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Hitting the rookie wall

I have read a lot of things on this site today and it seems like people on here really know what they are talking about so here goes nothing.

I work in the Medicare supplement insurance field which is an extremely price sensitive and competitive market. One of the advantages of working in this market is that you really do not need to create need in the customer, but rather convince them to sign with my company. As far as the industry goes we are on the high end of pricing, but offer services that other similar companies do not.

For the most part I have been having success in educating people about the differences between the different types of products companies, and I even go as far as educating them on what the Medicare program actually does as a stand alone program. (many of them have no idea and find this useful).

I have had up and down success meeting with people but lately I have just hit this wall and my boss is breathing down my neck. What maddened me even more and caused me to start looking at different approaches etc was the fact that I had a closing set for this morning and the lady called me at 8 pm last night to cancel at the last minute for no apparent reason and told me she was going to do it with a person from my company that never even met her face to face but is a little more "experienced".

Sorry if I went on a bit but i figured I would explain as much of my situation as possible. I am a very introspective person and after appointment I think about the pros and cons of that appointment as many of them are more than one appointment sales due to the fact that so many seniors want to explore as many options as possible.

I am 25 years old (look young for my age), I run very smooth appointments, I am courteous, On time, and extremely knowledgeable and well kept for my appointments. I do not act desperate and I do my best to listen to what the prospect is saying and try to find the best solution that fits them. I ask questions, use their surrounding (usually at their home) to try and find common ground/small talk with the person, etc. Most of my people have active nice conversations with me, Appear to appreciate the product, and appear to understand what I am talking about. but when it comes to closing time they will give me the usual reasons (which I am ok with) but a lot of the time they just seem to say no and not willing to tell me why.

This leads me to believe that many of them are scared by the fact that there is such an age gap. Its like when I walk in they already have dismissed all credibility that I may have by simply looking at me ( i can even see it on some of their faces)

has anyone here started at this age in a fickle market like this?

and if so what did you do to overcome this?

I am not absolving myself from mistakes or misreading people sometimes, but it just seems that after so much looking withing and analyzing and thinking about it that is the most logical reason I can think of. Maybe I am just terrible at sales. - by the123kid
Maybe I am just terrible at sales.
I read your complete post and am too impressed with your communications skills and observation traits to believe you lack ability. My instincts, which I seldom share here regarding another individual, tell me that you could have an excellent future in sales.

To answer your question--Yes, I know of a few VERY successful people who started with the very same obstacles and resistance that you describe.

What did they do to overcome it? Total, relentless focus. A novice is a novice and everybody has to start there. What you don't want is to become a practiced novice, often misnomered as intermediate.

Those are the questions you asked. Those are the answers. If you have more questions I'll help any way I can. - by Gary A Boye
Im in alarm sales and although there isnt always the age gap issue that your bringing up it is an extremly compeditive industry and not uncommon to sell one day and find the next that your customer has cancelled to go with another company. One of the best things i feel to do is prep the customer for other sales reps before they come.
After ive closed or am finishing the appt ill sit with the customer and say something like "now 'name', on a more serious note" then ill explain what other companies might come by and what they might say so persuade my customer to sign with them. I then go back over the reasons the customer is getting my product and ask them if they feel like they made the right choice. I also tell them that if anyone comes by they can call me on my cell to make sure that its my company not someone elses so that if another company does come by im there on the phone when theyre there.
Once they agree they will be defensive with other companies and take more ownership in the fact that theyre with your company.


Hope this helps! - by TSteves1
I have read a lot of things on this site today and it seems like people on here really know what they are talking about so here goes nothing.

I work in the Medicare supplement insurance field which is an extremely price sensitive and competitive market. One of the advantages of working in this market is that you really do not need to create need in the customer, but rather convince them to sign with my company. As far as the industry goes we are on the high end of pricing, but offer services that other similar companies do not.

For the most part I have been having success in educating people about the differences between the different types of products companies, and I even go as far as educating them on what the Medicare program actually does as a stand alone program. (many of them have no idea and find this useful).

I have had up and down success meeting with people but lately I have just hit this wall and my boss is breathing down my neck. What maddened me even more and caused me to start looking at different approaches etc was the fact that I had a closing set for this morning and the lady called me at 8 pm last night to cancel at the last minute for no apparent reason and told me she was going to do it with a person from my company that never even met her face to face but is a little more "experienced".

Sorry if I went on a bit but i figured I would explain as much of my situation as possible. I am a very introspective person and after appointment I think about the pros and cons of that appointment as many of them are more than one appointment sales due to the fact that so many seniors want to explore as many options as possible.

I am 25 years old (look young for my age), I run very smooth appointments, I am courteous, On time, and extremely knowledgeable and well kept for my appointments. I do not act desperate and I do my best to listen to what the prospect is saying and try to find the best solution that fits them. I ask questions, use their surrounding (usually at their home) to try and find common ground/small talk with the person, etc. Most of my people have active nice conversations with me, Appear to appreciate the product, and appear to understand what I am talking about. but when it comes to closing time they will give me the usual reasons (which I am ok with) but a lot of the time they just seem to say no and not willing to tell me why.

This leads me to believe that many of them are scared by the fact that there is such an age gap. Its like when I walk in they already have dismissed all credibility that I may have by simply looking at me ( i can even see it on some of their faces)

has anyone here started at this age in a fickle market like this?

and if so what did you do to overcome this?

I am not absolving myself from mistakes or misreading people sometimes, but it just seems that after so much looking withing and analyzing and thinking about it that is the most logical reason I can think of. Maybe I am just terrible at sales.
I agree with Gary that your communication skills are present but they are in the early developing stage. All you need is more time.

I had your exact experiences and frustrations because age can matter depending on the product or service.

At 25 to overcome age discrimination, I learned to focus on those younger than myself. This worked well provided I was selling knives or household products. When I tried selling life insurance I hit the same wall. And that's just the way it is.

Others who were the same age did get by this. However, they were into camping and fishing and could offer a wider range of discussion topics to build rapport and they were also much taller and had a larger build offering a stronger presence, along with good communication skills. They also looked much older than their age as well.

Generally, the greater the potential risk, the more experience customers demand. If I am going to hire a financial planner who will be in charge of my money--I want experience. Just as looking for a doctor before an operation--you want to know if you're going to be their "practice session", or if he or she has performed your specific operation at least 1,000 times before. It matters!

For your customer who switched sales reps, their fear may have been: "what if something wasn't covered now in the policy and I needed it later? What if his inexperience didn't catch it?" Better get someone with more experience here.

It's nothing personal to you rather, who your selling to also knows what it's like being new to a job and they also recall how little they really knew about the product or service at the time.

By the way, I left the insurance business but continued to focus on some aspect of sales for the next several years. Then after a few more bumps in the road--everything clicked.

I spent the next 30 years at door-to-door cold calling selling supporting a wife, who did not work and two children. I had to wait and let my personal skills develop and my body to signal others I knew what I was talking about.

Finally, I became the right age, selling the right product for the right reasons to the right people.
___________________________


By the way, I would like to know who that person in your company was and explore the possibility that your prospect was stolen from you. That happens quit a bit in sales where the in-house rules are purposely kept vague.

Sad to say, some offices are very "cut-throat" and being "too good" in sales can hurt you as much as being "too bad."

Or it could have been very innocent where you gave your prospect the idea and he or she then called into someone already known--no one can stop that!

I hope that was some help. - by John Voris
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