Q: I was doing well until about three months ago when all of a sudden
to go wrong for me. I lost a case to a competitor, a promising prospect stopped
returning my calls and several
other cases fell apart on me. Since then, I have not made a sale. I think I lost
it! Can you suggest anything?
Rx: There are times when suddenly nothing seems to go right.
Random events occur that are not your causing and that you
are unable to control, but nevertheless, they may have a momentary
impact on your life or business. We all have experienced setbacks in
business. But when a number of these happen all at once, they seem to
defy probability and it can be hard to believe that you are not causing
them. We have a tendency to look for a cause-and-effect relationship in
events and to try to find an explanation for them. It is easier to believe
that you have "lost your touch" than to fathom how several things may
go wrong for you all at once without you being responsible for them.
Once you have convinced yourself that you "lost it," your self-doubt will
cause you to lose confidence in yourself and ultimately becomes a selffulfilling
prophecy. It is important that you remember that you cannot
control everything that may affect your business on the short term,
including the setbacks you just experienced. You are still the same competent
person that you were before, you have not lost anything. Recall
your past successes and work on regaining your winning attitude. As
soon as you make your first sale, things will start looking better again.
Q: Prospects often put me off by saying something like,
"I already have insurance," or, "I already have an agent."
I am not sure what to say to that. Any suggestions?
Rx: More often than not, prospects will resist when you first
approach them, and saying that they already have an agent or
insurance are common ways of doing it. Sometimes it is just an excuse
and sometimes it is a statement of fact. Either way, you need to acknowledge
it as a fact and find out whether the insurance they have meets the
prospect's needs or whether the agent is still actively involved with the
prospect to take care of his /her needs. People that have purchased insurance
in the distant past are, more likely than not, underinsured. And it
is your responsibility to make sure that they have the right amount of
protection in place. Also, according to some statistics, the average person
will buy insurance seven times in his/her lifetime, but only 2.5 times
from the same agent. If your prospects are not actively served by their
agent, you have an opportunity to take their agents' place and update
the prospect's coverage. You may say something like this to respond to
your prospect's objection: "I am not suggesting replacing the insurance you have
in place or the people that you trust. But it would be in your
best interest to sit down with me (or someone like me) to review what
protection you have in force to make sure that it meets your needs and
the needs of those that depend on you for their financial security. You
will walk away from our meeting being reassured that your insurance
needs are well taken care of or you will find out what else you might
need. In that case, you can follow up with your agent or, if you wish, I
can help you take care of it."
Q: I am a multiline agent and most of my sales come from
property and casualty products. I get a lot of pressure from
my company to sell life insurance products to my existing clients
but I get a lot of resistance from them. I am afraid that if I keep
pushing them, they may take their P/C business somewhere else.
What should I do?
Rx: People come to buy automobile or home owners insurance
because they see a need for it, or because they have to. In
many states, you cannot register your car unless you have it insured. So
your prospects for P/C products are motivated buyers, whereas most
people do not perceive a current need for life insurance. This has to
do with the way we deal with our mortality; we convince ourselves that
we will live long and healthy lives and avoid situations that remind us
of the reality that this may not be the case. Selling to an unmotivated
prospect presents you with a unique challenge. Buying a property and
casualty product is the prospect's agenda so they do not question your
motive for selling it to them. But selling life insurance appears to be your
agenda; they have no perceived need for it and it is you that approaches
the prospect proposing that they buy it. To your prospect you likely to
appear as self-serving, motivated by a desire to earn a commission by
selling them something that they don't need. Because of this, your first
sales strategy should be to position your motivation as serving the client's
interest and the interests of his/her dependents. Develop a strong
commitment to protecting the future of dependents with life insurance
and learn to communicate this commitment to your prospects. Your
passionate belief in providing for your client's future security will alleviate
your client's suspicions about your motive, setting the stage for
exploring their life insurance needs.