When I first moved down to the United States from Montreal, I had $400 in my bank account.
That’s everything I had to my name when I touched down in Chicago.
And that money was set aside to pay for my first month’s rent.
I didn’t have any other sources of income. I was building my own little business, but it wasn’t producing anything for me at that time.
I knew that I needed some cash flow to live off of for a few months, so I skimmed through the job postings in the Chicago Mirror. (This was the FREE newspaper. I didn’t want to shell out 50 cents for the Chicago Tribune! 🤣 )
My eyes were immediately drawn to a tiny little ad that read, “Make $600 per week! Dynamic sales environment. ADT.”
“Amazing,” I thought. (Remember, $600 was more than I had in my entire bank account at the time.)
So I called up ADT and they told me where to go for their “cattle call” interview.
I threw on the one suit that I owned at the time and showed up.
I walked into the lobby and the guy at reception told me I’m the only guy that showed up in a suit.
Is that good? Bad? I didn’t really know…but he showed me into the room where there were a dozen other people looking for work.
We all awkwardly sat there for a few minutes before they brought in this “hype” guy who tried to amp us all up and get us excited about peddling security systems on the streets of Chicago.
I can still remember the guy explaining how we could make $200 bucks a pop by knocking on doors and signing up just one homeowner. (Sign up two and I could double my bank account in one night’s worth of work.)
Count me in!
So after the “interview,” they loaded all of us up into this white van with this motivational “sales crusher” guy we’d never met, and we started driving.
We eventually arrived in this part of Chicago where I’d never been. He gave us some ADT pamphlets and told us to start knocking.
It was a long night, but things actually didn’t end up that bad.
That first night I lined up one deal, which netted me $200.
But that’s not why I remember that night.
I remember that night door knocking for ADT because of the story the driver told us about ADT’s number one closer.
As we drove back to the office, he told us about how this guy had developed a pretty unique sales strategy where he’d walk up to the door, ring the doorbell, and then walk back off the porch and stand 10 or 15 feet away from the house.
Then, from this far-off position, he would launch into his little sales pitch – making sure to speak fairly softly so that the person would ask him, “Can you come a little closer?”
Then he’d take a couple of steps forward and repeat his sales pitch.
Again, the homeowner would barely hear him, so they’d ask him to get closer.
This back and forth would go on two or three times before they’d eventually invite him into the house.
And according to the ADT driver, almost every homeowner would invite this guy into the house.
Can you guess why?
It’s because there was ZERO pressure.
Whereas most door knocking salespeople launched into a fast-paced, high-pressure pitch, this guy was confident, lowkey, and not intimidating.
Homeowners were comfortable asking him to come inside, and they sensed that he was honest.
His posture, voice, and delivery was approachable.
This guy made hundreds of bucks a night and was a local ADT legend. (It’s kind of funny to think back on now…but I thought it was fantastic at the time.)
That story has stuck with me all these years, and I think about it often.
I think about how many times we, as advisors, unintentionally try to put the hard close on a prospect and scare them off. (When we should actually be taking a few steps back and dialing the pressure down a few notches.)
Prospects can sniff desperation from a mile away.
But if you’re poised, you’ll earn more opportunities.
If you need the sale, you’re probably not going to get the sale.
You have to be okay with the fact that the decision could be “no.”
And if you’re fine with that – and you project that confidence – it’s actually going to help you sell more.
I tell you that long-winded story to make a point…
Overcoming sales objections – which is what we’re going to discuss in this blog post – is not about a last-ditch effort, hail Mary, or final act of desperation.
Overcoming objections should be viewed as a great opportunity to show a prospect how they could genuinely benefit from saying yes.
And if you figure out how to do that with consistency, you’re going to see your commissions and AUM skyrocket.
I truly believe that.
I’ve gone from selling ADT services for $200 commission checks in the streets of Chicago to selling millions of dollars of premium financial services products. And it wasn’t until I became okay with the fact that a prospect could say “no” that I truly started to improve my sales game.
If you’re willing to embrace that same principle, then I’ve got some powerful techniques to give you.
3 Techniques for Overcoming Common Sales Objections
Sales objections and sales rebuttals are common.
If you’re aggressively prospecting, you experience them on a daily basis.
And while there are plenty of legitimate reasons for a prospect to say “no,” you shouldn’t take the first “no” at face value.
Accept the fact that this might not be a good fit and they may have a completely legitimate reason for saying no, but press in a bit in an attempt to overcome their sales objections and focus on closing the deal.
And when it comes to sales rebuttals, there are three techniques that tend to work well for insurance and financial advisors.
Technique #1: “Before You Make Up Your Mind”
How many times have you been in a sales situation and you thought to yourself, “Closing the deal simply isn’t in the cards. This thing is headed nowhere. Time to move on.”?
You kind of get this sixth sense where you can almost smell the rejection coming.
If you’re on a Zoom call , you see their body language change – they start fidgeting and acting uncomfortable. Or if you’re on the phone, you notice a hesitation or change of inflection in their voice.
And despite giving it your best, the prospect simply won’t budge.
If that’s the case, you can pull this line out to quickly jump from “no” to “possibility.”
It might not get you all the way to a “yes,” but it’s going to get you a whole lot closer and open up the door for closing the deal .
This technique consists of six simple yet powerful words: “Before you make up your mind…”
You basically say, “ Before you make your mind up, wouldn’t it make sense to [INSERT ACTION YOU WANT PERSON TO TAKE TO GET THE NEEDED INFORMATION]?”
Here are some examples of what this could look like in practice:
Before you make your mind up, wouldn’t it make sense to see how our performance has been over the past 15 years as a fund?
Before you make your mind up, Can I ask you a question?
Before you make your mind up, wouldn’t it make sense to discuss this with your wife?
Statements like these work really well for a couple of reasons.
First off, you’re acknowledging that they have the freedom to make up their own mind . (They already know this, but it’s nice to hear you reaffirm it. It makes them feel in control.)
Secondly, you’re asking them to think logically about the situation before coming to a final decision. And it just so happens that the logical action is one that is likely to move the needle in your favor.
Technique #2: Getting Them to Order More
We don’t typically think in terms of upselling in insurance or financial services. However, if we’re honest, we do it all the time. (It just looks different than a traditional upsell.)
Whether it’s getting people to move more assets over, get a higher policy, or add on some extra riders…it’s something that we do often.
And if you become really skilled at getting people to add on, you could significantly increase your revenue by enhancing the lifetime value of each client in your practice.
Having said that, the technique I’m about to teach you comes with a caveat.
As the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility.
So when I give you this statement/formula, I’m operating under the assumption that you’re going to use it ethically and always keep a prospect/client’s best interests in mind.
I have to give you this disclosure, because this technique is super effective.
Are we on the same page?
Okay, good…here’s the formula:
“ Would + [whatever you want them to do/buy] + be enough + [outcome].
I know that doesn’t look like much, but here are some examples to show you how it can be used:
Would $500,000 in Whole Life be enough to cover your loved ones?
In retirement, would $3 million be enough to live off of?
Would $200,000 be enough to get your kids to private college?
Would saving more in taxes be helpful to you?
Would moving $1 million be enough to generate the retirement income you need?
Would buying a $100k insurance policy be enough to cover all of the risk?
Would $150,000 per year be enough for your family to maintain the lifestyle they’ve become used to?
Would gifting 50% more to your kids than to the IRS be enough to make you move forward?
The key to this entire technique is to use the word “enough.” In doing so, you’re giving them an opportunity to say “Yeah, okay, that’s enough.” And just like that, they go from “no” to “possibility” to “yes.”
Technique #3: “I Need to Think About It”
If you hear people say “I need to think about it…” at the end of a sales call, it’s probably because you haven’t done enough tie-downs throughout your sales process.
In other words, you didn’t determine if they have to check-in with someone before making a decision (like a supervisor or spouse). Or you didn’t uncover their concerns well enough.
If you do your job properly, “I need to think about it” shouldn’t happen very often. However, we all encounter it from time to time.
Assuming you do run into this problem, this technique can work well.
It’s rooted in the fact that nobody is actually going to think about it. Prospects use this phrase to remove the pain of indecision and retreat to a more comfortable position.
It looks like this: “ Just out of curiosity + [insert question that makes them give you a real glimpse into what’s holding them back].”
Here are some illustrations:
Just out of curiosity, what is it specifically you need some time to think about?
Just out of curiosity, what needs to happen for you to make a decision about this?
I understand that this might not be for you, but just out of curiosity, what is it that you need to think about?
This is not about closing people – it’s about leading them to a decision. Hopefully it’s a yes, but sometimes a “no” is the answer. You just have to help them get there.
And I’ll leave you with one final piece of wisdom that I’ve learned over the years:
If you care about the person more than the outcome, you’ll become the most powerful salesperson you’ve ever been.
If you don’t remember anything else from this post, remember that idea. It’ll serve you well in every single area of your life.
Learn to Win the Virtual Meeting
It’s safe to say our industry underwent a quick-immersion SHOCK treatment this year.
For 90% of advisors, 2020 was a wake-up call where you were forced to shift from in-person, face-to-face meetings to Zoom meetings.
And I’d venture to bet you’re still trying to learn how to master Zoom meetings .
So I’ve developed a Virtual Meeting Playbook to help accelerate this learning curve and help you win BIGGER and FASTER.
Inside, you’ll find no-fail strategies for lighting, video, software, meeting structure, and even a few more sales techniques.
Consider it my gift to you.
If you want one, you can let me know below and I’ll send it over to your inbox within a few minutes.
You Might be Falling Behind, If…
I’m going to let you in on the worst-kept secret in our space…
Well…truth be told…it’s not even a secret anymore.
What started as a maybe-we-should-try-this idea back at the start of the summer, has turned into the fastest-growing weekly gathering of insurance and financial advisors in the industry.
I’m talking about the Virtual Advisor Power Hour , of course.
More than 2,000 advisors sign up for this FREE 60-minute masterclass every Wednesday night and, quite frankly, it’s raising the standard in our field.
If you aren’t attending, you’re missing out on the top sales techniques, strategies, and frameworks to grow your practice and thrive in this new virtual world.
If you aren’t attending, you’re falling behind.
And I want better for you…
So I’d like to personally invite you to the next Virtual Advisor Power Hour.
It takes place this Wednesday – and every Wednesday – at 12 noon ET.
You can add it to your calendar by clicking HERE.
Can I count on you?