Living our Dream Purposefully – Purpose of Living – Part 30

NAFLIA 2019 Presentation (Click here to Download Powerpoint)

NAFLIA 2019 Presentation (Click here to download PDF)

Click on the above link for the presentation related to the keynote speech to be given by me at NAFLIA 2019. Conference participants are invited to download the presentation and use it to follow the keynote speech. 

life-insurance advisors
Image Credits: farrisinsadvisors.com

This blog is written in service of life-Insurance Advisors in Sri Lanka, specifically the members attending NAFLIA 2019, the National Forum for Life Insurance Advisors scheduled for the 2ndof September. My attempt is to articulate the key messages of the keynote speech that will be delivered by me.  

As I was reflecting on the topic for the annual conference, ‘Assuring Tomorrow Dream Today’. The questions that come up are, what is the action we need to take today to assure our dream of tomorrow? How do we know the action we choose to take today will assure our dream tomorrow? I realised this is a very complex question and that there is no standard answer to this as the action to be taken depends of the world each person lives in. What I mean by the ‘world’ is the immediate world of each person starting with him/herself, family, friends, organisations they belong to, organisations and people they interact with etc. The answer is personal.

As I reflected on this, it dawned to me that most personal aspect, which is unique to each living being. is their purpose in this world.  Living our life purposefully today would be a path to assuring the dream we have for tomorrow. Therefore, this blog post is concerned with helping life-insurance advisors to figure out their dream of tomorrow and what it means to live their life purposefully as explored in the next two paragraphs respectively.  

Tomorrow’s dream is a very abstract concept and very subjective. The dream can range from being peaceful by learning to live a life of non-attachment to material aspects in one extreme and amassing material possessions that provides a luxurious life on the other extreme. It could range from giving to getting, from being to becoming. While I personally dream of a life of being non-attached and experiencing happiness from giving, each person needs to articulate what their dream is. I personally prefer to hold it lightly  – rather than having specific dreams – and to allow God or the higher powers or the universal energy system to decide how such dreams are articulated and manifested.  Again, the choice is personal.

This blog series has examined the notion of purposeful living from various perspectives. While those interested in this notion can deep dive into the various posts in this blog, those interested in discovering what their purpose might be, could find some ideas in the blog post; A Glimpse of our Purpose;  once a glimpse of the purpose is seen, it becomes easier to live purposefully. Ideas about how to live purposefully can be seen in the blog post: Building ourselves to be fit for purpose. I believe that purposeful living is the steps we take daily to build ourselves to be fit to be of service to this world, using our natural and learnt talent that makes us feel alive and being of service to the concerns we have about our world.    

While this is an evolving notion in my mind, I do not claim this is the right answer and I am open to other opinions. However, I believe this notion can be a good starting point in giving some food for thought for life-insurance advisors to live their life purposefully today, as a path to assuring the dream they have for tomorrow. It is interesting that these professionals use the word ‘advisors’ instead of ‘sales persons’. This shows their intention of positioning this profession in a manner that overcomes the negative image that ‘selling’ has acquired due to the crafty, cleaver and devious nature of some sales people. This idea is also discussed in my last blog post; Is Selling a Purposeful Profession?.

Selling is a noble profession, if it is conducted in an authentic manner based on solid values. In such cases selling becomes an act of love and generosity. While ‘love’ is such a complex notion, I believe that love is the act of extending ourselves for the growth of others and ourselves, even when it is inconvenient to us. Therefore, the responsibility of ‘sales professionals’ is to advise, guide, and educate customers with the intention of helping them make the best choices that helps improve the quality of their life. Improving in the quality of life involves growing spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, ecologically, socially and in temperament. Therefore, selling is an act of love as it helps customers grow in these important areas. It is also an act of generosity because it involves giving of their time, opinions, knowledge, care and advise unconditionally. It could also go to the extent of letting the customer know that a competitor product better suits their need, even at the expense of losing a sale. Yes, the sale may be lost, but the loyalty gained cannot be compared to the financial loss of losing the sale.

What does living purposefully mean to a ‘life-insurance’ advisor? Since being purposeful is concerned with being of service to this world, let examine how these professionals are of service to people. They serve families by offering a form of saving that could result in a lump sum payment to the insurer on maturity or to the family due to an unforeseen situation.  This improves the quality of life due to peace of mind, education, harmony in families, health care expenses, etc. that their service provides. However, it is important to conduct this profession with a set of noble values such as authenticity, transparency, flexibility, patience, care, empathy etc. for them to be truly purposeful. Living in this manner helps accumulate positive energy, which attracts opportunities to serve and to gain the required wherewithal to build a life that can help live their dream of tomorrow.

The question I was attempting to answer in this blog was; how can insurance advisors assure tomorrows dream by living purposefully today? The exploration in this writing shows that life insurances advisors are well placed to live purposefully and if they choose to conduct their lives and profession in this manner, it will help them assure the dream they articulate for tomorrow.

The way this question impacts different life-insurance advisors are different, given their mind-set, role and various other aspects of life. I recommend that you reflect on the steps you can take to use this experience to make sense of your purpose and help others in your life make sense of their purpose, with the intention of living a better life to make this world a better place.

My blog post of the last five months addressed the impact of violence, religion, politics, sports and the sales profession on the lives of people and how to makes sense of various world events from the frame of purposefulness. We continue to explore purposefulness, this time in relation to life-insurances advisors.

This new phase in this series on ‘purposefulness’, which I started eight months ago, is dedicated to address living issues and struggles related to purposeful living. I hope this short blog post inspires you to find ways of making sense and dealing with experiences and struggles you encounter in trying to live purposefully.

 I wish you purposeful living!

Is Selling a Purposeful Profession – Purpose of Living – Part 29

purposeful sales person 2
Image credits: businessknowhow.com

I was at a cocktail party listening to an interesting conversation between two other guests who were in the same huddle as me.

Person A: What do you do?

Person B: I sell financial services.

Person A: What do you really want to do?

Person B: I want to be banker.

I asked A why he asked that question, and B why he responded that way. A said, “isn’t selling a profession that is not respected?” B said “yes”, it is so difficult to sell because customers look at him with suspicion. In my three decades of being in business and playing the roles of seller, buyer, leader, trainer, consultant and coach of sales professionals, I have encountered this attitude towards sales on many occasions.

However, my personal attitude towards sales is the opposite. As I reflect on the questions – how is it that people have developed this attitude towards sales, and what would be the best way to help people to look differently at sales? – the notion of purposefulness continues to come to my mind. Perhaps if I can find out if ‘sales’ is a purposeful profession, then it might help me to engage with people who have diverse viewpoints regarding this question.

Answering the above question requires understanding what is a purposeful profession. While I have attempted to answer this question in the earlier blog posts regarding purposefulness, there is no definite answer due to the complexity of this question. I believe that a purposeful profession needs to be of service to the flourishing of life and supported by noble values. Let’s examine these two aspects in relation to the sales profession. Continue reading “Is Selling a Purposeful Profession – Purpose of Living – Part 29”

Celebrate the Diversity and Re-Discover the Unity – This New Year

Image Credits: http://dogstarfoundation.wordpress.com/

Wish you all a happy new year, Subho nababarsho [Bengali], Sawatdii pimaï [Thai], Hnit thit ku mingalar pa [Burmese], Naya Barsa Ko Hardik Shuvakamana [Nepali], Nav varsh ki subhkamna [Hindi], Iniya puthandu nal Vazhthukkal [Tamil], Suba nava vasarak wewa [Sinhalese]

This is an amazing time for many countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia when most of us celebrate the traditional New Year. The New Year is celebrated between 13th to the 15th of April in India, Nepal, Myanmar [Burma], Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

In addition to being united by the dates of the celebration that runs across all these countries, all of these cultures have common rituals such as cleaning their houses, cooking fresh new food, dressing in new clothes of designated colours, visiting relations & friends, enjoying traditional music and taking part in religious rituals.

There is beautiful diversity in the variety of traditions being used in different countries and states. From lighting small oil lamps and dressing in flowers in India,  taking a ritual wash or bath in the Hunumantay River in Nepal, Mehendi body painting and face painting in Bangladesh, the water festivals in Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia and following of the auspicious times to light the fire, boil milk, take a bath, exchange gifts and go to work etc. in Sri Lanka.

Continue reading “Celebrate the Diversity and Re-Discover the Unity – This New Year”

Unlocking Sales Potential – Exploring the resources available in inner-space

If I tell you that you can fly, would you agree with me? This is the first question I asked the audience at the Sales Master Class at The Radisson Blu Water Garden In Dhaka Bangladesh on the 20th of October, when I started presenting at the day event, ‘Unlocking Sales Potential’. There were some instant ‘yes’ answers and a few others said ‘no’. The point made by this question was to get the audience thinking about the unlimited potential we are blessed with. With the realization that we can fly in an air craft and aircrafts been made by people using god given brains and resources opened up the minds in the room to the possibilities yet untapped.

Continue reading “Unlocking Sales Potential – Exploring the resources available in inner-space”

If selling is a dishonest job and if everyone is a salesman, then is everyone dishonest?

A Better Way to Sell Book CoverYes this is an interesting dilemma!

It is a generally known perception that selling is a dishonest job as sales people only try to sell a product to a customer, even if the product is not needed by the customer and at any cost to the customer. Most sales books and sales training introduces sales ‘tactics’ that help sales people to ‘sell’ at any cost.

On the other hand it is a known fact that everyone is a salesman from the little child to the grandfather, from the housewife to the corporate executive, from film star to sportsman and from the politician to the priest. They all sell ideas, they sell their value, they sell all the time.

So does it mean everyone is dishonest? The answer is a clear ‘NO’. In fact my belief is that we don’t sell, we help people to buy. We don’t sell, we provide information for people to make the right decision, we don’t sell, we help others become more successful.

It is with attitude in mind that I decided to title my second book [an improved new edit of the first book]; A better way to sell – Mastery of Sales through Mastery of Self. Click here for more details of the book.

Continue reading “If selling is a dishonest job and if everyone is a salesman, then is everyone dishonest?”