Benchmark Business Group

Sales Doesn't Come Easy, It Takes Practice

September 20, 2022

How do you get your team to sell more life insurance? There’s a simple answer… practice!

Most agencies are so busy with service work - and of course, quoting - that they don’t often take time to “practice.” And yet, agency owners expect everyone to get better at a certain skill set, such as selling life insurance.

Some people will get better over time, but if your team isn’t excelling at selling life insurance now, then chances are another day of experience isn’t going to make a difference. In fact, if you do nothing different now, then next year when you look back your life insurance sales will probably be the same as they are now.

If you want to sell more, it’s time to ask your team to practice. With practice, your whole team has a chance to improve specific skills WITHOUT repeating bad habits. Think about professional athletes. They spend more time practicing than they do playing the actual games. Business is backwards. There is little time to practice and most, if not all, time is going toward the actual daily work.

We challenge you to create time for “practice.” It doesn’t have to be entire days. It can be 20 minutes a week. Or 10 minutes per day. For many agencies this may seem difficult because you’re already busy. We understand, but if you want different results then you must design your agency to be different.

How do you practice selling life insurance? There are many different activities, but a couple of quick ones include:

  • Have your team spend 5 minutes writing down the events that a client/prospect might run into that would create a need for life insurance.
     
  • Spend the next 5 minutes going over what to listen for and what conversations to have with clients/prospects to uncover their needs.
     
  • Spend time practicing language! Your team may hesitate to ask simply because they’re not comfortable with what to say. Asking someone about what will happen to their family if they pass away is not easy or comfortable for many people, so it’s often avoided. Spend 10 minutes with the team talking through “how” to ask the questions. If you completed #1 then use that list to work on language for different life needs.
     
  • Talk about the “why” of life insurance. This might mean asking them to go over their own needs. It might be discussing your passion for life insurance and why it’s important to you that your clients/prospects are educated about this important topic. We recommend using our Service Through Selling series to help you with training your team.
     
  • Do call audits/meeting audits. This is slightly different than asking your team to shadow you or to do joint work. Shadowing and joint work are good tools, but they’re not the same as audits. With shadowing, your team members are left to draw their own conclusions about why you did what you did such as used certain words, asked certain questions, made recommendations, or even used a certain tone of voice. With joint work, they are practicing in front of the client. It’s difficult to fully learn in these situations because the client/prospect is there. You can’t stop and explain. Your team members don’t get to ask questions. When you record client meetings or calls for training purposes and play them back to your team members, the pause button allows you to pause and instruct. This means hitting the pause button often and stopping and talking through what you did, why, and how they can do it in their meetings. This can also be a very effective tool to listen to your teams calls and meetings to see where they can improve.
     
  • Flashcards are simple but effective! Make a set of flashcards for each member of your team. Those flashcards could include topics such as:
    • Life events clients may experience and what to ask
    • Life insurance terminology
    • Common objections and what to say if a client uses those objections
    • Sales techniques
      • Use name
      • Using an assumptive close
      • Mirroring
      • Using “client like you often choose”

Have each team member dedicate a small amount of time, even if it’s only 5 minutes a day to work through the flashcards. The best part is that this is self-practice, making it easier to implement.

Remember, if your agency is going to increase life sales then you need to design your agency to have time to improve, through practice. Talk to your Optimal Outcome Business Coach for more ideas and resources that you can use with your team.

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