In high school I was fortunate enough to earn the opportunity to work at a respected insurance agency. While there I set records in scheduling financial and insurance review appointments—enabling the agent to reevaluate client needs and make more sales. Here’s how I did it:
1. I knew what I was selling
Yes I had a script but I knew enough about the review and its significance to communicate script-free with clients. The result was that I exuded more confidence, had better responses to questions, and therefore clients felt more secure.
2. I listened to clients and then articulated value based on their individual needs
Usually when I asked to schedule the review responses were along the lines of being too busy. However, by listening to when those times were—along with their needs, I could respond with other times and also explain the value of the review to their circumstances.
3. I remained polite
Once in a while people responded to me rudely, but I always reacted with politeness. Occasionally, even this solution did not prevent a client from requesting to be taken off of the list, but more often than not the result was a call me later—which I always nicely did.
4. I asked for what I wanted
Letting the conversation go organic is great… for a little, but I always stayed in control by bringing it back to what I wanted: the review. Only the people who ask get, and from exercising this and the above tips, I usually succeeded.
5. AND I followed up
Follow up is key. This is because appointment times need to be reminded of so people show up; those who request a call back are usually impressed when it happens; and when clients finish an appointment (or any sale) then ensuring that they are happy keeps them returning for more.
These are just some of the basics to selling—there are tons of other related advice pieces at About.com, Entrepreneur, and Eyes on Sales.