Remember this childhood trick? — “I bet you can’t finish all your vegetables.” Suddenly, those carrots were more than a side dish; they were part of a quest to prove mom wrong.
I’m sure you don’t have to be tricked into finishing your meal today, but what if I told you these same sorts of psychology techniques could work wonders on your sales numbers?
More than this simple reverse psychology example, many powerful psychology techniques exist that can help you increase your insurance sales and grow your business.
You may use some of these sales techniques without even knowing it. We’ll go over seven that can be particularly powerful for your sales.
Mirror your client
In all sorts of social situations, mirroring the behavior of another person helps build a stronger connection.
Folks feel like you’re more relatable, trustworthy, and more like themselves. For a sales meeting where establishing a relationship is key, mirroring is a smart choice.
In insurance sales, this is often about matching pace and demeanor with your prospect. If you have a lead on the phone who speaks slowly and deliberately, you don’t want to talk a mile a minute. When you have a face-to-face meeting, note whether the client leans back in the chair or puts their elbows on the table and leans in. However they comfort themselves, follow their lead.
Sell on emotion, not logic
Us humans like to think of ourselves as very rational, logical beings. For better or worse, that usually isn’t the case.
We all tend to make decisions based on emotions, with logic sometimes taking a back seat. This is perfectly natural, and when it comes to insurance sales, a tug at the heartstrings can help an unsure prospect come to a decision.
When it comes to emotions that come up in sales, negative emotions include fear, loss, and shame; positive emotions include altruism and pride.
To get your prospect thinking in emotional terms, you might ask a question about the challenges he or his family would face if he doesn’t have the right insurance coverage. Or, you could paint a picture of how purchasing the right policy will protect her and her loved ones in the future.
Illustrative storytelling can get across the ideas as a direct sales pitch.
Give fewer options
I don’t know if you’ve bought toothpaste recently, but the options now are staggering. Not only is there your favorite brand, but there are sometimes four or more flavors, the choice of paste or gel, and usually at least two sizes.
We tell ourselves we like to have choices and options, but too many options can slow down or stall the purchase decision altogether.
When it comes to insurance, fewer choices are often the better bet. Give your prospect three or so choices to start with.
They will usually pick a price point they’re most comfortable with. If things stall out in a later discussion, you can always go back to your rate card and offer another option that may better suit his needs.
Ask either/or questions to avoid a “no”
Along the lines of giving a few definite options, consider phrasing key sales questions so that “no” ends up being a very awkward answer.
In fact, the idea here is not to let “no” be an answer. Give your prospects an either/or question: “Would you like this policy or that one?”
Think about the last time you were at the eye doctor. The doc could just let you spin the dials until you think you can see well enough, but they don’t do that, do they? “A or B? 1 or 2?” At the end of these either/or questions, I pick up my new pair of reading glasses, and they work just as intended.
Capitalize on the fear of missing out
A few years ago, there were many articles addressing FOMO — the so-called fear of missing out, that is, an anxiety that you might be missing out on otherwise rewarding experiences.
This sort of feeling can have a big impact on people’s lives, getting them to make a change to alleviate the fear.
Rather than tell a lead they qualify for a discount — if they decide to switch carriers, tell them they are missing out on the discount if they don’t switch. This alternative “loss” nags a bit more at the heartstrings than the prospect of a reward.
Take the sale away
Similarly, FOMO can be taken to its natural conclusion, which is that the prospect could miss out on the sale altogether. In this case, you detail a scenario where the insurance product on offer just isn’t available to the prospect anymore.
In sales, rates, policies, and special offers are always in flux. So it’s true that what is the best offer available for a prospect today, may, for any number of reasons, not be available six months from now.
In certain sales situations, you may want to point this out. In a sense, you’re “taking away” the sale at some future date, so that the lead will commit today.
Remember that value beats price
Most experienced sales professionals know it’s better to avoid selling on price. But have you ever thought about the fact that the value an insurance product offers is more than the price it costs the prospect?
There are two ways of looking at this. For many types of products, the potential benefit payout is dollar-for-dollar more than the cost.
But what about the things you can’t put a price on? Happiness, family, peace of mind, legacy, and so forth. The things in life that people truly value are worth more than the cost of the premium.
With the right framing of the stakes, your prospect will be more likely to buy.
Focus on the facts
Consumers generally justify buying decisions with facts. For example, you see a picture of a sports car online and you instantly want to get behind the wheel. You can feel its power while you’re sitting at your desk.
However, feeling alone isn’t always enough to make a purchase. Most consumers need to justify the purchase and they do so by learning more about the facts. A sports car, for example, includes components such as reliability ratings, safety features, and gas mileage.
No matter what you’re selling, provide prospects with the facts so they don’t have to go searching for them.
Make a personal connection
Social interaction is a big part of the sales process.
For instance, when selling insurance, your prospects may have questions and concerns. The way you approach them can be the difference between success and failure.
Make a personal connection by addressing the prospect by name, sharing customer success stories, and personalizing online communication.
Even if you don’t make a sale the first time around, a prospect is more likely to remember someone they connected with. There’s never a bad time to go the extra mile when engaging a prospect. You never know when it’ll pay off in the long run.
Don’t push too hard
There are good salespeople and there are bad salespeople. There’s no doubt about that.
But when it comes down to it, you don’t have any power over your prospects. They’ll ultimately make the final decision.
You can urge them to buy. You can make suggestions. You can offer incentives. But what you can’t do is make the final decision for them. And that’s why it’s so important that you don’t push too hard.
There’s a fine line between selling and annoying. Your job is to show what you have to offer, answer questions, and provide the prospect with the information they need to make an informed decision.
Convenience is your best friend
More so today than ever before, consumers are turning their attention to what’s most convenient. They don’t want to waste their time. They don’t want to add unnecessary stress and anxiety to their life. They’re interested in a simple, straightforward experience.
There was a time when buying insurance meant contacting an agent via phone, faxing paperwork, or even meeting in person. When it was the only option, it was the only option.
But today, the convenience of the internet has taken over. Now, consumers can buy a policy online within a matter of minutes.
Remove as many obstacles as possible from the buying process. You want your solution to be the most convenient solution in your space.
Use social proof
Have you ever made a purchase after reading an online review? Do you seek out case studies and testimonials before buying a product or service? If you answered yes to either question, you were the victim of buying as the result of social proof.
It’s one thing for you to tell a prospect what you can do for them. It’s another thing entirely for them to hear from their fellow consumers. This is why positive online reviews of your business can have such a positive effect on your bottom line.
According to HubSpot, the average consumer reads 10 online reviews before making a purchase decision. Publish as much social proof online as possible. It helps your cause when prospects begin to research your company and its offerings.
Practice these techniques and more on aged leads
There are many ways to convince and convert your leads into closed sales.
Psychology is a powerful tool. With the right strategy, it can be an enormous boost that powers your sales to new heights.
At the end of the day, your goal is to help your prospects choose the coverage that meets their needs and gives them peace of mind. The right sales techniques, properly applied, can help you do just that.
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