Have Your Best Sales Year Yet
Raise your hand if you’d like to make a lot of sales in 2019. Hands down. Now raise your hand if you’ve taken specific concrete steps to make that happen. If you have, use that hand to pat yourself on the back. If you haven’t, read on.
We all have wishes and wants and desires. A few of us get lucky and things just kind of magically fall into place. But for most of us, turning our wishes into reality takes effort. If your desire is to have your best insurance sales year yet, some thought and preplanning can be a real boon to your business.
1) Set Goals
You’ve probably read this advice a million times. But have you done it? Have you actually chosen sales metrics that you’d like to reach? Maybe you want to increase your book by adding X new homeowners customers, X new auto customers and X new life insurance customers by the end of the quarter. Then perhaps you set a goal of cross-selling additional policies to X existing customers every month.
Whatever goals you choose, the more specific you make them, the better. It’s much easier to evaluate your progress that way.
Note that one reason some of us get held up on this point is because it’s hard to know where you want to go if you don’t know where you are. Are you already tracking important statistics? Do you know where you currently stand? If not, perhaps you need a different first step:
1b) Set Up Tracking
Don’t underestimate how important it is to have data to work with. If you don’t already know your important numbers, now is the time to change that. You don’t have to get all fancy with a spreadsheet if that’s not your thing. Your tracking can consist of a pad of paper in your desk drawer with relevant figures that you update at whatever interval makes sense to you.
The important thing is to start tracking what matters.
2) Put Your Goals in Writing
Now that you’ve thought about your goals, put them in writing. When you do this, you are formalizing your intent. You can’t control what your customers will do, how much insurance rates will rise or whether a natural disaster is going to make your life crazy as you deal with worried clients. One of the few things you can control is your intention.
So what do you intend to accomplish in 2019? Record it.
3) Put Processes in Place
Next ask yourself: what will help me achieve my goals? This is where you think through how you’re going to make them a reality. Do you need to be better at tracking your progress? Do you need to cross-sell more? Is your spiel about homeowners insurance uninspired?
Try to create processes that will make your life easier. Maybe a fancy spreadsheet would be helpful after all; block out a couple hours to create it. To increase your cross-selling, pick a traditionally slow time (Monday morning? Thursday afternoon?) and create a recurring “Cross-selling” appointment on your calendar when you call a predetermined number of existing customers. Or create a script that you can reference whenever you’re trying to sell insurance to a homeowner. You get the idea.
Figure out the process/es that will help you meet your goal and make the time now to put it/them in place.
4) Check in Regularly
Monthly check-ins tend to work well for most people; a month allows enough time to pass that you’re not obsessing over your goals but also frequent enough that you have regular reminders of what you are trying to accomplish in the big picture. Carve out a few hours every month to update and evaluate your sales numbers for the previous month.
Make a monthly date with yourself. And keep it.
5) Think the Big Thoughts
Give yourself time for ideation, too. In other words, schedule some unscheduled time, maybe once per quarter—a period where you don’t have to accomplish anything other than thinking. Start by looking at your numbers and evaluating if you’re on track or not. Then step away from the data and consider what it’s told you. Do you need to correct your course in some way? Is there something important you’re missing in your process?
Go to a location that is different from where you normally work or take a walk to do some thinking on your feet.
Focus on whatever the most pressing issue is that you’ve identified and look at it from different angles in your mind. What seemed like a big problem likely has lots of solutions, and you’re more likely to see them if you’ve given your brain permission to turn away from more mundane tasks.
Still stumped for ideas? Sometimes two heads are better than one. Your Hometown Quotes Regional Director is always happy to share their wisdom—they know insurance and how to sell it. Give us a call at 800.820.2981, and we’ll do our best to help you have your most successful year yet.