As an insurance agent and professional salesperson there is no greater skill than good communication skills. Over my two plus decades of sales experience, I have heard of just about every closing technique in the book. I understand how to posture a prospect into writing a check for a one call close. I understand fear of loss is a greater motivator than pleasure of having your product or service. But as a sales professional if you lack good communication skills, none of these $19.95 sales techniques you will learn will ever help you achieve the success in your sales career you are striving to accomplish. Let’s examine the first component of communication.
The first component of communication is the most obvious. It is simply the words you speak. So many new insurance agents or new salespeople get so caught up in the words that they are to use. They always want to see a sales script. Understand that a sales script is a very effective tool and I personally use sales scripts to train insurance agents how to sell certain products and systems. But here is the reality of words in the art of communication, they only account for 7% of the communication process, just 7%. We are so focused on the words we say and it is only 7% of our communication process on selling our insurance product or any other product or service. Understand the words you say are important, but it is not the most important by a long shot when it comes to communicating your message to your prospect.
The dictionary defines word as (noun) A single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing, used with others (or sometimes alone) to form a sentence and typically shown. Notice the definition refers to a single distinct element. Actual communication has three elements or components and words are just the first. Certainly using the right word at the right time is crucial, as words do have meaning. But when trying to learn a new sales presentation, don’t get so hung up on the exact words, the other two components of communication are by far more important. Also, understand any language barriers going into your presentation. Different cultures and languages can quite literally change the meaning of a word you use without you even being aware. The other components will certainly help overcome that challenge as well.
In the next two blogs we will begin to explore the other two components of good communication in greater detail. You do have to learn your script or words to be 100% effective but not to the point of perfection. The best sales script ever written is useless the hands of a salesperson or insurance agent with poor communications skills.
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Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger and team leader with over 26 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.