Here is a quick look at selling processes used by six top producers who have graced the pages of Life Insurance Selling. Click on the link to read their entire Producer Profile feature.
Andrew Rosenbaum, CLU, joined Strategies for Wealth, a New York City-based General Agency for Guardian Life, in 1976 and has been there ever since. He meets almost exclusively with referred prospects, typically seeing 10 to 12 clients and prospects per week. Here’s how he describes his selling process:
“Our meeting is typically 45 minutes to an hour. We talk about philosophy, what the person likes about his existing situation, what he doesn’t like, and what pitfalls he sees. I give people an opportunity to talk and then see if there is a match philosophically. If someone says they get an 8% return on their investments and want to get it up to 9%, that’s not a match. But if someone says, ‘I’m doing well, but I don’t have a game plan or road map to get from where I am now to where I’d like to be when I retire,’ that’s something I can work with. I talk to them about what can get in the way and how we can get them there. If they want to move forward, I give them a financial questionnaire, I ask for their documents, existing insurance policies, wills, casualty insurance, homeowners, auto — I don’t do it myself, but work with others in my firm to review these policies as well as trust documents and account statements. I ask them to complete a cash flow worksheet so I can understand their expenses. I’ll offer to set up their own Living Balance Sheet, which is a proprietary Internet-based Guardian planning system. My second meeting with the client is a fact-finding session, and in the third meeting, I present specific recommendations.”
Read Life Insurance Selling’s Producer Profile of Andrew Rosenbaum from the December 2009 issue.
The 4-Stage Sales Process
Insurance-based financial planner Michael Weisman, CFP, of St. Louis, subject of the April 2009 Producer Profile in Life Insurance Selling, has a client mix heavily laced with small-business owners, professionals, executives and a sizable block of senior clients. If he’s just been introduced to someone and wants to arrange for a first meeting, he offers to limit it to 15 minutes. Every client he engages goes through a four-stage sales process:
The first stage is “meet and greet.” It’s all about establishing rapport, a friendly connection, a comfort level. The sole objective of stage one is to move on to stage two, which Weisman labels “discovery and diagnosis.” He asks the client to empty the drawers at home of all financial paperwork — “Bring it in so that we can get it organized and see what’s missing,” he says.
“In stage three, after I’ve looked at everything, I bring back answers. I give the client ideas and recommendations. At that point, I tell my clients, ‘We’ve exchanged no promises, there are no contracts to sign and you owe me nothing.’ There is zero cost to that point, other than some time and effort, and if they walk away, at least they walk away organized.
“But I also ask them that if my recommendations are meeting their needs, I’d like to go to stage four — implementation. I’d like them to buy.” Nearly every client who gets to stage two follows through to stage four and some kind of sale.
Read Life Insurance Selling’s Producer Profile of Michael Weisman, CFP, from the April 2009 issue.
The Two-Appointment Sale
Perennial MDRT Top of the Table qualifier Jason J. Dudum, LUTCF, CEO of Dudum Financial and Insurance Services Inc. in San Francisco, specializes in advanced estate planning and asset management. Here’s how he describes the selling process he and his brother Keith employ in their practice:
“We use the two-appointment sale. We never meet with a prospect already having a sale in mind; we meet with a notepad and a pen to simply gather information. The goal of this meeting is to ask a lot of questions and start developing the client relationship. We then will set up a follow-up meeting where we present ideas on how to help the client reach his or her goals. At this point, we have provided enough information and have addressed the major concerns; a sale should naturally follow.”
Read Life Insurance Selling’s Producer Profile of Jason and Keith Dudum from the September 2009 issue.