Tim Connon on How To Bounce Back Stronger in Business
Tim Connon is Founder & CEO of ParamountQuote Insurance Advisors and knows what it takes to face challenges in business and bounce back stronger. They took some time out to share their insights with The Industry Leaders.
Can you start by telling us a bit about your journey as an entrepreneur, focusing particularly on your experiences with setbacks and challenges? How has this shaped your understanding and mastery of resilience in business?
My journey as an entrepreneur with challenges and setbacks really focuses heavily on sales. Every time I lost a sale due to saying the wrong thing or lack of experience presented a difficult challenge. These setbacks ultimately led to me developing a strong mindset when it came to sales. You cannot let yourself stay down when you are knocked down period. You must get back up because the only time you actually fail is when you stay down bottom line. Each time I got back up I became stronger and more resilient in my business. This is when I learned that failure is a two edged sword you can either let it cut you down and stay down or let it cut you and heal back from it stronger. The key is to make failure your friend and not your enemy. Each time a prospect told me "no" on the phone for a sale I would go back and listen to my calls to understand what went wrong. Instead of being upset and letting failed sales control me I went back and used them as a learning opportunity.
In the world of entrepreneurship, failure is often seen as a stepping stone rather than a dead-end. How do you perceive failure, and can you share an instance where a failure led to an unexpected growth or success in your business?
I perceive failure as a stepping stone to keep learning and improve. An instance of failure I experienced that led to growth was when I gave a client their life insurance offers. The initial offer quoted was much lower than the offer the life insurance company came back with due to the clients health history. I told the client "great news you have been approved, however due to your health history here are the offers the life insurance company gave us". I gave the client the offers and they hung up on me never to heard from again. I asked myself what could I have possibly said to warrant that behavior? I listened to the call and realized it may have been due to me brining up their health history in the sentence due to the negativity and sensitivity of the issue. The next time I had a client come back with higher offers I did not mention anything about their health. I simply gave the offers to them and the picked the one that was best for them. I tried this on several other clients and never experienced that issue every again. I found the problem through failure, fixed it and it brought me greater success.
What strategies have you employed to cultivate a culture of resilience within your organization? How have these strategies made your team more adaptable and innovative, especially during trying times?
We implemented our company mantra which is "just work the numbers". We train all of our agents on having a sifting mindset. In sales it is all about becoming a master sifter rather than trying to turn "not interested" into a "yes". Having this in mind we train our agents to focus on getting into a call rather than getting frustrated over brush off from uninterested prospects.
You've spoken about bouncing back from failure, but I'm curious to know if there is a methodology you follow to analyze what went wrong and how to correct it. Could you describe your process for assessing and learning from mistakes?
In phone sales you must record your calls and be ready to go back and listen to them. That is the methodology for any type of phone sales. You pull up the call and listen to it while taking bullet point notes on each area you believe the call began to go bad. Anything that was said that sounded unprofessional or bad in general you would need to train on an remove from your vocabulary during calls.
Many entrepreneurs fear failure to the point that it paralyzes them. How do you balance taking calculated risks with the fear of failure? What advice would you offer to other entrepreneurs who struggle with this?
Only take risks that you can develop a contingency plan for incase they go south. If there is no back up plan for your risk do not take it period.
Sometimes, resilience requires knowing when to pivot or even walk away from an idea. How do you recognize the difference between a challenge that requires persistence and a situation that necessitates a change in direction?
The return on your time needs to be present. If your idea will take massive amount of time and appears unattainable it may be time to change directions. In addition to this if your market changes or your personal values it may also be time to change directions. If you know the idea will require a reasonable amount of time then it may be worth it to persist.
The global economic landscape is always changing, and recent years have seen some extraordinary disruptions. How have you adapted your business to overcome unexpected global challenges? What were the key factors in your successful navigation of these waters?
Everything is digital for us from our marketing, infrastructure and the policies we write from the life insurance companies. We do not experience these global challenges compared to others. The key factor is try to make as much of your business as digital as possible.
Resilience in the face of failure is often linked to personal growth as well. How have your business experiences shaped you personally? Can you share a moment where your professional resilience translated into a personal transformation?
My professional resilience has taught me to become more patient with my family. If you can handle angry objective clients on the phone you can handle being patient with your family. The mental strength I have built from my business has enabled me to teach my family to be mentally strong as well while maintaing patience with them.