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LEADER -- Sell yourself not the product

By Staff Reporter
13 July 2012 | 1 minute read

To be a successful agent you must first understand your clients, says Joe Jordan, and clients don’t want to buy products, they want to buy people

SUCCESS IS about you, says Joe Jordan, arguably the world’s greatest and most well known insurance salesman.

MetLife’s senior vice president is considered by many Americans to be a legend thanks to his unique selling approach.


To successfully sell to clients, agents must first understand they aren’t ‘selling’, Mr Jordan says.

“If you are concerned with getting a deal over the line, you are not going to be successful. The first rule... is not to sell; [you] must establish relationships with clients.”

People don’t buy products, they buy people, according to Mr Jordan, so clients want to deal with a professional who makes them feel safe, comfortable and well informed.

“If you can establish a relationship of trust with your client, the rest will fall into place,” he says.

The second most important thing for agents to realise is that they are not just salespeople.

“[Agents], like insurance salespeople, are advocates,” he says. “True value is not measured by how much money you make; it is measured by the size of the problem you can solve.”

“We bring passion and motivation to ourselves and to our clients so we can both wholeheartedly believe we are doing one of the most important things in the world.”

According to Jordan, if agents do not believe in what they do, their clients will struggle to maintain faith in them and their abilities. Moreover, without a high level of self-esteem, they will struggle in an industry filled with rejection.

“[Agents] face constant rejection so it is very easy to lose faith and self-esteem,” Mr Jordan says, “but confidence is the most important thing [you] can possess.

“You can have all the knowledge in the world, but if you don’t have any self-esteem or belief in what you are doing, your clients won’t have faith in you and you will struggle to create longstanding relationships.”

Agents, according to Mr Jordan, should tell themselves that they lead a life of significance, by constantly doing the right thing by the client.

“It is always the right thing when you approach a customer with their best interests at heart,” he says.

“They feel it and respond. You will know it and not only earn your business but feel terrific about the impact you are making on others’ lives.”

Once agents realise the services they provide are not only important but also highly valued, their next goal, according to Mr Jordan, is to build an emotional connection.

People are buying more than a home, they are instead buying a new lifestyle, a new beginning and a new experience. Getting the home can therefore be emotional and almost overwhelming in some cases.

“[Agents] need to know how to connect with their clients emotionally,” Mr Jordan says. “You cannot be completely detached because you will never secure repeat business that way.”

If, however, agents can get their clients using statements like “that feels right”, then they are on the right path.

“A lot of the time, you will hear [people] say, ‘OK, that seems good to me’,” he says. “But ‘seems’ is not a strong word, nor is it a feeling.

“Spend time connecting with your client, and help them feel comfortable with their decisions,” advises Mr Jordan.

“Never make a decision for them, guide them towards the right path but let them choose whether or not they want to go down it.

“If you do your job right, they will choose the right path, establish an emotional connection with you that is based on trust and they will ultimately become your strongest advocates.”

While this all sounds simple enough, creating an emotional connection with a client is easier said than done. Agents should therefore spend time scripting their client conversations, says Mr Jordan.

“It is very important that [agents] don’t wing their preliminary conversations,” he says.

“Sometimes salespeople are obnoxious and they think they know all there is to know. I am here to tell them they don’t. The fact is, words can be very powerful when spoken in the right way.

“When you go and see a play, the actors haven’t just shown up on the day and winged it. They have spent time rehearsing what they are going to say.

“They spend so much time practising that when it comes to deliver the lines, they do not sound forced, but rather they sound natural – as though the lines were written for them.

“This is what [agents] need to do,” Mr Jordan says.

By scripting their initial client conversation, agents can ensure they get all the right messages across without being overbearing or controlling.

“If you practise your ‘elevator conversation’ so that it is short, simple, straight to the point and – most importantly – interesting, you will find you never have a shortage of business,” he says.

LEADER -- Sell yourself not the product
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