Super Agent

Archive for March, 2017

What Level of Risk Are Your Clients Willing to Assume?

In the 1971 song by Janis Joplin, “Me & Bobby McGee” Joplin opines, “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.” Unlike in the 70’s classic, your prospects and clients have plenty to lose.

Understanding the risk-tolerance of your prospects is a critical aspect of the assessment process, but it’s a conversation that is sometimes overlooked.

In a workshop a few years ago, a gentleman shared how he broaches this important subject with his prospects. He starts by drawing a line on a blank piece of paper. At the beginning of the line he writes down the date the business was started, for example, 1985. He then engages the prospect in the following dialogue:

“I assume, way back her in 1985, you didn’t have too much to lose. I suspect you were willing to take more risk than you are today.”

Going back to his drawing, he writes down 2016 at the other end of the line and says,

“Here we are in 2016. I suspect you’ve created a lifestyle and a certain level of wealth that you’d like to protect. Is that correct?”

By utilizing a simple illustration on a blank piece of paper, he is able to engage the business owner in a fairly intimate conversation about what’s important to him today; and focus on what it is he’s trying to protect.

Entrepreneurs, though sometimes cowboys, most often want to protect the wealth and other assets they’ve accumulated through hard work. Even though their business may be strong, and appropriate for a risk financing strategy other than guaranteed cost, doesn’t mean they’re willing to assume a greater level of risk that comes along with some alternative risk financing methods.

The strategy shared can help you engage your prospects in an important conversation that sometimes gets overlooked in the sales process and will help you present solutions that are in alignment with the level of risk your clients are willing to assume.

How are you initiating this conversation with your prospects?

Six Considerations for Disruptive Selling

We often hear about the retention rates within our industry when talking to agency owners and principals. While they fluctuate between agencies, they typically are somewhere between 87-92%, which on the surface appears pretty good. But why are retention rates so good? Is it because a majority of agencies are doing an excellent job, or is it a sign that few agents are able to disrupt the status quo?

We believe it is the latter. The fact is, most employers are at risk and don’t know it, and that’s why it is so important that producers gain the ability to disrupt the status quo.

So what makes a selling process disruptive? There are actually six important steps in the Disruptive Selling Process. As you master and leverage these steps, you will become more effective in disrupting the complacency of your prospects. One other comment: it’s important to remember that your prospects don’t want to change to you. In fact, they see you as a risk. Helping them realize that the greater risk is staying where they are is what selling is all about.

So how do you do that?

1. You must pique the curiosity of your prospect. We know that this is one of the most difficult steps in the sales process. Your prospects are overwhelmed and distracted. Which means that you must engage them with content and messaging that speaks to them. Your messaging must focus on the topics of most-importance to their survival, prosperity and ability to remain competitive in a challenging business environment. It can’t be about you, your agency or your “special programs.” They’ve heard all of that before, don’t believe, or don’t care, and they will tune you out.

2. You must cultivate awareness. You likely will have to help your prospects understand where they are, which is their current state or status quo. This is critical, because it ties in with the next step which is to,

3. Create contrast. Helping your prospects understand where they are versus where they could be. You will be better positioned to,

4. Shift their perception. In past trainings we’ve shared just how well this resonates; because we know the brain thinks in terms of contrasts. By creating awareness of a current state where they are unknowingly assuming risk, or buying insurance in a manner that is not in alignment with their goals and objectives, and juxta-positioning that with either the realization that they are actually at risk or with an approach to assessing risk and buying insurance, you are able to shift perception. In reality, shifting perceptions is just another way of diplomatically telling your prospects that they are wrong. And that can be uncomfortable.

5. Gain agreements. Agreements that the risk to remain in the status quo is too great and that there is less risk in changing to you. Producers too often skip this step and try to close the sale too soon. Think of agreements as the glue in the sales process. Without them, all your hard work may fall apart at the finish line.

6. Lastly, you must champion change. Championing change means that you will continue to lead your clients through the various stages of implementation and continually monitor and measure your progress. As their champion, you will help them realize their business goals and objectives.

Mastering and implementing the Disruptive Selling Process requires that you believe that your prospects are at greater risk when they are not privy to your leadership, and that may very well be something you have to believe yourself before you ask them to.