In approaching this topic I decided that the best way to illustrate a methodology for someone wishing to develop the skills needed for a successful career in insurance is to describe the ways in which I acquired the knowledge that enabled me to make my own financial independence.
It may surprise you to know that the training that prepared me best was not anything to do with insurance, selling first and foremost is a communication skill so education in terms of command of a good vocabulary and the ability to express an idea is fundamental.
Next comes the ability to present your idea to an audience whether it be one other person or a group of people. This is probably the one skill that most people find daunting. I know from my own experience, I was quite articulate but the thought of standing up in front of a group of people frightened the living daylights out of me, yet at the same time I knew this was something I had to overcome if I wanted to make a living as a salesman. The solution came to me from a book. So many answers have come to me from books that they have become my No 1 resource for information on any subject I am interested in learning about. Anyway this particular book was “How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success In Selling” by Frank Betger one of the all-time great Insurance Salesman.
In it he described the exact same fear of standing before a group to sell and the solution he found was a local Public Speaking Group where in a very short while he was able to conquer his fear.
That was good enough for me so I found such a group in town and I joined. All I had to do was to pick a subject I knew a lot about and talk about it for 2 minutes. Apart from the instructor we were all in the same boat with our fears but because the task was so small everyone managed to stumble through it. Little by little the time we were asked to speak for was increased, each little success added to the feeling that we were in control and soon I was enjoying my new found power.
And that is what it is, the ability to stand up and express yourself in an exited and animated way is a valuable power that surprisingly few people possess. If you are in the insurance business Betger’s book is required reading, It is still in print at Amazon.
Like most other salesmen I was looking for a set of words or a script that would clinch the sale under any circumstances, so I joined the local Life insurance Society branch meeting to talk to my peers about such magic words but like me they mostly had the usual array of rebuttals and closing tactics.
I did eventually find the one magic word and that word is “ATTITUDE”. This I learned from a series of Audio tapes by Earl Nightingale. He is an inspirational leader and is co-founder of the famous publishers ‘Connant Nightingale’. His works and those of some of the world’s most accomplished Sales trainers became my No 2 resource. I remember driving around every day between calls listening intently to the words of people like Brian Tracy, Jay Abraham and Stephan Covey, what a great education in success that was. As I continued reading and listening I discovered the secrets of success, like the Pareto Principle, Time Management and Henry Ford’s Principles of Mass Production all off which I applied to my work.
I had the good fortune to be introduced to a member of The Million Dollar Round Table which is an International Insurance organisation. He was leading the Life Insurance Association in the UK at the time and I was persuaded to Qualify as a member and attend their annual conference in America.
That meeting changed my life. The buzz of the 6000 attendees and the way that the greatest Insurance Salesmen of their day, stood on the platform day after day to share their stories of how they had built their success, excited and inspired me so much that I have attended that meeting every year since for the past 30 years.
Soon after that meeting I decided to Specialize in Selling Pension Schemes to Company Directors and groups of Employees. I automated the production of appointments for myself by using a part-time Phone sales person who I had trained to make appointments for me with LTD Company Directors.
I had prepared and rehearsed a presentation that would convince 90% of the audience to join my scheme on first hearing and I also set up a part-time clerical assistant to deal with the admin of the proposals.
Then I started to earn my fortune.
I subsequently went on to multiply my system across the country through branches in which I recruited appointment makers (telesales) and salespeople who I had trained to give my Presentation (my set of Magic Words). Later I was able to repeat the process with a colleague when we formed what we built into the largest network of Insurance brokers in the UK during the following eight years.
I have since given ‘word for word copy’ of the presentation that made me successful to hundreds of insurance people in our network and have been surprised by the fact that hardly anyone has taken the words and run with them.
Which brings me to this conclusion, you have to make your own set of magic words in a presentation, based on an undeniable belief in the value of your product and service and presented in an enthusiastic and dramatic way while answering all the objections you have ever met so that no obstacles are left to stop your prospect from buying.