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May 12, 2014

How to Make Your Numbers Jump

Summary:

Take the time to contact as many quality people as you can in a given week. It's really that simple: Make connections.

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Do you want to know a secret? Want to know how to make your numbers almost jump right off the page? It’s a simple idea, really, but most insurance professionals don’t know it. When they find it out, they keep the idea under lock and key. But I’ve never been one to keep secrets, especially if they can help others get ahead in business.

So, are you ready? Here it is, the big secret: Make connections.

That's it. Just take the time to contact as many quality people as you can in a given week. Plant some seeds, as if in fertile ground. It really is that simple.

But remember, just as plants need time and nurturing to bear fruit, your potential sales leads can only become sales customers with the right mixture of time and effort on your part.

One of my favorite books is How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Sales by Frank Bettger. He provides a wealth of information and some extremely valuable insights. Here are a few that still offer a new look or inspiration every time I read them:

“You can’t collect your commission until you make the sale; you can’t make the sale ‘til you write the order; you can’t write the order ‘til you have an interview; and you can’t have an interview ‘til you make the call!”

As Bettger points out, very directly, it all begins with the call. Yes, sometimes you will be rejected, but other times you won’t be. You simply won’t know until you pick up the phone or send that email. Don’t think of the potential risk, which is really rather small. Rather, think of the potential reward.

Here’s another one of my favorites:

“Selling is the easiest job in the world if you work it hard — but the hardest job in the world if you try to work it easy.”

More than any other activity in the world, selling is about preparation and consistency. It takes effort and time to bring in potential clients; sometimes a good insurance professional will spend a month or two on one client, learning their needs, their wants, their various habits, all to make sure that the sales presentation and product will meet the client’s needs without question. A good insurance professional realizes that this business is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s about making money over the long term so that you and your family can be provided for.

So… once you have identified your target audience, and what tools you are going to use to connect, engage and communicate with your audience, you move on to your tactics, which determine how you are going to make meaningful connections.

Tactics has six parts:

1.   Approach. Approach is the most critical part of the entire process. The approach sets the stage for all future conversations by phone, email or otherwise. Always respect other people's time, and realize that you never know where you have caught them or what frame of mind they are in.

2.   Purpose. Remember this: The purpose of the call, tweet, email, voicemail is to keep the purpose of the call the purpose of the call. Confused people will not respond with action.

3.   Questions. Design questions to engage or guide your audience. Questions are the answer to the entire sales process. Think of questions like a piece of jigsaw puzzle. With each piece that you put together, the picture becomes clearer and clearer.

4.   Listening. In every conversation or connection, something is being revealed to you. How you respond will determine where the relationship goes from there.

5.   Objections. Working with objections is easy when you see things from another person's point of view. Don't argue, don't do battle and don't contradict everything prospects say. It doesn't work. Their perception is their reality. The only way to understand their reality is to ask questions.

6.   Action. What action do you want this person to take? Will your product or service benefit this person? If not, don't ask. Always treat others as you would want someone to treat you. That is the Golden Rule.

Think about the last time someone really took the time to connect with you. They approached you positively and with purpose. They asked questions to learn more about you, genuinely listened to your answers and tried to see things from your point of view. Then, they walked you through a process or a sale. It may have taken time and effort for them, but how did that make the experience for you?  Probably very pleasant. And, what are the chances you will recommend them to someone else because of that connection?

So here's your Sales Nugget: See how you can integrate all six tactical components and make connections.

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