Closing Sales: The One Surprising Fact You Need To Know
Closing sales is essential to the longevity of an insurance agent. There’s no denying that. But often, agents get wrapped up in closing and all the various techniques suggested to “guarantee” a higher rate of return. If ever there was a case to use “can’t see the forest for the trees” in a way that makes actual sense, this would be it! While rereading the great Zig Ziglair’s master class on this topic, Secrets of Closing the Sale (Updated Edition), I was reminded of just how carried away we can get with this obsession.
“For some reason, the close has gotten to be the ‘glamour’ part of the sales process,” Ziglair writes. “Many people labor under the illusion that if they can just master the right closing technique, they can dramatically improve their productivity. Obviously it would help sales to know how to close and to use those techniques. However, I would like to say that the close is no more, or no less, important than any other phase of the sales process” (43-44).
What a refreshing reminder!
Too often, insurance agents overthink closing sales and end up letting other parts of the process fall by the wayside. If you’re guilty of this — we all have been at some point in our careers — it’s time now to stop and look back over what the process is. This is where it begins and how it progresses, and keep in mind that every single one of these are as important as the closing you’re probably stressing over. That should be freeing for reasons we’ll get into in a bit. For now, let’s touch briefly on each part.
Go where your prospects are
Before you can close on anything, you need to know where your prospects congregate. These days, they’re online. In fact, some estimates state that as many as 70 percent of prospects go online first for independent research before ever deciding to engage an agent. If you have a presence where they are, then you can be in a prime position to make your case. Example: prospects come to HometownQuotes because they want the best deals on insurance. They’re largely looking at price tags at this point; it’s your job to show them there are more important decisions that should be fueling their buying decisions.
Engage the prospect
If you know the sites prospects use — our free quote submission site, blogs they may visit, podcasts they may listen to, search terms they enter when looking for businesses like yours on Google — then you need to engage the prospect. That means placing a call or sending an email, reaching out to them on social media, etc. Be there to educate, not to sell. Prospects no longer buy based on sales techniques. They want information. They want to feel like they’re making the decision rather than being coerced into it.
Nurture the prospect
There is some disagreement over the prime number of “touches” you need to have with a prospect before they make a buying decision. Some say five; some seven. All agree that it probably won’t happen after the first time, so have a process in place that doesn’t turn off the prospect, but still keeps your name and expertise in front of them while they’re most likely to buy. Then, keep them on their radar. People do have policy renewal dates, and since a number of prospects are usually looking for new providers after two or three years, you could be in prime position to earn their business later if not sooner.
Once you’ve found the insurance leads, engaged them, and nurtured them, you’ll be in a much better position to make the sale — or rather, have the sale make you. Putting your all into every phase of the process will make the end result easier to attain. Good luck!