This new year is rolling along, and we’re finally beginning to ease away from the pandemic-ruled lifestyles that we’ve grown accustomed to. At long last, we as insurance advisors can forge ahead with sales tactics and place our energy into selling, without getting bogged down by many obstacles we’ve faced for the past couple of years.
How should we view sales, as a whole? According to Dan Sullivan, founder of The Strategic Coach, sales is simply engaging someone in a future result that’s good for them. We love this take on sales because it’s concise, and it summarizes exactly what it is that we’re trying to do as insurance advisors. Adopting this selling mindset as an employee benefits advisor is a great way to better serve your clients and provide more value.
Successful selling is a process that begins long before you make your pitch to prospects. We’ve broken down selling into five key components
1. What Are Your Goals?
The first step is to ask yourself: what your goals are as an employee benefits advisor? Whatever financial or skills-based goals you have for yourself within your career, it’s important that you define those goals clearly and avoid large, abstract concepts.
Write down SMART goals – goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. In contrast with abstract goals, SMART goals allow you to devise a plan of action, monitor your progress, and recognize your successes. Write down your goals and commit to them. By writing them out, you effectively give yourself a roadmap to follow.
Create a board of advisors and share your goals with them! This board of advisors can be anyone, and it doesn’t have to be official in any capacity – it could include family members, your spouse, other advisors, or anyone whose opinion you value. Sharing your goals with this board of advisors helps to keep you accountable, as you’ll have someone routinely checking in on your progress.
2. What’s Your Target Market?
It’s important to have your target market defined, and to do research into that market so that your sales approach is specialized to your clients and their needs. With the help of the internet, anybody can be a product expert – you need to become a problem expert. That is, someone who deeply understands the problems faced by your target market, so that you can work on fixing them.
Determine why your target market is your target market in the first place. This will help you to better understand your own motivations and your connection to your target market, and it’s also a great piece of information to tell your prospects, too. Letting them in on the reason that they’re your ideal client helps you to build trust, and it makes you a more attractive advisor in their eyes as you’ll better understand the nuances of their business.
3. Know What You’re Going to Say
Prepare yourself ahead of time and make sure that you know what you’re going to say to pique their interest. You want a concise statement that you can consistently begin your pitch with which clearly explains to a prospect what it is you do and why your services will add value to them and their business.
When crafting your opening statement, try asking yourself the following questions:
- How can you help your prospect?
- What value can you add?
- How do you make it a qualifying statement?
- Can you say it clearly in five seconds?
Your opening statement should be quick and enticing, and frame what it is that you do for your clients in an interesting and intriguing way. Know what you’re going to say when asked what it is that you do and what value you provide, whether you’re mingling at a cocktail party or speaking with a prospective client!
4. Have a Sales Plan
Create a realistic sales plan by beginning with the big picture and breaking it down into smaller steps. If you have a financial goal of earning $100,000 dollars in a year, for example, you need to break down that goal into smaller, achievable steps to keep you on-track.
Determine how many employees you will have to provide benefits for to reach that target, and further segment that to determine how many groups you’ll need to provide for, based on the size of your average client’s business. Once you have a target number of clients, use data from your previous sales to determine how many sales meetings will yield that many clients, and how many phone calls it will take to land that number of meetings. By continually breaking down the steps, the large, daunting goal of “I want to make $100 000 in a year” becomes “I need to make 12 phone calls per day.”
Be sure to schedule the time for prospecting and sales into your day. It’s easy to get swept up with other things, so be adamant with yourself that you will allot appropriate time in your schedule toward selling. Once you have your sales plan laid out, share it with your board of advisors to help keep you motivated and accountable.
5. Commit to the Plan
Once you’ve got a meaningful plan in place, all you have to do is commit to it and execute the steps. Be patient; this is a journey, and there will inevitably sometimes be obstacles to overcome and detours to account for. But progress is progress nonetheless and staying committed to the larger plan is the key to achieving success. Track your progress along the way, and be honest with yourself – did you make your 12 phone calls today?
Remember to celebrate your successes along the way! As you evaluate, adjust, and monitor your plan as you progress, you will inevitably hit milestones and small wins along the way. Take a moment to congratulate yourself, celebrate those successes, and share them with the people around you. It only adds to the motivation!
Contact The Benefits Trust today for more insights into selling employee benefits in 2022, and the steps you can take to create and execute a successful sales plan.