I would like to examine the expanding market with small business owners and how the skills developed in selling life insurance can be used in the area of employee benefits.
I want to leave you with transferable sales ideas and outline how to develop a consistent flow of level monthly commission, provide a flow of prospects for new business, and an effective way to build trust and rapport with self-made millionaires.
Everywhere we turn today it seems the topic is millionaires. Through the work of Thomas Stanley in two of his books, “The Millionaire Next Door” and “The Millionaire Mind” we learned that most people who accumulate wealth, do it through ownership of small businesses.
Uncovering and identifying our prospect’s needs and objectives is the most important part in the process of the sale of life insurance. I believe that most small business owners appreciate the idea of shifting risks to insurance companies to protect what they have accumulated. If we position ourselves in the marketplace as what we really areself-employed or the owner of a small businesswe will have much more credibility when call on our prospects.
By sharing what we have done to attract quality employees and to minimize the risk in our own businesses, we can demonstrate our role as an experienced advisor.
There are 3 stages of any sales presentation. The first is Needs/Objectives, the second is Features/Benefits, and the third is Cost/Price. If we spend one-third of our time with our prospects in each stage we are making a big mistake. We need to focus and spend most of our time on the first stage of needs and objectives.
Until the prospect clearly understands his situation and recognizes his particular needs, there is little likelihood they will be impressed by the features and benefits of any product.
Secondly, insurance companies have many times trained agents to focus on the features and benefits of a product and while it is important, it seldom motivates prospects to make a purchase.
The third stage, cost and price, speaks volumes to our client, but the less time spent in this area, the more effective we become. Most objections have a foundation in price if we are talking to the right people.
We need to spend the large majority of our time in the first stage because needs and objectives can outweigh the price in a prospect’s mind if they are properly communicated. The price usually outweighs the features and benefits unless clients recognize they have a problem in their current situation.
When you think about it, most of the sales people who call on small business owners, are promoting tangible products and tend to move quickly into the features/benefits of their product. We have all heard that people make the buying decisions based on emotion and rationalize to justify why they made that choice.
One of the primary things we must do in the process of selling life insurance is getting our prospects to focus on their long-term objectives. If we help our prospects to realize what their needs are and what they are trying to accomplish, we provide an invaluable service.
When we approach the small business owner as an equal and discuss his needs/objectives, we separate ourselves from most of the competition. We must understand the problems of our prospects. We have all heard that it takes guts to sell life insurance, because we have to discuss the problems that a family has when the breadwinner dies. Play to your strength and the experience you have discussing the hopes and dreams of your prospects and clients.
When discussing the solutions to their problems, you must present all of the ways to solve them and insurance is only one way. By intelligently discussing all of the available means to address their problem and presenting insurance as one of the several options you maintain your position as a first class advisor such as their attorney or accountant.
Insurance should be presented as a generic solution. Your prospects expect you to know the insurance solution, so you gain credibility by discussing the non-insurance solutions and then contrasting and balancing the way to solve it with insurance.
If you move too quickly to the features/benefits, you are delegated to the role of a spreadsheeter or price shopper. The cost/price will outweigh the feature/benefits in the clients mind. If the needs/objectives are clearly established and the problems understood, they will outweigh the cost/price.
Small business is the growth engine of the U.S. economy. Most of the new jobs are created by small business. The owners, most of the time, do business with other small businesses. If you can demonstrate your ability as a problem solver, getting referrals to the suppliers and customers of the small business owner becomes much easier. The number one problem of small businesses is attracting and retaining quality people. The tight labor market and an expanding economy has made it increasingly difficult to fill the positions that are open in companies. Employee turnover is very costly.
If we understand that a properly designed and communicated employee benefit program can help solve or minimize these problems and make that the central theme in our presentation, we will be much more effective when working in the small business market.