When learning the skills of selling, the hard way I might add being a finance man, my colleague and mentor at the time, took me aside and said,
“You have two ears, two eyes and one mouth. To be effective in sales you need to use them in the same proportions.”
I never forgot that lesson and when I fall behind, be-it in following, leading, presenting, selling or just trying to motivate myself or others on a mission, I check if I have that in balance.
This lesson resonated with me again this week in a discussion with the Mike Plaxton CEO at Krungthai AXA Life Insurance in Thailand. He carries the burden of Executive Leadership as part of this multinational Financial Services Industry Group.
To stay in touch with his sales force of nearly 10,000 direct selling agents and financial advisors in the well-organized Krungthai Bank, he has a luminous team who help them all deliver outstanding results. Last year for example, in the mist of all the gloom and dome Krungthai-AXA Life delivered a massive 30%+ growth and is maintaining that momentum again in 2010.
In the context of deploying a new performance based business intelligence system, we were talking about practical ways to generate more quality business and lift the momentum. My interest was in exploiting the business change value my organization Shernox Group had delivered with the implementation a data warehouse based system using INFOR PM as its centerpiece.
I asked him how he planned to use his new BI capability to drive sales and business development campaigns. In his response he gave some great best practice insight.
“I spend my time in conversations asking questions as I try answering none. My job is to listen so I can help people focus their efforts in discovering the answers they need to do their job from the data they collect on their job. And to engage their hearts and minds to focus so they know they are well supported.
When I talk more and listen less, I only engage their minds and my ego.
Having our up-to-date performance information on tap and in sync that we can trust and all share, means we can have very good conversations. And I can listen more to help them increase their momentum. My job is to get them to use the information they have by questions that help them understand our business.
Information is knowledge and knowledge is power – their power not mine.”
– Michael George Plaxton CEO Krungthai AXA Life Insurance Co Ltd
About: Krungthai AXA Life Insurance Co Ltd
AXA; the leading European insurance company is a shareholder and partner with Krung Thai Bank PCL of Krungthai – AXA Life Insurance. In Financial Markets AXA is positioned as a Global Leader in Financial protection.
Krung Thai Bank PCL symbolized by the “Wayupak bird”, is one of the leading Thailand banks. It proudly boasts one of the most established and enviable branch networks and brings to the partnership a truly dynamic value with its Bank Assurance Channel, a key contributor to the business success.
With impressive growth under Mr. Plaxton’s leadership, in terms of New Business, Krungthai AXA is ranked 5th on the leader board in a field of 24 major players in the market.