Time to Rethink Your Sales Pitch
You’ve probably read countless blogs about “the best sales techniques” or “the sure-fire way to close the deal.” But, when you come across a blog that’s actually an extremely valuable asset for any sales person, especially insurance agents and advisors, it’s worth pointing out.
For me, this blog was Andy Raskin’s “The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen.” In his blog, he reviews a PowerPoint presentation from Zuora that he found so compelling, he titled his blog as such.
In his blog, he reviews five main aspects of the presentation that every salesperson should become familiar with and use in their sales pitches and presentations.
Take these five things and work them into your current sales process.
1. “Name a Big, Relevant Change in the World”
Raskin explains that prospects care less about you and/or your company and more about why your product or service matters. Why should they care?
“Instead, name the undeniable shift in the world that creates both (a) big stakes and (b) huge urgency for your prospect.”
He points out one common tactic salespeople use: introduce the problem. But, as he warns, this might “put them on the defensive. But when you highlight a shift in the world, you get prospects to open up about how that shift affects them, how it scares them, and where they see opportunities.”
As a sales professional in the life & health insurance field, a couple of ways you can use this probably come to mind. If you’re a benefits professional, you might highlight the shift to virtual offices and how employers are now looking for different benefits, like Telehealth services or expanded EAP benefits, to meet the needs of virtual employees.
2. “Show There’ll Be Winners and Losers”
As a salesperson, you might be familiar “loss aversion.” Humans are wired to fear losing something—we're more afraid to lose something than we are excited to gain something.
When it comes to consumers, Raskin says, “they tend to avoid a possible loss by sticking to the status quo, rather than risk a possible gain by opting for change.”
As an advisor, you need to present the issue in a way that makes the prospect want to act immediately—create urgency. To do this, he says you must show the prospect:
- “That adapting to the change you cited will likely result in a highly positive future for the prospect; and
- That not doing so will likely result in an unacceptably negative future for the prospect”
3. “Tease the Promised Land”
Raskin encourages salespeople to resist the urge to lay out all the details of your product or service at this point. Instead, he says “the Promised Land is a new future state, not your product or service.”
“Teasing the Promised Land” is explaining what your prospect will experience with the product or service you’re selling. Using the employee benefits example we talked about above, the “Promised Land” might be ways to avoid employee burnout and be proactive about employee mental health—saving their company’s culture as they work remotely or start making the shift back to the office.
One way to think of it is how Raskin eloquently puts it here:
“Over lunch, I asked my friend Tim to articulate his Promised Land, and he said, ‘You’ll have the most innovative platform for ____.’ Nope: the Promised Land is not having your technology, but what life is like thanks to having your technology.” (Insert your product/service/coverage in place of ‘technology’)
Life is more comforting with life insurance for a married couple, especially ones with kids and debts, like mortgages.
Life is worry-free with long-term disability coverage for couples who depend on each others’ income.
Life feels ‘sorted-out’ and secure with retirement and other financial plans in place.
Work life feels better or secure with the right insurance coverage and benefits for employees.
4. “Introduce Features as ‘Magic Gifts’ for Overcoming Obstacles to the Promised Land”
In this section, it would be difficult for me to summarize in a way that’s better than Raskin directly portrays it. So, here it is, straight from his blog:
“If it’s not clear by now, successful sales decks follow the same narrative structure as epic films and fairy tales.
Your prospect is Luke, and you’re Obi Wan, furnishing a lightsaber to help him defeat the Empire. Your prospect is Frodo, and you’re Gandalf, wielding wizardry to help him destroy the ring. Your prospect is Cinderella, and you’re the fairy godmother, casting spells to get her to the ball.
When you introduce your product or service, do so by positioning its capabilities like the lightsaber, wizardry and spells—as “magic gifts” for helping your main character (prospect) reach that much-desired Promised Land.”
Help your prospect understand what products or services they need to get to where they want to be. You’re the expert, and this pitch/presentation has helped your prospect see that. Now is the time to explain the details of what you’re selling.
5. “Present Evidence That You Can Make the Story Come True”
Share success stories of your clients. Share testimonials you’ve gathered. This part right here is why you should never stop collecting testimonials.
Reassure your prospect that going with you is the way to get that feeling you described in step 4, the “Promised Land.” There are other agents out there who sell the same stuff you do; show your prospect why you are the best choice.
*Note: The full blog by Andy Raskin is definitely worth reading. I’ve simply summarized the main points here and related it to insurance sales.
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This blog was originally published on 6/1/2017. It has been updated and republished on 5/3/2021.