Master the fundamentals to win the sales game
By Lew Nason
Insurance Pro Shop
Contrary to what most agents want to believe, learning a new sales idea isn't in itself going to generate the leads and sales your want, unless you've mastered all of the marketing and sales fundamentals. While everyone can play baseball, very few people are ever going to become good enough to make it to the minor leagues, let alone the major leagues. Even those players who have a lot of natural athletic talent are often beat out by players with a lot less talent.The people who do make it into the minor and major leagues in baseball are the people who constantly study, practice and work hard to master the fundamentals of the whole game. Then, they determine what position they are going to specialize in, and they study, practice and work hard to master that one position.
You can work hard and become a great hitter, but if you haven't mastered other parts of the game like running the bases, bunting, catching fly balls and making accurate throws, what are the chances of you ever making it into the minor leagues, let alone the major leagues?
It’s the same for anything we decide to do. If we want to be successful in the game, it takes dedication, study, practice and hard work to master the fundamentals. Then, to take our game to the next level, we can specialize in a specific area.
What are the fundamentals of the sales game?
You can have the newest and best products in the world. You can be extremely knowledgeable about these products and how to use them. You can have a great new sales idea. However, if you haven't mastered the fundamentals of how to attract and set appointments with the right prospects, you’ll never get your turn at bat. You can have all the appointments in the world, but if you don’t have the knowledge of what to do and say to turn those appointments into a sale, you’ll strike out nine times out of 10.
If you want to make it to the minor leagues in sales, and eventually into the major leagues, you must first master the marketing fundamentals of how to attract and constantly be in front of the right prospects, and the sales skills fundamentals to get your prospects emotionally involved, so they want to take action right now.
The first fundamental of sales is understanding what sales is all about. Is sales about getting people to buy the products that you want to sell them, or is it about helping people to buy what they need and solve the problem they have? This is where most agents stumble right from the start. When they get a lead, they have a problem turning the lead into an appointment, let alone a sale. Is there an urgent problem that you can solve for a prospect? If your prospect doesn’t have a problem, then why should they meet with you? If it isn’t an urgent problem, then why should they meet with you right now?
Does the prospect recognize the problem they have? What can you do and say to get them to see that they have a problem and agree to an appointment? Does the prospect want to solve the problem? Do they want to solve it right now? What can you say and do to move the sale along ?Even if they do want to solve the problem, do they have the money? What can you do to help them find the money?
The second fundamental of sales is learning how to identify and attract your ideal prospect.This is another area where the vast majority of agents have a major problem. They believe that everybody is a good prospect for what they offer. So, they waste their time and money sending letters to, talking to, meeting with and trying to sell the wrong people.
Some people are simply better prospects than others for your products or services. Example: If you are selling life insurance, is it going to be easier to sell it to people with families or to single people? Are there some areas, companies, associations, etc. that have groups of your ideal prospects? If you sell one person in that group, is it going to be easier to set appointments with and sell the other people in the same group? Are there some prospects that you relate to better than others? Are there prospects who you have more things in common with than others? When you relate better with a prospect, isn’t it going to be easier to set an appointment and close the sale?
The third fundamental of sales is the understanding that marketing is the only function in your business that brings in clients, produces sales and generates profits. A lack of marketing is the primary reason most agents fail in this business. Most agents spend all their time trying to meet with and sell strangers, which is the hardest and most expensive way to grow your business. And yet isn’t that what most of the new lead and sales systems focus on? How easy is it to set an appointment with someone who has never heard of you or the work that you do? How much credibility do you have with these strangers? How much trust do these strangers have in you? Don’t most people prefer to do business with people they already know?
How much easier would it be to get an appointment with someone if a trusted advisor or friend recommended you and endorsed your services? How much easier is it to make an appointment with people that already know you and the work that you do? These are just a few of the fundamentals you must study, practice and master to win the sales game.