Everyday I get calls from new and experienced agents, advisors and planners who tell me how they have found a great new revolutionary product or how they have learned about a fantastic new sales idea. All they need now is to get in front of the right prospects, so they can tell them about it and it will practically sell itself.
I hear the same stories over and over again from people who have just attended the latest product training class from their company, IMO, FMO or B/D, or from the people who have spent thousands of dollars of their hard*earned money to learn the hottest new sales ideas.
So, if these agents, advisors and planners have the best products and the latest sales ideas, why are they calling me and looking for help? They are missing two crucial success strategies and, as a result, struggling to close sales. No matter whose revolutionary new products you are selling or whose new fantastic sales concepts you are using, if you want to succeed today, you must master:
1. How to be in front of the right prospects
2. How to get those prospects to take action
It may come as a shock to you, as it does to most salespeople, but the fact is that most people out there don't care about the products and services you are trying to sell. Unfortunately, people tend to distrust salespeople. They don't care about your products or your great sales ideas. They don't care about you. They don't want to know about your company. They don't want to listen to you talk about your products or services. People want a solution to their problems. They want to know how you can help them improve their situation.
Only when you accept this fact, and adjust your message accordingly, will you be able to capture the attention of the people in your community. If you really want to succeed in this business, then you need to become much better at marketing your services. You'll want to find an immediate problem you can solve for a specific group of people. And, then you'll want to consistently deliver a special message to those people that show them you understand their problems -- and that you can help them. If the people in your community don't see and understand the problems they are facing right now and how they'll benefit from meeting with you, is there any reason for them to contact you, let alone set an appointment with you or buy from you?
What sociologists, psychologists, cognitive scientists, biologists and anthropologists tell us, is that self-interest is hard-wired into the brain. That doesn't mean people aren't capable of thinking of others but, let's face it, when your prospects make a list of the people they care most about, you're not in the top 10.
How can you be in front of the right prospects?
Being in front of the right prospects is easy if you first identify a specific immediate problem where your new revolutionary product or fantastic new sales idea may be the solution. Then you identify a specific group of people who would benefit the most from your services. Now it's about consistently delivering your special message to that group of people. You want to be known in your community as the advisor they must see if they want to solve their financial problems.
How about getting your message out there by being a guest speaker on a local TV or radio show; publishing a monthly newsletter; writing articles for your local newspaper; offering a free report or educational workshop; being a guest speaker for local civic groups, associations and churches; or conducting an adult education class at a high school or local college. Also, make sure you let everyone in your community know what you are doing by sending out a press release.
The more people hear about you and the work you are doing to help others, the easier it's going to be to get them to respond to your sales letters and invitations.
How can you get your prospects to take action?
The reality of your situation is you can have all the best products, the best sales ideas and the best prospects, but if you can't get those prospects to meet with you and then take action, you can't succeed. Setting appointments and closing sales is about getting people emotionally involved in solving their immediate problems so they want to take action right now.
Unfortunately, it's very difficult to convince most people that they need your products or services. If you want to set more appointments and close a high percentage of the people you meet with, then you have to help them to convince themselves that what you want to talk about is important to them and their family, business, etc. You do that by asking questions to get them to tell themselves they have a problem. The more you get them to talk about their problems, the more emotionally involved they'll become and the more they'll want to take action. People buy based on emotions and then justify their decision based on logic.
Truly effective salesmanship is all about asking the prospect the right questions and demonstrating that you can help them solve a particular problem or issue. That means you need to direct all of your attention on their situation and resist the opportunity to talk about your company or your offering.
Many of the agents, advisors and planners who have studied the marketing and sales information I provide have mastered these two crucial success strategies. They are the ones who, within a year, have more prospects than they can handle, are getting most of their new business from referrals, are working less than 40 hours per week, and are earning significant six-figure annual incomes, even in this struggling economy.