Marketing starts with segmentation and sales starts with prospecting.Sales can be seen as a 3 step process. The first step is identifying qualified prospects within the niche in which you have chosen to establish himself.The next step is “Getting in the Door”. This appears to be the biggest challenge for most sales people. At this stage you make your first contact with the prospect. Since the sales man is an unwanted intruder, the rejection rate is quite high at this stage. This undesired rejection makes a lot of sales people dislike this step.The last step and the most crucial step is “Staying in the door”. This determines the success or failure of the sales person. Successful sales people are able to stick around with their customers and get repeat business from them.
This has been discussed earlier in detail. Generate leads or database of suspects from within your segment. Create a criteria for qualifying suspects into prospects. Run your suspect list through this criteria and create a shortlisted names of prospects.
Now that you know your prospects, you have 2 means of contacting them.TelephoneWritten CommunicationYour first contact with the prospect is called a COLD Call. Remember that the purpose of a cold call is not make a sale. The only goal of this call should be to convert the prospect into a WARM call.It is advisable to first send a written communication to your contacts. This could be through EMAIL or Written letter. The agents should send a professional letter introducing themselves as NICHE Agent and explaining the special services that they offer.Later the prospect can be contacted through telephone. NEVER call the prospect and ask if he has received your email/letter. He might say NO and that could be the end of your conversation.A lot of success in cold calling depends on your OPENING STATEMENT. A thumb rule is that you should prepare and rehearse an opening statement that is no longer than 8 seconds. Start your call with an introduction of the person who picks up the phone. For example, Is it Mr Singh or can I speak to Mr Singh or Am I speaking to Mr Singh. Make it sound as conversational as possible. It should sound as some acquaintance is calling and not a telecaller.Exchange pleasantries like how are you doing? Or hope you are doing good.Follow it with a HOOK – A hook is a statement, that would startle the listener and generate his interest in the call. It can be something which attracts him with value that you can offer to him. For example, I am helping over 200 young couples in achieving financial independence or I am working top 30 industrialists of our city in financial risk planning, etc. The hook should get the person interested and the prospect should look forward to hearing more from you. Typically after the hook prospect would tell himself, this caller sounds different, let’s hear what can he do for me.Then introduce yourself and/or your company/profession. For example, My name is Rajeev Gupta & I’m a personal wealth manager.End your opening with a question. For example, will you like to discuss how you can achieve financial independence in just 3 steps or will you like to know learn more about how these industrialists use their money to become richer.Throughout these opening statements, you are looking forward to a favorable INTERRUPTION. Remember, the prospect who interrupts and asks you to repeat something or raises a counter question has been HOOKED in and has become a warm prospect.CONGRATULATIONS. You’ve successfully entered right through your prospects door.
Now the next challenge is STAYING INSIDE. This would require a series of steps.
When you explain “So What” refer to the FAB principle. i.e. agent should not explain the features of the product to customer. Rather he should tell the customer, how these features would translate into an advantage and what benefit would the advantage bring to the customer (in his specific situation). Testimonials are the favorable statements of your past customers, which you quote to your future prospect to get their trust and confidence.
Explain that objections are not bad. They are rather an opportunity the customer is offering himself, in order for you to convince him;
FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real
For example, if the client says – “Oh wow. I never thought that a simple investment of Rs 2000 per month would save Rs 20 lakh for my daughters education.” Tell him, “If you have other friends also who have kids of your age, you could help them too by the same advise. Do let me know if any of them could benefit from it.”Reward the client – You can create a reward system for your clients who give references... Formal or Informal.Example of Formal Rewards – For every 3 references that mature, we will give you a premium waiver or a complimentary domestic holiday.Example of Informal Rewards – A small gift/sovenir with a thank you letter.
Explain when and how to take testimonials.
All agents start their career selling insurance using the standard selling process. At some stage in your career you realise, that your time’s worth is more than the small policy that you sold at the last meeting. If you’re facing the same challenge, it is time you change your sales approach.Start selling to special customers. Selling to special customers, means you are taking a conscious decision by choosing to work with fewer customers. These fewer customers are likely to consume a lot of your time. But these fewer customers will give you bigger business.You know the customer is a special customer, if the emphasis on FINANCIAL GOALS makes the customer look up.Ranjan is a successful agent, who became CLIA. That day he took the decision to stop offering any discounts to his customers. It was a tough call, but he discovered the way forward. Now whenever someone asks him for a discount, he politely tells them he does not specialize in giving low cost solutions. Moreover, he offers them telephone numbers of some agents who might be able to give better prices. Every customer who hears this starts seeing Ranjan as a more respect worthy agent and responds in either of 2 ways:No discount is not my priority too, if you can give me a superior solution.Gladly accepts the alternative numbers of one of the agents from Ranjan’s team.Both ways Ranjan is able to attract, high value business directly and low value business by giving such references to his agents team.
Typically there can be 2 approaches of selling. The vendor approach or the consultants approach.The vendor would try to convince his customer to buy a particular product. Whereas the consultant will try to increase the profits of the customer a combination of his and other products.The vendor will propose a discount to beat the competition. A consultant will propose better results, higher profitability and hence increased RoI over the competitors.Vendor will insist on closing the sale as soon as possible. A consultant will allow the customer to choose when and how the sale should be closed.If you want to sell to special customers, then you need to change your approach from a vendor approach to a consultant approach. This would be possible only when you sacrifice you short term profits to create a FINANCIAL IMPACT on the customer.
The Process of Consultative SellingContact – Identify the Prospective customer and fix your first meeting as a simple discovery meeting.Qualify – From your first meeting identify the buyers buying influences (What will be his motivation to buy). On basis of this qualify the prospect.Uncover Needs – Do a detailed study of the prospect and possible solutions and then come up with a pencil solution. Share the pencil solution with the prospect and see if this is the kind of solution he is looking for.Present – Make a detailed proposal, presentation and a service level agreement (SLA) for the customer.Close – Get the customer to sign the agreement.Now treat the customer and protect his interests like a partner.
Everyone owns and uses some small appliances at home like a toaster. We use them every day, but rarely remember their brand. We all know what it looks like and how it operates, but generally can't remember who the manufacturer is... until it breaks. When it breaks, we check what brand it is. We now decide whether we want to purchase the same brand or try a different brand altogether. It takes a problem to draw our attention to the brand - and until that time, since we aren't really aware of the brand we're using, one brand is as good as another!Insurance agents are also like toasters. Policyholders don't think about them until something breaks - that is, until there's a claim. Once there's a claim, you have the ability to really shine. You're responsive and concerned. You to expedite things and look out for policyholder's interests. You end up creating more of a relationship with your clients. When there's a claim, you get the opportunity to really shine in the eyes of the policyholder. The problem arises when everything is going well!When all is well and there aren't any claims (which is most of the time), you aren't thought of. And when you aren't thought of, your clients are easily persuaded to consider using another agent or finding a better rate. The real challenge with keeping clients isn't mishandling a claim. It's being faceless. The danger lies in being a nameless toaster.
Getting In the Door
Staying In the Door
Initiate the Contact
8 Seconds Opening
(Get a favorable
Process of asking questions to uncover the prospect’s
needs to be able to present a solution that addresses
Through open ended questions, try to uncover
benefits important to your customer.
Don’t Be afraid of asking questions because probing
Building rapport with the client
Identify his stated and hidden needs
Increase customer’s comfort zone
Be on time & prepare. Have your visiting
card, sales brochures, etc ready.
Impress the customer with your good
grooming & etiquettes.
Be excited about what you’re offering.
Ask yourself, “SoWhat” before you explain
each feature of your product.
Use testimonials of your past customers
Don’t confuse him by giving too many
Objections indicate that the sale is progressing
and the customer is considering your product.
Disguised as objection, is a hint on how he will
Anticipate objections that are likely to be raised
and rehearse the answers.
I want to think over it
I will discuss with the decision maker
Not ready to buy now
You’re too expensive
Found – Unless he tried and found otherwise
Felt – Someone else also felt the same
Feel -Tell you know how they feel
Acknowledge -Their statement
Clarify - Ask what do you mean.
What price can you afford?
What would you be willing to
What did you have in mind?
How much “too expensive” is
If the price was not an issue
would you go with this?
RecognizeThe Buying Signals
▪ Starts asking questions of his concern like
rates, guarantees, delivery
▪ Tells about the problems he is facing with his present or
▪ Asks you to repeat certain parameters
• NonVerbal –Thinking or speaking fast
Don’t delay the closing for the FEAR of losing the sale
Sell onTangibles but close on Intangibles
The best way to formalize a new business relationship
is to encourage the prospect to tell you what to do
Not all sales are closed on Day 1
Make the most of every prospect. Don’t throw away a
Follow up never makes you sound Pushy, your tone of
follow up might
Don’t make too many calls within a brief period of
Make a follow up schedule and stick to it
Focus on value addition in each follow up
In your follow up get commitment to the next step
Follow up after closing the sale and delivering the
Seek references from your suspects ,
prospects & customers
The best time to seek a reference is when
you’ve don’t something special for them or
they have given you a compliment
Tell your client who could be a possible
Reward the client
Seek a testimonial only if you have done a
significant value addition to the customer.
If you see the customer praising you, your
products or your organization, instantly
request for a testimonial on a blanks sheet or
his letter head.
Add the testimonial to your prospect
letters, website, etc.
Let’s talk about your Financial Goals and
here’s how we can help you meet your
Offers a DISCOUNT
Tries to close the sale
Offers Return on
Allows the customer to
close the sale
STOP SELLING PRODUCTS AND
SERVICES AND START SELLINGTHE
FINANCIAL IMPACTTHEY CAN MAKE.
Contact Prospect First Contact
Qualify Buying Influences
Needs Survey Pencil Solution
No body knows how good or bad is an agent
unless there is a claim.
If everything is GOOD, the customer can be
persuaded to consider other agents or better
The real challenge in retaining the clients is