Soft skills necessary for successful selling

People like me have been talking about the need to increase protection sales for years.

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While some have taken this on board others haven’t been able to. Perhaps this is because the role of technology in the protection market over the last 20 years has been more of a hindrance than a help.

It’s created a barrier to the face-to-face contact you need to succeed at selling protection.

Some 20 years ago, in the old life companies, people would be on the road selling. Every sale was face-to-face and the only aids were your training and maybe a book with the life rates for people of different ages and life conditions.

It also meant we were better at dealing with soft facts – the facts that make or break a life assurance sale, such as a breadwinner’s aspirations for their family and how long they want to protect it for.

Those conversations seem incredibly hard for many people to have today. Also hard – or near impossible for some advisers – is dealing with rejection. When sales teams were on the road all the time, they all met in the office once a week for a sales meeting.

This gave advisers the chance to compare notes with others doing the same job and to receive training to help them overcome objections and to deal with rejection.

But for advisers who can master the art of understanding what they are selling and why, who can learn to deal with both soft facts and rejection, the opportunities are theirs for the taking.