Closing sales isn’t just about the words or tactics you use at the end of the sale’s process.
A strong close requires a foundation built throughout your sale’s process. If you don’t set yourself up properly before decision making time, you aren’t closing anything – you’re simply selling with no direction. If you are laying the ground work properly, you will have a trajectory through your sales process that will end up with a strong close that works for you and your customer.
Let’s review some tips that can help you strengthen your closing game.
1. Listen Intently
Sounds super simple, right? While every salesman has ears, not every salesman knows how to listen. Often time they are rehearsing what they are going to say in their head and missing the cues their client is giving them.
It’s important, when you meet a client, to resist the urge to just jump right into a sale’s pitch explaining the reasons your prospect should consider a certain product. Start simple. Start with listening and connecting.
Ask all the questions you need to ask in order to get to know your client better. Ask about their family, show them you are human and they are not just another sale to you. When you get past the initial introduction and making your connection with your client, get them started with some simple questions that will allow them to explain their needs in regards to the type of insurance you are discussing. After all, that’s why you’re there – to discover their true needs and solve a problem for them. Give them time to speak and listen intently. Listen to everything they have to say, without interruption, and watch their physical cues as well.
Listening intently will answer a lot of your questions up front, as well as, inform you as to what type of objections they are stuck on – if they haven’t told you directly.
2. Remember, you’re selling a solution to a problem
Once you’ve listened intently to your potential client, you have a good idea of their needs. Or, at least, have developed a better set of questions to clarify the problem they are trying to solve.
When you have a good assessment of their needs, then you can start to fill in the pieces to the puzzle. Armed with this information, you are better informed to look at different product(s) to propose to your client. Someone focusing on the sale from the get-go, may have taken the client’s word that they are looking for a Medicare Advantage plan and never would have learned that they could also benefit from Cancer, Heart Attack and Stroke coverage.
Approaching your potential clients with a sale’s consultant strategy, you are positioned to earn their trust and better provide an offer that truly covers their unique coverage needs.
3. Use the power of stories
Storytelling is a powerful way to share any type of information. Human beings are hard wired to take in information that is framed in a story. Instead of just giving a list of benefits when discussing coverage, a story can lay out a situation that your client can identify with and better understand the benefits they can receive with certain coverage.
When you create a story around a product, your clients can imagine themselves in that scenario, experiencing the emotions that reveal a need for a specific coverage. While imagining your story, they will feel the emotion of the situation and also the relief of having coverage that could help avoid a difficult situation.
When you use a story to illustrate something, you can still go back to listing facts, figures and the practical description of a product. Those facts will only enhance their understanding of the product now that they’ve heard it framed in a story.
4. Limit your offer to a few good options
You can’t help but be amazed at the options we have all around us. Regardless of what you’re looking to purchase, it can be mind boggling trying to choose from all the different options. This can get even more overwhelming when we are shopping for something as important as insurance coverage.
We’ve all been there. Standing in a store, staring at a wall of similar products, trying to figure out the differences, comparing price, assigning value, etc. Often times, we can’t make a decision so we walk away.
Remember that, when you are presenting options to your clients. Ask the right questions to narrow down what their needs are and to find the few best options that are best for their situation. Give them a small number of choices, that are truly a good fit, and help them understand the benefits of each option in simple language. Make sure they understand the options completely before asking them to move forward. Do the work up front and let them have an easier time making a choice. You will have greater success, and happier clients if you do.
5. Highlight the value to justify the price
It’s inevitable that the process of comparing products is going to lead to talk about the price. As you know, the price of anything is directly related to the perceived value of what is being paid for.
Hopefully you have a process of helping your clients understand the clear value and benefits related to having a certain coverage. Before you get to the stage of comparing costs, all the benefits and value of the coverage need to be laid out. Your client needs to have a clear sense of the value, before they ever see a price.
It can be hard to explain the benefits in a way that fully illustrates the value that is provided. This is where story telling can work wonders. If you can trigger an emotional connection to the benefits a coverage provides, you can better impart the true value involved.
6. Ask the right questions, let them close themselves
Before you can help your client, you need to know your client. Asking the right questions to better understand their needs will help you identify the right coverage for your client, but it may also make your client aware of coverage needs they weren’t aware of.
By asking probing questions and reviewing what they mean to your client, you are walking them through the process of seeing the value of different types of coverage. A skilled agent will go through this process and gain trust from their client because they recognize the agent is trying to solve their problem. Building trust in this way will make them more comfortable when it comes to reviewing options and suggestions you provide. This will also help them uncover the value of the coverage for themselves, reducing any friction they might have.
Anytime you can lead a client to understand value, as opposed to just telling them the value, you will have a much easier time closing the sale.
7. Summarize previously agreed upon points
This is a simple and powerful technique that can be easily overlooked, or not quite used to its full effectiveness.
Throughout the process and steps we talked about in the above sections, you will have evoked an emotion and hopefully, even had a client recount a situation that is similar to the situation you told a story about. You would have also asked questions like, “Mr. Brady, you’ve mentioned your family’s increased risk for cancer and heart attack, and that you are concerned about the possible costs of something like that occurring in your life. Would you be interested in seeing how a Cancer, Stroke and Heart Attack Plan could fit into your coverage plan?”
When the client answers those type of questions, they are closing themselves. Once they’ve done that, you need only to summarize their agreement with the value you’ve already proved. The value you’ve described to your client is going to make accepting the cost of the coverage easier to swallow.
Closing a sale is one of the most important skills you can develop. Although, it needs to be thought of in context of your needs assessment. Guide your clients through the process of understanding how different forms of coverage can help them, by using stories to uncover their emotional connection to the coverage.
If you setup your conversation in the right way and ask the right questions up front, closing becomes a whole lot easier.
Good luck and happy selling.