The WEDGE – Learn this principle and your sales will skyrocket.
Here’s the situation: You’re sitting down and the client has an overpriced policy with a competitor. They have even told you they want more coverage, but money is tight. Show them the benefits of your policy, how much more coverage they will get for the same price and even tell them you will handle everything. It’s just you and the prospect in the room, right? What could go wrong?
You forgot about the 3rd party in the room: the original agent/company. You have to deal with them long before you ever try to close the deal. If you do not, even if you do successfully get the sale, the previous agent/company will come back into the picture and you will have a chargeback.
Understand this about people: they believe change is bad. Nobody wants to make a change, even if it sounds good. Nobody wants to call their current agent/company and tell them “You’re fired loser!” Everyone tries to avoid conflict at all costs.
So if we know this to be true, how do we deal with it? First is your mindset: stop selling and start winning. Salespeople show the value of their product and hope the client will roll over and buy. Winners, however, will do what is necessary to CLOSE the deal. Selling is easy, winning is hard.
So in any sales presentation there are two problems. One, the prospect is probably lying. Buyers are liars. Accept it and move on. Take what they say with a grain of salt. Or do something that will cause them to open up. Second, there is always another agent lying in wait. You have to deal with the other agent first. Even if they do not have a policy currently, you have to deal with what else is out there. That cheap Globe Life term policy mailer they get every month is your competition. That commercial on TV promising insurance for $9.95 is your competition.
If you do not deal with these two problems, you will fail. If the prospect can’t fire their current agent/company, they are not a real prospect. When you are selling, you are learning nothing that can help you break down the relationship between the current agent and client. You have to solve these problems to become a winner.
The current agent/company is the biggest problem. Why? Because of simple physics: No two objects can occupy the same space at the same time. Before the prospect agrees to fire their current agent, they are going to mentally give the other agent a chance to stick around. That’s why Final Expense is a one call close. We can never give them the opportunity to think about it. Our clients are Professional Procrastinators. Change is hard for everyone. For the Final Expense Prospect, it is anathema.
The prospect’s desire to do nothing is a force of nature that you must deal with. Our first reaction is to “push.” Pushing is a classic salesmanship. What I mean is going on the attack, talking trash about your competition, degrading the client for making the decision of working with their current company. Now we’ve all heard that this is unprofessional and to never do it, but I’m saying don’t do, because it doesn’t work.
Why? Because nobody wants to be told that they made a bad decision. They will go on the defensive. Pride will come into play. Now you are an adversary. That’s why it is a bad idea to immediately jump on the prospect’s hot button issue. While your goal is to drive a wedge between the prospect and their current agent/company, if you jump too quickly, it will seem like you are attacking the prospect and they will get defensive.
You need to be able to have an open honest dialogue with the prospect. Their current agent, the status quo, the fear of change all get in the way of you closing the deal. You have to find their hot button issue. Why are you there? Why did they respond to the lead? What problem do they have that is not currently being solved? What is their pain point? That pain can be used to drive a wedge between the current agent and the prospect. Finding the pain point is the ESSENTIAL point in closing a deal. If you can’t find it, no sale will be made. And without a good rapport and honest dialogue, it will never be found.
People will always find a way to justify doing what they want to do, whether it is in their best interest or not. Most people, especially Final Expense prospects, would prefer to do NOTHING. You have to get the prospect to WANT to change.
We’ve all heard that 90% of communication is not what we say, but how we say it and our body language. As you trying to determine the prospect’s pain point, you need to convey not that you are the best salesperson in the world, a know-it-all, but rather the opposite: a very curious, “I really want to know what’s going on with you” type of approach. It will make it easier for folks to tell you the truth. Now they will reveal their pain, so that you can really solve their problem.
So let’s look at a real world example. The client has sent in a Direct Mail card requesting information on some Final Expense plans. When you ask them why they sent in the card, their concern is that they don’t have enough coverage, but really can’t afford more. You go through your presentation and find out they have a policy with Senior Heritage, a Captive Carrier, which is 3 years old. They even referred a couple friends to their agent. They even say, “I’m not getting rid of that, I’ve paid all that money into it. And I like my agent.” They’re paying $100/mo for $10,000 now and can’t really afford more.
You start to salivate, because you know the carrier. You know that you can get them $15,000 for the same premium and get them some cash back and you immediately go on the attack. “Yeah Mrs Jones, that company you have is just expensive. We can get you a much better deal. You like better deals, right? We can get you $15,000 for exactly what you’re paying now and get you $200 cash back as well. So who would you like to leave the money to when you pass away?”
STOP! You never dealt with the previous agent. They even told you that. But understand this; even if they don’t verbalize it, they’re thinking it. You always have to deal with the current agent.
So we need to Wedge them out. How do you do that?
First, always praise the prospect for making the decision to cover their funeral expenses and not pass that bill on to their family. Then talk about how good Senior Heritage is. Now explain how you are different. You are independent. You have no dog in this fight. Your job is to find the best deal for Mrs Jones. While Senior Heritage is a great company, they are captive. So sometimes they’ve got a good deal, but if they don’t, there’s nothing really they can do about it.
Tell them that “everybody that I meet with” wants to get the “best bang for their buck.” If you start shaking your head up and down, they will follow suit. Of course! Everyone wants to get the best deal out there.
“Now let me ask you Mrs. Jones, if you called your agent right now and asked for $5000 in insurance for free, what do you think they would say?”
Let Mrs. Jones answer and agree with her. “Of course not, why would they. You’re already paying. But let’s see if we can get you that $5000 in insurance for free, ok? (take away)?
Do your health qualifications and figure out what you can do for her. “Great news Mrs. Jones, you actually do qualify to get $5000 in insurance for free. And the great thing is that you don’t have to do a thing, we will handle everything for you. So what we’re going to do is take that money you have been paying Senior Heritage and apply it over here to Mutual of Omaha. You’ll get $15,000 for the exact same payment per month. And like I said, I’ll contact Senior Heritage and take care of that. And because you’ve been such a long time paying customer, they will actually mail you a check for $200. I’ll take care of getting you that money to you as well.”
Pull out the app and start filling it out.
“So you get your mail here correct? And the address is 123 street? And you said you wanted your daughter Shirley Jones to get the money when you pass? Alright. And you’re birthday is 9/23/50 correct? And what’s your social (look down and keep writing).”
Now you have a $1200 sale!! You have successfully Wedged out the current agent and you’ve won!
That agent can still come back into the picture. They already have the relationship. They will tell Mrs Jones anything to get her to stick with them. So the Wedge is not complete. So all you need to do is explain to the prospect (now client) what will happen.
“Now Mrs. Jones, doesn’t it feel good to be able to get all this extra insurance for free and not have to spend any more money! Hey I know how it is. I get to see that relieved look on folks’ face every day. But you know what’s going to happen when the Senior Heritage agent hears about this, right? They’re going to call you or knock on your door. And I get it, I wouldn’t want to lose you as a client either. Now I have heard every story in the book. They will try and tell you that you that this new policy has a waiting period or that this is term or that this company won’t pay out. Again, I get it, they want to try and save their business.”
“But what are you going to say if they show up at the door?”
This is KEY: do not tell them what to say. Make them come up with their own response.
“Well I’m going to tell them tough luck! I found a much better deal. Have a nice day!”
“And you won’t have any problem saying that?” “No way!”
“Well if they do try to spin any tales, you can always call me, or what most clients do is just give them my number and have them call me directly.” (Remember they don’t want to deal with any conflict.) “So if they call you, just give them my number and I will take care of everything.”
Now you have successfully created a Wedge between the prospect and their current agent/company.
A few more examples of a Wedge:
Term Policy: “I’m sure the agent told you this would end at age 80 and you would have NO INSURANCE AT ALL RIGHT?” “I’m sure they told you the price would go up to $50 at the next increase, $80 at the next increase, then $150 and then cancel, right?”
Universal Life: Explain how the policies work. “So what did your agent say when he came out every year to review your policy?” “What? You really have to review these types of policies once a year or they can explode?” “Did the company every call you and explain what is going to happen to this policy?”
As you can see, I’m totally trashing the agent and the company…but I’m not. The client is getting hopping mad at them by me just asking some simple questions. I’m creating a Wedge.
You can do this on the phone as well, when you call into the carriers. “So the agent told the client this policy would last forever and that the premiums would never go up, I just wanted to confirm that this was true.” “So this is Whole Life, right? That’s what the client was told they have.” “So the payment is going to stay the same forever right?” “How much will it go up to?” “And then it just cancels huh?” (Make sure you close them down if they start talking about conversion options. This is your sale! Unless of course, they are Guaranteed Issue and converting their current policy is really the only thing they can do.)
Josh Jones is an expert in the Final Expense market. He and his business partner, Brandon Smotherman, who is a $400,000/year Final Expense Producer, have taken their years of successful experience in the Final Expense and Medicare markets and are now teaching agents how to replicate their proven system. So whether you are thinking about entering the Final Expense market or you are a veteran agent that desires a greater income or you just want to add some Final Expense products to cross sell, Josh and Brandon have the knowledge and resources to help you grow your business.
Visit https://FinalExpenseEntourage.com for more details.