February 5, 2014

Increase your close rate by making this a priority

Do you ever send quotes or proposals to your clients via email? Maybe you’re feeling rushed, or even a bit lazy at times, or worse yet – this is how you always do it. Technology can make our lives much easier, but if we don’t use it correctly, it can be very ineffective.

Life Proposal Email

Way back before your time, the Postal Service made it possible for salesmen to work by mail, rather than door-to-door. Later, the telephone allowed us to speak to clients without being in front of them. More recently, fax machines allowed us to send paperwork instantly and faster than waiting on the mail.

The internet and email have drastically increased the speed of business communications. While each of these technologies was groundbreaking, each one allowed us to take one more step away from valuable personal interactions.

So if you’re firing off multiple quotes, prices, or illustrations, and seeing only a few of them result in sales, I have a suggestion. I’m going to walk you through a better way to communicate with your prospects, and turn those communications into sales.

Relationships Matter

In my previous post “Relationships Rewarded with Renewals” I wrote about how important it is to build relationships, and you should never let your tools get in the way of that. They should be used to supplement your one-on-one meetings – there is no tool or technology that can replace you being you.

The Element of Surprise

I will date myself, but the best tool of my offensive arsenal was the element of surprise. Most of my contacts never knew I was coming until I got to their house. I could then begin to read them, and they could see me and get comfortable with me as well. I know that sounds crazy today, but eye-to-eye is still the best. If I were going out today and working a cold list, I would still prefer the element of surprise.

Let’s Get Personal

Whenever possible, you should present illustrations or quotes face-to-face. When you email that information, you are removing the opportunity to walk your client through the sale. If you email a complicated Life illustration, your prospect is going to flip right to the page that shows the premium. When you present it in person, you are in control. You can explain to them what is happening—why and when—and then you can show them the premium when you’re ready.

For Med Supps, let prospects know that you will be in their area and will love to drop off some rates and explain the program – at their home.

If You Must…

If meeting in person just isn’t feasible; they won’t let you come to their home, or they’re too far away, or whatever the reason may be, here are some options.

Whatever method you use, remember that you are building a relationship!

For those of you who are more comfortable on your computer, you could “meet” by computer. You could use Skype, FaceTime, Join.me, or any number of consumer-friendly options. While this isn’t as good as being in your prospects home, it still allows you to be face-to-face, both seeing and hearing each other. Many grandparents already use these technologies to stay in touch with their families.

If you aren’t comfortable with that, there’s still the phone – you can discuss the details over the phone, and then mail or email the paperwork after you’ve explained it to them.

Sometimes there will be an exception to the rule - if you’re working with an existing customer, you may be fine simply sending quotes via email, especially if you have a good relationship already. A new prospect has not built a bond with you, and taking a shortcut by sending an email proposal will be a long shot for closing a sale.

Whatever method you use, remember that you are building a relationship!

There is nothing better than gaining a new customer, and if you have an interested prospect, don't take the easy way, take the BEST way to be successful. When you make the extra effort to get in front of your prospect, you can present your offer on your terms, start or build the relationship, and best of all – it’s harder for them to say no, when you’re looking them in the eye.


Add your two cents! Have you noticed a difference in results between in-person meetings, phone calls, and emails? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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