5 Sales Mistakes to Avoid

If you’re going to make a career in the insurance industry, then you have to learn how to get out of your own way by making the mistakes that most failing salespeople make. But how can you do that when you’re not completely sure what those mistakes are? Good question, and it’s one that we hope to alleviate with these 5 sales mistakes to avoid.


1. Not being forthright on price.

Too many salespeople allow themselves to be intimidated by cheaper prices. If they know that a competitor has beaten them on price, they walk in to a meeting (or allow an insurance lead to cancel) because they don’t believe the issue is one they can overcome. But the truth of the matter — at least as far as insurance sales go — is that most customers, who buy solely on price are rarely satisfied with the solutions they’re purchasing. They only go ahead and buy because other salespeople have failed to make the case for value.

One way that you can overcome this sales mistake as an insurance agent is to confront the problem head-on and not save the price tag for the end of your conversation. Talk about it so you can start hitting the value points and control the direction of the conversation. You may still lose the business, but you’ll become more confident in dealing with pricing shortfalls, and you’ll also be one of the first people your prospect looks up when what you say about value over cheapness comes to pass.


2. Not following up

Many newbie insurance agents often find themselves adopting the defeatist mentality when they hear their first dozen no’s without a single yes. This discouragement can lead them to not follow up on business simply because they don’t get anywhere with the prospect the first couple of attempts. Considering that it can take as many as five “touches” with the prospect before closing business, not following up is a key to failure.

Don’t let the first or second attempt at the prospect’s business be your only efforts. Keep tabs on those contacts — how did you reach out, did you connect, what was holding the prospect back, have they made a buying decision yet, how can you follow up in a way that doesn’t feel pushy or repetitive? These are all questions you should be asking as you plan to follow up and follow up and follow up until you finally land the business.


3. Failing to find new business

This entry on our list of sales mistakes is somewhat common in established and even veteran agents, who get too comfortable with their clientele. They’ve built something comfortable for themselves and so they stop filling up the marketing funnel. Too often, this approach can create a feast or famine situation when the agent begins losing a little business at a time, and their marketing muscles atrophy.

Always be seeking new business, even if you feel comfortable with what you’ve got. It will keep you sharp and hedge your successes against any future (unexpected) failures.


4. Calls to action are all or nothing

This mistake typically targets the newbie agent, who is in such a rush to land business that they can’t see value in the long game. Calls to action should be as much about capturing information and permission to follow up as they are about landing business. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen today’s “no” become tomorrow’s “yes.” Don’t burn those bridges, and don’t give up just because you didn’t win the day. Keep a healthy mail/email list because most people are shopping for insurance again in two or three years.


5. All talk, no listen

When you become so focused on the business that you’re wanting to sell instead of the business that your prospect actually needs, you’re committing the sin of talking too much and listening too little. So what if they’re not buying car insurance from you today. That doesn’t mean you can’t serve their needs with renters or life insurance when others aren’t. It’s a foot in the door, and it often leads to up-sell business a few years down the road.


In Summary

If you’re making any of these sales mistakes, reconsider your approach. And if there are any sales mistakes we haven’t mentioned here that you’re struggling with, let us know, and we’ll address in the comments or a future post.

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