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Employing Effective Sales Techniques

When selling anything, there are 5 basic stages of action that a salesperson must induce from a potential customer to make that sale. After you?ve obtained your lead, be sure to follow these guidelines. They are:

* Attention: You must get the potential customer focused on your product through prospecting or advertising.

* Interest: Now you must keep their attention and develop their need to know more; this is often done through an emotional appeal that is backed-up by a logical connection. (If you?re selling life insurance the question, ?Will your family be financially secure if you pass on?? is logical, but it also plays upon the emotion of a husband or wife dying and leaving their spouse and kids forlorn.)

* Desire: The lead must want what you?re selling and not what someone else is selling. Build their desire for your product by revealing its value and your company?s commitment.

* Conviction: Use statistics and facts to make your case. If selling life insurance, point out the fiscal deficit the family will face due to an untimely death and how a policy will fill the gap. Use national figures regarding mortality, insurance rates and payoffs and anything else that might convince that person to purchase your product.

* Action: Now it?s time to close the deal. You need a verbal call to action. If the lead has concerns, address them.

There are numerous techniques you can employ to close the deal. Some are straightforward and others are less direct. Here are a few.

* Direct Close: You ask if the lead is ready to order. It?s that simple.

* Product Value Close: This technique gives the lead the feeling that they are getting great value for their money.

* Time Close: Basically, if they don?t act fast the lead will lose a fantastic opportunity because rates or prices could go up.

* Trial Offer Close: This one works if you?re able to let someone sample the product. Not really a great one for insurance. Although, it?s connected to the shortened term close below.

* Shortened Term Close: Perhaps the lead is willing to purchase a year of term insurance rather than 5 years.

* Discount Close: Is it cheaper to buy a longer period of coverage? Close the deal by emphasizing that fact.

* Reduced Benefit Close: If money is an issue, they can purchase less insurance for less money but still retain some security.

There are many techniques that you can employ to initiate these various actions that will ultimately make the sale. Here are some procedures and methods that will prove useful in converting that lead to a sale.

Listen to Your Lead: They will often point you in the direction they want you to take them. Is there an emotional connection to your product? Do they talk about their kids or their job a lot? Are they less emotional and more logical concerning life and their needs? What are your prospect?s priorities? If you can connect by listening, you could have a long-term customer.

Employ Language that Makes the Lead the Focus: Yes, life insurance is important, but it only becomes important to your lead if they think it is. Use pronouns such as ?You? and ?Your? and stay away from ?I? and ?me.? Make the lead the center of the universe and connect him or her to your product to make a sale.

What?s the Bottom Line? Make the bottom line clear to the lead. Spell it out very specifically using facts and figures to which they can connect. How do they stand to benefit financially? You may also employ an emotional bottom line, which focuses on the peace of mind insurance can induce.

What?s it to Them? What benefits will the lead realize if they purchase the product from you? Focus on the positive and how they will be better off if they decide to buy from you. Don?t dwell on the product itself, but instead, its potential to better that person?s life and your commitment to ensuring that they do benefit.

Get to Know Your Customer: Try to find out as much as you can about them. This will help you to understand their needs and desires, which you are trying to utilize to create a sale. What are their priorities? Do they want to make a lot of money, have a secure family life or retire at 40?

Never Rush a Sale: Don?t push your lead into a sale. In the end, you want them to feel positive about their investment. If they need time to think it over or discuss it with their spouse, respect that request. That respect for their process can mean dividends in the end for you.

Offer Explanations and not Excuses: If something goes wrong or you make a mistake, you need to be upfront. Making excuses doesn?t usually fly, and it can jeopardize any sort of relationship you?ve created thus far.

Be a Resource for Your Client: Knowing your product and the market and being a resource for your client can help cement a long-term relationship between the two of you. That translates into repeat business, good word of mouth and trust that you can?t garner in any other way.

See Them in a Positive Light: Make sure your potential client can tell that you have a positive image of them. It can come from complimenting them on something that they take pride in or noting that they are wise in thinking about life insurance (or another product) at this time in their life.

Nurture Their Success: One you?ve built a relationship with a client, be sure to acknowledge their success and be part of the positive image they have of themselves.

Be True to Your Word: Your word, although usually not legally binding, can make or break you in any business. If you promise to do something – do it. Not following through for one person usually translates to around 15 to 25 people hearing about it.

If you manage to do all of the above, you may be able to parlay the trust you?ve developed, your reputation as a resource and the positive image you?ve helped reinforce in your client into sales. This is called relationship selling, where future business transactions are based on the relationship you?ve cultivated with a specific client.

Relationship selling allows you to utilize the clients you already have, expanding your sales without having to find new leads and develop new relationships. You will certainly still work at finding new customers, but the fact is it takes a lot less time, effort and money to sell a new product to an old client than an old product to a new client.

Thus, in order to be successful, you must not think in terms of making one sale to one person. Rather, you need to consider the long run and developing a solid relationship with your customers. In this scenario, the person who you sold that term life insurance policy to last year may decide they want to buy a permanent life policy next or purchase insurance for that new business they?re starting. If you?ve created a good relationship with them, they will come to you.

Fifty years ago an insurance salesman visited the home, sat down with mom and dad and had a cup of coffee as he talked about his products. It was very cozy and homey – there was a direct connection.

That?s not done anymore. Still, you want to create that type of relationship – that personal, one-on-one connection. It?s still possible today, but it?s not as easy as it used to be. Using some of the techniques described above will help. Personalized e-mail can help in this area and as online chat sales develop, that has the chance to revolutionize how we do business.

However you connect with a client, you must realize that the operative word is ?connect.? Creating that personal connection will allow you to make a lead realize the benefits of your product. That can be the start of a beautiful relationship.