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Sell Smarter

Posted By American Insurance Marketing and Sales (AIMS) Society, Friday, February 2, 2018

Sell Smarter

If you're still just selling policies, you're selling wrong.

The reality is that how you sell can be more important than what you sell. After all, there's always someone coming out with a better mousetrap and price can easily be trumped.

So how can you sell smarter?

  1. Start by explaining how the world has or is changing and why that creates an issue for your prospect. This is slightly different from the traditional "define a problem" approach, which implies something being wrong—either with or at the prospect's company—and too easily puts them on the defensive.

    If you instead point out changes occurring beyond the prospect's control, it's more likely you'll convince them you are saving them from something—you are the solution they may not have even known they needed.

  2. Address “loss aversion” head on. Economists explain that prospects tend to avoid a possible loss by sticking to the status quo, rather than risking potential gain by making a change.

    The only way to combat this is by making it clear that there will be both winners and losers because of the world shift you already explained. In other words, show them that sticking to the "status quo" is a sure ticket to failure.

  3. Don't drown in details. If you share too much minutia before you've closed the deal, you risk losing the audience's attention.

  4. Share evidence. What you think about your company is less impressive than what others think. Testimonials are important. Collect and share those good reviews.

Want more ideas for a persuasive sales presentation, including specific tactics for building slides? Check out 7 Amazing Sales Presentation Examples (And How to Make Them Your Own).

Tags:  AIMS Society  Catalyst Insurance Systems  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  productivity  Professional Development  teamwork  Technology 

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American Idol: Simon Cowell’s answers for the insurance industry

Posted By Tom Baker, guest blogger, Friday, August 23, 2013
Updated: Thursday, August 22, 2013

American Idol is a genuine American phenomena. Lives have been changed and legends born as millions of viewers tuned in to hear Simon Cowell’s honest, sometimes cutting, opinion about the talent of would-be stars. The show has continued without Simon, but no one can deny that something has been lost.

Fortunately, we have a legacy of "cowell-isms”. As strange as it sounds, these "cowell-isms” are exactly what the insurance industry needs as independent agents challenge the momentum of a commodity driven market.

"This is a singing competition”
This cowell-ism came in response to an attractive singer whose voice didn’t match their looks. Simon’s point was simple – it doesn’t matter what else you do well. This is a singing competition. The quality of their singing is all that mattered.

Ask yourself, "What business am I in?” Many owners begin with the same tired and worn out response that they are in the "customer service” business. Keep an eye on these agencies. You will be able to pick them up at a good price in a few years. The buyers will be owners who realize they are in the business of protecting customers by writing and retaining business. Period. Everything else, including customer service, is simply a tool to reach the goal.

"What kind of artist are you?”
A second cowell-ism asked a contestant who sang country one week and pop the next, "What kind of artist are you?” The day of the generalist is gone. The key to success against commodity brokers is a clear identity causing you to stand out against a landscape of boring agencies that all look and sound the same.

Southwest Airlines. You know exactly what to expect when you fly Southwest. They are the, "nation’s leading low-price, no-frill, point-to-point airline”. And, they are one of, if not the only, profitable airline.

How do your customers describe your agency? If they are not clear what sets you apart, then you have helped Flo put you out of a job because you have made price the only differentiator. My recommendation is simple. Carve out a niche. Establish yourself as noteworthy in an area of protection. With commission rates where they are, you simply cannot afford to write unprofitable business. Identify what your agency does well. Find the customer who fits your agency – then dedicate your marketing and service to them.

"That was a completely forgettable experience.”
My favorite cowell-ism came after a contestant succeeded in boring Simon Cowell. His iconic declaration was followed by, "In 10 minutes I won’t remember your name or what song you sang.” That is not what a contestant dreaming of platinum records wants to hear. Every agency owner needs to be aware that each customer or prospect is evaluating your performance just as Simon judged the contestant.

Marketing classics such as "The Purple Cow” and "Blue Ocean Strategy” offer clear, essential advice. Realize if you are saying the same things, in the same way and for the same reason as your competition, you have just delivered a completely forgettable performance.

So what does a memorable experience look and sound like? The next time you receive a quote request – Don’t ask if the caller is insured or what coverage they currently have. Why? Because every other agency is asking the same question at the same point in the conversation.

Try this instead.

"I realize I am probably not the first agent you have talked with about your insurance, and most of them probably start out talking about insurance. But I want to learn something about you and not just sell you insurance. I want to make a personal commitment to work with you so you will never have to worry about living in a smaller house, driving an older car or living a lesser lifestyle because you run into something unexpected in life. Now here is what I would like to learn about you. How important is it to you to certainly get the best price, but also to protect the lifestyle you have worked so hard to acquire?”

I guarantee this will create a memorable experience, even if the sale is not made – yet.

I understand we live in a complex business environment, but the basics of life are always simple. Next staff meeting, try out some cowell-ism’s with your staff. Who knows, your agency might just become the next American Idol – at least to all your new clients who now think you are a superstar.

 

Tom Baker, Catalyst Insurance Systems

Tom Baker – Insurance Systems Architect, Catalyst Insurance Systems - Tom’s background in marriage and family counseling, team building, consulting and leadership training has provided personal, hands-on experience with hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals over the past 35 years.  His specialty is quickly understanding the needs of individuals, defining a clear vision, then walking with them until they reach their goal.

 

The team at Catalyst Insurance Systems is committed to a philosophy that provides time-proven ways to motivate staff and increase revenue.  This philosophy is a foundation for the tools, training and technology Catalyst offers to agencies.  Learn more at www.catalystinsurancesystems.com

Tags:  Agency Management  AIMS Society  Catalyst Insurance Systems  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  producer compensation 

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