We all know that salesmanship is a competitive sport, and closing a deal can often make you feel like an Olympic gold medalist. So, with a nod to the Winter Olympics, let’s discuss disability insurance selling in sports terms.
The Winter Olympics is packed with events for all aptitudes – from hockey and figure skating to ski jumping and curling. And, after watching a few of these events – it’s seems clear that deploying a consultative sales approach is not unlike the sport of curling.
Curling is gaining a higher profile during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, but the sport is still misunderstood. Part of that is due, quite frankly, how strange it looks to watch people using brooms to shepherd a rock toward a target. And yet, curling and consultative sales both require concentration and collaboration. Plus, curlers have the ability to knock other curling teams’ rocks out of the way – just as you might wedge out a competing insurance agent.
Curling players use brooms to slide a heavy (about 42 pounds), polished stone (“the rock”) down a sheet of ice, which is appropriately called “the sheet.” The goal is to reach the “house,” which looks like a dartboard, and hit the “button,” which is the bullseye. The team with the most rocks closest to the buttons wins.
When you call a prospect, think of your conversation as a blank and slippery “sheet,” the “rock” represents the impending sale and the “button” represents the close. The conversation needs to be fact-finding and relationship-building. By asking effective, relevant questions, you can position the “rock” in the most effective way possible. Don’t focus on getting to “button” too quickly or you could miss some crucial buying cues and opportunities.
After you’ve put your prospects at ease, and you’ve helped them understand their need for paycheck protection, it’s time to sweep the sale toward the close. While every sale is different, this process generally isn’t like hockey where you can shoot hard and score. It’s nothing like ski jumping where you get into position and fly. And it certainly is NOT like figure skating where the routine is completely choreographed. No – sweeping the sale toward the close is most like curling. It requires continual work, a lot of follow up and you can’t ever take your eye off the “rock” because you never know when it will slip sideways!
The next time you begin the disability insurance sales process, take inspiration from curling. Use purposeful conversation to uncover your prospects’ interests, fears, motivators and buying styles. Position the rock carefully, and be prepared to sweep like crazy to reach the button! Use our four stories flier for emotional decision makers and our stat pack for analytical decision makers. And, if you’ve ever doubted the importance of follow up, download this fact sheet. You’ll be amazed to see the average number of contacts if requires to close a sale!