As a consultative salesperson or an advisor, you should never sell products. You should always sell the problem your product solves. You are most valuable when others see you as a problem solver.
Too much of the industry is trapped in the old model of showing up at renewal, looking for a chance to quote, and trying to impress buyers with a capabilities presentation. The buyers listen to many brokers telling similar stories and touting similar free resources they give away.
The problem with that approach is that selling is an emotional game. You need to connect with your buyers emotionally first and then lead them to the products and services to address their problems and frustrations.
Your buyers will never get emotional about a product you offer, but they will almost always get emotional about the problems you can help solve with those products. Let’s look at how we can tap into those emotions.
Have-to buy vs. want-to buy
Most businesses HAVE to buy insurance. It’s often required by law or as a cost of doing business. Doing things you HAVE to do can generate frustration or resentment, especially when the cost of the HAVE-TO is so high.
Because you sell a HAVE-TO product - insurance - you’re in danger of immediately coming into a new relationship with a sense of frustration from your buyers. Not the best way to get things started.
When you focus on this HAVE-TO buy insurance product, you position yourself with the buyer as an insurance salesperson, and that is all they will expect or likely accept from you.
Instead, if you focus on the WANT-TO buy that your prospect is more interested in, you set yourself up differently in their eyes. You start to separate yourself from other insurance salespeople.
But when you focus on the WANT-TO buy of insurance + everything surrounding it, such as Compliance, HR, and technology, you will be positioning yourself as that problem-solver – an advisor. And when you introduce the idea of both insurance AND non-insurance solutions, the buyer will not be surprised and will be receptive to what you offer.
Insurance is a critically important solution you bring to clients, but it’s ONE solution. The opportunity to bring additional non-insurance solutions is almost limitless, thus making your value to the employer much greater.
How to sell non-insurance solutions
You may be wondering how you would sell non-insurance solutions. The quick answer is, “Just like you sell insurance solutions.”
When you meet with a buyer in a traditional insurance sales situation, you do three things, probably unintentionally:
- Evaluate the insurance need.
- Find the insurance solution from the carrier.
- Implement the insurance solution with the client.
For non-insurance solutions, we follow the same pattern:
- Evaluate the non-insurance need.
- Find the non-insurance solution to address it from in-house or third-party resources.
- Implement the non-insurance solution with the client.
Same process; different resources.
How to use solutions
Solutions are a key part of consultative selling and our MORE System.
When you first meet a prospect, introduce the idea that you bring insurance and non-insurance solutions to your engagements.
As you learn more about their business and evaluate their situation, you should question the client about their current resources and process to learn what they currently have and what they may need from your selection of solutions.
As you present your plan, you should introduce solutions to the buyer to help them address all the needs you have uncovered.
Learn your solutions
Solutions are an ingrained part of consultative selling. You likely know your insurance solutions exceptionally well and can easily carry a technically detailed discussion about the intricacies of the policies and differences between carriers.
The key to using non-insurance solutions successfully is to know them as well as you do your insurance solutions. The better you know them, the more confidence you have when talking about them, and the easier the sales process is.
Know your solutions and ensure the prospect sees the value in them. For each solution, you need to know:
- What the solution is
- The problem it fixes
- The challenges it addresses
- How to identify the need for the solution
- Your plans for implementation
- The intended results the solution will produce
How to organize solutions
Start by identifying all the services you and your team offer clients. And be generous with your review of what you have, giving yourself credit for the consulting you do, the introductions you make to trusted partners, and the extra services you pay for on behalf of your clients. Put them all on the list.
After identifying all the services you offer, group them into categories or packages. Create a single solution that may contain a few different items. For example, a communications package or solution may include:
- The consulting, timeline management, and implementation your team does to ensure year-round communications
- Materials from carriers or other third-party subscription services
- A technology-based-delivery system to ensure the communications reach the employees effectively
Instead of selling each item individually, position this as your Communications Solution where the buyer gets the whole set of items together and doesn’t have to pick and choose. And you get the credit for all the work your team does to implement the solution.
Choose a name for your packaged solution, and then take time to document and study it. You want to know each of your solutions inside and out and become very comfortable discussing them with prospects and clients. Think about how comfortable you are with your insurance solutions - strive to achieve the same level of comfort with your non-insurance solutions.
For documentation and studying the solution, write out answers to each of the bullet points above on what you need to know about each solution. This will help you answer the questions and gather the information you and others on your team need to clearly articulate what is included in each solution, what it’s intended to accomplish, how to know when someone needs it, and how to properly describe it.
When you can effectively sell non-insurance solutions as well as you do your insurance solutions, you are well on your way to separating yourself from traditional brokers and will make yourself a much more valuable problem-solving resource to your clients.
Photo by garloon