As a good salesperson, you’re always bombarded with cute little colloquial sayings like “Ask open-ended questions”, “Find the wedge” and “exploit the pain”. While all that is fine and good, I implore you to stop focusing on silly tactics in trying to trick prospects into doing business with you.
Instead, focus on value.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not poo-pooing on the well entrenched maxims of our sales culture. These are all valid parts of the sales process. You should always seek to better understand a potential client and what their needs are. These are critical to any successful deal.
But, too few insurance agents focus equally on the other side of the equation…solving the problems that you uncover. You can spend all of the time in the world learning about your prospect and what they need or want, but failing to help them understand how you will solve those needs and wants is a direct avenue to a tally in the L column.
What would you say if I asked you what value do you provide to your potential clients? What about your current clients? What makes you different from the agent down the street? Stop and really think about that for a moment. Why you? Why now?
Now, please spare us the lame BS about “We provide great customer service” and “we treat our clients like family” and the other typical stuff that you hear EVERYWHERE. You hear this (and probably say this) because it makes you feel good. If only your feelings could be cashed in at the bank..
The long and short of the matter is that those “we have the best team” type sound bites are nice and all, but your prospect couldn’t care less about that noise. Let’s be honest with ourselves…it is just noise. Providing “great” service and treating your clients with care and respect are table stakes and everyone can’t have the “best” team of professionals. So, cut the crap.
Your prospects care most about value. What value will doing business with you bring them? Or, if the person is a current client, what value will the additional coverage that you would like them to buy have? If you can’t distill your value and convey that in a simple to understand way, then your ship will be sunk before leaving port.
As you continue to rack your brain to come up with what value you provide your clients, you’ll be tempted to re-enter the rabbit hole of crappy lame sound bites like “we’ll work hard to scour the market to make sure you get the best deal”. Again, stop that. You’re going to have to really sit down and take some time with this. Don’t look for a shortcut…do the work. Invest in yourself and reap the benefits!
You might want to phone a friend on this one as well. Solicit the feedback from your current clients. Ask them (not in an email or in a silly client survey) why they chose to do business with you over other potential agents. Ask what they like best about their relationship with you and your agency. What could you improve upon?
Now, this may sound a bit uncomfortable. That’s because it is. Mostly because we’re afraid that our client will come to the sudden realization that they have no idea why they chose to do business with us and seek to have their needs met elsewhere. Chances are, that is just something that you’re overblowing in your head.
Taking the time to elicit meaningful feedback from your current clients is a great place to start. They may even give you a perspective that you didn’t consider or that you downplay in your mind. If nothing else, checking in with them to see how they are and asking for their feedback could set you apart from other agents automatically. Plus, (with their permission) you could use their responses as potential website and printed marketing testimonials for great social proof!
Hopefully, this will help get you started on the road to focusing more on the value that you provide to your prospects and clients. The answer to the simple question of “what value do you provide” can be quite obvious or very elusive and nobody can truly answer that question but you.
So, forget focusing on “finding wedges” and the other tactical sales advice and start laser focusing on the value that you can provide. In the end, that’s what will matter to your prospect and clients more than anything else.
Sam Tucker is the Founder and CEO of Carrier Risk Solutions, Inc, an Atlanta, Georgia based DOT compliance and fleet safety management startup. CRS partners with insurance producers and companies to help their clients overcome their struggle with compliance and safety issues. By providing real value to your clients, they help you cement your client relationships. To learn more, please visit www.CarrierRiskSolutions.com or www.CarrierSafetySurvey.com. You can also reach Sam directly at 1-855-211-5550 or by email at STucker@CarrierRiskSolutions.com.