You know you’re a good agent and producer. You’ve got a nice book of business. You’re a people person, you’re astute and knowledgeable about risk and insurance.
When you go out on sales calls, you bring with you a firm handshake, a warm smile, and the confidence that you can do a better job for the prospect than their current agent. But are you thinking about what else your body language is conveying? Is it aligned with your intentions? And how well can you read the physical signals you’re getting from others?
46 years ago, Dr. Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of psychology at UCLA, published a landmark study on nonverbal communication. His findings have since become a standard in the field, especially the 7%-38%-55% rule. Continue reading →
It began, more or less, with the messenger pigeon. Cyrus the Great, king of Persia and ruler of the largest empire the world had ever seen, used pigeon-delivered messages to stay abreast of what was happening in all corners of his kingdom. Back in the Age of Iron, that was pretty cool. 5000 years later, in the Information Age, we find ourselves sending text messages saying “check your email,” and emails reminding us to pick up the phone.
In the realm of sales, communication is key. Are you clear about the details? Do you understand the prospect’s situation? Are you conveying the right message to establish trust, differentiate your agency, and show the value you can deliver?
Today’s sage advice: start with a broad view, consider your goals, and understand the dynamics of synchronous and asynchronous communication channels. Continue reading →
The classic sales acronym AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action, puts attention right where it belongs — at the very beginning. If you want to tell your story and influence people, you’ve got to first get their attention. But what about the focus of your own attention?
In her recent book, Rapt, Winifred Gallagher distinguishes between two kinds of attention. The first she calls stimulus-driven. It’s the attention that advertisers and the media aim to capture when they bombard our senses with color, sound, movement and emotion. The other kind is voluntary. That’s when we make the conscious choice to pay attention to one thing rather than another, deliberately focusing on what’s relevant at the moment rather than succumbing to what dazzles our senses. With deliberate attention, we determine what to ignore and what to focus on. Continue reading →