(The items which follow are a compilations of ideas gleaned from sales seminars and conferences, industry sales ideas, personal experiences, etc. I have attempted to give credit to the originator on those ideas I could identify and can only express appreciation to so many other sales professionals who gave so freely of their ideas.)
If you are like I am, buying a product from a well-informed, enthusiastic salesperson is a delightful treat. I love to watch them go through their sales presentation as they attempt to determine my wishes, wants, and needs, handling my objections skillfully and then experiencing how they bring the sales to a fruitful ending for them and me. While I enjoy this, I have walked away from sales situations because I didn’t find the salesperson really that engaging in the sales process. They were just too vanilla in the sales encounter. It’s like they feel I am an intrusion in their work day rather than being the reason they are on the job.
How do you become the salesperson people talk about when they gather around the water cooler or over cocktails during happy hour at the local watering hole? How do you get the feeling of satisfaction when you hear someone suggesting to another that they look you up because you are so accomplished in what you do? How do you feel when you know you are the driving force behind the oft-repeated phrase “nothing gets done until something is sold?”
Unless you are the salesperson who is doing the selling from the cold environment of the digital world where an image is portrayed on a computer screen with a description of the product and a price attached and the “add to cart” button, knowing how to relate to a potential client face to face becomes a critical part of success.
Over the course of my selling career, I have had the great privilege of having many successful insurance agents mentor my activities. They have generously shared ideas, sales presentations, and sales techniques which have enhanced my selling style and improved my ability to communicate with my clients. I, along with others, have come to refer to some of the suggestions as “power phrases.” They are ways of putting words together to paint pictures in the clients’ minds to help them visualize the message I am trying to convey.
Power phrases can be effectively used from the very first prospecting encounter to the delivery and service of the life insurance product you sell. I have included a few below which I have gleaned from so many others who have been willing to share them with me. I hope you enjoy reading through them and find some assistance in your quest to become a master salesperson.
LOVE, FEAR OR GREED
- Life insurance is bought for love–I want to be sure my family is well taken care and can live in their own home.
- Life insurance is bought for fear–What if I die too soon and leave my family with limited ability to meet their daily obligations?
- Life insurance is bought for greed–I want to get the most out of my investments. What will this do for me?
Just IMAGINE buying a newspaper every day to see what your life insurance is worth. There is no question about the SURE in life insurance. The only question is, do you have enough life insurance to be SURE?
IN WHAT OTHER WAY?
Can you “will” your family the dollars they’ll need before you earn them?
Don’t bother looking for any other way. Life insurance is the only way!
BUSY MOTHERS ARE BUYING INSTANT EVERYTHING. . .
for today’s family needs. Prudent fathers are buying instant dollars for tomorrow’s family needs. . . through life insurance. Isn’t it doubly unfair for a child to lose his father and inherit a part-time mother? Isn’t it doubly important to put life insurance to work and keep Mother at home?
YOU WOULDN’T BE CAUGHT DEAD. . .
Building a house from pieces of all sorts of blueprints.
Taking pills prescribed for another person’s ailments.
Using a pair of glasses because they’re just right for a friend.
And you shouldn’t be caught dead. . .
Using a life insurance program not fixed to your own family.
You’re entitled to a tailor made plan!
WHEN A MAN SAYS, “MY WIFE CAN WORK”
He’s right! Of course she can work
. . .if she isn’t too rusty or inexperienced
. . .if she can meet the competition of younger women
. . .if she is not laid off during a business slow down
. . .if her health holds up under the strain
. . .if she must struggle and work to keep the family together
But the if’s can be taken out of her life with life insurance.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL IN THE WORLD
TO A WIDOW
WILL PAY…no if‘s, and‘s, but‘s or maybe‘s
WILL PAY…regardless of economic conditions
WILL PAY…no need for a court decision
WILL PAY…no matter what happens to stocks, bonds
WILL PAY…even though only a few premiums have been paid
WILL PAY…just as surely as a man loves his family–
And insists on their security through life insurance.
HOW MUCH LIFE INSURANCE DO I NEED?
Nobody can tell you, really. So suppose you ask yourself:
How much do I love them? You know the answer!
I CAN DO BETTER WITH MY MONEY!
This has been a good enough objection to buying life insurance. . .
good enough to have forced thousands of widows into menial jobs
good enough to have filled strange homes and nurseries with bewildered children
good enough to have made so many old people afraid of outliving their meager savings. Good enough for you?
LIFE INSURANCE IS “HARD TO UNDERSTAND”
Not at ALL…it’s as simple as this:
- First pick the size estate you want–$300,000, $800,000, $2,000,000–help yourself.
- Then all you do is pay a 2% or 3% “interest”on the size of estate have selected.
- If you die the whole estate goes to your family or anyone else you choose.
- If you are disabled so you can’t work any more, the “interest” is paid for you and never paid back.
- If you live, you’ll get back a large part of your “interest” payments–or all of them–or more.
Not hard to understand, Just hard to imagine!
Life insurance costs less each year if you buy it, more each year if you don’t.
Waiting to buy life insurance when you need it is like ordering up a parachute when the plane is on the way down. It is too late!
When life insurance is actually needed, it can’t be purchased at any price.
TELL ME ABOUT IT OVER THE PHONE
My trying to explain this idea would be like trying to get a haircut over the phone. It works a whole lot better face to face!
HUSBAND AND WIFE
1) As we speak today I am speaking to you in your role as husband and wife; but when you pass away, I will be speaking to a widow–two very different situations. Let’s make sure we take care of that widow.
2) The difference between a wife and a widow is defined by a heartbeat.
3) Purchasing the policy makes it so your widow doesn’t have to marry the first meal ticket down the road.
4) The most tender love letter you will send to your widow will be delivered after you have passed away. It will be the proceeds from your life insurance policy. It can be delivered in a plain white envelope with a form letter of condolences or it can be delivered by someone who has laughed with you, cried with you, ate dinner with you and truly knows the aspirations of your loved one. I would be honored to be that messenger.
Imagine with me a young man standing at one end of a mailbox and an old man standing at the other end. Each has his hand on the mailbox. The young man is putting in an envelope and the old man is taking an envelope out. What determines if he is just an old man or an elderly gentleman is determined by how much the young man puts in his side of the mailbox. It all depends on you.
I CAN’T AFFORD IT
1) If it takes all your income to live, what would your family do with no income?
2) We are talking about necessities–not luxuries.
3) If you were to die or become disabled tomorrow, wouldn’t you find the money for this premium right away? You can’t afford to take chances with your family’s security.
4) Make yourself your number one creditor–pay yourself first after each pay day; otherwise, the other fellow will save your money.
5) Your living expenses could be adjusted if your salary was reduced 10 or 15 dollars per week. The sacrifice is temporary, the benefits permanent.
6) Someone must pay: either you by the premiums or your family through suffering and want.
7) It is easier for you to save $50 per month than it is for your widow to earn $1000 after taxes. It is easier to pay premiums than it is to raise a large sum of cash for emergencies.
8) Can you save $10 a month? Yes. Can you save $100 a month? No. Then there is an amount between $10 and $100 you could save. (Continue to give choices until client reaches one he feels he could do month in and month out.) Get this commitment early in your sales presentation so you can be suggesting realistic amounts as you review his needs.
9) Many a man in later years wishes the policy he “couldn’t afford” was double in size, because he “never missed the premium anyway.”
10) Will you tell me what the real objections are as I am sure you can afford the policy. There is some other concern I have not responded to.
11) Let’s think this over together. Perhaps I didn’t explain the plan fully. It’s easier for you to decide while I’m here to answer questions.
12) The company also must agree to accept you. Let’s find out if you can qualify, while you are making up your mind.
13) You don’t feel the need right now. You would refuse to buy a life jacket from me right now, but not if you were drowning. I couldn’t sell it to you then. This plan can’t be purchased like articles. Umbrellas must be obtained before the rain.
I’LL TALK IT OVER WITH MY WIFE
1) Do you ask your wife if you can buy her a dozen roses or send her a love letter with tickets to her favorite restaurant? Do her a favor by explaining why you purchased this plan rather than asking for permission to secure her financial future.
2) I wouldn’t describe your business products to my wife. Let me help you describe my business product to yours.
3) You don’t consult your wife on how to run your business. Protecting your income and saving is part of your business. This plan makes sure your business doesn’t require her to make business decisions when you are gone.
4) Place yourself in your wife’s place. Would you want to have to plead for monetary security? Make that choice for her.
5) That’s probably a good idea. She will have several questions; and if I am present, I can answer them for her. When shall I stop by? Will Tuesday at 7:00 be all right or would Wednesday at 6:00 be better?
TIMES ARE SO UNCERTAIN
1) Have faith in the future. Our forefathers did. Without faith we wouldn’t build houses, buy cars, raise families, etc. The important thing is to get started.
2) Then how much more uncertain things will be if your income stops?
3) Suppose one farmer doesn’t plant corn for the fear of drought while other farmers do. Which has a better chance to reap a harvest?
4) None of us are sure of what is going to happen tomorrow. That’s why we need this protection.
5) It’s the person without insurance who has problems and uncertainties—not the insured.
6) Let’s put this policy in force just in case someone with no brains and no brakes hits you and you wake up on the other side of the grass.
I HAVE DEBTS TO PAY FIRST
1) Your primary debt is to your family which is increased with each child.
2) Add 2% to the interest on your obligations and your debts are fully paid upon your death.
3) Do you want your widow to inherit your debts, paying 100% on the dollar? With this plan the debts are paid for as little as 3 cents on the dollar if you pass on.
4) The purpose of this plan is to shift the responsibility of paying your debts to the company.
5) If your debts take all your income now, what if your income stops? The debt won’t stop, but with this plan they will.
6) Hungry children don’t know if the food on the table was provided by proceeds from term or permanent life insurance. They just know Daddy cared.
YOU HAVE TO DIE TO BEAT IT
1) This is a living insurance. For you personally, you can access the cash values for education, weddings, paying off your mortgage early, emergencies, etc. For you widow, you are just sending your money ahead to when she will need it the most.
2) There is no other way to give your family so much for so little: an immediate estate the size of your choice, payable after the first premium. Your debts are paid for as little as 3 cents on the dollar.
I HAVE A FRIEND IN THE BUSINESS
1) Many men prefer not to discuss their personal matters with a friend.
2) I’d like your opinion of this plan. Your primary concern should be what is best plan for your family. You can then have two friends in the business.
I’D LOSE MONEY IF I QUIT
1) That’s why God made little green apples, so we wouldn’t eat them until they were ripe.
2) That’s all the more reason you need this plan. This is not “put and take” savings, but a systematic cash accumulation plan for the future.
I’M INSURANCE POOR
1) Who is—you or your beneficiary?
2) You’re to be congratulated. Just how much do you have?
3) If you’re going to be poor, that’s the best way to be. The policies are valuable to you and your family.
4) You may say it takes $400 a week to run your household. Therefore, when you say “no” to this plan you are saying “yes” to the proposition your wife can find $400 a week somewhere or somehow when you are gone.
I’M NOT INTERESTED–I HAVE ENOUGH
1) I’d be surprised if you said you wanted insurance today. I have an idea and would like your opinion. Maybe you will be interested at some other time.
2) Then you must be interested in your present insurance. Let’s examine your policies and see what they provide under today’s living conditions.
3) Place yourself in your widow’s shoes and see if you have enough for your needs.
4) Have you stopped saving money? Do you intend to save at some future time?
5) You may not need it now, but do you carry a spare tire in your car?
I CAN DO BETTER WITH MY MONEY
1) Can you guarantee yourself to live long enough to save the necessary funds before death or disability? Many potential millionaires are in the cemetery.
2) Would you prefer to make a $100 mistake or a $100,000 mistake? By paying the initial premium on this application you will be covered for the first $100,000 while we do our underwriting; and if death were to occur, the full $100,000 would be sent to you rather than the $100 you deposited. Let’s get this underway.
3) Every 17 minutes someone purchases life insurance who will not live to pay the second premium.
I WANT TO SHOP AROUND
1) That’s fine. Would you mind if we shopped together? You know that it’s no secret what life insurance rates are. This book lists the plans and rates for the leading companies. In what companies are you interested?
2) I think you should, and while you do let’s get this plan underway so you will know if you can qualify for what you need. A deposit of _____will bind my company to the amount of insurance you will be shopping for.
3) Purchasing life insurance is a two way street. One side is you wanting it and being willing to pay for it while the other side is the insurance company determining if you can qualify for it. Let’s submit the application along with the first month premium of ______, get the medical done, and see if the insurance company will make an offer.
I AM WORTH MORE DEAD THAN ALIVE
1) Compare your earning power to age 65 with your present insurance. Would you sell your business or profession for the amount of your insurance?
2) How do you determine human life value? It is certainly more than just the money we make or accumulate. Having life insurance just adds to your overall human life value. What percent it makes in that equation is up to you.
3) To the client who says $50,000 is a lot of “dough,” you might say “that is a lot of dough”– and write on a piece of paper “D” stands for doctor, “U” stands for the undertaker, “G” stands for general expenses and “H” for the hospital. When the client ask about the “O” you could say that is the magnificent amount, my friend, your wife and children will have to live on. Will it be enough?
I AM PUTTING MY MONEY IN MY BUSINESS
1) Insure the you of your business.
2) If you owned the golden goose that laid golden eggs, which would you insure–the eggs or the goose?
3) If you had a machine which turned out money every day in your business, you would insure it, wouldn’t you? You are to your family that machine in your business.
- After the minister has done his duty of providing spiritual guidance and the church has quit delivering casseroles, I can provide economic salvation which allows your loved one to continue to be in that realm of friends. I can make sure your shared dreams will still come true and the casseroles will always be on the table.
- The difference between an old man and an elderly gentleman is how well each prepared for the future.
- It is not that the plan failed; it is that we failed to plan.
- The best kind of life insurance is the kind in force when death occurs. A lapsed policy is one of the most tragic of all events.
- When should you purchase life insurance? When there is a need, if you can medically qualify and can you afford it. The application begins the process.
Waiting to buy life insurance when it is needed is like trying to order up a parachute while the plane is coming down.
Try to close at least 5 times–then shake hands and leave on a friendly basis.
C–CHOICE. Now that you have heard everything about this plan, Mr. ______, you are in a very unique position. By giving me your check for the monthly premium of $______, you can obligate the company to put this plan into full force, or I can offer a small discount on an annual basis. Which do you choice?
L–LOSS. Maybe you hesitate starting this plan because you feel you may suffer loss. Let me emphasis that nothing can cause loss in this plan. If you should die, the company guarantees to pay your family (amount of policy) much more than the premium you’ve paid. If you live, the company guarantees to pay you (amount of cash value) in cash as income or as paid up insurance so you can’t lose and neither can Mrs. ______. By the way, you’ll want her to be the beneficiary, I suppose, or would you rather name your estate?
O–OBLIGATE. Perhaps you feel starting this plan will obligate you in some way. Actually your regular premium payment could be called an obligation, I suppose–but just imagine what that one premium obligated the company to (list obligations.) So you see, you really have no obligation at all, unless it’s to your family, and I’m sure they’ll be proud of what you’re doing for them. Incidentally, would you like them to receive this in a lump sum or would monthly installments be better?
S–STORY. I can understand your caution Mr. ______. You want to be sure this plan does everything it seems to promise. Think of a man’s life as being a bank of time. This is a very unusual bank, because no one is ever permitted to make a deposit. Only withdrawals! And each man who has an account in the bank of time makes one withdrawal every day until he dies, but then the bank is closed. Each day a man is able to work is worth about $100 to him, or over time somewhere close to $2,000,000 over his lifetime. Life insurance buys time, Mr. ______, and it puts a value on the future. Any living person can buy whatever amount he wants with one restriction: he must be in good health when he buys it. That must be determined by the doctor. Could you arrange to see him this afternoon or would tomorrow be better? (With medical people willing to come to client’s home you can set appointment for client.)
E–ESCAPE. Mr. ______, I promised you I would not waste your time and I am ready to leave, but I wonder if you’d mind telling me one thing. You have seen the entire plan. You understand how it works and obviously need to take this step, but for some reason you hesitate. Would you mind telling me why?
If after the client has revealed his or her objection, proceed by asking, “Is there any other reason you hesitate? Wait for response and then proceed to answer the objection and then get the application signed and the deposit collected. A good closing is “Would you prefer me to schedule your medical in the morning or evening?”