Building on Strengths: Enhancing Skills

What skill does not come naturally to you, but is essential for success in your industry?

 

What have you done to learn and enhance that skill?

 

Share your story about taking courses, reading books, or pursuing on-the-job

training that has empowered you with essential abilities.

Is it natural for you now, or still an area of focus?

Referral trigger for the week of May 28
Conversation led this week by the Roswell Team

Comment below  to add answer and update your Member Profile page.

23 Responses to Building on Strengths: Enhancing Skills
  1. Debra Donaldson Scott
    May 25, 2012 | 4:15 pm

    I’m naturally analytical and in the past used this skill as a paralegal to digest large amounts of paperwork and records into critical bulletpoint summaries for my attorneys and verbally refer to those points to support our case at trial. I now use those skills to compare advantages and disadvantages of various investment products for the needs of my clients. I am constantly reading and learning and adding more depth to my understanding so I can convey the information in layman’s terms to my clients who sometimes are not sophisticated investors and need a grasp of what’s important to them in a simple summarized version.

  2. Dave Green
    May 26, 2012 | 10:49 am

    It’s hard to build websites if you don’t understand “the code.”

    I’m an artist, a salesperson, a marketer… Just make it work and I’m happy. Computer language? Please!

    …or so I try to convince myself. “i’m not technical” I keep telling myself… And those who know me give me “that look.” you know, the one that says “you may be fooling yourself, but you ain’t fooling ME!”

    One of my mentors onc said “you know all 600 keyboards in Photoshop… You’re telling me that you can’t figure out a little bit of code?”

    It took lots and lots of reading, lots and lots of trial and error, and lots and lots of caffiene to figure out how to program websites to do what I need them to do for my clients.

  3. Joyce Edwards
    May 27, 2012 | 4:31 pm

    A lot of what I do with my clients is educate them in how to use my products. Therefore, communication is key. In order to become a better communicator, I joined Toastmasters about 2-1/2 years ago. That organization has helped me to become a more confident speaker. In conjusction with the training in PowerCore, especially the crafting of good InfoMinutes, I feel I am much better able to explain my business, my tools and who my clients are. This will be an on-going part of my personal development for the foreseeable future, as I still have a lot to learn, but I’m in my business for the long haul, so why not continue to improve other areas of my life.

  4. Bruce Kromer
    May 29, 2012 | 7:39 pm

    The skill that is essential for marketing photographic images, is the ability to think
    outside the box. What can we change or modify to insure the client’s story is creative and unique. When creating your marketing story, ask yourself, “What If, Why Not?.
    These four simple words create a mindset focusing on a better creative workflow, a better image, and a better story. At Haigwood Studios, your story is our story.

  5. Mary McMath
    May 30, 2012 | 7:46 am

    This is a great question. Being “tough” does not come naturally to me but sometimes it is necessary when my client is getting pushed. I have learned how to negotiate and find a win-win that works for everyone and quite often, standing my ground is a big piece of that. There’s a great book called Getting To Yes Without Giving In that I recommend.

  6. Spence White
    May 30, 2012 | 8:30 am

    My clients rely on my recommendations to protect their families, businesses, and grow their assets via Executive and Corporate Deferred Compensation Plans.

    Understanding how these recommendations impact Estate and Income Taxes is something that I’ve had to learn and study over the years. As such, it’s imperative for me to know how different insurance plans, ownership, structure, and beneficiaries change the tax structure on the back-end. My clients don’t want to solve one problem now (protecting their family) only to leave another (Income / Estate Taxes) to their beneficiaries.

  7. Julie Young
    May 30, 2012 | 8:46 am

    In the beginning of my career, Sales wasn’t my strong point. Over time I have been forced to come out of my shell and really sell. I read books to constantly grow and my company always offers additional training to keep us focused on growing our businesses. Sales takes effort everyday! I am currently reading Monday Morning Motivation. It’s a great way to start your week and encourage your team to sell, sell, sell!

  8. Spence White
    May 30, 2012 | 9:51 am

    Understanding how my insurance recommendations (in particular Life Insurance) impact taxes (Income / Estate Taxes) is something that I’ve had to continually learn and study. It’s imperative that I know how different insurance plan ownership, structure, beneficiaries, and design relate to and can mitigate taxes (now and in the future). As such, I’m constantly reading articles on estate planning, new and modified tax laws, and exit strategies /compensation plans for business owners.

    My clients don’t want to solve one problem now (protecting their family) only to create another one in the future (excessive/unnecessary taxes) for their beneficiaries.

  9. Grant Brim
    May 30, 2012 | 10:15 am

    Organization skills are essential to a successful law practice. Unfortunately, I have not always been the most organized person. In order to overcome this weakness, I have put a system in place to ensure that my files are well organized. My systems comes from working for other attorneys in the past and learning how they have their offices organized. The key has really been consistency in making sure that I’m sticking to the system. Over time, I believe this has become a strength due to the amount of time an energy I’ve put into it.

  10. Matt Kriser
    May 30, 2012 | 10:46 am

    “Speaking in front of Groups” with finesse and professionalism has been a huge weakness of mine that I have been working on for the past 5 years. I have read books, listened to audio training, watched Youtubes, and even joined Powercore to improve this skill. I am so much better today, and still have so far to go to get to where I want to be. Toastmasters is on my list to join.

  11. Larry Erickson
    May 30, 2012 | 11:13 am

    The “Art of the Sale” was something that did not come naturally to me when I entered the financial advisor business. I spoke in front of groups and managed people, but never tried to close a sale. I read about books about everything from prospecting to selling to motivation to sharpen my ax. This will be a liftime of learning for me.

  12. Robyn Sheridan
    May 30, 2012 | 12:06 pm

    The hardest thing for me to learn was speaking in front of groups. It took a lot of practice and that is what has helped me to become an affective speaking. Also participating in networking activiites has helped me hone my skills. It was definitely a case of “practice makes perfect”. Also, writing down ab outline of what i am going to speak about helps keep me focused and on track.

  13. Matthew Brown
    May 30, 2012 | 12:17 pm

    Sitting down with a customer face-to-face is no problem for me, it seems to come natural and I think my clients enjoy talking about their needs. However, speaking in front of big groups (even the size of a powercore group!) still makes me nervous. This is exactly why I joined PowerCore. It has certainly helped me overcome my anxiousness as well as helped fine-tune my sales delivery develop new talking points about my products.

  14. Lauri Lee
    May 30, 2012 | 4:40 pm

    I enjoy talking with people, and since I love to give my opinions, sharing information about Arbonne’s products and business comes naturally to me. However, asking for referrals and introductions did not initially come naturally to me. Since meeting other people is how I build my business, I had to “get my ask in gear,” so to speak! I have read books by successful network marketers and enjoyed coaching from various Arbonne vice presidents. I’ve also learned that asking someone to host a get-together for a few friends or to introduce me to others is not as daunting as it once seemed; if they decline, I’ve lost nothing. Does that mean it’s easy for me now? Of course not. But I am a work in progress, and as I used to tell my students when I was a teacher, “practice makes better.”

    Lauri Lee, Arbonne Independent Consultant
    Botanical Skincare, Cosmetics and Nutritional Products
    http://laurilee.myarbonne.com
    401-450-4230

  15. Randi Stillman
    May 30, 2012 | 5:07 pm

    Public speaking does not come naturally to me. When I morphed from employee to entrepreneur, I turned to PowerCore and Toastmasters. Now I’m more comfortable speaking publicly in business meetings, for networking, and while delivering presentations to large groups. Effective communication takes practice, and I continue to practice as a current Member of both PowerCore and Toastmasters.

  16. Sid Plait
    May 30, 2012 | 5:55 pm

    For me, it’s staying in touch. It has never been important to me that others keep in touch with me, and I’m not good at staying in touch with them. As a result, I used to work for a client (new or not), call them in a few days to see if what I did for them still works, and then wait until they called me with a different problem two years from now.

    I recently started using Send Out Cards to help me with the first step in keeping in touch, and it has made the job a bit easier. People are calling me just to thank me for sending them the card (apparently, no one in my field does this), and they think of other things for me to do for them much sooner than they might have otherwise.

    When I visit a client, I make a note in my calendar to set up the card for them in the evening. That way, it’s done and I don’t have to worry about it.

    Now, I need to start collecting birthdays and anniversaries. I don’t know how I’m going to feel about this in the long run, but it is definitely something I’m going to do!

  17. Doc Edwards
    May 30, 2012 | 9:11 pm

    Coming from a long line of dysfunctional communicators, as a developing person, I turned to the area of mechanical and technical skills. I have lived the life of a responder and problem solver ‘on demand’.
    Although my belief level may run deep, I can seldom “drink all the Kool-Aid”. I don’t react as a game show contestant, jumping up and down, screaming ecstatically. I see my product and service as a useful tool and will present the features and benefits rather than trying to “sell the sizzle”.
    I get along with people quite well. That’s not the obstacle. Reaching out is.
    PowerCore supplies the opportunity for a solo-preneur to travel beyond the confines of a home-based business. The close contact referral network model allows one to connect with potential clients without the stress of cold calling, because, as we have learned, referrals should be served warm.
    Doc Edwards, SendOutCards
    Keeping in touch builds stronger relationships

  18. June Clark
    May 30, 2012 | 9:14 pm

    Public Speaking is NOT easy for me. I am an accountant, not a sales person and not a teacher/speaker. To help, I have taken a public speaking course and several seminars. I worked with a coach for a few sessions and PowerCore training and participating on my team have both enhanced my speaking skills. I still prefer working with numbers but I can address a group when I need to do so. Speaking is a great way to gain exposure and is an important part of my marketing.

  19. Rick Farber
    May 31, 2012 | 8:23 am

    My challenge is continuing to develop my skills in the home inspection industry. Interactions with professional associations such as PowerCore and business networking has been great for me.

  20. Tracy Morrison
    May 31, 2012 | 8:33 am

    My challenge is keeping up with the ever changing regulations. I subscribe to multiple websites to get constant updates. I also take monthly continuing education and read publications related to mt industry.

  21. Scott Taylor
    May 31, 2012 | 12:37 pm

    Communication, empathy and product knowledge is the ever changing landscape of health Insurance. Presenting an intangible product to clients that range from price shoppers to entitlement minded opportunist to coverage dependant consumers requires constant study, education and understanding. I read insurance policies, study medical bills and follow regulatory changes at the state and federal level. I query doctors, nurses, EMT’s and administrators regarding medical coding, medical discoveries/treatments and medical costs. I have to educate my potential clients as to what Insurance can and won’t do as well as what regulations should and will do. It’s challenging and never boring.

  22. Heather Snyder
    June 1, 2012 | 12:21 pm

    My challenge has been public speaking. That is one of the reasons I joined PowerCore to give me more opportunities to gain that experience. The InfoMinute Seminar really improved my public speaking.

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