I learned about Gallup’s Strengths about 10 years ago and then really dove into it when we had a team engagement session about 6 years ago. I fell in love with the information that was presented to me and it has shaped how I interact at home but also was very influential to how I take care of my clients even now today.
In a nutshell, I sell insurance today as my main scope of duties, as an owner/broker, but I am not a salesperson. I actually am a complete opposite of salesperson yet I “sell” insurance. So, how is that possible?
Before understanding my GALLUP assessment, I knew I liked to learn and collect information as I love to read but I didn’t consider how this can translate into selling insurance. I actually didn’t get into this profession until my 30s because selling something to a stranger wasn't something I was comfortable with.
My father was a business consultant that sold (and still does) insurance and I was under the impression that you are a salesman/woman if you sold those types of products so I steered clear of anything sales related. After working for him for a short while an undergraduate, I didn't think I would ever consider this profession again after witnessing client facing meetings to introduce products.
Awhile later, after moving from Nebraska to Arizona during the real estate boom in the mid-2000s, I focused on working within the real estate market in administrative roles such as reception, loan processing, legal assistant work and eventually a paralegal. I wanted a steady paycheck so I would never have to worry about income; as sales is generally commission based if you own your own company. But, I also enjoyed the hearing the positive feed back after a transaction closed, about how I was instrumental to the client experience by providing a smooth transactional experience and proactively managing the requirements involved.
The full GALLUP assessment covers 34 strengths and then when you look at your specific line-up, the goal is to focus on developing your top 10 strengths as those are the ones that come the most natural to you. I will share about my top 5 here and how that affects my business practices every day.
A quick summary is below:
1. Input – The need to collect and archive, we often outline in detail the steps to understand what is happening and why.
2. Responsibility – Those with this take psychological ownership of what I say I will do; often known as reliable and dependable.
3. Learner – Those with this have a great desire to learn and continuously want to improve; love the process of learning.
4. Focus – One with focus can take direction, follow through and make the corrections necessary to stay on track; prioritize and act.
5. Communication – One with communication finds it easy to put thoughts into words; one enjoys to highlight important messages and therefore can make meaningful connections.
How does this translate to me? This means that I enjoy finding the necessary products needed for my clients as a broker who can shop all carriers for specific client needs. I then provide the best means possible to start the process in an efficient manner, while keeping communications with my clients so that I am proactively providing updates to keep them informed.
I have had other advisors say that insurance is so transactional so that those that focus only on this type of work may not care as much about the client experience, but I have to disagree. My clients and I keep in touch over the years as they like that they can come to me for service and updates and that I will continue to product education and not make them feel like they will be sold something every time we catch up. They know I will provide them with the necessary information that is important to them and will continue to use efficient processes within my team.
Now, would I have changed anything if I would have taken the assessment 15 years ago instead of 10 years ago? Probably not, because those roles I took along my career path, fine tuned my ability to build processes that are important to any business practice and I utilize those skills every day; so my work experience is crucial to my success today. I believe you must have the foundation of the business built, before you can layer on more responsibilities to manage your clients efficiently. And, this process never ends as you grow and keep learning.
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