10 Questions You Should Ask in a Sales Slump
The dreaded sales slump. Nothing can shake your confidence as an insurance agent more than when your tried-and-true techniques are no longer working.
While the ease with which you recover can vary in time and effort, the good news is that you can bounce back. It just takes a closer look at what might have caused the slump and where you can go from there.
Don’t be discouraged. Instead ask yourself these 10 questions.
1. When did it start?
Being able to pinpoint the “when” will allow you to focus in on the circumstances surrounding your slump. What changed about your situation in that time period? What was within your control? What was beyond it? Answering these questions will help shine a light in the dark.
2. What baggage am I carrying?
Sometimes you get bogged down by life. You’re the same insurance agent you always were, but a family tragedy or turmoil have set you back. Examine your baggage. What are the things both in and outside of your professional life that are having an effect on performance?
3. Where am I getting leads?
Poor insurance lead generation can often be a cause of poor conversions. Maybe you’re buying poorly vetted insurance leads on the Internet. Maybe your customers aren’t offering up referrals. Maybe you have marketing problems that get in the way of scaling your business. Try to pull from as many sources as you can, so you’re not putting all eggs in one basket.
4. How well am I serving my current clients?
Are your clients only purchasing one policy? Are you having a difficult time getting them to update coverage limits? Are they leaving as soon as they find a cheaper price? You want the kind of agency where your clients stick around past the two- or three-year limit often associated with loyalty (or the lack thereof). Most of the time if you can keep a client beyond three years, you’ll stand a better chance of selling multiple policies and keeping them for life.
5. Why should they buy from me instead of direct?
Many insurance agents get panicky over the Internet and its ability to sell insurance directly to consumers. However, most consumers — at least 70 percent — still prefer trusting in an insurance agent, so it’s an unfounded fear. If you’re in a sales slump, then you need to be able to answer this question so you can better compete with the direct market.
6. What is one thing I could be doing better?
Nobody likes to confront their faults. It’s uncomfortable and humbling, but it does make you a better professional. Look at your business practices — the activities you engage in to attract and convert business. What are you doing well? What are you doing poorly? Be as microscopic as you can in detail.
7. Where can I find referrals?
Existing customers are fantastic sources for referrals, but you do have to ask! Determine who your best clients are in terms of revenue and customer satisfaction, and try leveraging that to fill up your marketing funnel.
8. What incentives could I offer to my clients or the community-at-large?
Are you not as knowledgeable of your customers as you could be? Are you not putting yourself “out there” in the community enough? By getting to know your customers and your community better, you’ll be able to produce the kind of outreach efforts and incentives that generate positive word-of-mouth for your business.
9. Am I taking the right risks?
Risks are good. Yes, they can blow up in your face sometimes, but by-and-large, a risk taken has a much higher success rate than a risk not taken. As a business owner, you have to be able to take wise, calculated risks, be it a new marketing plan or sales technique.
10. How realistic are my goals?
When you’re down in a sales slump, don’t try to be too lofty with your goals. You have to start — to borrow from Donald Trump — “winning” again before you can get to where you want to be. By setting realistic goals at first, you can start to reverse course and build on smaller successes.
Sales slumps do not have to be “the new normal.” If you do the investigative work, you can pinpoint where it went wrong and how to fix it.
What are some things that you have done to get out of a sales slump? Sound off in the comments section!