Needless mistakes that kill life insurance sales
To be successful in selling life insurance, some advisors think that being aggressive is the way to succeed. Others feel that it takes a certain charisma. It’s time to put such thoughts to rest, since neither is necessary nor appropriate.
What works best is a well-organized, logical, and professional sales approach that fits the individual advisor. But this alone doesn’t guarantee success. More than anything else it comes from avoiding five all-too-common mistakes that kill life insurance sales.
1. Failure to read clients correctly
Nothing is more detrimental to closing a life insurance sale than starting off with preconceived assumptions about what makes clients tick, their ability to make a purchase, how serious they are, or even the outcome of the meeting.
Assumptions create “interference” that distort client “signals,” resulting in an inaccurate reading of the client, which can skew the meeting in the wrong direction. Worse yet, they immobilize the advisor’s ability to listen accurately. In effect, preconceived assumptions undermine closing the sale right from the start.
When advisors focus their attention on listening to the client — not on “will they” or “won’t they” buy — they can uncover needs, discover motivations, recognize opportunities, and begin to see the next steps that will lead to making the sale.
2. Failure to offer solutions
Too many advisors make “the great policy” mistake. They focus on the “bells and whistles” of the policy, but never get around to connecting the dots so the clients can have a clear understanding of how owning the policy will benefit them.
Is it any wonder that clients are often passive, show little or no interest, and never ask questions? Advisors rarely hear someone say, “Yes, that’s exactly what I want.” What they get is, “We’ll think about it” or “It costs so much.”
If the solution fails to capture the client’s imagination, there’s no sale. If it doesn’t solve a perceived problem, help make it possible for a dream to come true, or reach deep felt goals, it’s just a dull policy. The right solutions make life insurance sales.
3. Failure to learn products
Today’s life insurance products are so complex that an in-depth knowledge of even half of them is impossible. At the same time, a lack of knowledge is no excuse. Successful advisors have a thorough understanding of the products they favor, along with the details relating to possible alternatives. This includes the specifics of the contracts, relative costs, flexibility, and benefits.
Knowledge is valuable, particularly for today’s better-informed clients. An advisor’s competence sends the message that it’s in a client’s best interest to pay attention to this advisor. In the same way, it can be helpful to mention up front the advantages and disadvantages of comparative products.
Inadequate product knowledge can damage a salesperson's credibility and kill sales.
Next page: Failures in process and closing
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