No matter what business you are in, your success depends on the same thing as all the other guys: sales. Whether you are trying to sell fresh fruit at a farmer’s market or insurance policies to new homeowners, you are still trying to sell something. And when you want to sell something, you need to understand the mechanics of that process.
When you think about it, the sales process may seem quite simple. You meet a prospective customer, you pitch your product or service, and you close or not close the deal. In fact, many people who are trying to make a sale may be very successful at it without ever knowing why.
But let me tell you the main reason right now: trust.
Without trust, you can never go through the sales process and convert prospects into sales. It’s as simple as that. No matter what the other excuses are for it, that is the underlying reason. And here is why.
There are four simple criteria that make up a qualified prospect:
If you were to call a prospective client and pitch bundling their auto insurance policy with a homeowner’s insurance package, and they told you they did not own a home, there is no need. That makes things simple – you cannot sell something that the customer has no need for. What if you were trying to sell a new hair product to a customer and asked for 5 minutes of her time to explain how it works and she replied with “I am in a hurry, sorry”? Well, the customer would not have time, so once again, the reasoning for them not converting on your sale would be simple. The same thing goes for no money, if a customer cannot reasonably afford the product you are selling – whether it is additional liability coverage or a custom paint job on their car, you simply will not convert.
But what about the prospects that have all 3 of those qualifications but you still can’t seem to convert?
Then the answer to your question becomes even simpler. When you don’t make a sale and someone gave you their time, and they have enough money, and they have a need for what you are selling, the problem is there was no trust, and that is why they didn’t convert.
If there is no trust, there will never be a sale regardless of their qualifications and as a salesperson, you need to work exceptionally hard to be sure that trust is always present.
When it comes to insurance, how can you build trust?
• Invest curiosity in the person’s lifestyle, family and interests
• Ask the right questions – what do you need from me?
• Offer an honest explanation of all of the insurance policies
• Have an open door policy when it comes to questions and concerns
• Position yourself as more than an insurance provider – but a friend and trusted confidant
When it comes to making a sale, the first three prospect qualifications are easy to get through, but mastering the fourth – that is what makes you a sales ninja!
About the Author: Charlie Downey is President of the Downey Insurance Group, a New England based independent insurance agency serving all of New England via his Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire offices.