It's about more than selling
Let’s skip the pitch and get straight to the good stuff. Regardless of the products you sell, every sales process works similarly. Sales tactics that garnish the best results have evolved over time, but have your techniques switched with the changes in demand, or are you using tactics that need to retire? Here are 5 sales techniques to ditch immediately:
Giving your client everything they ask for
As the expert, your job is to look out for the best interests of your client. If someone requests a certain product, but you feel another product would be a better fit, tell them. Don’t allow the fear of losing a sale to push you to sell something that doesn’t meet your buyer’s needs. Look at the bigger picture, and know that happy customers who have their needs fully met will become long-term clients, and likely walking referrals as well, which is much more valuable than the commission of a one-time sale.
Relying on your sales presentation
You know your products inside and out—so take the time to show it! Don’t wait to load a power point or put on a production to boast about benefits; showcase your expertise! Statistics show that potential customers far prefer natural, honest communication to anything resembling a traditional sales pitch. People are smart; they know that you want to sell your products to them, and they find it refreshing when you are direct and open rather than beating around the bush.
Talking too much and listening too little
Prospective customers commonly express frustrations over feeling talked at but not listened to. If you have a sales pitch you often use that has become much like a script, you may find yourself doing this without even realizing it. Pause the pitch and take some time to listen and respond personally to the needs that are presented. When you understand someone’s needs, you can better meet them.
Positioning yourself against your competition
You do NOT have to discuss your competition or put them down to sell one of your products. In fact, this tactic frequently sends prospective customers running. Quality products sell themselves without comparisons, and talking poorly about your competitors tends to reflect poorly on you. If you’re lucky, you might get an audience’s attention for 2-3 minutes. Don’t waste that time by talking about someone else. Bring focus to your agency’s strengths in coverage, customer service and value.
Focusing on the product rather than the solution
Face it: a pitch is not going to get a potential client’s attention, but solving their problems will. Instead of making offers, explain how your products will help fix their dilemmas. Listen carefully to the pain points of your audience so that you can offer valid and valued solutions.
Sometimes it’s best to just let some things go. Close more deals and see an increase in long-term retention by putting these old sales strategies to bed. Your bottom line will thank you.
Know other sales techniques that should be on our “retire now” list? Fill us in below!
Amber DeFabio, Marketing
Transitioning from an insurance agent to an adviser is about more than how you represent yourself – it's about value selling and providing sound advice.