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So Difficult About Selling Life Insurance?
Article # 2
By John Lensi, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CMFC, LLIF
Vice President, Sales, Impact Technologies Group.
How much thought would you have given to learning about marketing and selling life insurance? Let’s face it; we’re not talking about a product with a lot of sex appeal.
Looking at the role the life
insurance and financial services industry
has taken towards developing a sustained awareness and appreciation
general public for life insurance is somewhat dumbfounding to me. For
they who stand to gain the most (exclusive of a beneficiary) from a
understanding and appreciation by the public of owning sufficient life
Most life insurance companies spend a considerable about of money on the goal of creating individual carrier brand name recognition and comparatively little towards creating a positive culture towards the value of their product.
Something is fundamentally wrong in our society when the beer industry devotes more resources creating an “appreciation and awareness” for an alcoholic drink, than the life insurance industry does for its more socially benefiting product.
Given all of this, and knowing a quick solution is not eminent by either our
education system or by the insurance industry, let’s continue to address the reality of marketing and selling life insurance in today’s marketplace.
years ago I made a close examination of the competencies needed to be
successful in marketing and selling life insurance. My research
involved speaking to hundreds of successful producers as well as my own
experience successfully selling life insurance.
Although there are numerous subsets for each of these, I was able to identify eight core skill-sets a producer must master to be a high-level producer in the life insurance business. Pictured below is a weighted pie chart I titled “Wheel of Success” illustrating these eight core competencies.
examination of the chart, it’s easy to see two skill sets
encompass roughly 50% of a producer’s success in this business – having quality
prospects and being able to
schedule favorable appointments. Perhaps a bit
overstated, but pretty much everything else takes care of itself if
these two skills are mastered.
If mastered, then marketing and selling life insurance takes on a new life.
Given the critical nature of these two competencies, most of my remaining
commentary is devoted to these two areas.
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The key word here is “qualified”. Sales
are a dime a dozen in the
Qualified sales leads are not, and this is what makes all the difference in the world when it comes to sales efficiency and ultimately a high level of sales success.
What is a qualified sales lead in the life insurance business?
A qualified sales lead in the life insurance business has four characteristics that must be satisfied to be truly a qualified sales lead:
If one were to go through any producer’s prospect inventory and apply this litmus test to each “prospect”, all four characteristics must exist to truly have a qualified sales lead. If a “name” in a prospect inventory passes any less than all four measurements, it simply is not a qualified sales lead.
the answer is often no.
More sadly, most producers think all their
leads are “qualified”. You may ask how can this be when sales leads are
a salespersons lifeblood. What you’ll generally find upon a close
examination of an ineffective producers inventory is most of their
sales leads pass the first three criteria and fail on the fourth
criteria – the ability to see the prospect on a favorable basis.
This is a critical point I want to drive home; for this is a key reason why producer failure in this business often results.
Few struggling producers come to realize the real cause of why their sales are down. Quite often this is a result of poor prospecting habits and the failure to understand basic prospecting fundamentals for this business. It is easy to know when sales are down, yet when trying to figure the reasons why this is so, often a misdiagnosis occurs.
Please take some time to reflect on this above chart. In article number 3 on marketing and selling life insurance, John will be discussing the Why's and Why not's as to how a misdiagnosis occurs as related to your sales.
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