It would be out of the question, of course, to assign any objection to a definite group and to prescribe a way of meeting that object. When your prospect says, "I can not afford it," he may mean, "I do not want to waste time talking to you" – in other words, your prospect can use this statement as a way of ending the conversation with You either over the phone or when you meet them face to face.
He may, on the other hand, wish the insurance, but raise the objection because of a mortgage on his home which must be lifted, not realizing the important part insurance would play in covering the mortgage if anything happened to him.
Then, too, he may be just "dead broke" and his financial condition will obviously determine a hindrance to the sale of any kind of insurance.
It is only through experience, from what has been said previously over the phone or in the meeting with your prospect, and from the behavior of the prospect, that the insurance agent can determine how to classify a given objection.
Objections as they occur in the sale may be grouped roughly as:
- A. Imagined
- B. Real
Excuses occur most frequently as "put-offs" at the beginning of the phone call or appointment, or if they interrupt the sales talk later, they are offered to cover up the prospect's actual reason. If you walk into your prospect's home or office and "off the bat" he says, "No, can not afford it," "Do not need any insurance, thank you," "Too busy to think about it now, He has not really considered the subject at all; The comments are part of his defense reaction against the intrusion. It's much better not to argument about these excuses if you can help it.
The prospect himself realizes that they are only partly true, but if you bring up reasons to show him that they are not, he feels bound to bring up reasons to defend his stand and ends by believing the statements himself. Go around them.
One clever agent states that he can exceed most trumped-up objections by writing the most common ones each on an index card, with an answer to the objection on the same card. When the prospect hurls out an objection he smiles and says: "Let's see. That's objection number four and here's the answer."
For example, a written answer to the ever-recurring, "I do not need any insurance," like, "You do not, but your widow will," serves to divert the mind of the prospect rather than attack his statement And switches the line of conversation to the track where you want it.
If he says he is "too busy," for instance, do not argu the question of whether he is really too busy or not. Get around the objection by, "When will you be ready?" And from his reply you can usually tell whether to put him in the class of "worth-while-spending-time-on" or "not-worth-having." If he is in the "worth-while" class he will usually react to a little friendly courtesy and give you an appointment at least.
Excuses of the more general type, such as, "I do not need it," "I do not want it," "I can not afford it," if they occur in the to-be-or-not- To-be point in the sale, where actual opposition would be indicated by a specific reason, usually indicate that the prospect is covering his reason by this excuse.
If, for example, you quote the premium and he thinks the charge excess, the objection that he offers is a statement of his opinion. But if your prospect comes out with a "No, I can not afford it," after listening to you, he probably has an unstated reason for not taking the insurance which he is covering with this excuse, and it's up to you to find Out what the real reason is.
Of course, you can ask him the reason, but do this only as a last resort, for, having made a statement, he will probably insist that it is a statement of fact. It is much better to employ the "suppose" method and trust to luck to find out the actual reason.
"Suppose, Mr. Prospect, you had a mortgage on your house, would not it be a tremendous relief to you to know that the obligation would be met if anything happened to you? And the same applies to any kind of financial obligation. " "If you wish, we could arrange to postpone your payment for a certain period of time, in case you can not have this added expense just now."
In both cases you have answered a possible objection before it has gained force by actual statement on the part of the prospect.
In Part 2 read about other reasons why people object to you when selling insurance.