You have the lead, an appointment is made, now what? Most agents can not wait to pitch a product and tell the prospect about it. Selling product is the very worst way of becoming successful in the annuity business. Selling product is taking orders; order takers work at the bank, annuity salesperson's becoming financially independent.
Building a relationship with a prospect begins by building trust. Trust begins by being transparent and honest. It does not one good to be anything else but truthful. Prospects do not want product, they want trust.
Here are some tips for beginning to build trust.
1. Honesty is the best policy. Allow the prospect to get to know you by only being truthful.
2. A “Hot Product” interests no one. As an example, if I am interested in a new Pickup Truck and the salesperson only wants to sell me a convertible, what do you think will happen? Building trust is about understanding how someone feels and learning what their goals are.
3. Instead of a product approach, try a concept approach and speak in generalities. An example could be about the prospect's IRA. “Did you know you can leave your IRA to your children?” Concepts build trust and trying to jump to a solution prior to understanding the needs and goals is a prescription for disaster.
Trust transfers to relationships. Once trust is established the relationship can expand and grow.
1. Building relationships also means delivering value. Long term relationships are always based on value. One tool I is my “Leave Behind” book. I make this book on my copy machine; package it in a 3-ring folder and freely give it away. It is a collection of basic information about issues of interest in my target market. These could include probate and will information, investment basics information etc. It is about giving something that can deliver value with no strings attached.
2. Time. Always respect your prospects time and never be late. If being late is unavoidable, call and tell them, even if it is only 5 minutes. Respecting a prospects time is respecting them and relationships are grown and strengthened with respect.
3. Sincerity and patience is a key to building relationships. If you feel your products are the answer but there is hesitation in your prospects decision, take a longer time in completing the sale. Sometimes a little tiny portion to start will allow you to end up with the bigger piece. Take a little and get a lot. I sometimes say, “Mrs. Ones, I know this is a big decision and annuities are not for everyone, so why do not we start with a small annuity and see if it's the right place for your safe and secure money? ” I then start with $ 10,000 or so and never fail to move the funds I originally thought it would be the best choice for her.
Relationships also provide longevity. Longevity is key when your products may not be as strong as a competitor. A sales and marketing slogan goes like this:
“When all things are equal you buy from your friend When all things are not equal, you buy from your friend”
It has been my experience that this statement is true, my clients do business with me because I have earned and earned their trust.