Breaking bad habits or behaviors is a lot easier once you recognize them. As a producer, give yourself every advantage possible by avoiding these things that could sabotage your success.
FIVE TOXIC BEHAVIORS THAT MAY BE KILLING YOUR BUSINESS
Things you should avoid doing if you want to succeed as a producer
By Michael Wayne
In past newsletters, I’ve highlighted some behaviors and habits of successful producers. And I’m not big on being negative here. But every once in a while, it’s prudent to look at the flipside. Simply put, just as you can practice behaviors that will make you prosper, there are toxic actions that may be killing your business.
How in the world are you going to learn about a prospect’s issues and concerns if you are doing all or even a majority of the talking? You’re not.
To an extent, everyone is in sales. Producers, however, are considered to be in the sales profession. All too often, that has a negative connotation … like used car salesmen. With cars, inventory is vast, and the buyer has the ultimate power of choice when it comes to make and model. That isn’t always the case when it comes to insurance. While cars aren’t a necessary evil in all cases, the liability for them is. The same goes for property and casualty protection and other risk management products, including employee benefits.
While you may not be telling a prospect what they want to hear just to close a deal, it may be conventionally accepted that you are doing so. To mitigate that, here are five toxic behaviors to avoid that could be framing you as a perceived stereotypical shifty salesperson.
- Offering Solutions Before Knowing All the Facts
Prospects hate a “know-it-all”— not a know-it-all who understands how to create risk management solutions, mind you, but a one who, within a very short amount of time, thinks they know everything about a prospect’s operations, life, and needs.
Don’t rush your pitch. If you don’t take the time to learn what your clients truly needs, you are likely to alienate them. Relationships take time to establish. Trust is a fundamental part of that. If your prospect doesn’t feel like you are truly engaged and figuring out exactly what will work for them, they simply won’t entrust their investments, possessions, and potentially their health, to you.
- Focusing on Your Organization
While it is absolutely conceivable that a prospect has called for, or agreed to, a meeting with you because they have heard great things about your organization, they aren’t likely expecting you to come sit down with them and wax eloquent regarding your agency. Your time is valuable; so is the prospect’s. They were already intrigued enough to invite you in (or accept you in at the very least). Stay on target and concentrate on fixing their issues.
If they want to ask you specifics about your organization, they will. If you haven’t had the opportunity to do a full dive and figure out what specific solutions are needed, it would likely be more advantageous to share success stories that you have been the author of for similar clients.
- Talking, But Not Really Saying Anything
A long time ago, a coach told me, “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. You’re supposed to listen twice as much as you speak.” How in the world are you going to learn about a prospect’s issues and concerns if you are doing all or even a majority of the talking? You’re not. Use your words efficiently to ask prospects questions that will really get them to think about their needs. That way, you can create the best possible solutions for them. They know their business or situation better than anyone (hopefully). If they don’t, they will eventually reveal to you who does—if you just listen.
- Giving Cookie-Cutter Presentations
America is inundated with subdivisions that builders have bought the land for, developed, and erected “homes” on that look like they were spit out of some oversized assembly line. The result is neighborhood after neighborhood of treeless, personality-less, soulless, generic living quarters that could be placed just about anywhere else. Don’t let the presentations you give try and fake prospects out with brick fronts that face the street and vinyl siding on the remainder of your house. Tailor your presentation to your prospects’ unique needs as much as you possibly can. It’s okay to have some canned information to present, but if you get bored with the material you are presenting, imagine how your audience feels.
- Leaving a Prospect Hanging
Do not ignore a request from a prospect. If a prospect reaches out to you for something specific, respond as soon as you can. If the prospect has to email or call you to nudge you, if they even give you that opportunity, what impression do you leave? You may already have put the thought in their head that you’re not their best choice to meet their needs or respond quickly when something happens to disrupt their life. If they can’t rely on you to get back to them when the sailing is smooth, how are they going to be able to trust you’ll save them when they’re drowning?
Breaking bad habits isn’t always easy, but it becomes a lot easier once you recognize them. Make sure you give yourself every advantage possible when you’re meeting with prospects.