Friday, 4 November 2011

Influencing & Professional Selling Skills for Insurance Brokers

Last month I was running a course for Tack International with a group of commercial insurance brokers from a range of companies from London and South East of England .

The delegates' businesses covered commercial insurance  ranging from specialising in Property & Landlord sector, the motor bike sector to more traditional brokers. Some had been selling commercial insurance for 20 and 30 years other for just a few months which made for a lively and productive two days.

They were a stretching and lively group to work with.
The insurance marketplace is tough at the moment both on those with books on the  'renewals side' and  for those developing new business.
Our Course Objectives included

·         To reveal the results of recent research into client preferences
·         To introduce insurance brokers to the research based PRO-PAYBACK® sales process and how to apply it
·         To discuss effective techniques for those aspects of selling which present the biggest challenges to most  insurance salespeople – answering objections, strategies for unseating an incumbent competitor and winning client commitment (or ‘closing’)
·         To enable sales professionals to appraise themselves and plan to develop personal action plans to achieve and exceed their sales targets

In commercial insurance sometimes agreement is there for the asking with our clients other times you have to work hard to gain acceptance of your idea. Brokers need to be skilled influencers.

The "New Business" team in deep thought & discussion in the Spey Room at the Mint Hotel, John Islip Street, Westminster, London 
 ( Alexandr Orlov on lookout duty- Commercial Insurance is 'Simples'?!)

Sessions covered
·           Assessing your own selling style and adapt it to suit your clients
·           Apply the latest research into clients’ likes and dislikes when dealing with insurance salespeople
·           Apply a proven sales structure and process during every future sales scenario
·           Plan your calls professionally
Ricky and  scribe captain Mark set about their task for the 'renewals team'

·           Sell by setting clear objectives
·           Research and target the right prospects and customers to generate the best results
·           Gain and retain your customers’ attention
·           Ask value driven questions to fully understand your customers’ needs
New Business team 'brainstormed' and generated a set of drill down questions- one or  two 'killer questions' came out of their work and were eagerly transferred to the group's personal development action plans.
·           Apply the concept of ‘YOU Appeal®’ ensuring the customer is your focus at all times during the sales process
·           Motivate customers by applying TACK’s Offer Analysis© technique
·           Respond to and manage objections confidently and professionally
·           Deploy key strategies for winning business and gaining customer commitment
·           Close every sales conversation on a positive objective
·           Keep developing your client relationships for long term and profitable business
Ashley talks through his team's offer analysis

One of the key sessions of the programme is examining Influencing Skills. The teams worked hard on responding to some stretching tasks listing:
  •  ways  that you can be clear and direct in the challenges with /for  your clients.
  •   how your behaviour styles can be applied to influencing situations
  •  approaches  thatyou can make an impact and motivate clients
  •  actions that you can build up a ‘reserve of trust’ with a client
  •  steps that will progress the client to accept your ideas

Using work  developed by  International learning Inc. we recognised that 
Influencing skills come from five key factors in commercial insurance. We worked on some of the following ideas about Influencing Skills.

 Insurance  messages must be clear. With both technically sophisticated and regulated financial services the challenge of effective and clear communication is ever present.

Yet selling commercial insurance is not solely about commitment but also about the interaction and interpersonal relationships between broker and client and broker and supplier( e.g. Banks, Insurance Houses etc)

Our offer needs to be communicated with impact and be persuasive but in a conversational and business like manner

Essentially the most important aspect in selling insurance is about the Trust. Building up a bank of trust is crucial on-going task for the professional insurance broker

Getting the balance of persistence rather than 'nagging' a client is key.

In addition to  working a practical sales process  PRO-PAYBACK we also worked on practical aspects of communication skills in client meetings and other interactions such as trade shows, exhibitions, networking events and seminars in skills such as listening , questioning and non-verbal communication.

Chris, Phil and Ashley preparing for the Personal Space Exercise and Body language - note the measuring tape on the floor

Benn and Ryan check their 'fight or flight tells'

Related Links

Selling Skills for Insurance Brokers

TACK  International

Interpersonal Styles


  1. Well documented! I love the way that you take to work. At each meeting, I wonder if I use all methods of sales to close the deal. Anyway, I tried your methods and it is rather effective.

    1. I am glad they have helped you in your business.

      I am not sure I should claim them as my methods as Isaac Newton the great Scientist is supposed to have have said, we stand on the shoulders of those before us.

      In Selling you and I stand on the shoulders of Alfred TACK and of course Dale Carnegie

      Good Selling