Selling is the process that uses needs-based techniques to bring about a desired change in the prospect’s behavior. Customers today can purchase insurance from many avenues, whether from telemarketers or over the Internet. One reason carriers have contracted with advisors is that it is easy for people to procrastinate when purchasing financial and insurance products. Advisors help in bringing about action on the part of the prospect.
Advisors can uncover prospects’ sources of dissatisfaction, remove their complacency, instill a desire to change the status quo, offer an intelligent and acceptable solution, and affect a decision to buy. Sales skills, which involve personality and personal habits, account for the major portion of the sales process. But although these skills alone seldom make sales, they often break sales. Remember, agents and advisors are selling reliability and trust – in them and in the carriers and products they market.
Statements, Questions and Objections
Your prospects often will make statements, ask questions or voice objections. It’s helpful to be able to recognize what your prospects are conveying through these statements, questions or objections.
Statements report a fact or opinion, such as “I don’t like it.” Questions gather information, or make a statement that attempts to gain information, as in “Isn’t it true that insurance companies don’t pay their claims?” Objections disclose, or make a statement based on a fact or feeling of disapproval, such as “I won’t buy it because I don’t like the deductible.”
So now that we know how to determine what we are hearing, let’s look at some sample “trial” closes on a variety of topics. For illustration purposes, we will use life/health insurance. However, you can modify these for whatever market in which you may be working.
1. General Trial Close – Need, Like, Cost
“During our lifetime, we buy many things – cars, televisions, homes, etc. And always, before investing our money, we consider three things:
“Do I need it?
“Do I like it?
“Can I afford it?
“Regardless of what you buy, you either accept or reject a purchase based on asking yourself these three questions, right?
“Now let’s look at the policy you designed:
» Do you like the plan you designed today?
» Do you believe you and your family need this protection?
» Do you feel comfortable with the company?
» Can you handle the cost?
“Do you have health insurance for your best health year or for your worst health year? Let’s get your protection in place so you have the choice to manage your finances in your worst health year.”
2. No Money
“Suppose you needed a new job. You walk into one place of business and are offered your current salary with no health benefits. When you get sick or hurt, or a member of your family goes to the hospital, your employer will not pay anything toward your medical bills. That’s what your current job is now, isn’t it?
“Then, suppose you walked down the street and talked to another employer who offered a job that had the same hours and duties. He said he would pay you (whatever the health insurance premium is) less than what you are currently getting. However, he would pay you (list all the benefits of the plan you and your prospect designed).
“Which job would you take?
“This is exactly the choice you have now. It’s the choice you can make so your family doesn’t have to make these choices when they may have fewer options, right?”
3. No Need
“Let’s look at it this way: Let’s weigh your obligation against our obligation.
Yours: (Write cost of plan)
Ours: (List plan benefits)
“First of all, your obligation is to set aside each month (state premium amount here).
“On the other hand, our obligation is to pay (list all the benefits provided by the plan under consideration).
“However, if you do not live up to your obligation and set aside (state premium amount), then our obligation becomes yours (put ‘Y’ in front of ‘our’) and you have to meet these expenses as well as your other regular expenses.
“Certainly the wisest decision here is to set aside (state premium amount) and let (state carrier name) help pay these expenses for you.”
4. No Hurry
This could be a trial close for life insurance or ancillary products.
“If this were a purchase of a product where a few days wouldn’t matter, I’d say fine. However, let me point out that protection of this kind is never on sale.
“In other words, it will never be any cheaper.
“As a matter of fact, it will be more expensive and could possibly ‘go off the market’ as far as your health is concerned.
“Today it looks as if you are in good health, but before tomorrow your health can fail. When you wait one day, you may be one of those who cannot qualify for coverage.
“Remember, Mr. (name), you take the chance but when you lose, your family pays.”
5. Price Is Too High
“Let’s look at the features – which one can your family do without?
“Is it more than you are willing to pay or is this plan more than you expected to pay?
“In what price range did you expect to stay?”
6. You Don’t Have a Better Policy
“What are the features of your policy that you have used the most?
“If we do have a better policy, are there any health issues that would prevent you from qualifying?
“That’s a good idea; let’s look at it and see.”
7. Better Price
“What features does that price include? What is the price you believe you can get?
“Do you mind if I ask, why am I here? In other words, is there a specific reason you did not take that plan?”
The selling process includes presenting objective facts and making subjective impressions. Remember, prospects will do business with someone they like. Be yourself. Otherwise, prospects will regard you as insincere. Know your products. Product knowledge is a sales strength and promotes confidence. Always expect the best from your prospects.
Finally, keep in mind one of the long-standing truisms in selling: It’s hard to justify the cost of something if you don’t see the value in it. So what does the prospect have to do when the value exceeds the cost? Buy!