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The 10-Minute Sale

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Can you recall something you sold in 10 minutes? Do you recall how you sold yourself to your significant other? How about how you sold yourself to get your current job? You have the ability to think on your feet and develop fantastic 10-minute speeches when necessary. Imagine what would happen if you were prepared to talk with prospective clients about how you can add value to their world. You may help them create their ideal future.

Trust is earned over time and can be lost quickly. So why should you focus on how to make a 10-minute sale? When you are prepared to communicate in short, inspiring phrases (like sound bites you hear on CNBC) then you are moving into the realm of making the 10-minute sale.

Last month, I promised to tell you how one of the experts in our industry has skillfully mastered his first 10 minutes of conversation with prospects and with clients. Van Mueller ( believes that his emotional fact finder will help you establish why a prospect may need your services.

Van says, “The way to be interesting is to be interested.” You show that you are interested by asking questions like, “Do you think you’re going to get Social Security?” Regardless of the answer, you are getting the clients involved and opening up the door to their belief system. You are hearing what they think about and what is important to them. By asking questions, you can help them become involved emotionally. Questions help your clients untangle their thoughts and discover for themselves how your products and services can help them.

Van says that people really don’t give a rip what you know. The questions that you ask show how much you know. Keep the 10-minute sale short and easy. Use a few of the following questions to help you with your next prospective clients.

10-minute sale questions:

  1. Do you think taxes are going up or down? Most people believe taxes are going up.
  2. Do you think that taxes are going a lot higher? Most people think that taxes will go up a lot higher.
  3. Do you want to pay them? Most folks don’t want to pay higher taxes.
  4. What are you going to do? Most people do not have a plan.
  5. Do you want to do it before taxes are higher or after?
  6. If taxes are higher, will benefits be lower? Most agree that benefits like Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid are all going to be lower for the next generation.
  7. Have you heard the statement “70 is the new 65?”
  8. What do you think about that statement?
  9. If taxes are going up and benefits are going down, is that going to be enough? Will your current plan be enough? You do have a plan, either by design or default. Shouldn’t it be designed to meet current tax laws?
  10. What’s the solution to fixing higher taxes and lower benefits? Printing money? Borrowing trillions of dollars more?
  11. What does printing money lead to? That’s right, inflation!
  12. How can you keep taxes as low as possible and fight inflation in the future?
  13. Would you like to explore options that may provide income for life?
  14. Would you enjoy retirement income that doesn’t retire before you expire?
  15. Can we help you design an income strategy that will last as long as you do?
  16. How would you like to keep together what you worked so hard to put together?¹

After the 10-minute sales process, the prospective client may have decided you are the one who will help him design a retirement or estate plan. (That is, from an insurance product standpoint, not as an attorney. Your client needs to hire an estate planning attorney to draft wills and trusts. You can work in harmony with the prospective client’s tax and legal counsel.).

You should ask questions that are not only factual but emotional. You may ask, “What would happen if you died too soon or got disabled along the way?”² Who will care for your family? Will their expenses go up? How about the problem with aging? Who will care for them if they are unable to feed themselves or bathe themselves? Finish your fact finding by getting all the details you need and then discover their goals and what’s really important to them. The plan you design will help your new clients achieve their goals for the reasons that are important to them.³ This all started with your 10-minute sale questions that helped you make the most favorable first impression. You are now on the road to helping others by telling the truth in a way that’s all about them.

Footnotes: ¹Ben Feldman made this quote famous. ²Gerald P.R. Sacks is the source of this question. ³This statement is from Bill Bachrach. A Doug Carter statement.