Updated: Nov 27, 2018
Many agents feel that they are already great cross-sellers. They may be in the top percentage of agents in their company for clients with multiple products. When I am speaking to agents that feel this way I always start by reassuring them. Truly that is fantastic. It means that they are listening to what their clients are communicating to them about their wants and needs and that is always a good thing!
However, I then explain that we are really talking about two, completely different, types of cross-selling. The first type of cross-selling is being aware of what the client is asking for and listening to them. Then having the product to provide them with what they ask for. IE if you sell Medicare Advantage plans and the client was concerned about the out-of-pocket financial exposure you would probably introduce them to the concept of a hospital indemnity plan.
The second type of cross-selling requires you to utilize a sales process that sets the stage for and engages clients about numerous needs they have in an effective manner. Generating additional sales automatically from your clients as you solve problems they didn't realize they had. Really its about educating your clients.
They issue that many agents have with this type of cross-selling is that their presentations are typically one dimensional. This usually happens because the agent sets the stage to talk about one particular product from the very beginning.
For example, a Medicare supplement sales man often says to the consumer, let me tell you about how Medicare works, the final expense salesman often starts a conversation by discussing funeral expenses, the long term care agent often starts a conversation by explaining how expensive nursing homes are, if the prospect doesn’t need or is not interested in that particular product then the agent must give up on the presentation or change direction, this is what we refer to as making a rotation in your presentation.
This can be a difficult task for many agents. The agent is trying to avoid sounding like a used car salesman. Typically, this scenario happens because what the agent says and what the consumer hears is often perceived differently. The consumer often perceives the agent as saying if you don’t need a Medicare Supplement how about a burial policy oh! You don’t need a burial policy how about some nursing home insurance?
The problem is a presentation based on creating a need for multiple product solutions was never established. When the agent ran into a dead end on their initial presentation they had to establish a new presentation flow or in other words start all over.
The key is to start the presentation in a way that creates a discussion on multiple product solutions without a rotation in the presentation, it is important to properly set the stage for the presentation from the very beginning.