No matter what you say or how much you prepare, a life insurance sale can hit a snag at any point in the sales process—for virtually any reason. Here are some common sales snags along with some advice on how to overcome them:
If a client is reluctant to discuss his financial details during the beginning of the sales process, collect as much information as you can and move on to relationship building. Avoid official factfinding questionnaires when working with jittery clients. Instead, conduct a casual interview. Ask a client where they have been, where they are now and where they are going and explain your services as simply as possible.
Failing to sign
If last minute surprises or unexpected charges pop up at the close, a client may balk at signing their name on the dotted line. To avoid this, advisors must be completely up-front with the client at all times, and never overwhelm him with legalese. If a client says he has to “think about it,” ask him to list the things he is reconsidering. This way you can address each objection individually and implement a step-by-step process to solve his problems and close the sale.
Doomed by delays
Whether it’s an insurance company dragging its feet or a doctor who won’t fill out paperwork, getting a policy issued can often take longer than expected. These delays can cause a client to back out of a sale. One of the best ways to prevent this is to stay in contact with the client, let him know exactly what the problem is, what you are doing to solve it and when you expect it to be resolved. If you’re up front with the client he is less likely to walk away.
Internet price wars
The proliferation of term products available through the internet has made the advisor’s job vastly more complicated. Internet companies often list super-preferred rates that most clients can’t possibly qualify for. If a client says he can get a better rate from the internet, look at the website with him and explain what the quoted rates really mean. Once he understands the price is too good to be true, he’s likely to stick with you. And if the web company’s price is slightly better, going the extra mile will help you win in the service department.
Many clients, particularly high-net-worth clients, often have other advisors like CPAs, tax-attorneys or lawyers. These advisors will often want to review any product you sell to a client—a situation that will complicate any sale. To avoid last-minute trouble, ask clients for the contact information of any other advisors and contact those advisors to explain how you’re helping their client. This way, any questions or objections can be cleared up before you invest too much energy in a sale.
These tips were taken from the article “Snags,” by Amy S. Friedman, which originally appeared in the May 2000 issue of Advisor Today.