Giving you the right track to run on

A fortnightly pearl of wisdom to fast track your success

CHRISISM #55 - Heart Vs Head

28 November 2017

Heart Vs Head

Are you selling protection from your heart or your head? If you’re selling from your head, you’re probably finding it tough, but if you’re selling from your heart, I would guess you’re finding it a hell of a lot easier. 


Back in early 1978 I became a client of the company I then joined as a trainee in November of that year, so I had already bought some income protection, a savings plan and some whole of life insurance because it made complete sense to me – and if it made complete sense to me, then why wouldn’t it make complete sense to everyone else?! In other words, I was totally sold on the benefits of what I had bought, so even though financial reward provided additional motivation, from day one I was selling from the heart not the head.

To me selling is nothing more than a transference of feeling and that is why sincerity is what lies at the heart of all good sales processes. I’ve always thought that, if someone didn’t buy what I was recommending, then it simply meant that they had a greater conviction that what I was recommending was not a good idea for them than the conviction that I had that it was a good idea for them. Because of my total belief in the product (or rather what the product did for my client), not that many potential clients slipped through my fingers!

Because of the importance of sincerity, another absolute fundamental is that (where possible) you must own yourself whatever you are recommending your client owns – and preferably ‘in spades’! If I was guilty of anything in my first 10 years in the business, it was probably overpracticing what I preached – it almost sent me broke! But I remember always looking forward to a potential client clutching at that final straw of resistance and asking:- “So how much of this stuff have you got then?” Then I would calmly reach into my client box, take out my own client card that detailed all the policies I had myself and silently put the card in front of the person. Typically game over!

Obviously having total belief in what you are selling will also enable you to demonstrate the necessary degree of persistence with clients, thereby leading to my “Until Philosophy” (see Chrisism#29). In this context it is important to differentiate between niggling at someone to do what you are suggesting because you know it is in their best interest to do so, and hassling someone to do something which may not be in their best interest, but which would be beneficial for you. I am proud of the fact that some of my clients referred me to other people as their “professional niggler”.

I’d like to leave you with a true story of a client of mine back in the UK as an example of how powerful sharing a real life case study with a prospect can be – especially if we are talking about the importance of protection for younger clients.

Back in the mid 80s I took on board a 23 year old single real estate agent who bought income protection and a savings plan. Whenever I sat in front of a young, single person I would always ask the question:- “Do you think it’s likely that one day you might get married and have kids?”, and if their answer was “Probably, yes”, than I would always try and sell them life insurance on the basis that you might as well buy it while you’re healthy and it’s really cheap rather than wait until you need it when you might not be able to get it. This client understood my point but declined to buy life cover at this time.

For the best part of 3 years, whenever I saw him for a review, I always tried to get him to buy some life cover as well as whatever else he did, and finally after probably 5 or 6 attempts, he buckled and bought GBP250,000 of unit linked whole of life cover. Shortly after this I left the UK to come to Australia and I left my clients in the capable hands of one of my team called Claire. Some 18 months later I returned to the UK and went in to my old office to catch up with ex-colleagues. As soon as I entered, Claire hailed me and said “Chris – I’ve got a really important message for you from Simon xxxxx (the client in question)” and I said “Oh, how is he?”, whereupon Claire explained that shortly after I left for Australia, Simon got engaged and married and his wife fell pregnant and it was then that Simon was diagnosed with leukemia and he died just a few months later.

The message that he wanted to make sure I got was how grateful and appreciative he was that I was so persistent with him about buying life cover, because otherwise he would not have had any at the time of his death and his wife and child would have had nothing whatsoever.

I’m sure you all have client stories that constantly reinforce what you are doing for your clients, but you need to make sure you share these stories with prospects because it paints pictures for them and often provides the emotional trigger required for the decision to buy.

If you have found this “Chrisism” beneficial in any way, then experience a whole day of “Chrisisms” in Melbourne this Friday, in Adelaide next Tuesday or Perth next Wednesday at my “Sales Skills for Financial Planners” Workshop. REGISTER NOW using the appropriate link below.

Register for your City using the links below.
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Melbourne - Friday, 1 December

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The Risk Workshop by Chris Unwin

Are you a financial adviser who would like all of your clients to have appropriate types and levels of personal protection? But perhaps you feel you need a more structured and client friendly engagement process?