Sales is one of the oldest of modern professions, and is a profession of skill and expertise. Unfortunately, the difficulty and complexity of good insurance sales techniques is often lost to clumsy adages and out dated strategies
The Old Ways
Consider these oft-used insurance sales techniques.
- ABC – Always be closing. Do everything you can do to keep the customer from saying no.
- Selling is a Numbers Game. Only some people will buy, so hit the high points to thin through to those who might buy.
- Sell benefits, not features.
- Keep it Simple Stupid.
These insurance sales techniques are, unfortunately, not intended for insurance at all, but represent sales techniques developed during the Industrial Revolution to sell cheap goods. Using such ideas to guide sales means that you’re using out of date sales techniques that were intended to sell a vastly different product than insurance.
It is fortunate, then, that there has been plenty of research done to determine better strategies for today’s market, and for services oriented towards long term clients. Compare these ideas to the previous ideas.
- It’s not about closing, but about helping your client.
- It’s not a numbers game. If selling insurance can be narrowed down to one thing, it’s a game of connections and relevance.
- It’s not about benefits, but about the prospect’s values.
- Selling is not simple.
Boiling sales down to a series of phrases for easy memorization doesn’t make the actual procedure any easier. The fact is that learning to sell is just like any skill, such as playing an instrument or golf. You must learn a set of basic skills that combine together, particularly in a field as complex as financial or insurance. Too often salesmen rely only on bad advice or luck.
Better Advice for the Modern Salesman
- Techniques that work for one person won’t necessarily work for any salesman, as all salesmen have their own skills and talents. An aggressive sales technique may work well for some, and be disastrous for others. Adapt advice and techniques to your own style and personality.
- Technology has changed the industry, so adjust your sales pitch accordingly. New media such as social media requires adaptation.
- If you do not understand your prospective client, you stand a high chance of failing to make a sale. You must seek to understand how to help your client, not just to convince them to buy. As simple of a thing as understanding how to read your prospect can double your sales.
- Potential clients who already have financial or insurance advisers have a preexisting relationship with them, and are unlikely to change, even if their service is underwhelming. Offer comparisons that are clear to understand, and show a willingness to offer the same relationship.
- Most likely, prospective clients do not understand exactly what you do, or how it differs from other positions in the field. To them, it’s all the same.
- Similarly, the prospects generally will not understand the financial product beyond a general level. Use language that they will understand, and it is up to you to connect that information to the client.
- Do not make the mistake of thinking that the prospect inherently wants to hear from you. Their opinion about you and your industry probably already exists, and probably is not positive.
Sometimes, using the old methods can still work. Sometimes shouldn’t be enough, though, when the world and the industry have changed. Don’t take chances with techniques that work just ‘sometimes’, but learn to use techniques that are appropriate to the field and to our time, not outdated ideas and methods.