Outdated Insurance Closing Mistakes Are Killing Your Sales!
Dear Friends, Throughout history, insurance agents have been taught 101 closing techniques, how they work, and why they should use them. But, I tell you truthfully, beware! Because what your insurance sales trainer is teaching today are insurance closing mistakes… NOT insurance closing techniques!
These Traditional Closing Mistakes (Techniques) Are From An Old Era Of Insurance Sales.
In Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin plays Blake, a belligerent sales trainer sent to shake up a tired, underperforming sales team.
Blake storms into a room of unsuspecting reps and starts screaming about prospects… “Only one thing counts in this life — get them to sign on the line which is dotted!” Fortunately for Blake, his character claims to have earned $970,000 in a year. Unfortunately, he’s dead wrong about what ultimately counts in sales. Even in the age of Glengarry Glen Ross, when “Always Be Closing” was the mantra echoing in sales reps’ heads, he was wrong.
The old sales playbook — dragging prospects through a sales process and strong-arming them into a purchase — only worked because there was no better way for prospects to buy.
Today, things have changed. Because prospects have access to more information and more options than ever, salespeople who still operate under the ‘Always Be Closing’ model will find that ironically, more doors than ever are closing on them.
Many insurance sales techniques have changed with the times. But closing insurance sales is an area where reps still struggle.
It’s easy to see why. The idea that insurance sales prospects need to be “closed” is, in and of itself, a dated concept. Today, salespeople educate prospects so they can decide on their own whether they’ll buy or not.
“Closing” shouldn’t be something that gets done to insurance sales prospects. Instead, it should be a mutually agreed-upon outcome that’s a natural byproduct of a helpful, educational sales process.
Traditional closing techniques are leftover from an old era of insurance sales. These insurance closing techniques are particularly cringe-worthy — avoid them at all costs… (if you want to be successful in insurance sales)
1) Insurance Closing Mistakes… The Assumptive Close
As its name suggests, the assumptive insurance sales close technique operates under the assumption that a prospect is going to buy. Even when they haven’t explicitly said so. Reps will ask prospects things like, “So what day should we get started?” in the hopes their buyers will get in the mindset of purchasing the product.
Why it sucks: Treating prospects as if they’ve decided to purchase and hoping they’ll forget that they haven’t yet is a transparent effort at best, and insults their intelligence at worst.
2) Insurance Closing Mistakes… The “Cradle to Grave” Close
This insurance closing technique is designed to handle prospects who say it’s too soon to purchase. Salespeople using this insurance sales closing technique tell prospects that in life, there’s never a good time to buy — so they might as well buy now.
Why it sucks: Actually, there is such thing as a bad time to purchase. The “cradle to grave” insurance sales close ignores legitimate objections and breaks the cardinal rule of prospect relationships: Make prospects feel respected and heard. Don’t dismiss buyer concerns — that’s something Blake would do.
3) Insurance Closing Mistakes… The Alternative Close
A spin on the traditional assumptive close, the alternative close technique presents a prospect with two insurance product options. For example, “Would you like to buy the red shoe or the blue shoe?”
Why it sucks: It is an even more aggressive version of the assumptive insurance close. Prospects will not be tricked into buying with this insurance closing technique, and will easily see through your efforts to do so.
4) Insurance Closing Mistakes… The “Something for Nothing” Close
This insurance closing technique offers prospects something free or deeply discounted if they’ll buy today, such as an extra product, or an item that would normally be an up-sell.
Why it sucks: This close is not only bad for your prospect, it’s bad for you. Not only do you come off as desperate, but this close also leads to unrealistic long-term expectations. Are you willing to set the precedent that every time your prospect pushes back, you’ll have to provide something free? Also, consider what it says about your brand if you’re willing to give things away for free. The “something for nothing” close cheapens your product’s value.
5) Insurance Closing Mistakes… The Sales Contest Close
This closing attempt to leverage whatever sympathy your insurance prospect might have for you. In this closing technique, sales reps offer a deep discount or free add-on and explain the freebie by telling their prospect they’re in the race for an insurance sales contest.
Why it sucks: Like the “something for nothing” close, reps who use this tactic set a bad long-term precedent. Even worse, this insurance close asks prospects to buy for a reason completely unrelated to their situation. Prospects don’t care if you’re one sale away from President’s Club — they care about solving their problems. And by bringing the focus onto yourself, you’re showing that you don’t.
6) Insurance Closing Mistakes… The Sharp Angle Close
This sales closing technique is used in response to an insurance prospect’s question about the product. When a prospect asks, “Does the product do X?”, a rep responds, “If it did, would you be willing to buy today?”
Why it sucks: Your primary responsibility as a salesperson isn’t just to close deals — it’s to close good insurance sales that benefit both you and your prospect. If your prospect is still asking questions, it’s because they don’t fully understand the product and its value. Instead of using their question as an opening to make a hard sell, answer it.
7) Insurance Closing Mistakes… The Takeaway Close
When the prospect expresses hesitancy around the price, a salesperson using this insurance sales closing technique removes something they know the prospect wants. For example, the rep might say, “Okay, if you don’t want to go any higher than $400, I’ll remove the option to get priority support. You’ve said priority support is really important to you, but that’s the only way we can meet that price.”
Why it sucks: This strategy relies on the human aversion to having things taken away. The problem with using it? You’re backing yourself into a corner. If the buyer replies, “I can’t afford the first price, but I need priority support. I guess I have to go with Competitor X,” abruptly changing your mind will make you look sleazy and manipulative.
Sales are better for the buyer and better for the seller when trust is established and reps aren’t employing shady tactics to close an insurance sale. So ditch the tricks and the gimmicks. Being helpful, open, and transparent is the right thing to do — for yourself, your buyer, and your business.
Written by Leslie Ye
Comments From Jeremy For Closing Insurance Sales…
Unfortunately, these ‘outdated’ closing mistakes (techniques) are still being taught by most of our insurance companies and your sales trainer. And it is a major reason why so many agents struggle in the business of selling insurance (closing sales).
Your success in selling insurance (closing sales) is not about how well you are convincing people to buy your products or services. Your ultimate success selling insurance (closing sales) is based upon whether or not your prospects believe that you are working in their best interests. Can they trust you?
So, by learning to ask the right questions you can help people to identify their problems for themselves. You will help them to establish their own priorities! And, then you will help them to take action on a solution that they are comfortable with.
My favorite insurance sales close is… “What do you think?” “Does that make sense?”
“When you are asking questions, have no expectation of making a sale. Instead, come from a place of simply wanting to help your prospect.
Accordingly, this mindset will help you and the prospect to discover if your products or services are the best solutions to their problem.”
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