Vijay Khetarpal is a dedicated full service Financial advisor since 1983. He is a Top of the Table and Life member of MDRT; an elite industry organization that honors top 1% producers worldwide. Vijay’s Video Blog offers thought provoking ideas https://www.integrityfinancial.com/blog
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[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]
Umar Hameed 0:06
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone. This is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to the No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how to make you better, stronger, faster. Get ready for another episode.
Umar Hameed 0:36
Hello, everybody. Today I have the privilege of having Vijay Khetarpal, with me today. Vijay welcome to the program.
Vijay Khetarpal 0:43
Thank you, man for having me. Glad to be here.
Umar Hameed 0:45
You know what's gonna interesting is, you know, sometimes, you know, we don't promote ourselves really effectively, but our spouses do. And the reason we're sitting here is because your lovely wife had told me this story that you had made a promise to yourself that you're going to do a certain amount of presentations in front of customers every day no matter what. And there was a snowstorm. And there was, so you decided to walk to the firehouse, and they were trapped in the firehouse so you could do a presentation. Tell me about that. That's a super impressive.
Vijay Khetarpal 1:14
Thank you, Umar, Just a minor correction. It is actually a very rainy night, cold night. I don't ever snowing that heavily. But it was probably about 9:30, 10:45 at night. And I hadn't met my quota of the number of people I had to see every day. The question was, how do I find someone who could listen to what I have to say, at that point? I didn't really care what they decided. I just want to make a presentation. at
Umar Hameed 1:41
[Garbled]. Yeah, absolutely.
Vijay Khetarpal 1:42
So a lot of diving, and at that time I to live at a place that was close to a fire station, I noticed the fire station is still open. And most of the people who are volunteers are there. So I decided to stop there. And since they didn't have any emergency, they were happy to talk to me. And I basically talked to them. And I left. But I was happy when I got home that I did put myself in front of the required number of people that day.
Umar Hameed 2:13
And how many people per day was it back then?
Vijay Khetarpal 2:17
This was back in 1984. And I think back then I had decided that I would put myself in front of eight to 10 people a day, depending on the day of the week.
Umar Hameed 2:27
Which is huge.
Vijay Khetarpal 2:28
Umar Hameed 2:29
That's quite an undertaking.
Vijay Khetarpal 2:30
Yeah. Because I, when I first started, I had no clients to service and no material to really study all that I had to do I see people. So therefore, in the beginning, actually you see more people in a sales career than you do over time.
Umar Hameed 2:46
Right. One of the stories that you told me a while ago was one of the giants in your industry, which is in the financial services industry, that when he started working, somebody lied to him and said, if you don't do this number of appointments per day, you're going to be fired. So tell us about that story, then we'll kind of tie both together.
Vijay Khetarpal 3:05
Sounds good. So basically, in 1984, I met somebody and insurance business, the life insurance business. And when he started in the beginning...
Umar Hameed 3:18
And what was his name?
Vijay Khetarpal 3:19
His name is Benjamin Redder.
Umar Hameed 3:21
Vijay Khetarpal 3:22
Yeah, tell us. So when Ben did his start in the business, which obviously, many years before I did, because he was several years ahead of me. He was made to understand that her job was to see X number of people and make X number of sales every day. So he truly believed that his job was to sell a life insurance policy every day. Yeah. And if he did not, essentially See, sell a life insurance policy every day, he was potentially going to be fired. Right. And so he commented to me in one of the meeting that I met with him, that he felt he had a gun against his head, and that he had to make a sale every day. Otherwise, that gun would go off. Right? And he evidently took it so seriously, that after a few months of that seriousness towards sales and making life insurance sale every day, and he didn't, it didn't matter to him, how big or small it was, or what kind and he also ended up buying some policy on himself or his own family, just to meet that requirement of one sale a day.
Umar Hameed 4:42
Vijay Khetarpal 4:44
But what the best part of it is, that after several months of doing that, it became a habit that he could not get out of. So then when I met him at that time, he had been in the business 23 years and for 23 years Two years, he had a sale of a life insurance policy of the day,
Umar Hameed 5:03
Which is brilliant. And the reason I wanted to kind of open up this conversation with that is oftentimes people come into any sales job, and they want to just get through the basics. So they can develop bad habits. And success always comes down to doing those basic things, consistently, religiously. And if you do that, you're going to be successful. And if you start getting some sales, then you start going, you know, hey, I'm smarter than what other people are doing. I'm going to do it my way. Oftentimes, they can do okay, but they never achieve greatness. Your thoughts on that statement?
Vijay Khetarpal 5:39
Yeah. So what you really alluded alluding to is, and I can certainly speak from my experience of 37 years that the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.
Umar Hameed 5:54
Vijay Khetarpal 5:55
Okay. And success and sales, actually, amazingly simple. But that doesn't mean it's easy. It's work. But it's simple. It's see the people, if you see enough people talk to enough people, and you're consistent with it, then success will follow. So I'm absolutely convinced that no matter what kind of sales people are in, they first must be convinced themselves,
Umar Hameed 6:27
Vijay Khetarpal 6:27
That what they're selling is truly valuable. Because nothing is as effective as conviction, right, and conviction conventions, and provide the momentum, the drive, and the fearlessness that necessary to go out there and talk to people or companies and say, this is a good thing for you, because of whatever the reasons are. And if you do that enough time, it's only a question of time before successful results.
Umar Hameed 7:00
Absolutely. So I want to kind of deconstruct what you just said, I got a chance to do this fun activity for the National Kidney Foundation, we rappelled down a building. And so you know, it's all fun and games, me thinking about it, you know, I'd like to do that I like to support the cause. And then I got up on the building, and I got to the edge of the building. And then it occurred to me that I don't know these people that are harnessing me up. But the only reason I trust them is because I trust the executive director of the organization. And I'm leveraging her trust, to these people that have my life in their hands. And what you described with conviction is sometimes the customer needs to borrow your conviction, your confidence as the salesperson to allow themselves to make the decision. And many times afterwards, they go, Oh, thank God, you sold it to me, because it made a big difference for us. Because my inclination was not to do it.
Vijay Khetarpal 7:55
That could in fact, primarily self is a cleanse full of enthusiasm. And if you have enthusiasm, and you're able to convey that, that is basically half the battle,
Umar Hameed 8:11
Right. Because if you come at the proceedings with self doubt, and the thoughts and beliefs we have around money ourselves, because you've probably seen people you know, in your career salespeople that are prejudging what a customer can buy and can't buy, well, that's gonna be too expensive. And it's like, Who are you to? That's your stuff, dude. Not their stuff.
Vijay Khetarpal 8:34
That's true. And I can speak for my industry within the financial services industry, I can certainly tell you from personal experience, that very often, particularly new salespeople, will underestimate the need and the capabilities of their prospective clients. And as a result, consequently, they'll sell themselves short. And certainly their clients may potentially be short as well in terms of their needs. So giving an example of the life insurance industry, there are a lot more people who are willing and able to buy a million dollars or more of life insurance, then life insurance agents with the guts to ask them to buy it.
Umar Hameed 9:24
Right. And what do you think that is? What, and have you ever come across someone don't name names that had that affliction and that you help guide them to greener pastures?
Vijay Khetarpal 9:38
Yeah, over my 37 years, I've actually worked with other producers and I mentored them in terms of what I have been able to get them to simple exercises to think bigger.
Umar Hameed 9:51
Can you give us an example of one of those exercises?
Vijay Khetarpal 9:54
Absolutely. So, for example, if I met somebody for the first time They may not have the confidence in revealing sensitive, confidential information to me,
Umar Hameed 10:08
Vijay Khetarpal 10:09
But I want to just get a gauge for what their need might be. I said, Okay, that's, that's I'm talking to you. I said, "Umar, you don't have to tell me this, but take a piece of paper and write down in numerical terms the amount of life insurance that you carry. So for example, if you had a million you will get 1-0-0-0-0-0-0.
Umar Hameed 10:31
Vijay Khetarpal 10:31
And then I said, Take the last four numbers and cut it out. And what's left, going back to the million dollar example, if we cut out the last four zeros was left in 1-0-0
Umar Hameed 10:31
Vijay Khetarpal 10:34
I see you double that, that's 200.
Umar Hameed 10:44
Vijay Khetarpal 10:48
So that amount that you just calculated that the amount of daily income your survivors will have. If you were to pass away prematurely today. Is that enough income to support the lifestyle that they have grown accustomed to? And the answer is yes, then they probably do have enough life insurance? If the answer is no, which is, in most of the cases, they have insufficient amount of life insurance.
Umar Hameed 11:16
Vijay Khetarpal 11:16
So in this 62nd exercise, I was able to determine had them drachma
Umar Hameed 11:21
Vijay Khetarpal 11:22
That they have adequate insurance.
Umar Hameed 11:24
And I think that's a really, really important point is like you telling people doesn't make a difference getting them to get the epiphany go, "Oh, my God," is is huge, right?
Vijay Khetarpal 11:33
Yeah. That's one example there, of course, many others in the financial service industry.
Umar Hameed 11:39
There's also technique from the Godfather, the movie, I'm not sure if you saw it, it's like, either your signature or your brains are going to be on the contract. No, we won't go there. So what's been your biggest challenge you've been selling for a while, and you're one of the things that I've noticed is you are addicted to learning. You're always feeding your mind, you're always going to conferences. You're one of the elite people in your industry. So what is a shortcoming that you've come across in the last year or two saying, you know, I've really got to work on this, like, what have you been working on recently?
Vijay Khetarpal 12:12
So, you know, you never stop learning lafia lifelong school. And in shells, particularly in shares, you want to continually differentiate yourself from the competition?
Umar Hameed 12:27
Vijay Khetarpal 12:29
With that, the edge. And so I spend a lot of time educating and preparing myself to be on the forefront of what's happening in our industry. And then matter what kind of sales a person is, and if they continuously improve themselves to be able to distinguish themselves differentiate themselves from their competition, they'll have an edge.
Umar Hameed 12:56
Vijay Khetarpal 12:56
So in 37 years, I've seen many challenges right now, for example, is I see that I need to get better. And prospecting game, if you may, within the social media circuit.
Umar Hameed 13:14
Vijay Khetarpal 13:14
Okay. So, for example, when it comes to developing clients, associate of clients from Twitter and LinkedIn, and Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram and work, man, that is not my forte, I'm not good at it.
Umar Hameed 13:31
And we're not going to use Tick Tock.
Vijay Khetarpal 13:35
But my point being that I don't have to know all that,
Umar Hameed 13:39
Vijay Khetarpal 13:39
I have to then get myself surrounded by a team that can do that for me, of course. So that is my challenge. That's what I'm working on currently,
Umar Hameed 13:49
Is finding the right team.
Vijay Khetarpal 13:51
And the right people who can help me with that.
Umar Hameed 13:53
I put $100 bet on the table right now that if we go to people that are elite in sales, whatever industry they happen to be in, one of the common denominators is that person is looking for a way to get better at what they do. They're always learning. I was at a client site talking to their salespeople. And when I'm talking to the managers about the salespeople, just like oh, yeah, Jane needs to be more confident in these situations. And jack needs that when I was talking to the salespeople, no, no, everything's fine. I am doing perfectly well. And you can just see, and they may believe it may not. But what's happening is one of two things, either they don't believe it, or they feel if they reveal their shortcoming, that I was thinking less of them. And one thing that people that are at the top, they feel do also is very transparent. It's like, you know, hey, I'm spectacular here, I need to get better. I need to learn social media, or I need to learn this or I'm looking at psychology. So that thirst for learning and one of the ways to learn is to teach and the one of the ways you're teaching is you're writing a book that's getting to the close to completion. What's the book about what's it called? And what's it about?
Vijay Khetarpal 15:00
So, obviously the book is about financial services industry and how we can help optimize client outcomes in a financial sense. Not only now, but over time, but for small business, nonprofit as well as individual plans. And the message here is that 99%, if not more of the clients that come to us already engage and financial of an insurance advisor previously,
Vijay Khetarpal 15:31
Vijay Khetarpal 15:32
So the logical question is, why did they come to us? And the reason they do is because there's something that we do, or something that I made them aware of, that the prior relationship did not bring to their attention.
Umar Hameed 15:45
Vijay Khetarpal 15:46
And, and the reason they may not have brought to their attention, either they were not aware of it. Or they did not care to provide the level of consistent service and keep their clients up to date. Certain shares, there's only one way you course
Vijay Khetarpal 16:08
And that is your course downwards.
Umar Hameed 16:11
It's all downhill.
Vijay Khetarpal 16:12
Yeah. So, if you want to be successful, you have to get to the point where you're almost comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Umar Hameed 16:24
Vijay Khetarpal 16:25
Okay. And that is where the quote comes from. And so for me, it had been writing this book, and never done a book before it been a lifelong game. And with the COVID situation, that gave me the opportunity to spend some time doing that. So I'm putting the finishing touches on it, and then I'll have to send it to my legal and compliance team. And hopefully, they'll Okay, and we'll have it out in the public domain with a tombstone.
Umar Hameed 16:51
Nice. One of the things, one of the reasons I wanted to talk about the book is, in our society, in the US, especially but all around the world. There are many topics, we can talk about what people don't talk about money. And people have a bad relationship with money. While I'm doing a workshop, sometimes all get to flip charts, I'll have a green pen ready. And I'll say, Please finish this sentence for me. Money is, and someone will say energy, I'll write down in a green pen on the green flip chart. It's power, it's freedom, and you get these beautiful words. And then someone says, root of all evil, I get the red pen on the red flip chart and write it down, causes fights, stealing death, and the list of negative things is huge compared to the positive. So that's what's happening in our society. So not only do our customers have money issues, but our sales people also have money issues. Like if a salesperson thinks $500 is a lot of money. And they're selling $100,000 solution. And the customer says, "That's way too much money," they go, "Oh, you're right, I better give you a discount." And so so how do you propose that we build future generations that are more comfortable with money? That is just a tool? And we don't have to be scared of it? Or any thoughts on that how do we help?
Vijay Khetarpal 18:09
Yes, it's impacting a number of things. First of all, I believe money is what money does. And at the end of the day, it's a means to an end. I also believe that, unfortunately, in schools and colleges, there has been a lot of education, about math and science, and so on and so forth. But there has been insufficient amount of education, and how to do simple thing, like create a budget, stick to it, and so on, and so forth. So too many people in our society, are stressed about money, in part because they have student loans or too much debt. But without talking in detail about the solutions, what I tell people is nothing to be afraid of. We can master the circumstances, and we can improve the outcomes. However, in terms of salespeople, they often sell themselves short. And most salespeople get into the discounting game where they're basically cutting prices just to win a customer.
Umar Hameed 19:17
Vijay Khetarpal 19:17
Okay. And I say, I don't want to have a race to the bottom. I want to race to the top. And I give you a great example. Three years ago, for the first time in 37 years, I made a decision that I will not take on a new client who did not pay us a fee up front.
Umar Hameed 19:36
Vijay Khetarpal 19:37
And the reason I made that decision was because, first of all, it separates us from other salespeople. Secondly, in the past, I had given a lot of good advice to people and did not get paid for it. In some cases, not only did I not get paid for it, but the people after taking that advice Did not implement it, which is worse. And the reason they did not implement it based on my research is because they did not attach enough value to it. And the reason they did not attach enough value to it, guess what? It's because I did not pay for it.
Umar Hameed 20:13
I think is very true.
Vijay Khetarpal 20:15
So therefore, once I've started to charge fees, I tell you what's happened.
Vijay Khetarpal 20:22
We are attracting better quality clients.
Vijay Khetarpal 20:25
Once they pay SFP, we deliver them a customized solution for implementation. And we follow up to make sure that they implement it. And then when they implement it, they get the outcome they want. And then they give us referrals to other clients who are like minded. The point I'm making is when people pay for your service, they're more likely to implement your recommendations. So don't cut yourself short. In fact, you can be it's more lonely at the top. So think of it this way, right? So if you if you are different than the vast majority of people, and you are charging a higher fee, when you are given an opportunity to explain why you're charging that higher fee to pass back the plan, just need to have a damn good answer to why that client should pay that fee. And if you have that answer, then not only are you going to get a lifelong client, but you're going to get added like him. And basically you want to clone the best client. You don't want to clone your worst clients.
Umar Hameed 21:34
Absolutely. I'm not sure who said this. But it was one of the Guru's in our space. He was like, You know what, I don't care what you're charging right now, just add a zero to it. And for a lot of people that gives you a heart attack like, "Oh my God," but it's true. If you ask and it'll get people that really want to work with you, as opposed to you do a bargain price. And then there you get more complainer's and you get happy customers.
Umar Hameed 21:59
Yeah. It's true.
Umar Hameed 22:00
So Vijay, before we part company today, for salespeople, whatever industry it is, if you could give them three pieces of advice to build a successful career, what would those three pieces of advice be?
Vijay Khetarpal 22:13
Okay, so first of all, the most important thing that you got to do is to protect the five inches between your ears. Mm hmm. You got to protect your confidence. Yes. Okay. So you got to be selective about the kind of input that you have into those five inches. Because if you take care of the inputs, they'll take care of the output. Yes. Okay. And that means listening to the right kind of speakers and ideas, reading and having positive affirmations that can keep you in the right mind claim makes you more resilient, resilient. Okay. So that's number one, you got to protect your confidence. Number two, control the controllables. Any meaning that no matter what kind of sales you have, you cannot control how somebody will react to your presentation, right. But you can control what you say in your presentation, how many presentations you make, who you make the presentations to. And number three, strive to get 1% better every day. And when I say that, what I mean by that is that if you and I were to get into some activity, that would increase for example, the number of people we call by 1% next week. That by itself, then mean much. It sound much like saying this week, I want to make a commitment to lose weight, but I'm gonna have my hamburger just now. Well, it may not hurt you in one week. But if you try to make an incremental gain of 1% every day every week, for a sustained period of time, then the results will be phenomenal at them. So three things, protect your confidence to control the controllables and strive to get better 1% of the day. And maybe I can tell you one quick story
Umar Hameed 24:28
Vijay Khetarpal 24:33
So100 years ago, the British cycling team was well known for dominating world cycling.
Umar Hameed 24:46
Vijay Khetarpal 24:47
And then from about 100 years ago till about, I would say, seven eight years ago. They were practically off the cycling. map,
Umar Hameed 25:00
Vijay Khetarpal 25:02
Until they had a coach. I forget his name now. But this coach said, we are going to control the controllables and get 1% better every day. And he went to the little details like finding out what is the best kind of pillow to sleep on?
Umar Hameed 25:22
Vijay Khetarpal 25:23
What is the best kind of arrangement, scream to rub and aching muscles. And the little details. And then they include the activity by 1%. And he said, if we control the controllable within five years, we will win the Tour de France. They won. They won the Tour de France in three years. And then at the London Olympic, they pretty much disrupted men and women's. So the point of it is that you got to control the controllables.
Umar Hameed 26:00
Vijay Khetarpal 26:01
Another great oil that you heard of a guy called Jesse Itzler?
Umar Hameed 26:05
Vijay Khetarpal 26:06
Okay. he the guy who founded Marquis Jets that later on called Net Jets.
Umar Hameed 26:14
Vijay Khetarpal 26:15
And he sold that company to Warren Buffett. What's interesting how you get started. So when he had the idea with his team, his partners to start Marquis Jets, he had less than $10,000 in the bank. And back then, you didn't have the connectivity and the research to find out where do people who take private jets congregate,
Umar Hameed 26:45
Vijay Khetarpal 26:46
How to reach them. And he had $10,000, and he had to start a company. And
Umar Hameed 26:54
Vijay Khetarpal 26:55
that so. Finally found a lawyer who could get him who specialized in the FAA to clear the company name. And they clear the company and all of that the business plan, but they had to find a customer. To define the customer. Jessie found out that once a year there's an annual conference. These people who take [garbled]. So he goes to that he didn't have admission to the conference. But he goes to where the conference is being held,
Umar Hameed 27:31
Vijay Khetarpal 27:33
And you're not allowed to get in. Because it's all security and you got to have all these credentials to get him. But he flew along way and a good way to get a customer. Say selling and coffee shop.And he noticed that every couple of hours, they all these guys come in with the credentials and to the coffee shop to get a whatever coffee and muffin,
Umar Hameed 28:03
Vijay Khetarpal 28:05
And he realized that they were on a break from this conference. So what he did was the next morning, he gets up at five. He goes to the coffee shop and he buys every single muffin. So later that day, and these people are taking a break. And they come to that coffee shop and they say, you know whatever, Latte
Umar Hameed 28:30
And a muffin.
Vijay Khetarpal 28:31
Latte and a muffin, they say, well, you can have the latter but we heard of the muffins. And just outside that Jesse had his presence with Alice muffin collection. And he said I understand your coffee and they don't have any muffin, take a muffin from me and he engaged these people in a conversation. One of those people that he talked to that day where someone who is thinking about starting a company like Jesse had already started. And he connected with him in a informal basis. He did not obviously attend the conference, but they made the connection. And from that point forward, the company with lunch. The point of it is that goals are not negotiable. The strategy may change, the tactics may change but the goals are not negotiable.
Umar Hameed 29:31
This was a brilliant conversation, Vijay. Thanks so much for sitting down with me.
Vijay Khetarpal 29:34
Absolutely. Thanks for having me here and happy to come back anytime you want me. Take care.
Umar Hameed 29:39
Umar Hameed 29:43
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.