Great Ideas for Sales Success
Need some tips on how to increase your sales? Want to know how successful producers build a profitable book of business? Then this article is for you! Learn about the top sales ideas from successful agents who have sold a lot of financial products and services. All of these agents are highly skilled in starting and closing sales with their clients. Use their ideas for your business to receive the level of success you wish to achieve.
Great Ideas for Sales Success by Ayo Mseka
If there is one thing successful producers know, it is how to build a profitable book of business.
Here are some of the sales ideas they have used on their way to the top.
For our sales ideas article this year, we spoke to a handful of agents who have made a mark in the industry by selling a great deal of financial products and services. These high-performing producers may use different approaches to attracting clients, but all of them have one thing in common: They are highly skilled in the fine art of getting prospects to sign on the bottom line.
To help you achieve a similar level of success, we are sharing some of their top sales ideas. Start implementing them now, and you will soon be closer to the practice of your dreams.
• Ask the right questions during lunch with prospects. When I first started in the life insurance business, one of my goals was to have CPAs and attorneys as clients. My rationale was that when their clients ask them for a referral for a life insurance advisor, they would naturally be referred to me.
Every week, I’d set appointments with these professionals, and we would meet for lunch. We would start with a great conversation, but I found it uncomfortable to suddenly break into a sales pitch. There were dishes everywhere, no place to share my documents, and the interpersonal dynamic would change. I knew I had to find a better way.
One year, I heard Harold Zlotnik give an MDRT presentation, titled, “The Technique of the Interview,” in which he demonstrated a system of asking clients and prospects questions. What I loved about his process was that instead of convincing prospects that they had a problem, they were able to discover it themselves.
For example, imagine that I’m sitting at the table with an attorney named TJ. At a pause during our conversation I say, “TJ, can I ask you a question? Do you have a will?” He says, “yes.” I ask him, “Well, what does it say?” If he had replied “no” to this answer, I’d say, “Well if you had a will, what would it contain?”
He answers: “I’d leave everything to my wife.” I inquire: “What’s everything?”
“I have a house, a car, money in a 401(k) plan, my savings account, a CD …” says TJ.
“So what would your wife do with all of that? Would she cash them in? Would she need income from them?” I’d ask him.
TJ thinks about it for a minute and says, “Yes, Bruce, I believe she would need an income from it.”
“How much income would she need?” I’d ask.
“Well, to live the way we are living right now, she’d probably need about $100,000,” is TJ’s response.
I look him in the eyes and ask: “How important is it to you that she has that $100,000 of income?” At this moment, TJ and I have arrived at a critical juncture. Until this point in the conversation, it has been idle chit chat. If TJ says it’s not that important, then maybe we will finish our meal and part ways. However, if TJ says that it is really important to him, as he does in this example, his interest has just skyrocketed.
Continuing the conversation, I’d ask him: “How much money would she need to have $100,000 per year?” We calculate that 5 percent of $2 million is $100,000. So I ask him: “How much do you have right now?” He determines it is $700,000. He is now face-to-face with the $1.3 million hole and a problem he did not know he had five minutes ago. LTCI ESTATE PLANNING LTCI GREAT SALES IDEAS GREAT SALES IDEAS Now, all I did was ask a few questions. However, at the end of this lunch, if TJ really loves his family, he will be getting examined for $1.3 million of life insurance. The best part is that I did not tell him he needed that much insurance; he discovered it on his own. That is the magic of questions!
• The IRS or charity?
When I first talk with a prospect about estate planning, I ask him: “If the only two places you could leave your money when you die were the IRS and charity, what percentage would you leave to each?” Most of the time, the answer is 100 percent to charity and nothing to the IRS. That’s a good answer, and facilitates the proposal of using tools such as a charitable gift annuity (CGA) for estate-planning purposes.
However, recently, someone responded: “I’m patriotic. I’d like to leave 30 percent to the IRS and 70 percent to charity. The IRS needs those dollars to keep our country running.” In the past, I’ve also had people say that a $1 million estate tax on a $13 million estate is not a big deal to them. For these types of responses, I like to offer some perspective.
In 2013, the U.S. national debt exceeded $17 trillion. Do you know how much a trillion is? Think about it in terms of time. There are 60 seconds in one minute. There are a million seconds in 12 days. There are a billion seconds in 31 years. However, a trillion seconds is the equivalent of 31,000 years. The difference between a million and a trillion is 12 days, compared to 31,000 years.
In 2013, just to keep the interest current on the national debt, it cost $416 billion. That equates to $1.14 billion per day, $47 million per hour, and $791,000 per minute. It means that if you died and owed a $1 million estate tax, it would be gone in less than two minutes. Ask your prospects or clients, “Is that the legacy you really want to leave? What do you think your favorite charity would be able to do with your $1 million?”
At this point, he will understand the issue more completely, and most people will be ready to learn how CGAs or life insurance can potentially provide a solution. Show them how they can structure their estate so that the $1 million would go to their favorite charity—whether that’s a university, a religious institution, a hospital, or a cause. Illustrate how they have the potential to receive a fixed income from the CGA, obtain valuable tax benefits, and leave a legacy for their family.
Bruce Udell, CLU, ChFC, MCEP, is founder of the Pendragon Financial Network and an estate- planning expert, speaker and author, with over 35 years of experience. Visit www.PendragonNetwork.com for more information.
This article appeared in Advisor Today