I really needed to be in the ‘marketing of insurance’ business.

This is no subtle nuance either.

This is a total shift from thinking about the way you see your business.

PIRL Producers understand that the single best way to increase your income with less effort is to use marketing and advertising to attract people to you who are PREDISPOSED to buy from you.

On the flip side, the traditional advisor focuses on getting leads and closing deals. He doesn’t realize that leads are actually the worst prospect to sell to.

This requires the manual labor (grinding) of one-to-one selling, overcoming objections, doing the illustration scurry, pandering to prospects, and follow up phone calls with endless meetings.

The Marketer First mindset says ‘screw that’ to this old, tired way of doing business. No one ever got rich doing manual labor of this type.

Much better to use marketing to attract prospects and prepare them to buy before ever speaking with you.

So why don’t producers adopt this ‘marketer first’ mindset? Because it’s hard.

Producers would much rather delegate the hard work of learning effective marketing and copywriting to someone else (some lead company or some seminar company) than do the hard, disciplined work of learning a new skill at this stage of their career.

But the ones who do are handsomely rewarded.

PIRL Producers invest in themselves. They study the science of advertising and marketing. They become Master Persuaders.

Short-term thinking, opportunity-seeking vs. Long-Term Outlook

Years ago, I was invited to speak at a large event put on by a marketing guru, Russ Von Hoelsher, in Southern California. He asked me to offer marketing training to sell to his group of attendees who wanted to learn how to start a business.

So, I put together a training course on how to build a marketing consulting business in a small niche even if you had zero affinity.

Ethan and I built our first marketing consulting company in the retail industry without a lick of retail experience. Yet despite our ‘lack of experience’ we helped the president of the largest home furnishings association this side of the Mississippi have his best sales in the 63-year history of his company. (This was one of many of these types of success stories.)

Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that Russ’ attendees were nothing but business opportunity seekers. They weren’t serious about really building a business. All they were looking for was the easy button.

The quickest way to turn a buck.

They didn’t want to learn anything serious about building real wealth. They wanted “Fast ROI!”

After selling the training that shared Ethan and my hard-fought lessons to building a real business to this group of opportunity seekers, I learned the hard way that working with these people was a nightmare.

They were a total pain in the butt. They were almost all broke. They didn’t read instructions, and worse, their short-term view of thinking would never allow them to invest the time or money necessary to get the riches they so desperately wanted.

So, when they found out they couldn’t get rich in 2 weeks with my program, they wanted refunds.

Most never even took the time to go through the training and educate themselves. They got a ‘high’ from buying then put the training on the shelf never to be opened.

This attitude is pervasive in our industry as well. Opportunity seeking agents want someone else to do the dirty work of marketing and advertising; “Just give me the lead” they shout.

Once they get the leads, invariably they don’t close as many deals as fast as they were promised, and so now ‘the leads suck.’

They blame bad leads for their problems. They complain that people don’t show up, or they don’t have any money, or already have an advisor, or ‘they aren’t interested.’ (Of course they aren’t interested! What have you actually done to create desire and interest?? Rare is the bird who is magically interested in buying annuities.)

They are looking for a 3 to 1 ROI immediately or the lead source isn’t worth their time.

PIRL Producers understand having more leads DOES NOT equate to more income.

A BETTER SYSTEM to generate and monetize leads is what equates to more income.

Most producers never consider such a concept because it requires long-term vision. It requires patience.

This is, clearly, the opposite of the typical shortsighted opportunity-seeking producers.

Thinking in terms of “Will I get a 5 to 1 ROI for every dollar I spend?” is short-term thinking.

Cold leads are the hardest leads to sell to, and there’s no long-term equity in the business if all you’re doing is running a rat race because the entire focus is on the front end. “I have to generate leads,” “I’ve got to close sales faster,” or “I don’t have any money.”

The vast majority of producers in this business fail to understand the profit-producing power of having a long-term outlook.

Let me give it to you another way.

Bill Bonner is the president of Agora Financial. They do half a billion dollars per year and are one of the largest publishing companies in the world.

Here’s what he had to say in his book Family Fortunes. “What separates the rich from the rest?”

Recently, we drove through a working-class neighborhood of Baltimore called Dundalk. 50 years ago, this is where Baltimore’s industrial labor force lived. Today those high wage industries are mostly silent and rusting. Some of the children and grandchildren of the oldest residents have moved away to the suburbs and other cities, but most of them are still there.”

Their parents and grandparents earned a good living, but few got rich and few of their descendants are rich either. Across town in the rich old northern suburbs of Roland Park in Ruston, the people are different. In these green suburbs, the rich remain; some richer, some poorer, but by and large, they are the same people whose parents were there 50 years ago.”

What accounts for this? How come some families stay rich generation after generation, while others never have a nickel?”

The secret is simply this. The rich take the long view. If you look carefully, almost all old money secrets can be traced to a single source, a long-term outlook.”

PIRL producers enjoy the long-term outlook because it guarantees they are playing games they can win.

Producers with a long-term outlook don’t measure the success of any given marketing campaign in days or weeks; they install proven principles that they know will eventually create the results they desire.

When those marketing principles have a chance to work, it creates a system that delivers predictable results systematically over and over again.

So, which would you rather: jump from idea to idea looking for the silver bullet, or buckle down, and build an asset that will make you millions for years to come?

Mind Control

PIRL Producers know that the most valuable real-estate on planet earth is the real estate between their ears.

How you think is more important than virtually anything else in your life.

And so PIRL producers share a common Mind Control Protocol.

First, we believe in accurate thinking. Virtual reality isn’t real reality. You’d think that would be common sense to the average bear, yet common sense is remarkably uncommon.

So, for us, pragmatism always rules the day. Unlike the fools who defunded the police in Minnesota only to complain 3 weeks later that the police weren’t doing enough to stop crime, PIRL producers don’t adopt well-meaning politically correct philosophies at the cost of producing real results.

We believe in living in the real world.

This means accurate thinking about business, marketing, finances, salesmanship, and prospect behavior…not “hopium”. Not political correctness. Not milquetoast feedback to avoid hurting feelings.

To some, this can come across as crass; but if crass delivers results, know we’ll always choose crass over politically correct.

One of the most insidious mentalities producers suffer from is “Hopium”. They’ve been misled by the ‘positive mental attitude’ movement of yesteryear. They believe if they avoid the cold reality that most deals don’t close, and most prospects are lying to you, the problems that most definitely will arise will magically disappear.

They Hope their deals close. They Hope the objections won’t come up. They Hope the incumbent advisor doesn’t show up before the deal is done.

PIRL Producers believe in having a “Positive mental attitude through the expectation of a negative result.”

This means we know something bad can happen. And, in fact, most likely it WILL happen. Your prospect will read something negative online. The incumbent advisor will lie about you and your product.

Your prospect probably IS lying to you, falsely expressing interest just to get you to open the kimono and give away your goods, with no intention of actually doing business with you.

Instead of hoping these problems will somehow not arise this time, the PIRL Producer realizes that Hope is not a strategy. He hits these negatives head on. He knows they will come up. He always has a positive attitude because he is in control; he eliminates them by preempting them before they blow up in his face.

Eradicate Neediness

PIRL Producers totally eradicate neediness from the sales process.

We understand that one of the most pervasive and costly sales-killing mistakes producers make is being emotionally involved in the sale.

This emotional involvement reveals itself in 2 ways.

First is Neediness.

Neediness is the ultimate income killer.

Neediness is repulsive. It’s costly. It must be eradicated.

Typical producers believe they need or want to close the deal. They become emotionally attached to the outcome because they need the dough.

Because they are emotionally involved, they get frustrated or excited throughout the sales process.

When a prospect attacks the product with a negative comment, producers take it personally and feel the need to explain and justify their existence. This destroys your credibility and authority.

Neediness makes you appear desperate and no one wants to do business with someone who is desperate. Desperation stinks. So does commission breath. Prospects can smell it through the phone and it’s repulsive.

11 ways that neediness kills sales:

You don’t have the guts to use tough crossovers because you are afraid of upsetting the client.PIRL Producers love using crossovers to stun and confuse their prospects.

You talk way too much. You explain and teach your prospect instead of asking questions and letting your prospect close themselves. PIRL Producers only talk 30% of the time and listen 70% of the time.

The tone of your voice is falsely friendly. This fake enthusiasm puts prospects on the defensive. PIRL producers are never more enthusiastic than their prospects.

You try to ‘close’ the sale instead of letting the prospect ask you how they can get started.PIRL Producers never ask for the sale. They get the prospect to say. “How can we get started?”

You ‘open the kimono,’ giving away your expertise for free, allowing the prospect to take your information and use it against you. PIRL Producers give nothing until they have a commitment to move forward.

You follow up too much, too often; you are too eager to close the deal, creating the impression you are desperate or pushy. PIRL Producers create an Equity Bank that converts prospects into buyers through infotainment, not obnoxious follow-up.

Nice guys finish last. Being ‘nice’ kills your positioning so your prospect has all the control.PIRL Producers don’t care if the prospect likes them. They never pander or do favors to avoid upsetting a prospect.

You overvalue a single deal, causing you to get emotionally high or low instead of remaining neutral and in control. PIRL Producers have a pipeline of prospects so they never have too much riding on any one deal.

You focus on the outcome of closing a deal, which is something you can’t control, rather than behaviors you can control.PIRL Producers are ruthlessly pragmatic. They know most deals won’t close, so they focus on their own skills, not outcomes they can’t control.

You lose time on dead deals since you’re not willing to walk away. PIRL Producers build a War Chest so they can walk away from any deal without changing their lifestyle one bit.

You believe the prospect is telling you the truth, falling prey to their lies, causing you to lose deals. PIRL Producers know buyers are liars. So, they remain skeptical at all times, never giving up their ground.

PIRL Producers eradicate this neediness and create a position of power and authority using the Principle of Least Interest.

We are not trying to win their approval. We are not trying to make your prospects like you. In fact, just the opposite. We don’t care if they like us or not, because we are there to help them solve a problem.

If you are injured in a serious car accident and an EMT comes to rescue you, do you care if he is your friend? Or do you need him to save your life?

The Principle of Least Interest states: “He who cares least, has the power.”

It’s true between women and men in the dating scene.

It’s true between prospects and producers.

The needier you are, the less money you will make. Period.

We believe producers should never be in an inferior position than our prospects. We believe they need us more than we need them, and we keep this ever-present with two incantations:

First: “I have a war chest and I don’t need the business.”

Second: “I have a pipeline, and I don’t need this deal.”

The second common and costly part of ‘neediness’ that comes into the sales interaction is the need for approval.

Sales is not the place to get your emotional needs met.

Most people are born and raised in an environment that encourages ‘approval.’ We are raised to constantly seek approval from others – our parents, our teachers, our coaches, our siblings, and our friends. In the corporate world, we seek approval from our bosses to get a raise, or from clients to get a deal.

We have been taught that if we are kind and generous, we get the approval of others, which makes us feel good about ourselves.

This is a terrible way to build self-esteem. It gives others the power to influence how we feel about ourselves and it affects how we perform.

Producers often carry this weak emotional state into sales interactions. This causes you to bend over backward, even when the prospect is wasting your time, because you want the prospect to ‘like you.’

The result is the opposite of the desired effect. The more you attempt to get your prospect to like you, the less respect they have for you, and the more likely you are to lose the deal.

There is a reason for the saying “nice guys finish last.” It’s because it’s true.

Producers want prospects to ‘like them’ because they have bought into the false (and devastating) philosophy that a prospect must “Know, like, and trust you,” in order to buy.

That’s B. S.

A prospect does not need to like you to buy from you. You buy plenty of things from people and companies you don’t like. Take your internet provider for example. Do you like them? Probably not.

What about your CPA? Do you want to hang out with him on the weekends? Maybe, maybe not.

Now granted, you don’t want your prospect to hate you, but prostrating yourself at the feet of your prospect, pandering to get them to like you by expressing faux interest in their family or golf game, destroys your self-respect. It’s fake. You know it and so do your prospects.

You don’t want to upset them because you mistakenly believe that them liking you correlates to closing deals. It does not.

PIRL Producers are not rude or angry. We are indifferent.

We are emotionally neutral. We have a titanium backbone, so no matter what the prospect does or says, we don’t get emotional.

We live by the adage: “I have a War Chest and I don’t need this deal.”

This gives you great power in the interaction. No longer do you feel inferior. No longer do you need to be treated with disrespect. No longer do you lose deals because you gave away the farm because the prospect asked for it.

If you had 10 million dollars in the bank, how would you sell?

Would you serve and educate for free?

Would you scurry around doing extra illustrations and free consulting, educating prospects without any commitment?

Would you feel and act needy?

Would you try to appease the prospect?

PIRL Producers Do Not.