Different ways to close a sale

| 08 Mar 2022

Successfully closing sales is what gets insurance agents their income. But what are the better ways to close a sale? It varies from person to person and depends on what works best for each individual.

Some experts encourage the use of prepared, scripted techniques to prompt prospects to take action. Others recommend approaching prospects in a less openly artificial way, and to focus instead on collaboration and developing trust with prospects.

Traditional selling vs modern selling

Traditional selling was confrontational—you are doing something to a prospect that often results in resistance.  Modern selling is collaborative, it is about working with your prospect to reach mutually beneficial goals.

Traditional selling usually involves a series of distinct steps that lead to the close. First, you put the prospect at ease. Then you explain the benefits of the product you are trying to sell and try to convince the individual to buy it. Where necessary, you address any concerns raised and then try to close again (and the process is repeated until the client has agreed to buy).

Taking this approach, you often need to break through deadlocks. Although some clients will buy in, many will not. This could lead to buyers having second thoughts after having agreed to buy, and non-buyers having an unfavourable impression of the agent and spreading negative feedback.

On the other hand, the modern approach is more collaborative and relies on developing trust and a harmonious relationship. It focuses on discovering the prospects’ concerns, helping them to acknowledge these concerns, presenting possible solutions and gaining their agreement to purchase an appropriate one.

In modern selling, agents prefer the cooperative discovery process over one-way communication. The approach is more useful and helps people better understand and appreciate the nature of their problems. When you coach clients on the better way to manage risk, by offering them various insurance solutions to consider, the selling (or closing) flows naturally from there. You and the prospects work jointly through possible solutions and pick the right one. By helping clients understand their risks and presenting them with available insurance solutions, you no longer need to pressure them to buy. With your advice and encouragement, they often close the deal themselves.

Which approach is better?

Which of these two styles of selling and closing should you choose? It depends on how long you’ve been in the industry and your own preference. If you are relatively new to the business, it may be wise to consider building a toolkit of conventional closing techniques and picking the ones you think will be most appropriate for the prospects with whom you work. And as you gain more experience, you can begin to adopt a more collaborative, trust-building strategy that aims to put you in the role of a trusted adviser. Bear in mind that how you close need not be an either/or situation. You can pick and choose between old and new styles depending on your assessment of a particular prospect or situation.