How I Learned To Close 9 Out of 10 Insurance Sales Calls (Appointments)!
Dear Friends, In this newsletter, I will tell you about my next sales mentor. I will explain how he helped me to ask prospects the right thought-provoking questions to close 9 out of 10 insurance sales calls (appointments)! I will even give you a lot of the sales questions you should be asking prospects to set better appointments and close 9 out of 10 insurance sales! So please take the time to read the entire article!
But first, let’s do a little recap! In my last two articles, I explained how and why I led my insurance office… During one of the worst recessions in U.S. history! And how I did it, while most of the other insurance agents in my office were struggling just to survive.
To recap, the main reasons I was able to succeed were:
1. I sought out all of the training and coaching I could find through the company. I attended and actively participated in the weekly sales meetings. And, then I sought out the best producers from other offices in our company. I wasn’t afraid to ask people for help!
2. I joined the National Association of Life Underwriters (NALU), now NAIFA, and attended all of their monthly meetings. They always had a guest speaker. So, I got to meet and pick the brains of some of the best insurance producers in the local area.
3. I also paid for and attended the Personal Insurance Life Underwriting Training Council (LUTC) courses offered through NALU. (Now NAIFA)
4. And, best of all, I had great mentors.
In my last article, I told you about my first mentor, Mike Wood, who taught me the secret to setting great insurance sales appointments. He taught me to ask the prospects the right questions to have a meaningful conversation with them. Instead of trying to push a product, price, and investment returns. Or, instead of trying to close the insurance sale over the phone. You will set great insurance sales appointments by asking the right questions that will help your prospects see they have a problem. If your prospect doesn’t see they have a problem, then why should they take their valuable time to meet with you – set an insurance sales appointment with you?
Even though I led my office… I was still struggling to close enough insurance sales calls (appointments)!
However, while I was the sales leader in my office, I still wasn’t making the money I made before getting into insurance sales. Plus, I was spending a lot of money on training and membership in industry associations. My family and I were struggling financially. I needed to close a lot more insurance sales calls (appointments)!
At the beginning of 1984, my wife was frustrated with the money I was bringing home. And she wanted me to quit insurance sales. Fortunately, at that same time, my second mentor appeared.
Phil Urbano had been with Met Life for almost 30 years. Unlike most of the other ‘old-timers’ in our office, Phil was an ordinary agent from the start of his insurance sales career, instead of a former debit agent. In other words, he never had a regular income each week from collecting premiums for debit policies like many of the other agents. And he didn’t belong to the union. His income was entirely dependent on commissions from the closing sales of life insurance and renewal commissions. Just like most of the agents of today.
Phil had been a top producer for many years with Met Life. He was one of the few ‘old-timers’ in our office who would take the time to talk to me. He had encouraged me a few times when I needed it. And he always helped me when I had questions.
Unfortunately, for the last few years, Phil’s production has been slipping due to some health issues. And he was going blind from diabetes. One day, he asked me if I would consider driving him to his insurance sales appointments and helping him to fill out applications. He explained that he had only a few months to go for his pension. And he wanted to make sure he met his production goal for the quarter. So that he would get his full pension and renewals. He told me he would split his commissions 50-50 with me and teach me how to close more and larger insurance sales. How could I refuse?
It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.
In the next few months, I learned more about the exceptional benefits of life insurance, helping people, and closing insurance sales calls (appointments) than I had learned in the previous 20 months in the business (or in the 37 years since then)!
Yes, over the years, I have learned a lot about advanced insurance sales concepts, income taxes, and marketing. But very few companies and trainers teach what Phil taught me about real selling and closing 9 out of 10 insurance sales calls (appointments).
Phil taught me how to ask people thought-provoking questions about the prospect’s situation. Then to listen to them, to help them to get what they want! I learned you must help people get to know, like, and trust you if you want them to do business with you (close the insurance sales appointment)!
Phil taught me how to close 9 out of 10 insurance sales calls (appointments) by asking prospects the right thought-provoking questions!
When you meet with a prospect for the first time, do you ask the prospect how much life insurance they have? If they tell you they have $220,000, then do you try to tell them why they need more life insurance? Does it always lead to closing a life insurance sale?
What Phil taught me is how to ask prospects the right thought-provoking questions that will lead prospects to discover, for themselves, they are underinsured.
Agent: “Mr. and Mrs. Prospect, if you don’t mind me asking, how much life insurance do you currently have?”
Prospect: “Oh, I have $120,000 at work and another $100,000 that we bought.”
Agent: “Great, so you have a total of $220,000. If you don’t mind me asking, is there any particular reason you selected that amount?”
Prospect: “It’s all I could afford at the time.” or “It’s what the last agent recommended.” or “I didn’t want to make my wife’s next husband rich.”
Agent: “I understand. If I may ask, how much did you say you are currently making each year?”
Prospect: “I make about $60,000 per year.”
Agent: “Well, let me ask you, if your family lost you and your income tomorrow, how long would that $220,000 last them?”
Prospect: “I guess a little over three years.”
Agent: “And then what would they do?
Prospect: “I’ve never thought about it, but I guess my wife would have to go back to work.” or “My wife will just get remarried.” or “I guess they’ll have to sell the house and get something smaller.” or “They’ll have to move in with her family.” or “She’ll use the money I have in my retirement account.”
Agent: “Is that really what you want to happen? How do you feel about that?”
Prospect: “I don’t like it, but things are really tight right now and I can’t afford any more life insurance.”
Agent: “I understand. None of us has any extra money. However, if I could show you how to get all the insurance you need to protect your family without taking any additional money out of your pocket or changing your lifestyle, would you want to get the insurance you need?”
Prospect: “Of course. But, how are you going to do that?”
Now, you are in a conversation about our found money management strategies. You can use many of the life insurance concepts in Missed Fortune, Circle of Wealth, LEAP, and Infinite Banking to help them find the money they need to protect their family. So you will close 9 out of 10 insurance sales calls (appointments).
Summary To Close 9 Out of 10 Insurance Sales Calls
You will notice that this is asking prospects the right thought-provoking questions to have an actual conversation with people – and not a sales pitch! I’m not telling them anything or pushing anything on them. Instead, I’m talking about what is important to them. And I’m helping them to realize the situation they are in.
If you learn how to close 9 out of 10 sales calls (appointments), then how many insurance prospects will you need to see each week to make the money you want? If you set and close more insurance sales appointments, will you need fewer leads? How many hours will it take per week to see those people? How much time and money will you save if you learn to close 9 out of 10 insurance sales calls (appointments)? And, then how much more money will you make?
When will you ask prospects the right thought-provoking questions to help people get what they want? Instead of trying to sell them what you want to sell? How much easier will it be for you to get referrals?
It all starts with you learning how to conduct good, thorough fact-finding during the initial meeting. If you want to close 9 out of 10 insurance sales calls (appointments) and increase the size of each case, then gathering the facts alone is not enough. You also need to ask people the right thought-provoking questions to uncover the prospect’s attitudes, opinions, and unspoken feelings. You need to ask questions to uncover their emotions and motivations to get your prospects to want to take action today.
Both Phil and Mike taught me many things for which I shall be eternally grateful. But the one most important lesson I learned from them was that… If you want to be successful in insurance sales, then you must take the time to build relationships. People have got to get to know, like, and trust you… before they will do business with you. It is how you will begin to close 9 out of 10 insurance sales calls (appointments).
Because of their training, help, and support, I was finally able to make a great income in 1985-1988… double and triple what I had earned as a QC General Foreman. And I was one of the top 10 insurance agents in our region.
But that is not the whole story!
I was asked to be the Business and Estate Planning Liaison, to help train the agents in our region. (no money) Then I was promoted to Associate Branch Manager, to recruit and train new agents. So, I was only able to work about 20 hours a week on closing insurance sales. The main reason that I only needed to work 20 hours a week was that I did not need to prospect. I was able to get most of the prospects and insurance sales appointments I needed from referrals. What I also learned is that when you take good care of your prospects, then you only need to close 3 insurance sales a week to make a great living.
We Have Made It Much Easier And Less Expensive for You Ask Prospects The Right Thought-Provoking Questions… So You To Close 9 Out Of 10 Insurance Sales Calls (Appointments).
Setting appointments and closing insurance sales is a lot easier when you learn to help people… Instead of just closing quick insurance sales!
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Important Question… Are you in this insurance business just to make sales? Or are you really interested in helping families? Who do you think insurance prospects want to see? Do they want to set a sales appointment with an insurance salesperson – or a Trusted Advisor who is doing their best to help them? When will you decide to make a real difference in people’s lives? The more personal insurance agent training, coaching, and sales support you get to learn how to help families… Then the more you will learn how to help yourself and your family! Nothing will change until you decide to take action to make it change!
When will you learn to ask people the right thought-provoking questions? So you close 9 out of 10 insurance sales calls (appointments)?