How to sell nine out of 10 prospects you meet with
By Lew Nason
Insurance Pro Shop
What if you could consistently sell nine out of 10 people you meet with?
How many new prospects would you need each week, if almost all of them decided to buy on the second sales call?
Are you thinking that selling nine out of 10 people you meet with is impossible; that you'd have to be a pushy salesperson to do so? Think again!
Consider this: Rich or poor, doesn't everyone you meet with have one or more financial problems that they need to solve? For example, income taxes, safe money, debt reduction, retirement, wealth transfer, income replacement and more.
Often, their biggest concern is finding someone they can actually trust; someone that they feel is working in their best interests and not just trying to make a sale.
If you want to be the financial advisor they want — and you want to start closing more sales — you must learn the art of consultative selling.
Consultative selling is one of the most important, least-learned and least-practiced sales skills today. It’s the ability to conduct a good, thorough, fact-finding interview. A good, thorough fact-find is much more than asking some simple questions to identify a few pertinent facts and concerns and make a quick sale.
It’s asking the tough emotional questions (who, what, where, when, why and how) in an effort to guide your prospect to self-discovery regarding their own financial concerns and problems. It’s helping your prospect to get emotionally involved in the entire sales process. It’s helping them feel the real pain of their current situation, so they want to immediately do something about it to help alleviate that pain.
“Consultative selling is the ability to see the customer’s problems from the customer’s own viewpoint"<
— Charles Francis
People don’t always do or buy what they need. Logically, we may know we need to lose weight, quit smoking, save for retirement or pay off our credit cards, but do we do it? No! We put it off until we have no other choice; until we are faced with unbearable pain. Only when the pain becomes too great to live with, do we decide to take action.
"Top producers realize that their primary responsibility is to help clients identify, define and achieve their goals. They actively try to help clients get what the client wants and needs."
The 2 percent differential — The difference that makes the difference
However, consultative selling goes far beyond asking questions in an effort to guide people to self-discovery regarding their own financial concerns. Consultative selling is about becoming genuinely engaged in asking and listening — without a sales motive. Instead, it focuses on taking the conversation, and the relationship, to a different level.
You become their partner in solving their problems because you care enough to ask questions beyond the obvious. You care enough to ask, and don't assume that financial security means the same thing to everyone. You care enough to ask what's really important to them rather than simply push a product like everyone else. Consultative selling helps you build rapport and trust, which enables you to close more sales, close larger sales, generate repeat sales and gather referrals.
Long-term sales success is no longer about communicating the value of a product or service. It’s about your ability to provide value-added service for your clients.
Consultative selling starts with the first face to face meeting, and it doesn’t matter how or why you got the appointment. It could be about something as simple as discussing mortgage insurance or final expense policies. Or, maybe they agreed to meet with you after they’ve attended one of your workshops or seminars. No matter why they agreed to see you, you must conduct a good, thorough fact-finding interview if you want to sell nine out of 10 people you meet with.
“Consultative selling is a non-manipulative process that focuses on clearly defining a client’s needs and objectives and securing agreement that they should be addressed. In traditional selling, on the other hand, the emphasis is on the product."
— John E. Graziano and Patrick Flanagan
Explore the art of consultative selling
Consultative selling, the ability to conduct a good, thorough fact-finding interview, is what enables top producers to consistently earn $250,000, $500,000 or more each year selling life insurance. It’s why they close larger life insurance sales and get more repeat business. It’s why they are able to work with fewer prospects, and it’s why they get more referrals and spend less time and money prospecting.
Is consultative selling easy? No. Is it more work? Yes.
Can you learn how to conduct a good, thorough fact-finding interview, and consistently close more sales? Absolutely!