This is the greatest time ever to be an insurance and financial professional, because we are the only professionals who can solicit business. Accountants, attorneys, bankers and trust officers have to wait for people to request their advice. We do not. Wherever we are, whoever we are with, we have unlimited opportunities because we can ask questions.
When we ask relevant questions and truly listen, people will share the information we need to help them achieve financial security. Asking questions seems easy. Why don’t we, as an industry, do it more often? Why don’t we ask more questions? There are several answers.
First, our industry has become driven more by compliance than by salesmanship. However, our industry would actually be more compliant if we had better salespeople. Learning to ask questions, recording the answers and assisting in prioritizing solutions would benefit the American public greatly.
Why the resistance?
Another reason for resistance? It takes too long to ask all those questions. Agents focus on short-term sales rather than long-term relationships. They think that time is better spent looking for a new prospect than building a client. However, questions build relationships. And building a client relationship could lead to additional referrals.
Finally, the main reason is this: Agents don’t take the time to sit down and formulate relevant questions to ask. An organized presentation can actually be a time-saver.
Asking pertinent open-ended questions will generate the information needed to provide helpful service.
Questions can be broken into two types: general questions and current questions. A great example of a general question is, “What do you want to happen when you die? Now, I don’t want to know what you think will happen, and not what somebody told you would happen. I want to know what you want to have happen.” We record the answers and see if there are steps they can take to make it a reality.
Here are some additional questions:
- What do you want to happen when you become disabled and you go into a nursing home?
- What do you want to happen when you have a critical illness like a heart attack, stroke or cancer?
- Finally, what do you want to happen when you retire?
If people will answer these questions, they will probably do business with you. You have the products that can be their solutions. If you want to improve your career, ask great questions, listen care-fully and record the answers. You will have immediate success.