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Ssshh, but it is still about selling

Do you still remember how to sell? You would be forgiven if you had forgotten, fed on a constant diet of compliance fears and ‘solutions’.

Wednesday, May 25th 2011, 10:00AM 2 Comments

by Russell Hutchinson

Do you still remember how to sell? You would be forgiven if you had forgotten, fed on a constant diet of compliance fears and ‘solutions’. But of course, unlike the much-derided rear echelon staff officers of the first world war, you can’t forget. You have the ever-present requirement to sell. But you might also be forgiven for thinking that selling has become something to be ashamed of – the change in focus has been so complete. In recent conversations the term “sales process” has really been applied to something better described as the “compliance process”. While the long chain of disclosures, questionnaires, documents, and reports is paraded past the client there is a risk they may simply get bored, wander off, fall asleep, or die while waiting for us to finish.

That is why I was pleased to hear Newpark talking about lead generation. I was even cheered by Partners Life making their incentive trip destination Las Vegas. These are robust reminders that the business is about selling, and to make sales we’ve got be excited about the prospect. I mean that literally too – excited about the prospect, both the opportunity and the next person we are about to meet.

I’ve decided to go on the front-foot about the role of selling. I won’t allow anyone to talk about sales process without starting with “finding the prospect” and “selling the idea of what we are trying to do” at the highest level. Next up in the defence are three prepared reference points: selling insurance is good for individuals and families – with an example, usually from an adviser I have spoken to that week – of a claims story. Not only that, but selling insurance is good for New Zealand – with a story about the insurance claims paid and how they help us manage the impacts of catastrophes like earthquakes and mums and dads who die leaving families behind.

This is because I know that selling the next client is important, which is your job, but I can do my bit by reminding people that the role of insurance in society is important too.

« Savings and insurance – the same as home loans and insurance The need for medical insurance »

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Comments from our readers

On 26 May 2011 at 7:33 am Bazza said:
A wise man once said; 'Consultative Ethical Selling is the ultimate form of Service! and I couldn't agree more. Nice words Russell.
On 30 May 2011 at 4:18 pm Majella said:
It may seem a little trite, but I make a point of telling my prospects that I don't 'sell' anything. My clients, having been fully informed as to what they need to do and why they need to do it, then CHOOSE to 'buy' through me.
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