Don't think your way out of sales

By Michael Gattorna

SIMA - Senior Insurance Marketing Association


There is a saying in the sales arena: you can talk your way out of a sale. I believe that saying is true.

There have to be some moments during the sales process for the client to decide that he or she is going to make a purchase. If the sales person (or agent in our case) does not take a break from explaining the product and its features and benefits, the agent never provides the client with a chance to formulate their decision. The result: there is no sale (usually).

However, the agent in the above example at least got in front of the potential client. I have seen many agents not even get that far. It is almost like the dog that chases cars. What does the dog do when he or she actually catches one?

Prospecting can be an overwhelming task. There are many different ways to reach out and let the world know you are there. Direct mail, telemarketing, cold calling, door knocking, seminars, Internet leads — the list goes on. If you put yourself out there and prospect, chances are you are going to generate some leads. This is where the thinking begins. Let’s use a BRC as an example.

The agent has in his or her hands a name, address, phone number and an interested potential client. (I have to admit, I still get a little excited to get those cards in my hands). But, rather than call the client to set an appointment, the agent plays out the actions and conversations in his or her head. What their opening line is going to be; if the client says this, then I will reply with…

Now, it's great to give yourself a quick pep talk or have some notes in front of you, but I have seen agents make a lot of sales in their heads, and zero actual sales. Have a dry run in your head, and then do it. Take some action. If you play it out more than two times in your head, you are not planning, you are daydreaming. I have yet to see any carrier pay on submission of a day-dreamed app.

Don’t confuse daydreaming and brainstorming, either. Brainstorming produces ideas and actions. Daydreaming replaces them.

Don’t think your way out of productivity. Just pick up the phone, knock on that door, shake that hand, or whatever the next step calls for. You will find, in most cases, it was easier then you had thought.