Many sales reps have worked for a “boss” in the past. We’ve had someone who set performance goals for us. We counted on them to “breathe down our necks” until we met sales quotas. We decided to strike out on our own so we could keep our commissions. Or, maybe we didn’t like the culture in any agencies that employed us. Some of us started selling annuities because we sought more control over our own work. With annuities, it’s possible to earn as much as you want, but you must be a good seller. As a sales agent, you accept responsibility for all of the aspects of a business. It’s your job to find clients and to close enough deals to survive. With all that pressure, it’s easy to burn out. In this post, I ask you to consider the question of who’s driving you to be the best seller you can be.
I have worked in my own agency selling annuities and helping agents in other firms to sell annuities and other life insurance products for years. Over time, I’ve seen people start out strong and later fail because they lost the drive to help others. Something changed in their sales approach, and they couldn’t generate enough income to stay in business. When you sell, you are investing a lot of energy in understanding the needs of customers. You are listening to their stories and gauging their family’s needs (both present and future). It’s easy to get caught up in their lives, even if it’s only for short periods of time. You identify with them and you want to help them. Financial products can be short-term and long-term solutions for them. It’s a matter of helping them choose an annuity product without hurting their financial position.
When you help others as a seller of annuities, you give away a part of yourself in each transaction. You dispense energy that you cannot recover. It’s easy when doing this to feel emotionally drained. It’s easy to ask “What’s in it for me?” and come up short. If you aren’t doing things regularly to replenish your “soul” (i.e. seeing loved ones and friends, playing music, exercising, traveling, meditating, or enjoying hobbies), you aren’t keeping yourself in a prime condition to sell. The more you ignore your needs, the more you won’t meet the needs of others. You will get more easily frustrated, and there’s a chance that you will implode at any moment. I’m all about helping annuity sellers find balance in their professional lives. I want you to find tools that will help you be a great seller. You’ll always be more effective when your “self” is in a good place.
Become a Problem-Solver and a Servant Salesperson
If you want to increase sales, spend more time adopting a servant attitude. This means that you sit down in front of people (while feeling good inside) and listen to them. You hear their story and quickly assess their needs. You ask questions when needed and take notes. Your mind evaluates all types of feedback that customers give and then probes to learn more. You don’t jump too quickly to offer solutions. Some sellers make the mistake of issuing statements about what customers need. They come across as pushy or condescending. This approach causes customers to immediately resist. With a servant attitude, you consider how best to educate customers based on their expressed needs. You explain a range of annuity products that might fit their situation and then guide them towards their “choice.” They feel in control of the entire process. You’re available to sign them up for a product, so to speak, when they are ready. They don’t feel pushed into one choice or another, which is different than other sales disciplines. Keep yourself in a good place so you are a servant seller worthy of their business.