Recently, I decided I wanted to buy a new car. I wasn’t sure what I wanted at first, as I haven’t driven a car for a long time. So, I looked at a lot of options. As a sales professional I found the experience interesting.

I encountered demonstrators, order takers and one sales professional in the 5 dealerships I visited. I was given lots of quotes, shown lots of options and left generally confused and frustrated. No one it seemed wanted to really understand my needs and my financial capabilities. No one wanted to guide me through a process, which would end in a marriage of their product and my needs.

These people weren’t sales people. I suspect that they weren’t particularly well compensated either.

The guy that finally sold me a car started with a detailed conversation about what I wanted, needed and could afford before we ever looked at a car. He earned the business before we ever left his office. The fellow whose brand I really wanted to buy, and would have bought had he only followed up with me, called a week after I was driving my new car from another dealer. He was shocked! But he hadn’t done his job.

Now, how does this relate to running a growing insurance agency? If the answers not obvious then we have a problem!

So, to state the obvious the successful sales person or sales organization MUST qualify the prospect EVERY time! If you don’t understand your prospect’s needs, desires and capability how can you solve their problems in a creative, compelling way?

The answer is you can’t! All you can do is take an order. That is a valid business model but it isn’t very effective and it is guaranteed to result in mediocrity.

The other perfectly obvious point is that successful sales people follow up with prospects on a timely basis. I really wanted to buy a different car. But I had reservations. My objections weren’t very strong and a simple conversation would probably have carried the day. But the order taker didn’t follow up with me in a timely manner and I encountered a sales person before he did.

Look, it isn’t up to the prospect to buy. It’s up to the sales person to sell!

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