How many times have you, as an insurance broker, left a presentation, gotten back to the office, and reported, “I killed it! It was a great meeting; they asked the right questions. I really think we’ll get this one!”?  And then,  . . . nothing . . . but . . . crickets.

I’m guessing that has happened way more times than you care to remember, right? You know what the problem was? Most likely, all you did with your sales presentation was validate what they expected and you will rarely win business by simply meeting expectations. Let me explain.

When most salespeople are invited in for a presentation, they assume they are being invited in to tell their story. So they show up ready to talk about three things: price, product, and service. You do know the old saying about what happens when you assume anything don’t you? Yeah, that’s kind of what ends up happening.

Price – You probably show up and talk about the great relationships you have with the carriers, your strong negotiation skills, and how effective you are at getting the best price for your clients. There’s even a good chance you offer to do some free work; you offer to go get quotes just to prove yourself. Right?

Product – I’m guessing you also drag along your “oh so impressive” capabilities binder and spend a great amount of time talking about all of the resources you have to help your clients. I mean, who wouldn’t be impressed with your collection of “we have it too” resources?!

Service – This is probably your final pitch of the sales presentation; you build up your team; you talk about how much your clients love you; you promise that, if hired, this prospect will come to see you as an extension of their HR department. Sound familiar?

These seem like reasonable areas on which to focus don’t they? Well, it is the emphasis on these three areas that are actually leading you to the cricket concert mentioned above.

Here’s the harsh reality. If this is your basic sales pitch, you’re wasting everyone’s time.

Everyone is busy today, including your prospects; time is perhaps our most valuable resource. I promise you, your prospects are very careful about how they allocate their time and do not agree to a meeting with you unless they feel it has the potential to be valuable.

Let me cut to the chase. Your prospect would never agree to meet with you if they didn’t assume you:

  1. had access to the right products/capabilities,
  2. would offer those products/capabilities at a reasonable price,
  3. and, would provide great service if they become a client.

But, guess who else they assume can also meet these expectations? Any of your competitors with whom they also agree to meet.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not implying these things aren’t important, they are critically important. However, you will never differentiate yourself from your competition, by simply validating what the prospect has already assumed on your behalf.

What your sales presentation should include instead

So, what do you talk about instead of your story of price, product and service? During your initial meeting, you need to emphasize the importance of learning their story: their goals, challenges, and results.

Goals – Explain how you take the time with each client to clarify what exactly they are looking to accomplish through their HR/benefits/insurance program.

Challenges – Educate them on the HR/benefits/insurance challenges being faced by today’s employers and emphasize the financial and/or operational impact these areas have on a typical business. You need to help them start to see that they are very likely struggling in areas they aren’t even aware of yet.

Results – Instead of focusing on what is included in your capabilities binder, focus on how you create a plan to utilize those resources in a way that addresses the challenges you have identified and to then deliver improved results.

It’s not rocket science guys. Prospects aren’t interested in your story; they are interested in how you might improve theirs.

An insurance sales presentation solely focused on your story is lazy, disrespectful to the prospect, and ineffective.

Trash your old sales presentation and replace it with one focused on the buyer, one that will truly give a prospect a compelling reason to become a client.  Sure, it will take some effort to re-invent your sales process, but you really have no choice.

Photo by © Andrey Popov.