Improving your sales skills
Since this is Life Insurance Awareness Month we want to spotlight a well-known, but often skipped, technique to improve your sales skills.
We are referring to the dreaded "Call Audit" using recorded calls. It’s a technique that many dislike. And while we understand that it can be uncomfortable to listen to your own voice and hear your mistakes, if we want to spread awareness about Life Insurance it makes sense to work on improving communication and sales skills.
A common misconception in sales is that it simply takes repetition to get better. However, repetition of bad sales skills will not improve results. Don’t get us wrong, we know that activity is vital in improving sales numbers, but it doesn’t give you time to focus on improving.
When you’re talking to a prospect, your focus should be on your prospect. You should be listening at a level so deep that you’re not thinking about what you can or should say. Your attention should be placed on what the prospect is saying with their words, what they are not saying, and even their tone and pace.
The time to work on your skills is not in the moment with a prospect. There’s no time to look back and recognize where you missed something important the prospect said or to see moments when you weren’t as clear in your communication as you thought you might have been. Sure, you may have that gut feeling of how the conversation went, but do you know what you need to repeat for the next calls? Or what skills you need to improve to do better on the next calls?
Call Audits give you the ability to focus on your skills. You don’t have to worry about what the prospect is going to say, or even try to influence the conversation. Your entire focus during a call audit is on identifying what worked well, so that you can repeat it, and where can you improve.
Call Audits can be done with someone else or on your own. If you have someone else assisting, they will pick up on elements of the conversation that you missed even during the audit. But, don’t use not having someone to assist with Call Audits be an excuse not to do them. They work well on your own. Here are a few tips for successful Call Audits:
- Press Pause – When you hear something in a Call Audit that needs attention, stop! Don’t just continue listening. Stop immediately and take note of what happened. This allows you to focus on improving awareness and not just pointing out mistakes.
- Check the Script – If you have a script, compare the Call Audit language to the script. Did you miss any important milestones? Have you found new language that works well and should be added to the script and shared with your team? Call Audits don’t help improve just your skills, they help improve the team’s approach.
- Know what to listen for – Make sure you know what makes a good sales call! Be clear on sales skills that should be present and evaluate yourself on those calls. A few to get you started include:
- Did you cut the prospect off?
- Did you rush to fill silence and not give the prospect time to respond?
- What pace and tone did the prospect have? How did you match that communication?
- Did you miss any opportunities? How would you do that differently?
- Would you change how you handled objections?
- Did you create sales opportunities or did you wait for them?
In light of Life Insurance Awareness Month we challenge your entire team to do a call audit a day for the rest of the month. Yes, even you seasoned professionals! There is always room to improve sales skills. And, you might realize some tricks of the trade that you do naturally that would help the rest of your team.