By CARLYLE FLETCHER
Many prospective clients’ schedules are too busy for long-winded presentations. I streamlined a presentation to facilitate the sales process – from approach to close – to under 30 minutes. The approach isn’t intended to replace traditional methods, but offers a solution for advisors to capitalize on sales opportunities when time is limited.
Meet And Greet The Prospect
Establish a connection as you meet with prospects for the first time to make a powerful impression. Ask questions to start a conversation and encourage the prospect to talk about themselves. Contain this segment to a minute or two, which is just enough time to begin to foster a relationship.
Disturb The Prospect
Get the prospect’s attention and discuss inevitable hazards such as old age, disability and death. Show them the necessary steps to prepare financially. Get their agreement and permission to proceed and seek the personal and financial information that is needed to properly assess the prospect’s situation.
Analyze Financial Needs
Lengthy needs analysis can delay the sales process, as information can be difficult to obtain in a timely manner. Instead, start with minimum information necessary and obtain additional information at subsequent meetings after prospects become clients. Focus on high-level personal and financial information that leads to discovery of the need for financial planning assistance. This usually includes identification, occupation, family structure, and present insurance coverage. A simple calculation is then completed on what clients own, owe and need/want.
Present The Solution
During this stage, focus strictly on the benefits of your product recommendation and how it will address the prospect’s unique needs. If prospects have questions or require further clarification, address them before you proceed to the close. Otherwise, specific features of the policy or product can be discussed in depth during the delivery.
Close The Sale
If the prospect agreed and provided consent throughout the sales process, closing the sale is the next logical step. Implement recommendations, complete the administrative work associated with the recommendation and address any objections as they arise.
It’s key to hold the prospect’s attention from the beginning through the end of the sales process – especially when the process is shortened. Establish specific needs, offer clear solutions to the problems uncovered and motivate prospects to take immediate action.
Carlyle Fletcher, CLU, is a 16-year MDRT member who joined the insurance industry in 1981 after a career in accounting and auditing. He has been inducted into his company’s convention hall of fame and the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (TTAIFA) South Chapter’s hall of fame. He was the 2010 winner of the Caribbean Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (CARAIFA) speakers’ forum and has spoken to standing ovations at CARAIFA’s Barbados, Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago sales congresses. Fletcher is a Toastmaster and has earned the Competent Communicator and Competent Leader designations.