Consultative Selling

May 11, 2007

  1. somarco
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    somarco That Medicare Expert Guy

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    My style lends itself to consulting rather than selling in the traditional sense. This goes back to the early part of my career (and the bulk of my experience) where presentations were made to VITO. The sale process was 2 - 3 steps minimum that always started with a meeting at VITO's office or board room. The only thing I brought to the meeting was a portfolio with a clean yellow pad and a pen. I sat across from VITO and asked questions, listened and took copious notes.

    I still do the same thing today even though most of my sales are by phone & email.

    How about you?
     
    somarco, May 11, 2007
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  2. Frank Stastny
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    Frank Stastny Guru

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    I believe I use the same technique. I go on an appointment to educate my prospect as opposed to try to sell them something. If I do a good job of accurately presenting the facts and use logic to explain the reasons why I believe that "my" policy or company, assuming they are competitive, is superior to others I am usually successful in writing an app. (Agreed, there are some who's mind you can never change.)

    I am convinced one can be more successful being a good listener in this business rather than trying to dominate the conversation with a bunch of sales mumbo jumbo.

    Taking copious notes is an important part of being a "good listener".
     
  3. SME
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    SME Super Genius

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    Great post Frank. I've been thinking about putting a large sign across from my desk that would say LISTEN in big bold letters. To remind me to stop talking and listen to clients. There was a State Farm agent that told me that the problem with most agents is that they "verbally vomit" on clients instead of listening to them.
     
    SME, May 11, 2007
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  4. Frank Stastny
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    Frank Stastny Guru

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    Hahaha. Thanks. I have to remind myself about that all the time. If I don't, and forget to, Jacqueline, my lovely wife, is always there to help me remember. :biggrin:

    I was told something similar a long time ago.

    "You can't learn anything while you are talking."
     
  5. NHB_MMA
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    NHB_MMA Guru

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    At my NYL office, we have an agent that does a high amount of investment business and some insurance and probably pulls in close to 500K with his FYC, bonuses, and mutual fund trailers. The guy just seems like one of the most likeable guys you'll ever meet and he told us that years ago when he got into the business he studied something called "counselor selling".
     
    NHB_MMA, May 11, 2007
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  6. midwestbroker
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    midwestbroker Guru

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    "You can't learn anything while you are talking."

    Great saying. Very true.

    A sales presentation should be a natural flowing conversation about health care / Medicare, or what ever it is you are presenting the client.

    My Kansas BCBS plan F sale, I sell United World (65 / 66 year old):
    Me: I have the same program, but my clients only pay $97 per month, rather then $135.
    Client: What?
    Me: My clients who have plan F only pay $97.
    Client: How do I become a client.

    Now he is asking to be my client. WHOO HOO!!
     
  7. Frank Stastny
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    Frank Stastny Guru

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    When you work it the right way it is like having a license to steal.:biggrin:

    You've got to love this business!
     
  8. Insurancefriendly
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    Insurancefriendly Expert

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    It's funny that you guys should mention that. The first words out of my mouth are "I'm not here to sell you anything" and then I begin to educate them.

    Interesting that you can get a Plan F at $97 for a 65/66 y/o here in Florida, Midwestbroker. I thought United World was a bit higher than that. Hmm actually come to think of it, that has to be for a Select Plan, I don't think UW has a network here in Central Florida. I use Lincoln Heritage and considering Royal Neighbors atm. Lincoln Heritage has been great to me and to my clients though. I love them.

    Anyways, yah, educating > selling.
     
  9. Insurancefriendly
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    Insurancefriendly Expert

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    atm = "at the moment" (in internet jargon); just wanted to clarify so no one thought of it as a physical cash A.T.M. lol.
     
  10. Frank Stastny
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    Frank Stastny Guru

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    Steph,

    I like your quote a lot, "verbally vomit". I have not only known agents like that, I know manager/"trainers" as well who are still teaching that as the way to sell. I can even still see and hear them. Your quote has given me an idea. (I know, that is a scary thought.:)

    That seems to be the underlying theme of every "sales meeting"/conference I have ever been to. I know there is more than enough real talent and expertise on this board to put together a real training program for agents. One that will really teach them how to sell using factual information, logic and their own individual approach as opposed to something someone dreamt up.

    It would be a lot of work, probably would not be terribly successful the first year and would have to be an annual event. Initially we probably would have to donate our time, pay our own expenses and collect a few donations. Consider getting sponsors, and charge a fee to attendees.

    Sell exhibit space to marketing organizations, insurance companies, technology companies, and other related businesses and give them real exposure time, not just a couple of hours. It could be sponsored by, for example, "Insurance-Forums.net" (Sam, I'm just brain-storming) and grow into the premier training event of the year. Just sales training, not selling a certain product. Something an agent could apply to any product.

    A discussion board like this could be their "daily refresher course" where they could speak to the experts when they had a question. Just like what everyone who is here is doing now only on a much larger scale.

    I know, there are tons of others who are "doing that now", but not really. How many of those have been to and how much did you really get out of it? Most I have been to do not advocate the kind of things we talk about here. We talk about common sense "consultive selling", "old fashion selling" if you will, not using gimmicks and other things that sound good but don't really work in the real world.

    How many of you would have loved to have this kind of training when you first got started? How many of you think that it would have launched you much quicker down the road to success? Me for one.

    It is probably a pipe dream, what ever a pipe dream is. I still think it would be nice to give agents a place to go where they would hear it from real, every day agents still out in the field working hard at it every day. Agents like the ones on this board. Not some agent who may have been "successful" at one point in time, who is a good speaker, got tired of selling insurance, wrote a book, and dreamt up a bunch of crap that looks good on paper but may only be applicable to one agent in every two or three thousand.

    I'm not sure where all of that just came from but it sure sounded good while I was typing it. No, I'm not doing drugs, just high on insurance. :D
     
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