InsuranceNewsNet Magazine February 2012 : 54
ADV ANCED SALES DOCTOR Q: Sometimes I get objections that are really off the wall and I often feel like telling my prospects just how stupid their question is. (But, of course, I know I can’t do that!) How should I handle a really dumb question? your company, the way you do business or the story of your life. At this point, the only thing that they’re interested in is what they will get out of this meeting. We all need to face the fact that our way of doing things may be dated and, if so, revise our thinking and approach. And with all of the changes today, we have to do it more often than ever. ASK THE rx: No matter how dumb it seems to you, it makes sense to your prospect. By affirming the legitimacy of the con-cern, you’re saying that you’re willing to look at the problem from their perspective. Remember, you’re validating your prospect here, not necessarily agreeing with their view. Think of an objection as an indication that your prospect has encountered an issue that he or she needs help with rather than an obstacle on the way to the sale. When you sense an objection is coming, move toward your prospect with an attentive expres-sion communicating that you welcome the objection. This is one way of reducing the adversarial overtones of your relationship with your prospect. And, as a rule of the thumb, if you cannot immediately think of an answer, keep affirming the objection until the answer comes to you! I heard that only 7 percent of what I say to my Q: prospects contributes to how they see me – the rest of it is determined by my body language and tone Q: rx: My GA, a very successful producer in the past, graciously shares his secrets of success, but I’m not comfortable using his language. He gets frustrated with me for balking at using a proven approach. What should I say to him? The problem is that your GA succeeded in a world that doesn’t exist anymore. You’re selling to a vastly different consumer. People speak a different language today than they did 20 to 30 years ago. Some of the scripts I heard people teach made me feel like I was in a time warp. They are stilted and sound con-trived, just like the language you hear when watching an old movie. Communication has become a more dynamic process. Your language needs to be to the point, fast-paced and totally client-centered. Your prospect does not want to spend the first hour of your meeting “building a relationship” with you, hearing about rx: of voice. Should I just focus on making faces instead of doing my usual presentation? Non-verbal communication unquestionably plays a vital role in how your prospect perceives you. But language is the primary way to convey your agenda. Your body language may reinforce your verbal message—or it may be incongruent with it, weakening your credibility. Inconsistencies and contradictions in your presentation will do the same. You can make sure what you say is free of contradic-tions, but managing your body language is more difficult because it is a spontaneous, mostly unconscious expression of your cur-rent state of mind. So, it will inevitably betray you—especially if you feel frustrated, stressed or bored—by involuntary reactions like changing the size of your pupils or tightening your lips. Rather than trying to micromanage all of these reactions, focus on controlling the attitudes and mindsets that trigger them. Pre-pare for your meeting by reminding yourself that you are about to make an important contribution to your prospect’s life and that you’re going to enjoy your time with them. After more than 30 years of coaching and studying insurance profession-als and the insurance sales process, Hungarian-born clinical psycholo-gist Dr. Csaba Sziklai (pronounced Cha-ba Sick-lie) has become known throughout the life insurance industry as “The Advocate’s Advocate.” As the author of the “Advocacy System,” Dr. Sziklai has been asked to speak at numerous insurance industry events and has conducted hundreds of sessions for many of America’s top life insurance companies. 54 InsuranceNewsNet Magazine February 2012 Need a prescription for success? Send your sales psychology questions to SalesDoctor@innfeedback.com.