This may be the most important lesson a Final Expense agent can learn!
Today I would like to discuss the mindset of the Final Expense client. While many conference calls and training seminars will relate to us the mindset we are to have to be successful salespeople, I believe understanding our client’s mindset will have a greater impact on our sales.
We are independent agents. We are Entrepreneurs. If you weren’t a self-starter, you wouldn’t be in this business. We are owners and masters of our own destiny. We are willing to take bull by the horns and do what needs to be done to be successful!
Unfortunately, that drive is lacking in many/most of our prospects. How many times have you shown up at a door in the early afternoon and woke the client up? Now maybe they work 3rd shift, but most just stayed up late watching TV or partying. They could be up early catching the worm, but their motto for life has always been: “Put off until tomorrow what I should do today.” Now I understand that I may be painting our clientele with a broad brush, but this mindset is rampant in the Final Expense demographic.
Again, there may be some clients that worked hard all their life, retired and lost their life insurance and are now in need of coverage. The question remains: did they not realize that was going to happen in the future? Why did they not plan ahead? Even the most responsible of our clients are Professional Procrastinators in one form or another.
Understanding this is one of the KEYS to being successful in the Final Expense business. Many of us have done sales all of our lives and we’ve attended sales seminars and listened to training CDs and read books on sales. Much of what we have learned is transferable to Final Expense, but the Final Expense market is UNIQUE and if you do not come to understand the radically different way our prospects think, compared to the rest of humanity, YOU WILL FAIL!
That was just the introduction, now onto the real content! What does it mean to be a Professional Procrastinator and what do you need to do to overcome it?
First, the Professional Procrastinator never makes a decision right away. Now they will tell you it’s because they want to check around or talk to their kids or think it over, but that is a lie. They hate making decisions. Once you walk out the door, you are the last thing on their mind. They all believe they’re going to live forever anyway, so why make this decision now. What if they make the wrong choice? How is this going to affect my life if I’m lacking $50 a month? Making decisions causes a high degree of anxiety for our clients. It’s much easier to just say, “Let me think about it.”
Secondly, the Professional Procrastinator prides themselves on pushing you off. This is why they’re a pro! You’re not the first Final Expense agent to speak with them and if they successfully push you off, you won’t be the last. They have been doing this since childhood, since their Mom or Dad asked them to do their chores. They did this in school with their school work. They did this with their training at their job. They did this with the decisions they have made about their health. They have pushed everything off until later their whole lives. They are Professional Procrastinators! And we want to come in there and turn their worldview upside down and have them make a decision on the spot! Oh, the nerve!
Finally, the Professional Procrastinator feels justified in not making a decision today because of your attitude, your pushiness, how you’re dressed, because you’ve been asking them so many questions, because you gave them too many options, because you didn’t ask about their grandchildren, because you DID ask about their grandchildren. They will come up with any excuse possible, in their own minds, to justify not making the decision today.
Now that we understand a portion of the way the Final Expense prospect thinks, how do we use that to our advantage?
If we understand the Professional Procrastinator never makes a decision right away, we need to become masters of the art of the assumptive close. We need to also learn to come off as advisers and not salespeople. We need to walk into every door with the assumption that we are going to close the sale and lead our prospects to where we want them to go. This is what they are used to.
When they walk into the Social Security office, they’re told to sit over there and wait. They’re then told to come to this table. They’re told what their options are and what their recommendation for the client is. They demand of them their SS card along with all their bank information. They fill out the forms and sign here, here and here on the X.
Maybe they worked all their life. They were forced to meet in a room with HR, while their options were explained. Most of the important decisions had already been made for them. These are the benefits that we have, now do you want them to come out of your check weekly or biweekly? Fill out these forms, give us your Driver’s License and SS card and sign here, here and here.
Did the SS office or the HR department ever not assume that the prospect would not do what their told? Of course not. That is how we need to come across to our clients.
Yes, you sent this card back to us to gain access to your benefits. I’m here to go over those with you and advise you on the best course of action. Maybe you don’t say those exact words, but that is what you need to convey.
This starts from the moment you walk into the door. If you see a table, start walking toward it and sitting down. If they TV is on, ask them to turn it off. I always say, “Oh can you turn that off…I don’t want to feel like I’m yelling at ya.”
Take control of the situation. If they have an aggressive dog or loud grandkid, ask if there is a place to put them. They requested you to come and you’re here now so they need to X, Y and Z. You have to create an environment conducive to the sale. If you don’t, you might as well just pack up and leave. When I have had the headstrong client tell me “NO I won’t turn the TV off,” I just get up and walk out. Don’t waste time on agent killers.
Now that you’ve established an environment conducive to the sale and created an atmosphere that they are accustomed to from past experiences, you can move on with your presentation.
Now we need to establish why you are there. Read the card back to them and discover their why. You will find this to be much easier if you take care of environment/atmosphere issues first. Now that they are in business mode and are more pliable.
Now you explain to them that you know that they have met with others in the past, but we are different. We are here to help them. We are Senior Advocates. The way we help is by shopping the marketplace for them.
So now we need to know about your health, we need you to go grab your medications. Oh you already have life insurance…that’s nice, I need you to grab that policy. You need to learn to be a “kind bulldog” when it comes to things like this. You need to be insistent, but not offensive. That is a skill that will come with time, but once you master it, you will see your sales numbers go through the roof.
(Pause) Now let me ask you a personal question. If I had come into your house and treated and spoke to you the way I have described, what would you have done? I imagine you would have thrown me out the door a long time ago. I know I would have, but we are not our clients and we do not think the same way. We do not make decisions the same way.
(Unpause) We need to make our whole presentation flow from beginning to end. We spoken about getting “yeses” along the way, so they will be more apt to say yes when you get to the close. That’s fancy shmancy sales techniques. We accomplish this with the Final Expense prospect by taking control and getting them to tell us the information we need and grabbing whatever we need (policy, meds etc) throughout the process. We have to always be assuming that they will do what we ask. Now I always say, “Can you go grab that for me.” Notice there is not a question mark at the end of that sentence. When you say it, there should never be a hint of question at all. Because you are assuming that they are going to do what you ask.
This is what our clients need. Remember, this is how things have gone their whole life. Making decisions causes anxiety. Why not just push this salesman off until later? They asked the wrong questions. Blah blah blah. Lead them through the process. Health qualify them and make a recommendation on the best course. You are the expert. You are their adviser. If you can learn to come across like that, it will make you so much more money!
This is the reason we don’t just show 3 price options and let them choose. Too much anxiety caused! This is why we don’t ask, “How does that sound to you?” Wait, what?!? I have to make a decision?? Let me get back to you after I talk with my daughter! No, we get them to commit to a budget, show them the recommendation we have for them, assuring them that it is the best option and then telling them how much they will get for their $50 a month. Then we close with, “And who do you want to leave this to when you pass?”
It’s seamless. They’re making the decision without having to make a decision. Then we start filling out the app. (Note: if you’ve never been stopped at this point, you are not assuming the sale!) Then we tell them to go grab their driver’s license. Sometimes you will see the wheels turning in their eyes. They’ll look a little confused like you just pulled a fast one on them, but if you do this correctly you will make the sale.
You will gain another “Yes” when you ask for them to give you their SS number and another when you ask for a voided check, but by this point they’re closed.
Now for all this to work, you truly have to believe that you are doing the right thing for your client. High standards of integrity are essential to life, but even more so for those in sales. We need to understand that if we don’t close this sale, we are doing a disservice to our clients.
You may have had this happen, and if not you will: one day you will get a call from someone. They will sound distraught. They will explain that their mother or father has just passed away and they found your business card at their home. Then you will have to be the one to tell them that, unfortunately, their mom did not take out any life insurance.
Our clients need the product we sell. We can condemn them for not thinking like us, or we can learn how they think so that they don’t push this off any longer and leave their children with the bill!
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://learningfe.com/what-we-offer/ for more details.