Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a ten-part series identifying the best sales techniques for 2016. To view the rest of the series, click here.
60. Perfect your closing
A lot of incredible closing techniques have been used by salespeople over the years, such as “rolling the pen” on the table toward the client or drawing up a list of pros and cons using the “Benjamin Franklin” close. Avoid these clever techniques at all costs. Try the one-line closing technique recommended by sales consultant Stephan Schiffman, “Makes sense to me — What do you think?” Then wait for a response. If the prospect has additional questions, this is when they will come out. If the prospect asks for time to think about it, be direct about your concerns without bullying. If a second appointment is really needed, book it before leaving.
— David Weedmark, business writer and editor
What Your Peers Are Reading
59. Pay cash for customer introductions.
“If you’re ready to try a new way to reach prospects, test this approach: Visit any coffee shop where the patrons of a nearby business are prospective clients. Then approach and offer the manager $200. Have the coffee shop manager agree that you’ll pay $200 worth of coffee for the next 35-40 people that walk in. The only stipulation is that the manager allows you to: (1) say hello to the patrons; (2) tell them that the coffee is on you today; and (3) share your business card with them after they give you permission to hand them the card.
Consider: If you casually shook hands with 35-40 people in this laid-back environment, how many of these people will eventually become your client? One person? Two people? Perhaps more? I’d be willing to bet that just one new customer is worth more than $200.
Over the course of your career you probably have spent thousands of dollars on advertising and marketing. Most of it probably did not work. This does work — try it now!”
— Marvin LeBlanc LUTCF, CNP is an entrepreneur, writer and motivational speaker
58. Make some mistakes.
“Getting started is more important than creativity. It isn’t that your clients can’t see the solution. They can’t see the problem!”
— Sidney Friedman, chairman of Corporate Financial Services, in the March 7, 1994, issue of National Underwriter Life & Health
57. “Niche down” in your content marketing.
“In your content marketing efforts, target individuals with specific problems, and build your site content around how you can help those individuals. In doing so, you’ll achieve two goals: First, you’ll have less competition. You’ll be perceived as a specialist in this niche, and your desired clients will prefer to do business with you over non-specialists. Second, more of your site visitors will convert into leads. The visitor who finds your site after searching Google for ‘life insurance for diabetics’ or ‘can I get life insurance if I’ve had a recent DUI?’ is going to be far more likely to request a quote than someone searching general terms like ‘how does life insurance work?’ or ‘what is term life insurance?’ because they’re farther along in their life insurance search.
The more you niche down in your content marketing efforts, the more you will be perceived as an expert in your particular area of specialty, and your site conversions and sales will go through the roof.”
— Chris Huntley, Director of Marketing at JRC Insurance Group
56. Know what your clients want.
“You define yourself by either what your clients want or what you believe they’ll need for the future. So: Define yourself by your client, not your competitor.
Clients say, ‘What’s your strategy,’ and I say, ‘Ask me what I believe first.’ That’s a far more enduring answer.”
— Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO of IBM