How are you painting a valid vision of the future for your clients? As a consultant, you know the industry trends well. You probably also know the challenge of equipping employers and educating employees with much-needed consumerism help in today’s market. However, sharing that knowledge in a way that your clients will truly understand can be tough.
I remember some of my early sales training. I was taught to “believe in your product.” We were encouraged to use our product. Test it. Get some personal testimonials. And then incorporate those stories into our presentations. My mentor told me it would “add music to your words.”
Nothing carries so much credibility as a financial planner who says, “Oh, this investment I’m telling you about…I’ve invested in this myself!” Or a contractor who says, “I put these appliances in my home.”
However, in the insurance business, we don’t always sell this way. We sell health insurance (and dental/vision/life) from various carriers – even though our personal insurance policy will only be with one of them. As a result, we aren’t as fanatical about trying every product we sell.
Non-Core Products Are Different
But some products are different. Beyond the core insurance products, there are a thousand different strategies, benefit products, and consulting approaches. In talking with brokers all over the country, it’s clear everyone has 3 to 5 solutions they’re passionate about, and a couple dozen other ideas they can address (but without as much passion or results).
Assertiveness Requires Conviction
Like so many things, the key isn’t the idea – it’s the execution. The way to sell someone on a non-core approach to benefits is to paint a valid vision of the future. This is highlighted in the book, The Challenger Sale. It argues the highest-performing salespeople are “assertive, pushing back when necessary and taking control of the sale.” That assertiveness comes from the depth of their conviction - not the height of their logic.
Questions to Ask
Self-use is one of the simplest ways to test a product. When I evaluate possible vendors to include in the freshbenies bundle, I often try the service myself. Some of the questions I ask include:
• What email(s) and printed materials did I receive? How quickly did I receive them?
• Is it clear how I’m to use the service and how it helps me?
• What online or app resources are available?
• What’s the overall user experience? Would I use it again?
• How’s the interaction when I chat or email with a contact person from this vendor?
• Compared to the cost, does this service provide more or less value?
• How would my key (or toughest) clients respond to this experience?
Of course, sometimes you’ll test a service with a less enthusiastic outcome. But for the others, you’ll have that shot of adrenaline with personal stories that naturally bring confidence to your prospects.
Results Prove It
From the early days of freshbenies, we heavily encouraged our brokers to try out the services. We knew it would make a difference in sales, but were blown away by the hard fact sales data reveals:
TEN TIMES! As a businessperson, think about this: if something increased your sales effectiveness by 10 times (and it’s legal and ethical), why wouldn’t you do it? And yet, when brokers evaluate us, some won’t even try it.
Product understanding increases. Belief increases. Awareness increases. Comfort with the process increases. And you learn how to tell the story your way. Here’s a testimonial I got last month from one of our brokers. Her sales are already great, but do you think they’ll increase after this?
Similar Results Elsewhere?
I’m not in the business of HSAs, Disability Insurance, Payroll Systems, Voluntary Critical Illness, GAP Plans, Enrollment Software, etc. But, I’m convinced their results would match ours: brokers who try their service sell it more.
What’s the takeaway? Test. Don’t be lackadaisical about the services you choose to represent. Test. Ask to see the member experience. Test. Get your own testimonials. Test. And hey, if you’re a broker who needs to try freshbenies for yourself, email email@example.com and ask for a free trial.
Now it’s your turn! What benefit products or services have you been able to sell more of because you tested them? Or, what were you going to sell – until you tested it and decided you wouldn’t sell it? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.