Boost your insurance sales tricks & treats:

A better way to win at your sales process and your presentation 

Whether you’re new to insurance sales or you’re a veteran broker and member of the president’s million-dollar round table, it’s always good to look for fresh perspectives on insurance sales tricks & treats and techniques. We’ve found two that we thought were definitely worth passing along. 

Rethink your sales process

If you’ve been in sales for eight years or more, most likely here are the steps to a successful sale that you were taught: Prospect. Qualify. Demonstrate. Close. 

The problem is, said Mark Roberge in his post on thinkgrowth.org, that selling process doesn’t exactly line up with the buying process, also called "the buyer’s journey," which starts with Awareness (of a need). Consideration (of solutions). Decision. 

That could be why buyers are nearly two-thirds of the way through their journey before they ever contact a salesperson. Ouch. How are we going to influence them if we don’t know they’re out there looking? Maybe it’s time to rethink your sales game. And this is the first tip in analyzing and honing your insurance sales tricks & treats.

Instead of trying to press buyers into our sales process, says Roberge, we need to press ourselves into their process. Here’s how that works:

1. Identify “strangers” who may have goals or challenges you can help with. These “strangers” become “leads.”

2. Connect with these “leads” to help them decide whether their goal or challenge should become a priority. If the answer’s yes, then these “leads” become “qualified leads.”

3. Explore the goals or challenges of these “qualified leads” to assess whether your insurance offering is a good fit for the qualified leads’ context. If it is, these “qualified leads” become “opportunities.”

4. Advise these “opportunities” on the ways in which your insurance offering is uniquely positioned to address the buyer’s context. If the buyer agrees that you provide the best solution, these “opportunities” become “customers.”

“Nice theory,” you say. “But I don’t get how this should change how I sell.”

It’s a different mindset, explains Roberge. It requires you to deeply understand what it’s like to be in your buyer’s shoes. “What do [your] buyers do all day? What is easy about the job? What is hard? What causes stress? What do individuals in this role like to do? What do their bosses want them to do? How is success measured?” he asked.

If you sell workers’ compensation insurance, who are your buyers? Is it the head of HR, the COO or the CFO? If you sell commercial marine, is your decisionmaker the marina manager or his wife, the office manager and bookkeeper? They each have their own stresses and priorities. They each juggle differing responsibilities. But here’s a uniting truth, regardless of their demographic: They all want to come across as the smart, savvy hero.

So spend time with several of your amenable clients to understand what were key factors in their decision to begin looking for a new insurance agent, and what was included in their decision matrix. That can help you deepen your understanding of your clients, thereby enhancing your insurance sales tricks & treats. 

Check out Roberge’s free inbound sales certification course here.

 

Nail your next presentation 

According to a recent Property Casualty 360 article, there are eight pillars to a powerful presentation. Number 1 surprised us: It’s how confident you’re perceived to be. So the second insurance sales trick we suggest you focus on is your presentation abilities. 

“The perceived confidence that listeners have in a speaker determines how they regard the person’s ‘accuracy, competence, and knowledge level. The more confidently expressed that information is, the more likely it is to be followed,’” the article explained, quoting research by Caroline J. Wesson, Ph.D., at the U.K.’s University of Wolverhampton.

How do you build that confidence? In seven ways, according to the article. We’ve added our two cents in here as well.

1. Careful preparation. Don’t just have a vague idea of what you’ll say. You need more than that. Extroverts can work well with a good outline; introverts need to script out their presentation.

2. Control the presentation. Not rigidly, as in “you must listen to my canned presentation all the way to the end and then I can answer your questions.” Instead remember that “he who asks the questions, controls the presentation.” That means you need to ask plenty of questions: What led your prospect to shop for insurance? What are their pain points? What will success look like? Who makes the final decision? And so on.

3. Never apologize. You don’t want to come across weak – and that’s what you do when you apologize or make excuses.

4. Don’t rely on PowerPoint (or Prezi) as a crutch. We agree with the article: “Use slides and other props, such as videos and graphics, sparingly to support your presentation.” Two other pet peeves about slides: Don’t use whole sentences and long copy blocks. And for heaven’s sake, don’t read your slides. Keep it conversational.

5. Get to the point. A little chit chat is good to break ice, but use that time to ask questions that you can use to your advantage in your presentation.

6. Provide an agenda. Tell them up front where you’re going: that there are three key areas you’d like to discuss. That way they have a feel for where you are and how much longer they’ll be held captive, er, totally focused. 

7. Always provide the next step. In your closing, make it easy for them to take that next step. To gather the stats you need and return them to you on Thursday. To make a decision. To compare your coverage, enhancements and pricing with their current broker. Make it strong, make it short, and make it clear what they need to do next.

It’s your turn: What other insurance sales tricks & treats have you developed along the way? Any lessons learned to share?