December 07, 2011
By Seth Kravitz
Sales slumps happen to even the best of annuity agents. When there’s a period with no sales, it’s difficult to recover. However, here are seven tips to help you get your production back on track:
Refresh your goals. Goals are the bull ’s-eye at which you’re taking aim. That’s where you set your sights. Refocus on where you’re heading and tweak your goals to create a fresh start. The point is not to collapse into smaller goals, but to consider redirecting your work just a bit for the sake of positive change.
Review your priorities and how your activities support these priorities. You may need to say “no” to the service you have agreed to undertake for professional, community and religious groups. Sure, networking helps identify new prospects in your town, but you need to maintain a balance here — too much volunteering takes time away from your core responsibilities of selling.
Delegate lower-wage work. When sales slow, it seems to make sense to keep as much work on your own plate as possible. Why spend money paying someone else to do what you can do yourself? However, the time you put into lower paying work is time that is not available to go after sales. Don’t avoid practicing your most profitable talents by taking on chores for which you can hire others inexpensively.
Keep in touch with the clients you already have. If you haven’t called upon past customers for awhile, you may be embarrassed to make the call. So you put it off some more. Well it doesn’t get any easier the longer you stall on reaching out. Yet these are people who have already experienced the value of your services are most likely to purchase additional products or refer you to friends and family. So go ahead and reach for the phone.
Scrutinize your fact-finding process. Have you gotten a little lazy in assessing your clients and determining their annuity needs? Be sure you are collecting all the info you need to uncover all their coverage needs. And in the process, use these findings to deepen your personal relationships with them.
Expand your social networking relationships with your customers. Social networking refers to electronic communications, especially Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. If you are using none of these to date, don’t overextend yourself by testing all three channels at once. Find which one (or two) most suits your preferences and begin—or strengthen—your presence there first. As you relate to your contacts more as personal friends, you just may break out of your sales slump by filling their evolving product needs more effectively.
Establish new centers of influence. A center of influence is a professional acquaintance who will refer associates to you. Many annuity agents begin with accountants and attorneys who have first-hand financial knowledge of which of their clients could also be your best-fit clients. In addition, some agents also cultivate centers of influence in specialty markets they serve. Just as you strive to keep in touch with long-time clients, you can break out of your slump much more easily if you try just as hard to stay in touch with your centers of influence.
You can turn a sales slump around. Start with a bit of soul-searching to determine the nature of your problem and then consider if one—or more—of these solutions will work for you.
Seth Kravitz is CEO of InsuranceAgents.com and Cyber Technology, LLC. InsuranceAgents.com was ranked the 24th fastest-growing company in the U.S. by Inc Magazine in 2009. It serves the marketing needs of thousands of agents nationwide with real-time insurance leads.
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