Today can be the first day of a great year.
Whether you sell life insurance, annuities, dental insurance, or just an occasional travel medical policy, here are five ideas about how to make that happen.
1. Try something new.
In their “Habits Across the Lifespan” study, Duke University researchers found that nearly half of human behaviors are habit-based, regardless of age. For example, we not only have favorite restaurants, but we tend to choose the same menu items over-and-over again.
It’s the same in business. After receiving a promotion, her boss asked her to serve on the selection team for her replacement, but cautioned her not to look for someone just like her.
If half of our thought processes are habitual, it takes conscious effort to try new things, whether it’s a different color of clothing, how we feel about owning a self-driving vehicle, or selecting someone to succeed us at work.
As it turns out, your smartphone can have a similar problem. When it doesn’t operate properly, it may need to change its “thinking.” Pressing the reset button gets it back to the way it was when new. We all accumulate habits that interfere with our performance. When that happens, it’s time for a “mental reset.”
2. Take advantage of ‘fresh starts’ in making sales.
Birthdays, anniversaries, a new baby, graduations, and starting a new job are well-known “buying occasions.” But current research points to many more times when we’re inclined to “turn the page” and make new commitments.
In one study, researchers found that college students were more likely to visit the fitness center at the start of a new week, a new semester, or just after a birthday. These are called “Fresh Start events.” Receiving a bonus, getting a promotion, coming back from vacation, attending a workshop, among others, can make us more open to going in a new direction.
Armed with this insight, marketers and salespeople can take advantage of “Fresh Starts.” A life insurance agent finds that a prospect has an upcoming birthday and suggests that it this might be a good time to meet.
In other words, it’s not when you and I want to make the sale, it’s when the customer is ready. Figuring that out is the job.
3. Communicate your purpose clearly.
Sears, Roebuck & Co. kicked off a retail revolution 125 years ago with the clear purpose of bringing thousands of products and services to rural America with its huge iconic catalog. Today, Walmart and Amazon and some others continue that tradition.
But it’s the absence of a vibrant message that’s missing with too many companies. It seems the only reason they’re in business is to sell something. It’s as if just meeting with a salesperson or seeing a pop up ad is a sufficient reason to buy. It isn’t.