By: Michael Miller, Smart Choice® State Director
In insurance, as in any sales business, there comes a time when the presentation is over and it’s time to close. Or, to put it another way, time to get paid for your investment of time and hard work in looking for the best coverage options for your clients.
Most of the time, “all people are created equal” is true. But unfortunately, not everyone enjoys a natural talent for sales. Some agents struggle to make $35,000 to $50,000 per year, while others make earning $1 million a year look easy.
When I asked the top agents in my region what made them such successful salespeople, they shared with me that a professional sales presentation is their top priority. “Ad libbing is for amateurs,” they say. They rehearse every presentation for every client.
For an artful close, ask the right questions
Focus on making your presentation the most valuable and comprehensive it can possibly be for your clients. You’re not just selling insurance, you’re consulting with your clients on the amount of risk they’re willing to accept. Your job before and during the presentation is to determine your client’s current coverages and current needs based on their risk tolerance.
How you determine what your clients need sets you apart from the typical insurance agent. I encourage agents to use a presentation template that prompts them to ask questions about what’s important to their clients. How much risk are they willing to accept with their auto and homeowners insurance coverages? Life? Health? Business? If you design an effective presentation template, by the end of your meeting, you’ll have:
- Set high expectations for the level of customer service your agency offers
- Determined appropriate coverage for auto and homeowners or renters insurance
- Assessed your client’s interest in life, health, and retirement products
- Discovered if your client requires business insurance
An example of closing on value vs. cost
Asking questions about acceptable risk and offering solutions tailored to your client’s answers eliminate the price objection almost every time because you’re selling on value, not cost. Their own answers to your questions make them aware that they need much more than basic liability.
If your sales presentation had not uncovered their needs, all you’ve done is compete with their current agent on cost. An effective presentation identifies risk tolerance and offers solutions. It allows you to compete on value. It earns you the right to ask them to pay a little more each month for insurance because it explains where the extra cost is coming from: a more comprehensive insurance program.