We would all benefit from lying on a therapist's couch from time to time. Of course, most of the time, that's when we turn to good friends. Sometimes, we feel and become better simply because there is a concerned ear to let us talk ourselves through a situation.
Businesses (yours and your clients') need the same concerned ear. As we get to know insurance agencies that may become part of our network, we find ourselves as that "therapist," sitting in the chair and taking notes.
We scheduled an hour and a half to visit with a couple of agency leaders in just such a scenario, asked questions, and sought to learn more about their agency and how they operate. Of course, when we ask questions, we allow the potential new member to talk and elaborate - as long as it is productive. The "hour and a half" call lasted two and a half hours.
We didn't just discuss the easy questions (How much are you growing? How full are your pipelines?); we dove into the tough issues. We discussed why they felt that certain team members were intimidated by the leader and how that could affect the organization. We explored the combative dynamic between the leadership team and the message it sends to the rest of the agency. We discussed the company vision and how it could be more effectively communicated throughout the organization.
We facilitated a needed and long-overdue conversation among the leaders. As we were finishing the call, one of them commented in a very good-natured way, "This felt like a marriage counseling session."
Sure, we offered some advice during this call. Still, we mostly asked questions, listened very carefully, and hopefully made it clear how genuinely interested we are in them and their situation.
We love this part of what we do. We love it because we hear time and again how powerful and motivating these conversations ("counseling sessions") are for those with whom we visit. We know that even if we never do business with this agency, we deliver value to them.
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Guess what? Your clients need these conversations, too
You need to be, and CAN be, the one taking a similarly powerful conversation and genuinely interested ear to your prospects and clients. And it's more attainable than you realize.
The most powerful conversations you will have with prospects/clients aren't when you show up with answers; it's when you show up with the right questions and a genuinely concerned ear.
And let your excuses go. We all know they stink.
We hear, "My prospects don't want to talk about anything but insurance."
I call BS! You likely only give them the chance to ask about insurance. When you ask them about their bigger business issues, I promise they'll jump at the opportunity to talk.
We hear, "They won't give me that much time."
I call BS again! Every time we have this call with a prospect, we request an hour and a half. No agency has ever said, "No thanks, I don't want to talk about my business that long." And, anytime it becomes apparent we will run long, we stop and ask if they want to wrap up or continue. Never have anyone said, "No, we've talked about our business enough." Your prospects are no different.
We hear, "But I'm just an insurance agent."
I call my third and biggest BS! That is your head trash. Let it go. If you don't, you won't even be "just" an insurance agent for much longer. Start having bigger business conversations with your prospects and clients. They are craving it. They need it!
Content provided by Q4intelligence
Photo by tomwang