Stubbornly refusing to consider employing this strategy could be costing you sales. (Photo: iStock)

Over the past 16 years, we have written more than 100 articles on being stubborn. Yet most agents, advisors and planners stubbornly refuse to believe it’s holding them back from achieving all the success they desire in this great financial services industry. 

Instead, all we hear every day is; “I need more sales leads.” “I’m just not in front of enough people.” Ninety-nine out of 100 of the 1.5 million agents, advisors and planners in the U.S. wants to believe that if they see enough people they will be a roaring success. 

However, let’s look at what’s really happening.

Is there any question that most companies and IMOs do a good job of product training? There are lots of people offering training on the tried-and-true sales ideas, such as income tax reduction, annuity split funding, wealth preservation, estate planning and pension maximization.

There are plenty of hot, new sales ideas out there guaranteed to make you a fortune, such as infinite banking, tax-free retirement, Social Security planning, etc. Plus, there are plenty of independent marketing organizations offering lead generation systems that feature dinner seminars, direct mail, free reports, newspaper ads and fax blasting.

Finally, there are the sales trainers offering courses on 101 closing techniques, overcoming objections, overcoming call reluctance and conducting successful client seminars. And yet 99 percent of agents, advisors and planners today are still struggling to make a net income of only $60,000. Only 1 percent of today’s agents, advisors and planners are consistently earning a significant six-figure income after expenses. 

While all of the above training is helpful, and/or needed, what most agents, advisors and planners really need the most isn’t being taught by the vast majority of our companies, industry schools, IMOs or sales trainers. 

What most agents aren’t being taught, is how to conduct a good, thorough fact-finding interview, which is the missing ingredient for an outstanding successful career in the financial services industry. 

We know that you have heard it time and time again from us. The question is: When are you going to really listen and take action? 

The ability to conduct a good, thorough fact-finding interview is:

  • How you become the trusted advisor that people want to see; 
  • How you truly help people; 
  • What separates the average producer who earns $30,000 to $60,000 per year, from the top producers who earns $100,000 to $1 million or more per year;
  • The difference between earning an average income of $1,000 of commissions per case, to earning $5,000 or more of commissions per case; 
  • The difference betwee needing to set 20 or more new appointments per week, to only needing five or less new appointments per week;
  • The difference between working 60 hours or more per week, and working less than 40 hours per week.

Why isn’t fact-finding being taught today? 

There are a multitude of reasons for this lack of fact-finding training in our industry. There are very few people in this industry who truly understand the value of this training. Most companies and IMOs see this type of training as too costly and time consuming. 

Most companies, agents, advisors and planners are more concerned about making a sale than really helping people. 

But, the main reason fact finding isn’t taught today is because it’s hard, if not impossible, to convince most agents, advisors and planners that they don’t know what they don’t know! What most agents, advisors and planners don’t know is people are much more skeptical today and see through the hype and old fashioned insurance marketing and sales techniques. 

They want real help. 

So, if you want to earn more than a mediocre income selling life insurance and annuities, you must help people to see you as their trusted advisor instead of just another pushy salesperson. And, how can you become their trusted advisor if you don’t ask questions and really listen to them, to truly understand their concerns, what they need and what they really want? 

“People buy based on emotions and justify their decision based on logic.”

If you want to make your career much easier, more fun and profitable, then stop being stubborn. You must learn how to conduct a good, thorough fact find. 

Good, thorough fact finding involves more than just gathering the facts about what your prospects have (or don’t have) and then making a quick recommendation and sale. You also need to ask the emotionally based who, what, where, when, how and why questions to uncover your prospect’s attitudes, opinions and unspoken feelings. You need to uncover their emotions and motivations to help them to want to set better priorities, and want to take action. 

People don’t buy based on their needs, they buy based on their wants. 

You can stubbornly ignore the problem and keep struggling along year after year like everyone else! Or, you can fix the problem right now and make your life much easier, more fun and more profitable! 

The choice is entirely yours.

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