Over the years, a lot has been written about the best techniques available for selling financial products. The obvious fact remains: You are paid to produce sales. Yet most producers make the same mistakes over and over again. Each one you recognize as your own has conservatively cost you $50,000 in commissions over the last 12 months.
1) Spend more time talking than your prospect.
Xerox research has shown that when three or more needs were discovered during an interview, a sale occurred. Unless the prospect has a chance to share his problems during the interview, a sale is like an immaculate conception.
Listening well is the most critical aspect of the interview and probe process. Yet, the American style of gaining business seemingly rewards those who can “talk” someone into buying. And that means that the sales producer is glib. The less you listen, the less trust you will gain. Most research has shown that few of your prospects really understand what they are buying. They buy your trust first and then accept your recommendations.
A great rule of thumb is to listen at least 80 percent of the time, especially in the first hour of the interview. Also remember to talk for no more than 30 seconds at a time. Your prospect won’t listen past that anyway. TV commercials are only 30 seconds long. The average camera shot is only 3.5 seconds. Our attention span is shorter than you think.