LOOK BELOW THE SURFACE TO SEE WHAT DRIVES YOUR SALES SUCCESS
We all know the tragic tale of the RMS Titanic, which sank in 1912 after it struck an iceberg south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Of course, it was the mass beneath the surface that caused the lethal damage. That’s no surprise considering that only 10% of an iceberg’s mass is above the waterline, whereas 90% is below it.
In many ways, insurance/risk management is like an iceberg. Most people are familiar with only what’s above the waterline, which are product and price. Below the waterline are all the value-added services and risk factors that not only determine the product and price but also differentiate agencies and their producers from competitors.
Similarly, I see an analogy between icebergs and success in sales. The sale itself is what people notice because it’s above the waterline. It’s visible, which is why it’s so exciting! Conversely, few people consider the behaviors and...
If you have been an insurance sales producer longer than 10 minutes, you know all about risk.
A risk is defined as “exposure to danger.”
Danger surrounds insurance producers every day. It could be in the form of a manager, company, prospect, client, product, or service. That list could go on and on, but the key point is that risk is clear everywhere you turn.
I believe you could categorize sales risks into three areas:
These three risks highlight that even though the sales profession is the highest paid industry in the world, only a small percentage of the population enters this line of work. Furthermore, an even a smaller percentage of sales producers survive.
I have dealt with these three risks consistently in my own sales career. Although the context of these three risks has evolved over the years, the consequences have not.
While the fear of failure, rejection, and financial hardship are...
We see that the average producer is a part-timer at best. Even though most of them will still do okay, they’ll never be great, and at the end of their career they’ll have tons of regrets.
According to the Organic Growth & Profitability Survey conducted by Reagan Consulting, agencies experienced 4.5% growth in 2017. People got really excited because it was an improvement over 2016’s growth of 4.2%. This concerns me.
To me, 4.5% is not exciting, nor should it be to any true sales organization! What is exciting is growth that is two or three times the national average. That would be either 9% or 13.5%.
I fear that many agencies are blindly following the 4.5% Model. Although they’re not doing this deliberately, that’s the problem—they’re not aware that they’re doing it. But maybe this model is exactly what’s holding them back!
Now before I expand on this, I realize there...
FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO IDENTIFY, TARGET, AND WRITE YOUR BEST PROSPECTS
In organizing and presenting more than 100 producer training programs with more than 3,000 participants, I’ve recognized a highly predictable “producer’s improvement cycle.” Although I’ve mentioned this topic in previous articles, I believe it merits deeper discussion.
To summarize: The cycle starts with an improvement in the conversion rate and then the closing ratio, followed by revenue per sale and finally the quantity and quality of “at-bats.” Let’s take a closer look at each of these areas of improvement.
“If speaking is silver, then listening is gold” Turkish Proverb
Have you ever had a sales appointment where you felt like a rock star on the big stage or an attorney delivering a spellbound closing statement? You rattled off all the right phrases, terms, and filled all the coverage gaps.
You went back to your office and told your boss, “I nailed that one, it’s a done deal!” Only to find out later that the prospect that you just dazzled selected a different agent?
The person who talks the most feels the best, but the one who listens has the most information.
Top insurance producers have always been good listeners, but in today’s information filled world, listening is an art form.
I have taken classes on active listening. While it has helped me in the business world, my wife may tend to disagree! I often react or want to “fix...
Several years ago, I heard a quote that challenged me. Looking back, I now realized that it also has changed me.
As a commercial lines producer for 15 years, I attended a variety of sales and product trainings classes from insurance carriers and associations. Most of them were very informative and did help my business, but I would often find myself falling back into bad habits.
Yes, I gained product knowledge and a new sales idea or two, but I wasn’t gaining momentum. That’s because most of my training focused solely on the technical side of the business.
- Technical sales training is important.
- Technical sales training has value.
- Technical sales training can help you sell more.
Unfortunately, technical sales training completely misses the emotional aspect of why people buy.
So why is it that most companies offer solid technical sales training, but completely miss...
Studies have shown that effective leadership and influence, whether it’s with your team, your clients, or your company partners is 87% people knowledge and only 13% product knowledge.
Reflect on that statistic for a minute, almost 90% of our ultimate success is not determined by what we know, but how we can relate what we know with the people we want to influence.
What does this mean? Well, I believe it means several things, but ultimately it begs the question, are we developing producers who can effectively communicate, and more importantly connect, with their clients and future clients?
Even in today’s world of digital disruption and insure tech, building high-level relationships will ultimately determine your success.
Let me state right up front, this doesn’t minimize understanding the technical side of the insurance business. Every producer needs to be fully equipped to understand insurance terms, definitions, exclusions,...
Ask most insurance producers how their day was and it’s likely that you will receive an answer that revolves around the words, “I was really busy.”
In most cases, that is true. Insurance producers are often very busy. The problem is that they are often busy with activities that do not directly correlate into results.
One of my favorite personal development books is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by the late Steven Covey. This book outlines the 7 key habits that separate successful people from all the rest.
Over the past many years, both as an active producer and consultant, I have found that high achieving producers focus their time and energy in 8 key areas. In this post, I want to discuss these 8 key habits to help all insurance producers move from “too busy” to productive.
I can recall many days as an insurance producer when I would leave the office feeling like I had accomplished a great deal. I would come...
By Brent Kelly
“Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” — Helen Keller
Risk is defined as “exposure to danger.”
Danger surrounds insurance producers everyday. It could be in the form of a manager, company, prospect, client, product, or service. That list could go on and on, but the key point is that risk is clear everywhere you turn.
I believe you could categorize sales risks into three areas:
These three risks highlight that even though the sales profession is the highest paid industry in the world, only a small percentage of the population enters this line of work. Furthermore, this is why even a smaller percentage of sales producers survive.
I have dealt with these three risks consistently in my own sales career. Although the context of these three risks...
They have a very specific plan for the client experience—a map for the journey they’ll take their clients on. Their standards ensure that every client receives the VIP treatment. This is reflected in the quality of service provided and in the overall agency attitude: how the phone is answered, how quickly calls are returned, agent follow-up and follow-through, product quality and much more. A well-planned journey makes VIP clients feel valued and appreciated. In turn, they tend to be extremely loyal.
In keeping with their high standards, the best producers work only on prospects that are referrals or introductions. Of course, that doesn’t just happen overnight by proclamation, but that’s their mindset. While they may use social media for positioning, they believe their next great new client wants to meet them through a referral or introduction. After all, when you’re looking for services, isn’t that really...
Download the latest white paper from Roger Sitkins.