Make it easy for prospects to buy

By Jim Ruta | January 27 2015 09:00AM
How can I make it easier for clients and prospects to do business with me?

There has never been a better time than now to make business with you easy to do. Consumers are so busy these days that unless you are easy to work, you’ll always have a difficult time to get appointments. But, when you’re easy to work with you’ll get more appointments. You’ll be easier to buy from and refer to others.

Helping prospects and clients save time will make you more accessible and more professional. To do that, you have to unwind some new strategies that have developed over the past 20 years and reinterpret some old ones. The idea is to simplify your business but retain the quality of your work. Doing so makes being your client easier.

Here are five top ways to be easy:

1. Visit their office or home – One of the apparent hallmarks of professionalism was that clients came to you. They drove. They spent extra time. They found parking. They paid for parking. They walked to your office. They drove home. Very professional… or is it? Isn’t going to see a client more convenient for them? Doesn’t it make them subconsciously feel they owe you? Make it easy for prospects and see them on their own turf.

2. Be a professional salesperson – Regardless of what you think, most people think you are a sales person. You may fancy yourself a “doctor-equivalent”, but they expect salesmanship. In fact, they expect “bedside manner” from a doctor and (gender unspecific) “salesmanship” from you. Treat them like you want their business, not like they owe it to you.

3. Use a shorter fact-finder and simpler approach – “Mr. Prospect, we have two ways to determine your life insurance needs. The first is a 3-hour financial planning questionnaire and two interviews. The second is a 30 minute, rule of thumb questionnaire that gets to the same general answer. I will do either for you. Which would you prefer?” Most prospects want the easier approach. It’s up to you to make sure it’s right for them.

4. Advise clients – If you can’t tell a client what they need to do, they don’t need you. Offering a selection of product options, means you just don’t know them well enough to advise them on their best course of action. Stop “optioneering” in favor of a recommendation and a back-up if necessary. It makes deciding easier. That’s professional.

5. Review existing life portfolios regularly – Out of sight, out of mind – when you’re out of their sight, they can go out of their minds. Not reviewing policy portfolios regularly leaves clients wondering if they have too much, have too little, pay too much or pay too little. They wonder if what they have is what they need either way. That’s hard. Check regularly to make sure they know what they need and have what they want. Ask for my Policy Needs Appraisal Form to help you get the conversation going.

Adapt these simplification strategies and make it easier for your prospects and clients to buy. When you do, they will. It’s time to be easy again.

I have an older market but I would like to address their life insurance portfolios. How can I help them?

Finessing a life insurance portfolio for retirement is a great way to get back into the life insurance if you have been working the money business for a while. It’s part of my “Great Ancestor Check-up”.

It all starts with today’s ironic great life insurance approach question: “Has anyone reviewed your life insurance portfolio lately?” From my research, you can be pretty well assured that the answer will always be “No”. You’ll have the prospect all to yourself.

Collect your prospect’s life policies and create a summary of the types, coverages and benefits. Make sure that they understand what they have so there is no confusion when it matters most and there is no way to make changes.

“The Great Ancestor Check-up” (GAC) makes sure that clients have the life insurance portfolio they need to leave the legacy they want. It’s how they can make sure the nobility in their family starts with them, or maybe doesn’t stop with them, depending on the case.

The GAC is best as a pre-retirement check. That increases the odds of being able to make substantive and reasonably priced improvements to the portfolio if necessary.

Here are a few of the issues you want to check out in the GAC (Ask me for the complete questionnaire):

- Are the current beneficiary designations accurate and complete? Get names and addresses and include them in the file. Lawyers do. Make sure everything goes right when everything goes wrong.

- Determine if the policy ownership is still right in the circumstances. Maybe personal policies might be better owned by a corporation, or vice versa. This can have big estate consequences. See what the will says.

- Is the policy still right in the current circumstances? Have they outlived their temporary life insurance solutions? Time for a full or partial conversion. Time to swap to a longer term? Do they have a YRT “U-Hell” policy (Thanks David Hull) that was underfunded and will collapse?

- Is the amount still good for them? Maybe they fell for one of the great lies we tell ourselves in our forties, “When I’m in my sixties, I’ll have so much money, I won’t need life insurance.” Second marriages. Big mortgages. Kids back home… all contribute to bigger than expected life needs for longer than contemplated.

- Is there a toxic loan or funding issue that will end the policy too early? You can save them grief no one needs to experience.

- How have they funded their will? Again, check out the will to see what they want to happen. See if the life insurance funding is sufficient for the life, lifestyle and legacy they want to leave. There is more, but you get the idea.

You might be wondering “Who pays for all of this work?” First, you can’t possibly do a handful of these every month and not trip over new business. Payment. Second, providing this level of service is exactly what makes you “referable”. Referrals with recommendations and testimonials are as good as money. Payment. Remember, when you help more, you help more. That’s why the Great Ancestor Check-up.