You aspire to insurance sales greatness. There’s just one catch: Greatness is one of those things that can be hard to define. You know it when you see, but that doesn’t help much when you’re looking for concrete ways to improve.
To pin down exactly what being a great sales professional means, let’s look at 673 Years of Sales Excellence, an e-book from Autoklose. This 52-page guide is jam-packed with expert advice. And while everyone had something unique to say, there were quite a few points that had a lot of support.
Here are three major takeaways that can help anyone is sales take their career to the next level.
Pick up the phone.
Does talking on the phone making you nervous? This seems to be a common problem, and it’s one you need to face. Emails have many uses, but phone conversations can convey more information as well as an important sense of urgency.
Aaron Ross, co-CEO of Predictable Revenue Inc., cites not making “enough phone calls of any kind” as one of the most important tasks sales reps aren’t doing.
Kendra Lee, president of KLA Group, says, “I know you reach voicemail most of the time, but seeing that you took the effort to try to reach them by phone makes a difference with prospects.”
Focus on your clients’ goals.
You want to make a sale, but what does your client want? People aren’t going to buy from you simply as a favor. If they buy at all, it will be because the product helps them meet their own goals, not because it helps you meet your quota.
Jill Konrath, an author, keynote speaker and founder of jillkonrath.com, advises sales representatives to learn about their buyers’ goals, and to make sure they’re getting value. “The right way involves focusing first and foremost on helping buyers/customers achieve their objectives, knowing that by doing so you’ll achieve yours.”
Listen (INTENTLY) to your clients.
You can’t know what your clients’ goals are if you don’t take time to listen to your clients.
Steli Efti, co-founder and CEO of Elastic, Inc, says that few sales reps listen as well as they should. “Pretty much every sales rep I’ve ever spoken with THINKS they’re listening to their prospects, but very few actually do it to the degree that’s required to be a truly exceptional salesperson.”
Of course, once you listen to clients, you need to take action. Steve Richard, Founder and CRO of ExecVision, advises, “Do something extra for them. Teach them. Advise them. Added service is the name of the game in a world where most products are moving toward commodity.”
If you’re worried about automation, note that taking the time to understand your clients and develop strong relationships is the key to staying relevant. Dianna Geairn, founder of The Irreverent Sales Girl, says, “You can scale systems, but you can never scale relationships.”
You do a lot for your clients. Let them do something for you. Many clients will be happy to give you referrals, but not every client will offer it on their own. Sometimes, you have to ask.
Barbara Giamanco, the founder and CEO of Social Centered Selling, says, “Referrals are proven to get you meetings quickly but few reps do it consistently.”
John Barrows, owner of JBarrows LCC, says, “If they are seeing results then ask for a referral and use those results in your messaging when targeting similar clients.”
Don’t do it alone.Not sure how you’re going to manage everything on your own? Having a good support system is essential. To reach your potential as a great agent, you need a mentor you can call for coaching. DIS can help. Contact our sales team with questions any time. Also, if you haven’t already done so, download our most popular DI sales script here.