Archive for the southwestern company Category

The Navigate Behavior Styles

Posted in dustin hillis, Leadership Coaching, Motivational, Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, southwestern company, southwestern company truth, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2016 by J Kinard

While it may be no surprise that “Selling the way people like to buy” gives you the best chance to serve your customers and clients, knowing “how those people like to buy” is another story.

The Navigate system is built to help you understand the people around you, so that you can connect with your prospects in a deep and meaningful way during the sales cycle. Our years of research have found that people tend to fall into one of four dominant behavior styles: Fighters, Entertainers, Detectives, and Counselors.

As a Navigator it is important to understand these behavioral styles and be able to identify first your own style and then your prospects.


  • Fighters are cut-to-the-chase, bottom-line drivers with little time and less patience. They are motivated by results, and it’s important to them to be in control.
  • Entertainers are social butterflies and enthusiastic extroverts. They love people, possibilities, and rapport—and they care more about emotions than facts.
  • Detectives are practical analysts. They are always on the hunt for details, and unlike Entertainers, they rank the value of facts over emotions every time.
  • Counselors are “steady Eddies.” Laid-back diplomats, they have the interest of the team at heart. They love security and consistency, and they make decisions by consensus.

These people probably sound familiar. You’ve met them all before in some shape or form, and a few of them have most likely driven you up the wall in the past. But when you begin to sell to the four behavior styles the way they like to buy, that paradigm of frustration changes fast.

All you have to do is learn to Navigate. Want to learn more?


Navigate is more than just a book. It’s a mindset.

Posted in dustin hillis, Leadership Coaching, Motivational, Prospecting Tips, Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, Selling Techniques, southwestern company, southwestern company truth on November 11, 2016 by J Kinard

The Navigate process is not a quick easy fix to a broken sales philosophy. It’s not a way to manipulate a person with tricks or gimmicks and it’s definitely not a “get rich quick” system.

The path to being a successful top producer can be a long road that requires a great deal of work and a great deal of a sacrifice. However, those are some of the things that make it worth the journey.

The core fundamentals of becoming a Navigate top producer are hard work, a positive mental attitude, and a desire to be a student of the game. Only after you have bought in to these principles will you begin to push your sales success to the next level.


The difference between the ordinary salesperson and the extraordinary salesperson is mindset. With the goal of becoming a successful Navigator, you must develop an extraordinary mindset.

Different from an ordinary mindset, an extraordinary Navigate mindset is focused on serving others through adapting to their natural buying style. Someone with an ordinary mindset sells the way they personally would want to be sold. Someone with an extraordinary Navigate mindset sells the way others like to buy.


The Navigate Mindset:

  • You take the time to study buying behaviors and what makes them tick
  • You are aware of the 4 buying behavior styles and are always looking to identify someone’s style
  • You ask questions and care about the answers
  • You connect with people in a meaningful way
  • You can then provide true value for people and focus on their specific needs
  • You adapt your natural selling style to their buying style
  • You’re able to speak and act with integrity and make sure you do what is right
  • You help people buy the way they like to buy


It’s the Navigate mindset that separates you from the average salesperson.


With the Navigate mindset, your focus will always be serving and the byproduct will be selling. The Navigate process requires an “all in” mentality and it is then you begin to elevate your sales and elevate your success.

For a FREE webinar on the concepts of Navigate 2.0 click here!


How To Ask For Referrals

Posted in dustin hillis, Sales Coaching, Sales Tips, southwestern company, Southwestern Consulting with tags , , , on May 1, 2013 by Dustin Hillis

How To Ask For Referrals.

For more information about how to become a referral master click here:

Selling Systems: Self-Management Systems

Posted in southwestern company, Southwestern Consulting, time management with tags , , , , , , on February 13, 2013 by Dustin Hillis

Selling Systems

Today I was doing field training with one of our Southwestern Consulting Market Managers (Neal Anderson) in Raleigh, NC.  Our first meeting was with a personal coaching client of mine whom I’ve been coaching for over 3 years named Bob Watral.  Bob is a former VP at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and has been in the financial planning industry for over 20 years and is one of the most coachable people I know.  Our next meeting was at one of the top real estate offices in Raleigh, and Neal signed up the managing broker of the office for the Manager’s Edge coaching.  Then our next meeting was at a New York Life office where Neal was already coaching the manager and ended up signing up another producer for the Top Producer’s Edge coaching program.  Upon reflecting on the day’s activities, I feel that all 4 of the people we met with today who are enrolled in our program have one thing in common that they need help with. Although they work at different companies in different industries and have different levels of experience, the common denominator is they all need help creating and maintaining more effective and efficient Selling Systems.

The Southwestern Family of Companies is comprised of Southwestern Investments Group (the #1 Raymond James financial planning firm in the world), Great American (the largest school fundraising company in the world), SBR Recruiting (the #1 recruiting company in the state of Tennessee), Southwestern Advantage (one of the oldest direct sales businesses in the United States), Family Heritage (a large supplemental insurance company), Tom James (the world’s largest custom clothier), Wildtree (one of the fastest growing party planning businesses in the United States), a handful of other various businesses ranging from the music industry, time shares, international work and travel documents, and an award-winning publishing company.   People often ask me “how is Southwestern involved in so many different industries?  What’s the common thread?”  The answer to that question is why Southwestern Consulting exists.  All of the Southwestern companies have one thing in common – Selling Systems.

Selling Systems are the foundation of all the Southwestern companies…and they’re the foundation of almost every successful company, manager and top producer.

What are “Selling Systems”?   There are 3 key Selling Systems that Southwestern has perfected over the past 155 plus years that we help instill in our coaching clients.

Selling System #1:  Self-Management Systems

Out of the hundreds of people we coach every year, Time Management is the #1 area of improvement most people need help creating systems around.  A lot of people are working a lot of hours… they’re just not maximizing the time during the hours they work.

Here are the top 3 systems you can create for yourself to help manage your time better:

1. Schedule Tool – A schedule tool is a spreadsheet that has every day of your week broken down hour-by-hour.  How you use the Schedule Tool is you open it up every Sunday and take an hour to literally plan out every hour of your week, every phone call, every meeting, prospecting time, email time, lunch, paperwork time… but beyond that you have to schedule your personal life also!  What time you’re going to wake up, read books, workout, date night, and personal development training.

Here is an example of one of my coaching clients Schedule Tool:

Schedule Tool

Schedule Tool for Time Management

2. Goal Card – A Goal Card is one of the cornerstone tools that Southwestern has used to ensure success over the past century.  One of the keys to a Goal Card is that it breaks down your day into working “goal periods”.  A “goal period” is a 2 hour block of your day where you have specific activity goals to achieve.  You should break your whole day down into “goal periods” and have activity goals for each “goal period”.  Separating your day out to 2 hour increments will help you get more done in 2 focused hours than what most people do all day.

Click Here To Download Your Selling Systems Goal Card

Selling Systems

Selling Systems

3. Critical Success Factor Tracker – “You cannot expect unless you inspect.”  It’s hard to know how to improve your performance unless you track what you’re doing all day long and then measure the activity against the daily activity goal.  In the Southwestern ConsultingTM sales performance coaching program, we have designed a software program that makes this an easy process that takes 2 minutes at the end of the day to tally up your daily activity statistics off of your Goal Card and enter them onto your CSF report.

Here is an example of the Southwestern Consulting Critical Success Factors tracking tool all of our coaching clients use everyday and review with their coach:

Critical Success Factors

Critical Success Factors Activity Tracking Tool

  • Once you have several months of CSF data, you can start self-managing yourself and comparing your ratios to the previous month and make sure your daily activity numbers are always improving.

If you are reading this and think “this is the kind of stuff I need in my business”, we can help!  We have a team of experts that help implement these types of systems in companies across America every day.  For more information:

… stay tuned for the other two Selling Systems.

Being a Problem Solver

Posted in dustin hillis, Sales Coaching, southwestern company, southwestern company truth with tags , , , on August 18, 2011 by Dustin Hillis

Top Producers are Problem Solvers.

MacGyver "The Problem Solver"

MacGyver “The Problem Solver”

Being a mentally tough Problem Solver is simple, but not easy.

3 steps on how to be a Problem Solver:

1. Embrace the challenge of an unexpected event!  

It was a mild summer day in the mountains of Fairbanks,  Alaska. I was driving between houses, demonstrating my Southwestern Company (now Southwestern Advantage) educational books and software, when I received a call from my brother, who was selling books in Michigan. I’ll never forget the first words that he said, “We need to talk.  It’s about Mom and Dad….they’re getting divorced.” The Alaskan sun was shining bright that day, but all of a sudden it felt like a rain cloud was pouring down over my head.

A flurry of emotions overtook me that day… I had a problem that I didn’t know how to solve it!  Then a light bulb clicked on for me and I created the acronym R.A.F.T.

R.A.F.T. Problem Solving

R- Realize
an event has occurred. (usually, an event is defined by anything that gets you off schedule- a flat tire, the economy tanks, you get fired, death in the family, weather, a divorce, etc.)

A- Accept the event has occurred.  It is hard to accept that something is out of your control.  You cannot control who buys from you, the weather, death, taxes, the economy, divorce, etc.

F- Focus on controllable factors.  In reality, the only things you can control is your attitude, your schedule, and your habits.  See previous blog titles “Controlling the Controllable” for more on this topic.

T- Transform the negative event into positive momentum. Being a top producer doesn’t mean that you encounter any less problems than anyone else.   Being a top producer means that you react to what happens to you in a positive and productive way.  As the old saying goes “you have to make lemonade out of the lemons”.


2.  Accountability, accountability, accountability.

Unsuccessful people are always blaming others for their failures.  Successful people take responsibility for their activity, circumstances, and results. To improve your self-accountability every morning when you wake up say out loud 10 times “if it’s meant to be, it’s up to me”.

(If accountability is something that’s hard for you, you should get a coach to hold you accountable to doing the things you know you should be doing)


3. Take Action Now!

Top Producers do not give in to the Law Of Diminishing Intent. Everyone has good intentions. Everyone intends on doing what they say they are going to do. Everyone intends on hitting their goals. The reason people don’t do what they know they should do is because of the Law Of Diminishing Intent.

I had a tough event to deal with in Alaska that summer. I had a decision to make. Was that event going to be an excuse for not hitting my goals?  Or would I hold myself accountable for my results, not letting any outside event derail me, by taking action immediately and doing the things I knew to do?  It was not easy to keep working, but the reality remained, there was nothing I could do about the problem.  After applying the 3 steps above I ended up earning more commissions by the end of that week than anyone else has ever earned in 155 years at the Southwestern Company.

For more information about the Southwestern Consulting sales coaching program to help hold you accountable and become a master problem solver:

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