Boost life insurance sales with the four secrets to shooting a peaArticle added by Susan Zimmerman on August 13, 2009
Susan Zimmerman

Susan Zimmerman

Apple Valley, MN

Joined: August 21, 2010

Shooting a pea doesn't sound like it has much to do with selling life insurance, does it? But if you read on, you'll see how it might become one of your favorite images the next time you're preparing a life insurance presentation.

First, let me clarify what I mean by "shooting a pea." It's about photographing vegetables. I learned these secrets as a new college grad at my first job in an advertising agency. Most impressive was the photographer's talent at shooting peas. To my amazement, I started to think I should give peas a try again. Maybe my distaste for them had changed since my childhood days of unsuccessfully trying to hide them under the rim of my plate to avoid eating them.

Do you have prospective clients who seem to be avoiding life insurance due to some outdated notion of this product? If so, have a look at the best secrets of shooting a pea. It helps you remember the psychological factor in sales, while enjoying a little more creativity and productivity in your life insurance sales.

It was astonishing how appealing a pea could look on those glossy color pictures. Years ago, I wondered if the secrets of successfully photographing a pea could be useful in helping people find life insurance more appealing. After all, those secrets boosted my interest in a hated vegetable. Could they have some application to clients who hated, and therefore avoided, life insurance planning? Yes.

Perfect pea picture secrets

There were several secrets to successful food photography. By the way, did you know there are "compliance" rules for food pictures? For example, a photograph of a chocolate sundae can use fake ice cream as long as the advertisement is for the chocolate sauce. But if it's for the ice cream, shoot fast, because real ice cream melts in seconds.

Of course, we all must stay in full compliance in our sales presentations. Unlike the food industry, nothing can be fake. The four secrets I'll share here are the ones that apply nicely to insurance sales. Whether it's shooting peas or selling insurance, the secrets are in keeping it:
    1. Real
    2. Fresh
    3. Colorful
    4. Appetizing
Being real

First, keep it real. Whether you're recommending a healthy vegetable or an insurance product, the first secret is authenticity. The peas photographed were the real thing. Granted, they were hand-selected for their perfect shape. One little scratch or dent and they were tossed out.

This is what a good insurance advisor does for clients. You eliminate the product choices that aren't a good fit for a particular client. You save them time by doing the selection and de-selection process for them. Conceptually summarize why you ruled out certain types, and focus on why your recommendation is the best real choice for them.

Convey authenticity by sharing your process as it applies to your client's objectives and resources. Without it, you're like the scratched or dented peas, at greater risk of being tossed out by your client. You stay real by fully considering every real-world aspect of your clients' lifestyle and money habits.

You are real for your clients when you match their human factors with the best possible products for them. Disclose how and why those are the best fit, considering the possible choices. Share features that might be drawbacks, as well. Come back to how your recommendation is the best mix of all the possible choices.

Fresh ideas

Secondly, the peas had to be fresh. Adding a fine mist of water made them appear to have come from the most magical garden on the planet. Regardless of how you feel about vegetables, you'd never choose one if it looked like it was rotten. A life insurance recommendation can look rotten if it doesn't continually show its freshness in solving multiple aspects of a client's estate needs.

Talk with your clients about the importance of regularly taking a fresh look at their insurance plans. Advise them to make sure their insurance never becomes stale or inadequate. As economic conditions or their life circumstances change, so must their financial actions. And you're there to help them get it done. This helps you prevent your image from becoming stale. That makes you the one your clients reach for when they need to "eat their vegetables."

Colorful connections

The third secret to successfully shooting a pea is making it colorful. Only the brightest green colors were chosen, because they seemed to shout, "Healthy, fresh, natural, delicious, the best. Choose me!"

How do you apply this colorful secret to financial services while remaining in perfect compliance? It's not about making claims concerning outcomes or performance; colorful comes from being unique in your connection with clients.

Stand out by doing special things for clients that remind them how well you've been listening. One example is in sending a greeting card that says, "This reminded me of you because..." It's in making their experience with you memorable because you've contacted them in several uniquely colorful ways in between meetings. That's what shouts out to your clients that you are the best choice for them.

Appetizing implementations

The fourth pea-shooting secret was in making it appetizing. The first three secrets all enhanced the look of the peas, but didn't necessarily give the consumer a complete idea of serving suggestions. The way peas were pictured in many different serving settings with other appealing foods made them more appetizing.

The appetizing secret in financial services represents the application aspect of meeting with clients. It's more appetizing when clients understand how every "recommended serving" you suggest applies to their overall financial life. Restating how their life insurance fits into the "whole meal" of their financial plan makes it comfortable. This is where your "serving suggestions" remind your clients of the benefits of having a well-rounded approach to their money management.

Eat your vegetables

Sometimes the multiple tasks we must perform to keep a practice active, alive and healthy does seem a little like eating your vegetables. Who doesn't have moments when they'd rather grab a spoon and a tub of ice cream and skip the veggies forever? But the rewards of those veggies are too great to skip.

Use the food photographers' pea-shooting secrets of being real, fresh, colorful, and appetizing when you're presenting your recommendations to clients. You might even reach a point where you like veggies better than ice cream.

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