What are the three most valuable things gained from your Southwestern Advantage experience?
• The power of schedule
• How to listen more and speak less
• Turning burdens into blessings and adversity into advantages
What was the most challenging part of your experience?
Learning to tune out the doubting voice inside my head and how to dismiss the urgent for the important. The solitary nature of the Bookfield is a tremendous mental challenge. Focus and commitment allowed me to overcome my temporary feelings of self-pity.
What three pieces of advice would you offer a first year salesperson?
If you don’t feel like quitting, you aren’t working hard enough. This experience will shape your perception of what it takes to achieve lasting success. Maintain your coachability; the principles taught will never lead you astray.
Before Southwestern Advantage, what was your plan after graduation?
My plan was to become a financial advisor at a major wire house in a large city in the Southeast. I consider my experience with Southwestern Advantage the primary reason I found success early in the world of investment management.
Tell us about your career path after Southwestern Advantage.
I entered my profession at the age of 22, after 3 years with SW. From the time I knew what it was to “go to work” I knew I wanted to be a financial advisor. This decision was influenced to a large extent by my upbringing, but more so brought on by my natural curiosity of people. I knew that I wanted to operate in a capacity where my ability to serve others was the primary consideration for my compensation.
The Bookfield refined my conversation skills by helping me understand what it truly meant to listen. I had always considered myself a “people person” but selling books door to door took my conviction to a whole new level. I learned how to ask questions that mattered and led to self-reflection. I learned how to find a need, even with the most guarded of personality types. Ultimately, the Bookfield showed me how to facilitate the needs-based sale.
I took my experience at SW to Morgan Keegan and after my 2 year training program, I finished first in a class of 19 that was selected from 42 candidates! I accomplished the level of rising stars during my third year of business, which was based on production and assets raised. By my fifth year, I had reached President’s Club – a mark that less than 5% of the company ever achieved. Southwestern Advantage taught me a system, and I followed it. I worked the hours and surrounded myself with successful producers whom I wanted to emulate. I asked questions until there was nothing left to ask – and then I took action. I learned that ideas without action are meaningless. I learned to test my ideas and learn by doing. Knocking on doors created a confidence in me that could not be broken by a simple “No.” Now in an industry that places such a premium on performance, there would be no way that I could have survived without the wisdom gained from my experience on the Bookfield with Southwestern Advantage.