Thursday, September 20, 2012

Question Based Selling, Part Two

I recently provided a review of the book Question Based Selling. Now I’d like to explain how I have been able to receive some great results utilizing some of the techniques explained in the book.
Thomas Freese discusses the importance of understanding how people have a natural aversion to people they don’t know and trust. Once you realize that EVERYBODY feels this way you’ll be ahead of the game. It’s very difficult to fight Mother Nature, so it’s better to just accept it and know how to react.
Have you ever talked with a prospect who seems to contradict everything you say? It can be quite annoying and make you feel like you want to throw the phone out the window and purchase a taser gun. Instead of taking the risk of getting arrested, I offer an alternative solution that will save you some money on telephones, an attorney and therapy.
For the last week every cold call that I initiated, began this way.
“Hello XXXX, this is John McCollough and I'm a health plan expert. Is this a good time?”
I call 100 numbers every weekday and usually talk with about 200-225 people on average on a weekly basis. 14 people said it was a bad time! When I got that response I asked when would be a good time to call back. About 1/3 replied, “what is this about?” Ah-ah, so this isn't really a bad time! Next time your making a call mix it up a bit. Instead of saying, "Is this a good time?" say "Is this a bad time?" This will give the the information you need to adjust your script and find out what works and what needs to be discarded. I suspect that if you use the latter line you'll get a lot more resistance, but try it out and post a comment about your results.
Herd Theory
I have got some great news for you. Have you heard about the new lead company out of California that provides leads for $5.00 each and only sells them to 3 agents? Yes, it actually is the truth because I have been using this company for the last 4 months? Another great thing about this company is that their credit policy is very liberal and I’m averaging right around $3.50 a lead after factoring in uninsurables, false information, etc.
I almost forgot, they signed a contract with me stating that they WILL NOT sell the lead to no more than 3 agents without drafting up a new contract and I get seniority should they chanege their policy. I love it when a new lead company comes out. I don’t get anything for recommending this company…just a chance to help my readers. If you’re interested in learning more about this opportunity you can find it here
It’s really something isn’t it! Who would have thought that this opportunity existed. Hopefully you realize the purpose of this fun experiment. If you can create the illusion of something grandiose and you merely suggest (slight push) taking a course of action vs. “sell” (pushing or pulling), you’ll have a better chance of persuading an individual to reach the same conclusion you anticipate. You’ll feel better about yourself because you just separated yourself from every other agent who still thinks closes work in the long term!
Are You Running Away From Dogs or Aiming For The Gold?
The answer to that question is that you should be doing both or you’re going to miss half the deals you could be getting. People don’t buy insurance because a certain plan is cheaper. There are people who like change, people who abhor change and people who lie! When it comes to keeping the status quo or risk making a bad decision, most people will choose the former UNLESS you present options that offer a reward (cheaper premium) and a risk management strategy (no loss in benefits). Here’s an example of what I mean.
Situation (Family X)
-3 person family currently paying around $700 a month for an HMO plan with all the bells and whistles.
-Rate is expected to go up about 17% within the next month.
-Understands they will have to get new doctors/network.
-Cannot stand HMO’s or MEGA
-$0 deductible plan with $20/$30 copays for doctors or specialist and an OOPM of $7000 per year.
- High Deductible Health Plan w/out HSA and an OOPM of $2500
- Stable rates for 12 months
- Extensive PPO network in Mid-Atlantic area.
- New Premium $408.02 p/month (69% SAVINGS or $3500 a year)
Now you are probably thinking to yourself that the saving alone justifies the switch. Up until September 2007 I thought the same thing, but that isn’t the case. My record to date was a lost opportunity to save a family over $10,000 a year until Medicare kicked in a few short years away. They decided to self insure and cancel their plan instead of protecting their family and saving $20,000. That case still amazes me. Sometimes people do things out of spite because their upset about something and close-minded. Try to move on and not take it personal when you deal with these types of people. We all get them!
Even though I saved Family X a substantial amount of money that isn't enough for 9 out 10 people I talk because they have no idea about other insurance carriers besides Blue Cross Blue Shield and being comfortable with a carrier is 100%. That's fine and I can respect that..
All I did to finalize this deal was maximize their feelings about saving money using selective imagery combined with reducing their fears about switching carriers to a nameless carrier. For example, here's what I said.

"Mrs. X, I think I may have a solution for you that will enable you to take charge of your own plan and cut your premium in half (gold) ...while ensuring that you're families protected with a highly rated and financially sound (who let the dogs out) company...(Smiling) So take the extra money and spend it however you wish. I'd recommend you spend some of it on shoes and invest the rest!"
I LOVE sales!
Let me know how things works out you. Hopefully I've been able to shed light on a few topics that will help you to retain your ethics and sell more at the same time w/out having to resort to using a "fake family picture" because your manager said you need a family to sell health insurance online. If you're offended by adult language do not read this next line. My ass you do!

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