Deep belief drives sales success

par Jim Ruta | February 18 2011 03:50PM

This thinking regularly makes for short careers. It exposes a significant belief deficiency that definitely impacts your ability to succeed quickly, if ever. It’s a lack of belief that makes agents fearful of selling FRAs (Friends, Relatives and Acquaintances) as Al Granum called them.While there are many products that you don’t necessarily have to “believe in” to sell, life insurance is not among them. Here, your deep belief gives you the persistence to hang in there long enough to help someone make a decision in their own favour even when challenged.

While FRAs should be the easiest to talk to because of your access to them, they can be the most demanding and difficult. Their expectations and ability to damage your ego are the highest of all prospects.

This also makes them the best place to start. If you can sell them, you can sell anyone. And, if you can’t, you haven’t caused too much damage to your business reputation because your exposure is close to home. Still, you dramatically improve your odds of ultimate success when you work with them because you build your belief.

Established agents can have this problem too. Many long established agents live “secret agent lives” in good neighbourhoods with tremendous prospects. Unfortunately, no one knows what they do and how they help. They keep a low profile where it would help them the most.

Think about it. They don’t want to “take advantage” of people they know and thereby prevent those same people from taking advantage of what they know. No one wins.

Instead of prospecting in their “own backyards” they get in the car and drive to some other top agent’s back yard to build their business. This is a lack of belief. It’s unfortunate.

So, what’s your “Belief Quotient”? Do you believe enough in your products that you are prepared to help your FRAs make this most important decision? If your BQ is low, you won’t and success will come slowly to you. A high BQ means you will get more experience more quickly and shorten your learning curve. Success will be quicker.

You really need a “missionary zeal” to be a big success in the business. Check any top agent. Be proud of what you do and the amazing benefits it confers on your clients.

Look at contestants on the new TV Shows who pitch tough “angel investors” for money for their new ideas in exchange for equity. The ones who get what they want invariably are the ones that are the most passionate. Passionate means belief. Belief means success.

Be very careful defining your success so that it is significantly harder to achieve it. Avoiding FRAs is one of them. Rethink your approach. Instead, find something you can stand behind proudly. Put a stake in the ground. Stand up and stand out. Demonstrate your belief. Prospects will appreciate it and you will be rewarded.

“I don’t believe in life insurance” is one of those objections that really stump me. How do I handle it?

No one believes in it. That’s why it’s so tough. Who wants to pay out bundles of cash for something they will never see. This smacks of investing in a “Bernie Jones” fund (to combine a couple of recent financial fiascos). That’s also a place where you can pay in and never get back.

This objection is a basic misunderstanding of nature of the product. If someone sees life insurance as an investment, it doesn’t make the grade. Who can believe in that?

Life insurance is just poorly named. It conjures up the wrong idea in many heads. Anyone can see the advantage of house insurance or car insurance because no one wants to have them snatched away without compensation. But “life insurance”? That’s a little tougher. Lose your car, get it back. Lose your house, get it back. Lose your life… then what?

In the day when it was still regularly referred to as “life assurance”, I liked to say it “assures life” will go on as intended. That helped.

Life insurance is more properly thought of as “Lifestyle Insurance” for most prospects in most basic cases. “Family Security Protection” is another way to think about it. It can also be “Return of Sweat Equity Insurance”, “Own it free and clear” protection for business owners.

When thought of this way, it’s a little harder to say “I don’t believe in it”. It’s not impossible mind you, but it is tougher.

Tackle tough objections

To tackle tough objections like this one, first, anticipate they will come up. Second, you need a good reply when it comes up.

Anticipation means setting the stage properly at the beginning. A client of mine starts his presentation with the words, “Because your family is everything…” If that’s contentious, you just have the wrong person. There aren’t many, but they’re out there.

But, if they at least nod in agreement, then you have a prospect.

Consider prospecting as eliminating “non-buyers” rather than finding “buyers”. Not everyone qualifies to buy this character product. Without it, you don’t talk or buy.

Talk about what life insurance does, not what it’s called. Do the same with critical illness and long term care insurance. Talking about the real world benefits and advantages helps people make the right connections immediately.

And, what if the objection comes up anyway? Remind prospects that “Peace of mind is quality of life”. No one wants insurance but they crave the peace of mind that comes from it.

Life insurance is a safety net that no one wants to use but that everyone is happy exists when necessary. There are many things like life insurance – parachutes, spare tires, first aid kits and seat belts. It’s not about whether you believe in them or not. It’s about believing in what they protect.

Give prospects a better perspective and you and they will do better too. Finally, it’s not up to you and you cannot help everyone.

Jim Ruta

The Insurance & Investment Journal - Volume: 15 - Number: 6 - Page: 36 - Date: February 2011