Which type of agent are you?

Jul 24, 2008

  1. padthaiforlunch
    Offline

    padthaiforlunch Guru

    Posts:
    1,641
    Likes Received:
    11
    There have been a number of posts about selling lately. In another thread there was discussion of professionalism among insurance agents and changing how we sell. So here is a concept I came across long ago, that I took to heart.

    There are three types of salesmen:

    1. Benefits selling - When one enters the game, they focus on features and benefits. Auto sales are probably the most notorious -- feature: folding seat; benefit, you can fit more in your car.

    2. Relationship selling - Once you know your product, you may realize that in order to separate yourself, you need to move beyond the commoditization of product by every Joe Blow the that enters the business by way of the spaghetti theory (throw it against a wall and see what sticks). So now you focus on building a relationship with the customer. Hopefully, you can get him to like you - people are more inclined to do business with those they like.

    3. Consultative selling - While knowing your product and building relationships is important, you are still just a salesman, trying to get people to buy from you. As a consultant, you put yourself out there as an expert in your field. You are giving advice based upon the needs of the client. If you can building trust, and help the client, then sales will follow (so will referals).

    To be a consultant you must determine the needs of the client. You ask, they talk. If you can get them to open up, you can place yourself in the position of trusted advisor.

    Which are you, salesman or advisor?
     
  2. CHUMPS FROM OXFORD
    Offline

    CHUMPS FROM OXFORD Guru

    Posts:
    10,261
    Likes Received:
    49
    State:
    Ohio
    I guess I'm a little of both. And while price is not the ONLY factor I discuss...it is one of the first things I discuss.
     
  3. patch36
    Offline

    patch36 Guru

    Posts:
    1,066
    Likes Received:
    3
    State:
    Missouri
    I think most of us evolve to be all three. The situation dictates the style, but I prefer to be a consultative agent, and the current buzz word descriptor is 'Trusted Advisor'.
     
    patch36, Jul 24, 2008
    #3
  4. gradyinsurance
    Offline

    gradyinsurance Super Genius

    Posts:
    133
    Likes Received:
    0
    State:
    North Carolina
    In order to be a successful agent, you have to master all three of these techniques, and know when to use which one.

    For example, if you are selling FE to low income individuals, you're going to focus on cost and need, i.e. "It will protect your loved ones against the cost of your funeral, and, you can buy it for less than a dollar a day."

    On the other hand, if you are dealing with a high net worth individual, who you are doing some long term strategic financial planning for, you want to be the ultimate "consultant".

    I guess it all depends on the client.

    Dave
     
  5. patch36
    Offline

    patch36 Guru

    Posts:
    1,066
    Likes Received:
    3
    State:
    Missouri
    Hey pad, I've just about decided to do a mailer with a reply card independent of any lead source. I just have to get in the mood to work the leads consistently to set appts. A final big push for some new business before Medicare AEP gets here. I'll share the mail piece with you after I get it put together.
     
    patch36, Jul 24, 2008
    #5
  6. padthaiforlunch
    Offline

    padthaiforlunch Guru

    Posts:
    1,641
    Likes Received:
    11
    Thanks. Once I get my designer to finish my website, I'll get my mailer together. Will def. do a reply card style mailing.
     
  7. midwestbroker
    Offline

    midwestbroker Guru

    Posts:
    2,371
    Likes Received:
    47
    State:
    Missouri
    Grady nailed it. You are on stage when you are in an appointment, and have to determine who your audience is to know what show you will perform.
     
  8. djs
    Offline

    djs Super Moderator Moderator

    Posts:
    6,679
    Likes Received:
    74
    State:
    California
    You left out the order takers. I do this more than I realized I would.

    Someone buys a car, they need insurance, I take an order. I used to try to do a bit of consultative selling in this case, found out that isn't what they want, they want to be insured at a reasonable price, they will deal with the details later. I don't even really talk about features (folding seats, leather interior, roadside assistance, liability limits, etc). I simply quote and write.

    Now, when I work with businesses, I definitely work in a more consultatative style. This requires much more in depth knowledge on products (spelled "I'll get back to you on that"), and knowing what is required to keep the client in business.

    I used to try to educate my clients, I found most just want the cliff notes version, if any education at all. They have 3 questions, once you answer those, you are done. Don't try to educate them when they don't want to be educated.

    Dan
     
    djs, Jul 25, 2008
    #8
  9. Invain15
    Offline

    Invain15 Super Genius

    Posts:
    104
    Likes Received:
    1
    all 3
     
    Invain15, Jul 26, 2008
    #9
  10. tentel
    Offline

    tentel Expert

    Posts:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    A good agent needs to become all three. You can never leave out the price factor, however, in any situation. Everyone wants to save and make a buck on both ends of any business transaction. There is the feeling of triumph, though, when you know a customer went with you because of the services and product you offer as opposed to price. That's when you know what you're doing works!
     
    tentel, Jul 28, 2008
    #10
Loading...