As an independent insurance sales professional, we know your goal each month is to make a profit and increase your business. Finding new customers and keeping your current ones is essential.
To be even more successful, consider an alternative mindset and a different approach, focus on improved sales effectiveness. Make your objective be to help people, earn their trust, and become their reliable advisor.
Insurance is an important product to help consumers reach their goals – whether they’re concerned with safety and health, financial security, limiting their out-of-pocket health care costs, or something else. If you work collaboratively with them, and you get to know them, their needs, and their goals, you’ll be rewarded with increased sales and, very likely, referrals from these customers that can lead to even more sales. If you don’t get to know them or you fail to “listen” to what they’re really telling you, then you may put them into the wrong plan and rather than earning referrals you’ll be dissed on social media.
Below are eight tips to help you increase your sales:
#1. Have a strategy and plan:
Have a plan each day. Know what you want to say in your sales pitch, but be flexible in your approach based on what you know about and learn from your customer. Have a list of questions you want to ask to find out how you can best serve your prospect’s or customer’s needs.
If your initial conversation is on the phone and your prospect is interested, follow-through with a formal proposal. Set a schedule for follow-up – days, weeks, and months after the initial sale. If you’ve done a good job, referrals will follow.
#2. Be empathetic:
As an insurance professional, you deal with sensitive information every day. Be sure to be compassionate and understanding. Put yourself in their shoes. By doing so, you’ll better help provide them with the solution that best meets their needs. Otherwise, if your approach isn’t genuine, they will be able to tell you’re not committed to their goals, and instead that you’re just looking for a sale.
#3. Learn from other sales professionals:
If you’re new to insurance sales, you may find that learning how to present is often hard at first. However, if you spend some time with other professionals, you’ll hear and see what works. Keep in mind, though, that what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another.
Talk with others about their experience, their use of personalized thank you notes, and their approach to referrals, etc. Success is often far more than what appears on the surface.
#4. Listen to and work on your voice:
Tone and pace are important. Record yourself and periodically listen to it. Hear how you sound. Listen for what you can work to improve. Your voice is an instrument you use every day in your sales career. Being clear makes you more professional and sound more trustworthy.
#5. Avoid being the stereotypical sales person:
Talking, pushing, talking, pushing. That’s the image attributed to many sales professionals. Listening more allows you to better hear the needs and goals of your prospects and clients.
The more questions you ask, the more information you will gather to use in your call or in-person presentation.
#6. Be prepared for objections, risks, and fears:
Prospects have fears and objections you’ll want to prepare for in advance. These include a need to talk with someone else before making a decision, wanting to compare other plans, etc. Rather than trying to overcome these objections, encourage your prospects and clients to involve others in your discussion; invite them to be a part of your meeting.
While some sales folks might try to push through a sale, if you take a consultative approach, you’ll be valued for your expertise and your compassion. While being pushy might result in an initial sale, you are less likely to get repeat business or referrals.
#7. Use benefits, not features:
Approach your sales by selling benefits rather than plan features. People are more receptive to a “peace of mind” or security sale, rather than a bells and whistles sale.
#8. Apply something new daily:
Learning new things in sales and marketing is good, but you have to put what you learn to work; otherwise, it will soon be forgotten. Make it a point to learn something new continually. Then, when you put it to work, you will not only challenge your mind, but your day-to-day behavior, too.
These are just eight tips to help you grow your business, enhance your relationships with prospects and clients alike, and increase your referrals. Watch for other ideas in future post!