Some of the reasons so many agents and reps fail
Most insurance agents think that they really are agents. But look up the legal definition of "agent," and then realize you are not an agent; you are a "salesperson." The only thing that you get paid to do is to sell.
The way that most insurance companies and securities brokers teach their people to sell is of far greater benefit to the companies and their managers than it is to the agents.
You frequently hear about top producers who earn huge commissions. What you are not told is that, with the exception of the managers, the average gross earnings for agents and reps is about $45,000 per year. After struggling for four or five years, only a small percentage of agents are highly successful.
You also are not told that most highly successful agents and reps have spent their own money on professional sales training and have years of sales experience. Instead, you are encouraged to try myriad ways to prospect and sell, most of which do not work without a great deal of learning by trial and error.
By the time most agents realize that they really need sales training, they have no money left to pay for it. So, few stay in the business long enough to learn by experience.
Training for a successful sales career
Professional selling, like any other profession, requires specialized skills. Most agents and reps who succeed do so by prospecting and selling in ways that are radically different from what they have been told to do by their managers. They do not get stuck doing ineffective things such as cold-calling, needs analyses, showing prospects their pain, preparing proposals, persuading, convincing, and overcoming objections. They seldom make multiple visits to prospects who do not buy, nor do they try to convince poorly qualified prospects to buy.
I learned what we call "High Probability Selling" by going out on sales calls with hundreds of top producers, watching them work and taking copious notes. I found out that hardly any of them could accurately describe how they sell.
But, the notes of my observations could.
My observations revealed the things that top producers do that average producers do, and do not do, that is different from average producers. The way they think, their "sales mindset," is also very different.
There are many other professional training companies that have good sales programs. I suggest that you check out several. See which meets your highest ethical standards. Determine whether the methods they teach are in accordance with the way you want to do business. Figure out which one can enhance your self-esteem and self-respect. Pick the one that is right for you, at a deep emotional level.
To get ideas that can help set you apart, be sure to inquire about my book, "High Probability Selling," in this article's forum.
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