The R.U.T.A. Report: Patient Persistence is Professional

by 12 Jan 2015
If you are a new agent or feel like it, you may fear the idea of “pushiness” more than anything else in your business. It’s probably the definition of being “salesly” that freaks agents out most. It also probably kills more sales and sales people than anything else.

Here’s the thing, persistence is not pushiness and pleasant persistence to persuade prospects to purchase proper product is professional. Regardless of what you might think.  Litigators do it in court. Accountants use it in negotiating with the taxman. Doctors call it “bedside manner”. It’s the very nature of getting things done.

Here’s why.  One of the most important business lessons a sales professional learns is that people doing things on their own schedule, not ours. They have their own reasons for doing things – including buying insurance - and they are not necessarily ours either.

That means that selling a product, service or even an idea is all about lining up your “product” with the prospect’s needs and timing.  When product and timing line up the first time you connect with someone, it’s a fluke. Usually, it takes time to match up our timing.   

It’s like arranging meeting schedules to find a mutually agreeable time to meet. How do you find this time?  As the instigator of the relationship, the agent is responsible for it and finding that match. That means checking regularly to see if the timing is right.  There’s no other way but asking… politely, pleasantly and persistently.  

There are good ways to do this… on email for instance, an email with a subject line “Jim Ruta following up…” is a simple way to try. Then, saying something like… “We’ve talked about getting together about your will-funding – is the time more appropriate now? Is there a good time next week” might just do the trick.

“Pushiness” is when you don’t pay attention to a prospect’s instructions. That is what causes the trouble, not persistence. If they say you can call back in a month, make it a month. Be thoughtful and considerate of their time and wishes. Be trustworthy in small things like callbacks and you start to prove you value in big things, like their insurance programming.  

Never be backward about taking your business forward with new prospects. Just be reasonable and make sure you have enough prospects in the hopper that you can afford to be patient with prospects. Patient persistence is powerful persuasion.  

The RUTA Report – Real Usable Tactical Advice – is provided exclusively to the Canadian Life e-newsletter each week by veteran financial industry consultant, speaker, writer and media commentator Jim Ruta. Starting at age 22, he led one of Canada’s largest insurance agencies by age 40. Jim has been featured around the world including the MDRT Main Platform and has several best-selling books to his credit. He is Managing Partner of Boston-based InforcePRO Software, a unique automatic presentation from existing policies system.