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11 Keys For Being An Active Listener To Help You Increase Your Insurance Sales

Jul 11, 2008
Peak performance in life insurance sales starts with listening.

There is a big difference between the way we hear and the way we listen. Hearing is the physical response of your ears and the brain mechanism that picks up sound waves and translates them into signals you can understand.

Listening is the active process of deciphering signals and translating them into meaning. It's the exact opposite of talking. Most people are better talkers
than listeners; they're much more adept at expressing their feelings and concerns than at listening to feelings and concerns of others. Which are you?

Tips for Being A Great, Active Listener

1. Open your mind and ears-switch off all negative thoughts and feelings about the prospect and be receptive to the messages he or she is sending.

2. Listen from the first sentence-don't be thinking about what you're going to be saying next. Don't be planning the rest of your presentation. Put aside what your agenda may be and give your undivided attention to your prospective client. They will see this and appreciate you 'being there'.

3. Analyze what is being said and what is not being said-even the slowest listeners can think faster than the fastest talkers. Avoid trying to figure out what your prospect is going to say; you may miss what he or she is actually saying. Instead, use your faster thinking speed to analyze what has already been said.

4. Listen, don't talk-active listening is not only a great selling skill, it's also an important interpersonal skill to have. Always help your prospective client convey his or her meaning accurately to you. You could paraphrase what your prospect has said to be sure you understand when it's your turn to talk.

5. Never interrupt, but always allow them to interrupt you-nothing cuts of the flow of a meaningful dialogue quite as effectively as continuous interruptions. What's more, it's offensive and rude.

6. Ask clarifying questions to stimulate your prospect to talk so you can better understand what he or she means-show that you're taking him or her seriously by drawing out elaborations and explanations.

7. Remember what is said-log important points into your mental computer.

8. Block out interruptions and distractions-concentrate so fully on what's being said that you don't even notice visual or audible distractions such as a television or children.

9. Be responsive-get your whole body into listening and showing that you are paying attention. Look the person in the eye and use facial expressions and gestures to show you hear and understand them.

10. Stay calm-don't overreact to highly charged words and tones. Hear the person out; then respond.

11. Don't merely go to the meeting to 'get your two cent's worth' in. Be an effective, professional salesperson. Always remember, your prospective client has your 'two cents' right in his or her pocket already!

If you follow these simple rules for listening and questioning, you should avoid the pain of rejection; however, if you find yourself at the wrong end of an answer which might cause you pain, let it motivate you for the good. Get up and start over, listen better, think longer, ask different, stronger questions and never, ever give up. Keeping these strategies in mind will help you to propel your insurance sales. Have fun and good selling!
About the Author
Our mission statement is helping
agents prosper by protecting American families. I own and operate a national
insurance agency for
National Agents Alliance. I
recruit and train agents or people who want to become and
insurance agent.
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