As the insurance industry continues to evolve, there is one quality that I believe is essential to succeed as a multi-line agent: persistence. Possessing this quality will help you increase retention and allow you to experience the level of success you truly desire.
We can all agree that persistence was easier in the early days of our careers because, back then, we really needed to make the sale. As I weighed the choices — make a sale or literally starve – the decision was a no-brainer. Yet, as we build our agencies and achieve a degree of success, the urgency wanes and it becomes harder to be persistent.
Did you know that the National Association of Sales Professionals discovered that 80 percent of sales happen on the fifth to twelfth attempt? I believe agents need to reposition themselves as trusted advisors, not product peddlers. But first, you must create the opportunity to share your expertise and begin a conversation with a prospect.
Persistence has helped me achieve success in multiple occasions. Once, I had a prospect’s x-dates in hand, and I called to set up an appointment. He told me flat out, “I’m not interested.” Every six months I called this prospect. About two years passed and I had made four or five calls. Then I just happened to hit this prospect on the right day. He agreed to set an appointment.
When we met, he told me: “The first time you called, I knew I wasn’t going to do business with you, no matter what price you offered me. The second time you called, I thought, this agent is probably really hungry. The third time you called, I said to myself, I’m going to do business with this guy someday. The fourth time you called, I made the decision to listen to what you had to offer. And the reason is, you have called me more times than my current insurance agent has called me in the last ten years.”
This scenario stands out in my mind because I learned a lot of lessons that day. I learned that price isn’t always the issue. I learned that “I’m not interested” is many times a precursor to a “yes.” And I learned that agents don’t talk with their clients often enough.
I am happy to report that my persistent efforts paid off and I was able to provide the insurance products to meet his needs. Over time, I have built a trusted advisor relationship with this client.
Persistence is one of the greatest keys to success. We need to overcome people’s automatic reaction to not trust sales people. And the only way to do it is to break down the barriers.
At Korsgaden International, we offer insurance training and tools to take your business to the next level.