Great car salesmen don’t sell cars. Great computer salesmen don’t sell computers. Great real estate agents don’t sell houses—and great insurance producers don’t sell insurance. Let’s check out and see if we can discover the common denominator that “great salespeople” use for success.
Think about the last time you wanted to trade cars. Perhaps you considered the need for reliability, affordability, fuel economy and other factors. A good salesperson needs to know the facts—and be able to determine what the car represents to potential traders: A car can represent freedom, adventure, power, prestige, fashion, excitement, and a reflection of who we are or want to be. A car salesman now becomes a “dream collaborator” who helps us find and acquire the car of our dreams.
I think you get the picture and can even give plenty of examples about a salesperson who is interested in meeting his own goals, as compared to a “dream collaborator” who is taking the time to find out what clients want and helping them get it.
Based on experience, successful sales people have the following characteristics:
- Winners understand what business they are in.
- Winners recognize how to ask key questions and listen carefully.
- Winners find or help create needs and/or desires, and then assist their customer in fulfilling that desire by acquiring a product or service.
Most of us can easily add to this list—but what does this all mean to a person who is soon to earn an insurance license or is just newly licensed? Well, here’s the bottom line: the road to success is not just about memorizing policy facts. The sales process that we’re talking about can go by different names—including Integrity Selling, Needs Based Selling, Value Selling, Customer Focused Selling, and more. Here are the basics:
Know the difference between a feature and a benefit. Without knowing this, one cannot maximize the potential to be a great salesperson. Every product has a feature and benefit. What salespeople like to discuss are features—but what customers want are benefits.
Feature: “This car gets 40 miles per gallon.”
Benefit: “With 40 miles per gallon, you save money.”
- Give examples and proof of the benefit.
Example: “If you drive 13,000 miles per year in a car that gets 20 miles per gallon, that equates to 650 gallons of gas at $3.35 per gallon, which costs $2,176.50 for fuel.”
Proof: “At 40 miles per gallon, fuel costs are cut in half to $1,088.75.”
- Reach an agreement regarding the value of the benefit, enhance the benefit, and provide an opportunity to buy.
Agreement: “Do you want to save $1,088.75 at the end of the year? Now imagine if you kept the car for 3 years—you’d have $3,266.25 in your pocket. Wouldn’t that be even better?”
Enhancement: “In addition to saving money, you can drive to your destination in a five-star safety rated vehicle with five airbags and backup camera; has a GPS system so you don’t get lost; plus a premium five-speaker sound system with electronic connections so you can hear the music you like while enjoying a safe, economical, and stylish ride! What do you think about that?”
Opportunity to buy: “I have some good news. While we were talking, our appraiser looked over your current vehicle and rated it as in better-than-average condition. With the trade in, you have enough to cover the down payment and can drive out of the dealership today without taking money out of your pocket. The total cost is lowered because of a $500 dealer rebate for the electronics and a discount on the sticker price, as advertised, of $1,000.
This means that, for only $394 per month for 48 months, you can own this car and have more years of use after the loan is retired.
In an hour or less, our finance team and I can complete all the paperwork, including the temporary license—and you can drive out with a brand new car that you’ve always wanted at a terrific value. Would you like to get started?”
So there you have it—a quick and simple template to jumpstart your own customer-focused selling approach based on trust, respect, listening, and helping the customer get what they want. The same steps can be used for any insurance product.
Best wishes for your success from your friends at 360training.com!
*The author can be contacted at Tricia.Sharpton@360training.com