For those of you in the employee benefits side of the industry, I don't have to tell you what a crazy time of year it is. (I'm a bit surprised you have the time to read this blog.)

There is a really good chance: 

  • You are in the middle of trying to renew a significant, if not majority, portion of your book of business.
  • Nobody is being responsive like you need them to be.
  • The conversations with clients are beyond stressful.
  • There aren’t enough hours in the day.
  • Oh, and why in the world did your new client allow two other brokers to quote?!

I wouldn’t be surprised if all of this has your self-confidence at a bit of a low point. That's understandable. However, know you're not alone and that it is possible to get a bit of your swagger back.

“Dude, what do I do?!”

I recently had a benefits producer reach out to me for a bit of advice. He had lost a couple of clients during the renewal process and was quickly approaching the point of all-out panic.

I asked a few questions about the accounts he had lost, and there was no apparent reason he should have lost them. He had been timely, thorough, and gave solid advice.

To better understand what he had going on overall, I also asked a few questions about his new business production this year and the health of his current pipeline. He was candid and transparent about both.

My advice to him was very straightforward. I told him, “You need to go put three new opportunities in your pipeline.”

He was a bit incredulous; clearly, this wasn't the type of advice he was expecting. He challenged, "How in the world will that help me with the rest of my renewals?"

Fair question.

I explained, as we say often, that selling is a transfer of confidence. You are constantly working to give prospects and existing clients confidence that, by working with you, they will get better results than if they don't. But you can't give away what you don't possess.

This producer's confidence had been all but shattered. He came into renewal season with average-at-best new business production, and his pipeline made it very unlikely he would write anything new during the fourth quarter. On top of that—or likely because of that—he lost a couple of accounts he didn't expect to lose.

Invest in your confidence

While the execution may not be easy, the path leading to increased sales confidence is pretty straightforward:

  • Adding prospects builds sales momentum.
  • Positive momentum translates to confidence.
  • Confidence makes us all more effective in every conversation we have, even renewal conversations.

I know what you're thinking, my friend. You're saying to yourself, "KT has no idea of what I'm dealing with; I have ZERO time to prospect!"

KT calls BS.

I get that you are busier now than ever, but the cost to your confidence and your 2022 production is too great not to keep your pipeline healthy. I'm also not necessarily suggesting you start spending hours cold calling.

You are meeting with, and proving yourself to, a majority of your clients. Go in prepared to ask for a couple of specific introductions. These are the highest quality opportunities you can put in your pipeline.

If you keep convincing yourself you can’t make time to prospect, when will you find time to replace the clients you lose because you wouldn't?

Don’t stink up the place

Without confidence and momentum, you become desperate. Desperation stinks (literally and figuratively), and nobody wants to be around THAT – including your existing clients.

 

Photo by deagreez