Let us begin our discussion with the awareness that rejection exists in all industries and all professions. What makes rejection for salespeople so unique is that your financial security is more acutely at risk. Because of this, building your personal selling power is crucial.
Boy, did I get a good dose of rejection in 1988. Nineteen straight nos. You may ask, “Did you really stay in the insurance business after that?” As a matter of fact, I did. (Secret: if you’re reading this article and you’re in a sales slump, you can use my ideas and get through your current pain. You don’t have to stay stuck!)
The career that I have, which started back in 1987 is still a wonderful profession that offers the opportunity for much personal growth. But do you ever have some difficult days where you feel like you’ve “grown” enough for one day? If you answered yes, I’m not surprised. We face some interesting industry challenges.
To combat them, here are some essential ideas that have kept me focused on the opportunities while I was slumming it in a sales slump.
1. Keep refining your sales process.
Keep practicing until your conversation is more coherent. Does your conversation flow? When your client gives you that confused look, that’s your clue that you’ve lost them. When this happens, go back to the drawing board and figure out what you could have done differently.
2. Constantly ask yourself these key questions:
- How can I make more powerful benefit statements, using fewer words?
- Am I overselling my product offer, and underselling the benefits my product offers the client?
3. Don’t forget to keep the focus on the clients.
Remember: The selling process isn’t about you. Keep asking yourself what you can do to get more connected to the client, earlier in the conversation. One idea? Cut through the long winded pleasantries. Get settled into your purpose for the appointment in the first three minutes.
4. Seek mentors.
Find an industry leader that speaks to you and set aside a 20 minute learning appointment every day, for the rest of your life. This will help you stay motivated and focused regardless of the challenges you face each day.Think of it this way: You can either learn from other experts that have already made the mistakes, or you can waste time and money and make those same mistakes yourself.
Finally, if you’re really serious about improving, ask the client for permission to record the conversation so that you’ll be sure not to miss any important details. The No. 1 reason advisors don’t record client conversations is that they don’t ask for permission. What a lost opportunity! Remember: Your clients are rooting for you. They want to help you.
If you’re still uncomfortable asking, consider saying something like this: “I have a coach that evaluates how well I communicate, and this recording will greatly help.” (I can be that coach for you or your underperforming team members, if you ask me.)
In closing, remember that activity doesn’t guarantee results. I proved it 19 times in 1988. What I didn’t tell you is that my record for getting “yes” stands at 19 as well. I’ve “slummed” it with 19 and I’ve “scored” 19 straight times. I can’t wait until I can report a score of 20.
How about you? What is your most ardent desire? What new number will you commit to “scoring”?
For more from Marvin LeBlanc, see: