Successful selling requires a process. The process starts from identifying a potential client to completing the sale. I’m not a particularly outgoing or charismatic person, but I’m one of the top new insurance salespeople in my network. My success is not down to me being special in any way, but down to a 9-step process I almost always adhere to. Here it is:
1. Process – sounds simple but it’s so important it’s worth mentioning – HAVE a process! A process is simply a step by step approach that you follow for each sale.
2. Preparation – once you have identified a potential prospect e.g. from a client back, a lead you’ve bought or someone you know, find out as much about that person and their possible needs as you can. If you know they already have certain financial products in place, make a note of them and where possible, be prepared with some quotes before you see them.
3. See them – where possible, go and see the person. Insurance doesn’t sell itself and your sales conversion ratios will be much higher if you make an appointment to sit down with the client, preferably at the office or their home. If you haven’t got a proven telephone script you can use for making appointments, make sure you get hold of one or contact me through my website at the bottom of this article. Before you get off the phone, it’s a good idea to ask them to have any financial policies they have to hand for the meeting and also ask if there are any pressing priorities they would like to discuss, just so you’re well prepared.
4. Rapport – when you meet them, start with a smile and your business card and then spend some time building rapport. If there’s anything which is topical (e.g. a topical news story) then that can be a great ice breaker. Ask about their work, holidays, pets, the area they live, the children, the weather (always works in the UK!) etc. The objective here is to make them feel at ease and NOT that you’re a high pressure salesperson looking to make a quick sale. During this process, you will hopefully find what is important to them and what they might want to protect (insure) hint hint!.
5. Agenda – this one is often overlooked but very important. Tell your potential client who you are, what you do and what you’re there for i.e. to understand their needs and priorities.
6. Establish Priorities – this is where you ask good questions and really listen to what’s important to them. Ask them to expand on the REASONS why they want certain things and ask the ‘WHAT IF’ questions such as “what would happen if you lost your job?” or “what would happen if the you weren’t here, how would you wife/husband/partner/children get by?” etc. If they tell you, then ask them to qualify by asking a question like “how would that work?”. This is the process by which you uncover their insurance needs – the things they would want to protect. The important point here is THEY HAVE TOLD YOU – you haven’t told them.
7. Agreement – if you have established a need, the next step is to get agreement from your potential client that there is a need for insurance protection and that they are prepared to do something about it i.e. buy an insurance policy. Once you have this agreement, you can then let them know you will come up with 1 or more potential solutions. You might also want to establish what the potential clients’ budget is to cover the need. A good final question could be “Mr/Mrs Client, if I could give you the cover you need for £££ would you be happy to go ahead with the policy?”.
8. Solution – when you’re ready to present the solution (either at the same meeting or a second appointment) just remind your potential client of their need – this re-establishes their motivation for buying a policy. If appropriate, come up with 2 or 3 solutions for example, one with the full level of cover they require, one with the minimum (which could be their budget) and one somewhere in the middle. Give them an element of control about what they choose.
9. Close – be assumptive and simply ask them for the details you require to pass the stage on to the underwriting company. Importantly, explain what will happen next, what paperwork they can expect to receive, how long it will take etc. Make sure you have any forms with you that you need signing e.g. medical report form, trust form etc. This is also a good time to ask for referrals. A good question could be “do you have any friends or family that might want a review or save money?”.
I advise you to practice the above process until it become a habit, until it becomes natural. You might want to modify it in parts to fit your own or your clients’ circumstances but it really does work.