One Deal to the Top of the Table

One Deal to the Top of the Table

One Deal to the Top of the Table

What if you could execute on one project, one client, one deal that will singularly carry you to your breakeven or profit point?

What if I told you that instead of working on ten separate accounts, handling ten client relations, you could manage one large account that brings in the collective revenue of those 10? 

We did it; we hit that milestone. I say we because without the backing of my team (both at home and work) none of this would be possible.

Mid-2020, we signed our largest deal to date. That one single deal, stand-alone, qualified me for a top-level financial industry circle called the Million Dollar Round Table’s Top of the Table. 

I’ve made it to  Top of the Table for 13 consecutive years now, but it’s usually a combination of revenue from multiple accounts that helps the numbers get there. 

This year, we made one deal, and it shot us right in. This one deal essentially doubled our production numbers for the year.

I’m going to tell you what it took and what it’s going to take for you to start closing fewer but higher-value clients to grow your business. While my lessons are grounded in financial services and Life Insurance, you can apply them to any industry. 

1. Set that one high, unreasonable goal 

Set an intimidating goal, an intimidating number. It could be a single $500,000 client. It could be a commission cheque worth $250,000. It might be a single deal for $20,000 when you usually sign $1000 agreements.  

For instance, to qualify for Top of the Table, advisors need to have pulled in US$ 366,000 in eligible commissions for the year 2021. If you’ve got an industry-standard or qualifier like that, use that as the goalpost. If not, you can use your breakeven point or other financial markers as a goal. But remember – this number has to be big, it has to be scary, and it has to be unchartered territory for you. You’ve never done it before. Get out of your comfort zone.

2. Reverse engineer the path 

Once you’ve set that big goal – work backward to see how you can get there. If I want to execute one deal that pulls in $500,000 in commissions – what kind of a client do I need? What does their income level need to be to require that large an insurance policy that commissions amount up to half a million dollars? What troubles him/her and keeps them up at night? Can you solve that problem?

That is naturally going to help you narrow down and arrive at your ‘dream client’ or your “Largest Cheque” – a concept from Dan Sullivan’s Strategic Coach Program. 

I know that in my case, I needed to establish connections and a clientele in the high and ultra-high net worth market to land client contracts of that size. 

3. Develop a Marathon Strategy 

It is not going to happen overnight. The work that goes into hitting massive goals, the relationships, and the time it’s going to take, will need you to step into this with a marathon mindset. This is not a sprint to the top – it’s an endurance game.

Be prepared to start digging the well way before you’re thirsty. Working with that end-goal in mind, start cultivating the relationships you need, reach out to centers of influence, start pulling others into your vision. 

It’s going to take a consistent series of actions that might not lead to instant gratification, and that’s alright. This kind of work also needs you to operate with integrity, serve, and show up like a long-term player.

4. Start eight years ago 

I say eight years ago because that’s how long it took me to land my single-deal Top of the Table client. The point is, you’re going to have to have started sowing the seeds a long time before you get your hands on this fruit. 

I had started showing dummy illustrations of my dream client and the insurance structure I would like to sell to them back in 2012. 

I would meet up with an introducer, say a solicitor or a banker, and run them through my right-fit client criteria: Did they know anyone whose net worth was roughly X, whose age was approximately Y, who had kids, ran a business, someone who can afford a million dollar-premium Life Insurance policy and needs it?

And that work was how I got introduced, eight years ago, to the Top of the Table client that I served now with that single large-value contract. The relationship started then; we took smaller steps first and eventually got where we are today. 

5. Zero in on the right market

As a natural side effect, this consistent direction and clarity also established me as a subject expert in my ideal market – I became known as a reliable, long-term Life Insurance Advisor to High Net Worth Individuals over time. 

But zoning in on the right market is crucial here, especially because you’re going to spend such a long time here. 

And finally…

6. Don’t do it alone 

Find a support system, a network, mentors, a circle of introducers and influencers to get you there. Reach out to someone who’s done it before you and see if you can model their success.  

Mentors helped me see and do more than I could have seen and done alone, and they’ll likely do the same for you. 

Team is really important here, too. I know mine helps me focus on what I do best by dealing with everything else for me.

A lot of the foundation work that went into this single-deal to the top for me came from strong influences like the Strategic Coach program and Tim Ferris’ 4-Hour Work Week. 

It was only when I started to become intentional, laser-focused, and crystal-clear about my goals that I could begin to tackle the large ones and set even larger ones the following year.

So, if all of this feels like too much – start there. Start with getting intentional, laser-focused, and crystal-clear about what you want to achieve this year, next year, five, and then ten years from now.

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