Locking up the sale: What to do after the 'first yes'
The difference between taking an application that consumes about four hours of administrative work and never generates a penny’s worth of income, and making a sale that becomes a placed and paid policy is what you do AFTER the prospect says they will take a policy from you. This is known as the “FIRST YES” and does NOT mean that you have a solid sale.
Human nature allows some people to say yes when they don’t think they have to make a commitment. Make no mistake: Signing an application is NOT seen by most people as a commitment. Giving you a check AND their word that they want to do what they have just done IS seen by them as a commitment.
The difference between an Order Taker and a Closer is how you handle the transaction AFTER you hear the first yes.
The first thing you can do to get a true indication of whether your prospect is comfortable with their purchase decision is to ask them:
“Do you think (the program they have chosen) is the RIGHT plan for your needs?”
If you hear ANY hesitation at this point, you do NOT have a solid sale and you should ask them if they have any doubts or questions about their choice. Of course, you might get an answer that you don’t want to hear; but at least you will be talking to them while your message is fresh in their minds and there are no other whispers in their ear. Asking the hard question(s) NOW will give you the best chance you will ever have to solidify your sale. The return is worth the risk.
Collect payment with the app
Once you have crossed that bridge, the next step in a getting a solid commitment is INSISTING ON PAYMENT WITH THE APPLICATION*.
If you do NOT take money with an application you have not yet really made a sale. Unless your company prohibits you from taking prepayment for applications with the underwriting declarations made by this applicant, you should be taking money. Even if you believe there is a good chance of a rating, you should make an educated (education takes time. Make the investment into your career) guess as to what additional premium will be required, tell the prospect that up front, and take the money. This shows a commitment on their part and, as an added bonus, when you have to place the policy, you will have most or all of the extra premium issue resolved.
If you ask for two months’ premium with a monthly electronic transfer/bank draft case you are receiving a stronger commitment from the prospect, and the chances are very slim that their account will be drafted before you can notify them of the withdrawal date.
If you hear ANY form of objection from the applicant about making payment with the application you must assume that you DO NOT HAVE A SOLID SALE, and should once again qualify their interest and then close once more.
Leaving the house without payment reduces your chance of earning a commission on that application by about 80%.
Do not go any further until you have completed the application.
• SEE 'PART I' ALSO: How to overcome an objection and close the sale on the first visit
• Thoughts about this approach to locking up the sale? Please share them on this new thread: New Article: Locking Up the Sale
Next page: Performance appraisal; explanations; tear up the app?
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