For Insurance, Financial Services, Financial Planners and Brokers – Get Serious About Sales

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Recently, I spoke at Creative Marketing’s Learn to Earn conference in KC. What a great group! If you are one of the independent insurance agents who attended this event, I thank you for your participation and for the many kind remarks I received after my presentation, Capture Your Competitors’ Customers and Keep Them.

You attended because you are serious about sales and business growth. If you are an independent insurance agent/financial advisor and have interest in generating more business I highly recommend Creative Marketing. Their clients rave about how this company helps their business. You can find them atcreativemarketing.net or by calling 913 814 0510.

Now, let us get serious about sales. Do you want to build a business with a client base that consists of HNW (high-net worth) clients? Do you want to be the broker, advisor, or agent who brings in the most revenue to you company? Of course you do.

If you are already highly successful beware. Never get too comfortable where you are. Here’s why: There’s less client loyalty and more skepticism in today’s world. In addition, the Number One cause of business failure is failure to seek and find new clients. In today’s world, complacency is your enemy! This monthly publication for your industry contains a few sales and client service tips that can assist you.

If you read them and your reaction is “I know this stuff,” then my questions to you are “How well do you do it?” “Where can you use some improvement?” “What words and phrases do you use can be fine-tuned?” I teach this stuff, but I know I can always improve. Here goes: Say it Right – Make them Think When you are seeking to obtain a new client and they express concern about our current economic situation, here’s what you might say: “Everyone is concerned about the economy and the market.

People are nervous. You can’t predict the future but you can plan for it. Would you like to arrange an appointment to learn about how I’m positioning my clients to ensure they are in the best situation for themselves and their families?” Modify this statement to where you are most comfortable. If you sell insurance your might say, “Would you like to learn why the majority of my clients are buying whole life and annuities?” Get the Appointment To obtain an appointment with a potential client, keep calling. Never assume they won’t eventually take your call.

Never assume they won’t switch from their current provider/advisor to you. Persistence with phone calls, done with class and professionalism will pay off. Just don’t pester. Call once, then every two weeks 3 times. Then, call quarterly. Use a great contact management system for reminders on when to call.

ACT is excellent. If you are a MAC person like me. Filemaker pro is superb. If you work for a large firm, you likely have been provided with a great one. Take the time to write everything in the system. When you do get a prospect on the phone and they agree to meet with you, ask when it would be convenient for them. “What would beconvenient for you? How about next Tuesday?” is a classy way to ask.

If the potential client is an “HNW,” you might invite them to lunch at a restaurant of their choice to be followed by an appointment at your office. If the potential client came through a referral and the person doesn’t return your call after two phone calls spaced one week apart, here’s what to do: Invite the person who gave you the referral and the client to lunch together. It is a great way to get a prospect’s attention and a luncheon setting provides an excellent opportunity to begin the relationship.

When you meet, your first words should be, “Thank you for agreeing to see me.” During lunch, do not talk business, talk about THEM…their life, their business, their family, their interests. Stay completely focused on them. Be casual. Just listen. You need to connect. Listening is a Function of Asking Ask them questions.

Memorize a matrix of questions to ask that will show how much you care about them as a human being…not a potential client. “How many kids do you have?” “Do you play golf?” “How’s your business?” “How do you like that BMW you’re driving?” It’s Showtime at the Office – Staging is Important Now, take them to your office. Make sure your office makes a statement about your success. If your office doesn’t look First Class why would they do business with someone who doesn’t look successful themselves? Long ago, I was referred to a financial planner. When I walked in his office and saw how old the furniture was and that the walls needed repainting I couldn’t help but wonder how smart of an investor he was. Make sure your office is neat, spotlessly clean, and that the furniture is nice. Furniture is on sale everyone. You can even buy antiques at low cost.

You should have a refreshment area that is stocked. You may even want to have bottles of champagne. (Note: Large financial organizations emphasize the important of staging. Independent insurance pros and advisors need to do make sure their office is impressive too–even if it’s small.) Make sure the client and every client is warmly greeted by your staff, and offered a refreshment. Have a dress code in your office too. Ask away Now, start asking questions about their concerns and what’s important to them.

Don’t ask about how they would like their future to be. They are already affluent. When you make recommendations for insurance, annuities, or long-term health care always use these words first, “Here’s why I structured your portfolio this way.” Or, “Here’s why I’m making this recommendation.”Then tell them why. Reach Out and Touch Someone – Your Existing Clients Get to know your customers on a deeper level. Avoid one of the biggest causes of client dissatisfaction: Failure to proactively reach out and contact them to show them you care.

Call A client once a month. Call B clients quarterly. Ask how they are doing and if they have any questions. B clients may know lots of HNW people and can refer business to you. Make sure you treat them with importance too. Don’t Major in the Minors Start each day with your biggest priority…the activity that will put the most money in your pocket. Don’t major in the minors by doing the easy things first…making a few calls, reading your e-mail, etc. Spend your time on sales-related activities: prospecting, networking at functions with executives and business owners and client appointments.

Here’s another area many financial service pros have told me that they need to do better: They are great at sales and what they do, but they neglect to ask for a referral. Ask in a professional manner. “Are you pleased with what we’ve done for you Joe?…I’m always happy when I hear that from my clients. Joe, is there anyone else you might suggest I contact who may have interest in employee benefits / financial planning, etc. that I might call?” Then, help them think of who they know. “Perhaps the brother you mentioned? Anyone else who works at your company? A friend or neighbor? Maybe someone from your country club? Maybe someone getting married?” Not helping clients think of who they might know is a mistake many people make.”

 

Photo Courtesy of (Wicker Paradise) – Flickr

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About Christine Corelli

Christine Corelli is a motivational, keynote, business, leadership, sales, and customer service speaker, sales trainer, and author of six business books. As a keynote speaker, she is known for her high energy and interactive speaking style.

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