5 Methods To Have Higher Gross sales Conversations
By David Duford
After training more than 1,500 insurance agents since 2013, I’ve learned that one of the best strategies for improving sales bottom line is to improve a broker’s ability to have better sales pitches with their prospects. Put simply, the more important our conversations with prospects are, both in building relationships, establishing facts, and presenting our opportunities, the more revenue we will generate.
In this article, I’m going to share five of my favorite sales pitch improvement strategies with prospects that will help you increase confidence and close more deals.
1. Follow the 80/20 rule
The 80/20 rule – make sure you only speak 20% of the time and your prospect 80% of the time – is always a good acid test to make sure you are careful about building relationships, asking good questions, and looking at others Wise Better sales pitches with your prospects.
Hollywood has precisely described salespeople as quick speakers and conversation dominators. However, like many things Hollywood portrays, this is not 100% accurate, especially when it comes to seasoned salespeople. The best salespeople ask quality questions that enable deep conversations with their prospects – so much so that the salesperson speaks very little and the prospect has most of the conversation.
How can you tell if you are speaking 20% of the time? Just record yourself during your next sales pitch and see how much time you actually talk. If you find yourself dominating the conversation, cutting off your prospects, or not giving others a chance to answer, chances are you’re not listening well enough or you’re not asking the right questions.
2. Good sales pitches involve open-ended questions
Building on strategy number one, the best strategy for your prospects to speak the most is to ask open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are questions that cannot be answered with yes or no. Instead, they have to be answered with context and description.
Open-ended questions are the best way to understand why potential customers think certain ways. When it comes to selling something in life, one needs to understand the underlying motivation as to why a prospect would make the purchase.
Adding open-ended questions to your sales pitches also creates a tremendous relationship and trust. It makes you a better conversationalist and prospects will appreciate the attention you show by asking quality questions.
One of the easiest ways to turn your questions into open-ended questions is to add “How do you feel when …?” or “What do you think of …?” to your questions rather than something like “Do you feel good about it?” or “Do you agree?”
3. Benefit from emotionally charged statements
All salespeople build a kind of rapport or pre-qualify. You will sometimes find that trying to ask questions to learn more about a prospect gets a flat, emotionless response, especially when building relationships. It can be very frustrating, but it is the normal course of any type of small talk conversation.
However, at least one of your questions will usually get a completely different, emotionally charged response. When receiving an emotional response, it is imperative that you use the emotions and go deeper by asking additional open-ended questions that allow for more emotions, thoughts, and worries.
For example, I was reviewing a sales presentation from one of my agents and a customer gave an emotionally charged response, much like it was terrible that he knew many people who had died without life insurance. The agent did not ask any more open questions about this answer. Instead, he went on to the next phase of his script.
This was an enormous missed opportunity. The agent could have delved deeper into what was terrible and why it was terrible. Perhaps he would have heard stories about loved ones who made the reality of not having life insurance rougher and more real.
Never miss out on these opportunities because they make a huge difference.
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4. Imagine the hearse leaning against the porch
When coaching insurance salespeople, I use this term a lot to help them understand exactly what we are trying to achieve in our sales conversations with customers. In other areas, you want to paint a picture of the real urgency of what can happen if the customer doesn’t buy from you.
In the case of life insurance, the picture must of course be presented more consciously, since life insurance only pays out the death benefit when the insured person dies. There is no way that buyers can actually get instant gratification.
In most sales situations, people believe that bad things only happen to others and may not buy your product until their situation gets worse. Once you understand that it is human nature to just be reactive and not proactive, you need to knowingly explain to potential customers what can happen if they don’t buy from you.
5. Show rather than tell for better sales pitches
If you want to have better sales pitches, telling someone how something works or telling a potential customer the benefits is not enough. You also need to show them the benefits.
There is a great story about a glass seller who had his company develop a high-resistance glass that would withstand breakage very well.
He sold it to manufacturers who needed glass by taking a sample of the glass along with a hammer for his sales calls. He had put the glass on a table and hit it with a hammer; The prospect would be shocked if the glass didn’t break. And you can imagine if the prospects saw with their own eyes that the glass didn’t break, they were sold immediately and wanted to know how to buy it. This kind of demonstration to show the benefits outweighs when talking about how great the product is.
Think about how you can show your potential customers how your product works – don’t just tell them. Showing deepens the impact of the sales pitch as they actually see it for themselves and make it more real than an intangible concept.
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About the author
Contribution by: David Duford
David Duford owns Buy Life Insurance For Burial, a virtual insurance agency that helps seniors obtain high quality life insurance coverage for final costs. He is the author of three best-selling books on selling and marketing insurance, including the Official Guide to Selling Insurance for New Agents, the Official Guide to Selling End-Expense Insurance, and interviews with top insurance agents. David is also a YouTube influencer in insurance sales with 17,000+ subscribers and 1.7 million total views.
Company: Duford Insurance Group
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