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A Broader Perspective of "Sales is a Numbers Game"

 


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One of the common clichés in insurance selling is “Sales is a numbers game". Frequently sales trainers or motivational speakers cite this clichés trying to drum the message into the mind of salespeople that the more people they see, they more sales they will generate.

"Sales is a numbers game" always gives rise to argument that the more people you see, the more rejection you get. The average insurance agents can't handle too much rejection and this is the sure way to fail.

The opposing view also holds that instead of focusing on numbers, a salesperson should work on the quality. It is the quality of the sales approach and crafted pitches that results in sales.

Another view points out that it is not the number of prospects a salesperson has to see that matters but it is the quality of the prospects the salesperson is going to approach that matters.

The cliché is also conveniently used by some sales managers to get the insurance agents to keep seeing people till they close a sale. What the sales managers should have done is actually to coach and correct the agents’ mistake before allowing them to go to the field and see their next prospects.

The spirit of the cliché is far from merely asking insurance agents to see people using the same old scripts and the same old tricks over and over again. It is about continuous improvement by learning from the mistakes. It is about perfecting the skills as we see more people.

No insurance agent is going to use sales approach that does not work. It does not take long for an insurance agent to realize that perhaps certain sales approach or sales script does not work in certain market or under certain situations. It is important for the insurance agent to know what to improve and how to improve before the next appointment.

"Sales is a numbers game" is about the number of people an insurance agent has to meet in a day or in a week. It is also about the number of phone calls an agent makes, the number of appointments secured, the number of presentations made, the number of cases closed, the amount of premium collected etc.

Compilation of all these numbers gives us a good indication what went wrong and how we can improve. Selling is not only about quantity, it is also about quality. Selling is not only an art, it is also a science that can be managed to produce predictable outcome.

By tracking all sales activities and every step in the sales process, we can identify opportunities for improvement. We can discover our skills deficiency and recognize the types of training or coaching we need in order to be more competent.

In the absence of such records, we will have no clues what we have done well and what we need to do differently. If we don't monitor and measure our sales activities, we are like the majority of the insurance agents who struggle to survive.

Without knowing exactly what we are doing, and how much we are doing it, there is no way we can improve our sales performance. The only solution they can think of is to increase the activity of seeing more people. Attacking the wrong problems will not produce the desired results.

"Sales is a numbers game" is about keeping the numbers and statistics on every sales activity we do. The statistics is a reflection of our sales capability. The only way to get interpretable and meaningful statistics is to carry out reasonable amount of sales activities. Seeing too few people does not give us the true picture.

Ultimately, every insurance agent wants to do less and earn more. This is possible if the agent is at mastery level. In the process of becoming among the top agents, a person needs both the proper skills and tremendous amount of efforts to keep sharpening the skills. This is only possible if he or she sees enough people to refine the skills.

If we depend solely on classroom sales training to acquire skills and build competency, the learning may not stick. Sales training is helpful for a person to have some ideas what selling is all about. But it does not create the desired impact since the learning takes place in a controlled environment.

You learn the most when you are in the field eyeball and eyeball with your prospects. You remember the most when you are caught in a difficult sales situation. You understand your own shortcomings the most when you are not able to achieve the sales outcome you expect.

No top athletes can emerge champions without suffering from bumps and bruises. They learn and improve from each and every mistake. Each bump and bruise also makes them stronger physically and mentally.

Similarly to be a top-notch insurance agent, one has to endure emotional injuries such as frustration, rejection and objections. Each disappointment gives out a very strong message that an improvement is needed to secure a sale.

"Sales is a numbers game" is still valid and relevant like all major currencies. It is the road map that directs you to success. However, to reach there, you still need inner drive. The winning formula for a salesperson is: Direction plus Drive equals Success. Drive without Direction brings us nowhere; if we know the Direction but don't have the Drive, we remain where we are.

I am an insurance sales coach who has been in insurance business in the past almost 2 decades. I have a website i. e. http://www.stories-connect.com and my blog is http://xoseph.wordpress.com

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