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5 Signs You’re Dealing With A Snake Oil Salesman

Selling is already a tough profession especially when having to overcome the bad reputations of certain sales professionals. Every once and a while it’s good to reflect on your sales methods and make sure you are providing the best sales experience as possible. If you check off any of the following signs then perhaps it’s time for a reeducation.

1.    They lie to make up for lack of product knowledge
A sales professional should know the product they are selling backwards and forwards. It’s their duty to put in the time needed to understand how their product works, what makes it different and why a client would need it. When a customer walks in and says, “I’m looking for a product or plan that covers _______.” A senior insurance agent should know what Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan would work best.  Never lie and claim coverage under a specific plan would suffice because that’s only plan you know. This could have serious financial repercussions for the beneficiaries of a plan.

2.    They Have Poor Customer Service Skills
So you’ve made a Medicare Supplement sale for a couple.
They are thrilled with the plan and excited since it will cover all their needs. However, the moment they call with questions you dodge them or disappear. A sales professional’s job is not finished when they get a contract signed, but it’s an ongoing process as they service their clients.

3.    They Don’t Ask Questions
Good sales should open up a discussion not a way one sales pitch. The first step is finding out more about the client’s background, needs, and concerns. What is the big issue that they need you to help with? You should know that before you even begin to “pitch” them. The greatest value you can provide to your potential customer is listening.  If you don’t know what their main concern or need is, how can you sell them anything of value? Another way to gauge your sales practices is asking yourself: Do your customers often come back with buyer’s remorse? If so, then it’s time to reevaluate how you handle your clients and your approach to selling.

4.    They Rush Sales Process with Deadlines
See above. A bad sales person rushes his customer and says things like “I have to get this contract by today.” During AEP or Annual Enrollment Period there is a deadline, but it is enforced by the government. As an agent you inform your clients of the deadline, but do not pressure them. No reputable sales professional should ever guilt or pressure a client into signing a contract that he or she isn’t comfortable with. Instead of thinking “I need them to sign.” Ask them “What are your remaining concerns? Ask me any questions you have, I’d be happy to answer them.” Especially insurance agents in the Senior Medicare field, your clients are looking for a product that changes their financial future so let them take their time.

5.    They Assume Things About Their Target Customer
Not all clients are the same so do not approach the sale the same way.  If you are a financial advisor consulting a couple on a Final Expense plan, don’t assume the husband will be the default financial decision maker. No one wants to feel left out of a meeting or ignored. Many sales have been ruined by insurance agents or financial advisors ignoring one person by assuming they aren’t the main decision maker. Speak to both parties equally and engaged both in the discussion.

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