January 6, 2016

As a general rule, I hate reality TV. Every show feels the same to me, from the way the shows are edited to create artificial drama, to the music that builds suspense before cutting to commercial. After the commercials there will be a recap of what you just watched, and you don’t get to see results until the very end of the show.

The Profit TV Show

With that said, there is one reality show I really like, even though it follows that exact formula, and you can apply the lessons from this show to your business.

The show is called The Profit. The premise is that investor Marcus Lemonis helps troubled businesses get back on track. He looks at the financials, asks pointed questions, speaks to employees and partners, and in most cases he offers to invest in the business. He asks for a lot in exchange, usually at least 40% ownership in the business, and in his words he’s “100% in control”.

Of course that’s ripe for drama, since the owners are accustomed to doing things their own way, even though that’s generally why their business is failing. Marcus regularly threatens to cancel the deal if they refuse to follow his lead, which in some cases even involves changing the business name and location.

I mentioned above that you can use lessons from the show to improve your own business. In each episode, Marcus explains his simple formula for a successful business, which is “The Three P’s”:

  • People
  • Product
  • Process

Simply put, a business needs the right people, the right process, and the right product. If any one of those is missing, the business will likely fail, or at least not hit its potential.

Your People

Let’s look at your business. I’ll make the assumption that you are good at what you do. So you have the right person in place, but do you need other people? That doesn’t mean employees necessarily, but an assistant can be useful, or it could mean working with a helpful backoffice support team like New Horizons provides. Many times, trying to do everything yourself will severely limit your income potential.

See if you can afford an assistant or a partner, and use the resources available to you.

Your Product

Most likely, you have your favorite Medicare Supplement plan that you sell, and at least one backup. You’ve selected those for any number of reasons, from good commissions and easy underwriting to the ease of getting someone on the phone when you need them. Your choices should most definitely be good for your clients first, and for you second.

As the saying goes “always have something else to sell”. If you only sell Med Supps, then you are limiting yourself to $250-350 per year, per client. If you want to make $100,000, you need a lot of clients, even factoring in renewals. But if you were to offer just one more product to your clients, what would that do to your income?

I’m not saying you should try to be everything to everyone, but if you sell Mrs. Jones a Med Supp and come back later to offer Final Expense or Cancer Insurance or Life Insurance or any other product, you can easily make her worth 2-4x more as a client.

Add just one ancillary product and see what happens to your income.

Your Process

For many of you this will seem familiar. You drive around meeting with prospect and clients, and when you get a sale you fill out a paper application, and when you get back to your home or office, you fax it in. Then you shove the app and any notes you made into a filing cabinet.

Do you think improving your process could help you earn more? Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Write down a sales process to go through with every prospect
  • Do more work over the phone or email to save drive time
  • Hire an assistant to take some things off your plate (part-time, full-time, on location, remote)
  • Start using electronic applications
  • Go paperless

Any combination of these can shave time and effort from your process. If you could work the same amount and make 25% more, would that interest you? Or work less and make the same?

Everyone’s process is different, so take an afternoon and really analyze how you work. See if you can find ways to improve it.


What to do next

I’d like to challenge you to block off a morning or afternoon, try to get rid of any interruptions, and truly look at how you run your business. Look at your people, products, and processes, and see if you can improve one or more of them. Sometimes it helps to get an outside view. If you’d like some help, let me know and I’ll be glad to chat with you about it.


Did you try anything new recently? Please share in the comments below, I love hearing ideas from agents.

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