In this column from Insurance Journal’s archives, Jim Ruta explains how to separate buyers from non-buyers quickly.

Question: How can I do more appointments per day than the two or three I have now? 

You will have more successful new prospect sales meetings when you have a process to separate buyers from non-buyers quickly. That way you spend less time and make more sales. Here is an approach you can follow to find out in just 15 minutes if you should stay and sell or leave and move on. Ask this question: 

“Mr. Prospect, in 15 minutes you can tell if you want to work with me. And, in those same 15 minutes, I can tell if I can help you. With that in mind, may I ask you a few questions to get your opinion?” Then, we ask 6 to 10 prospect triage questions to do it.

These questions help you discover quickly if the prospect wants to deal with you. If they like what you say and seem to appreciate what you do, they will take your advice. If they do not, you will be fighting an uphill battle and spending a great deal of time for no reward on either side.

At the same time, you want to know if you can help them with what you do. Is this a prospect I can help? Do they want help? Is this a prospect who is already thinking about their financial security? Do they like me? Do I like them; and do I want to help them?

Get your prospect’s opinion on these life insurance product-based matters. Their answers will help you discover whether you have a buyer or a non buyer: 

  • Would you like to know how to make yourself the beneficiary of your life insurance policy without dying? 
  • If you had a heart attack, stroke or cancer and couldn’t work, would you rather lose your house or your mortgage?
  • If you couldn’t work due to an illness or injury and lost your paycheque, would you like to know how to avoid a divorce?
  • Do you think that the financial liabilities you create while you are alive should last longer than you do or end when you do? 
  • Would you like to know how you can make your government pension benefits like CPP and OAS inheritable by your family rather than end when you do? 
  • If you could convert your “forever taxed money” into “never taxed” money for your family, is that something that would appeal to you? 
  • When you retire, would you rather work on the golf course or play on the golf course? 
  • Would you like to be sure you haven’t unintentionally disinherited someone you love or are leaving money to someone you don’t with your insurance policies? 
  • When was the last time anyone reviewed your life insurance policies? 

Use these questions as an interview guide. Not all questions apply to all people and not always in the same order. And, no answers at the start – just get their opinion. Can you see how the right answers to these questions will signal a good prospect? Can you see how you could easily ask these questions in 15 minutes? Prospects who show interest in your questions are more likely buyers.

Prospects who reject these ideas are likely going to reject other recommendations. Prospects who are defensive and argumentative on these topics, are not likely on your wavelength. Prospects who don’t “get it” at the beginning will be much more difficult in the end.

So, make a decision. Do you continue with them and potentially spend a great deal of time, make no progress and not help them, or do you move on to someone more likely to be helped? Maya Angelou once said, “When someone shows you what they are like, believe them the first time.” It applies here perfectly.

This is how you can see many more people in a day. Yes, you must book many appointments, but as importantly, you must quickly select the buyers from the non-buyers, so you have the time. This process allows for more appointments per day because you waste less time and makes sales easier because you are working with people who are inclined to buy. 

When someone is a buyer, moving forward is natural. When they are not, to end a meeting with a non-buyer say something like this: “Jane, it seems to me that the time is not right for us to work together right now. But times change and people change. Would you mind if I kept you on my list and reconnected with you in the future?”

So, in only 15 minutes, you are off to your next call. Of course, if your prospect wants you to stay, you are in a better position to help too. But, qualifying prospects fast this way is a most powerful sales multiplier. 

This column by renowned advisor coach Jim Ruta was first published in the January/February 2020 edition of Insurance Journal magazine.

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Jim Ruta’s mission is simple – to preserve, promote and propel the financial advisor business. A former insurance advisor and executive manager of a 250-advisor agency, Jim is a highly regarded coach, author, podcaster and keynote speaker. He has spoken 4 times at the MDRT Annual Meeting including the Main Platform. Jim Ruta is an Executive Coach and Keynote speaker specializing in life insurance advisors and leaders. He works with top advisors around the world and re-energizes audiences with his deep insight and passion. 

If you have a question for Jim, you may send an email to [email protected]