The idea I'm about to share with you is the second most valuable idea I'll provide you this month.

Consultative selling is the most effective selling style for insurance brokers and agents. Period.

Additionally, consultative selling is the ideal replacement for 'shopping the medical,' a service and value proposition that is rapidly becoming insufficient to get the account.

The powerful, consultative Advisory Selling® system is what made me a top producer and what I teach brokers to make them top producers, too.

Advisory selling is totally about solving problems for the prospect. An advisory broker identifies the prospect's pain points, identifies one he can solve with his products and/or services, agitates the prospect's pain until he is eager for a solution, then offers a meaningful solution.

Your value as a salesperson isn't in your products. It's in how you sell your products.

The key to success in advisory selling is asking the right questions to uncover the prospect's pain points and then knowing how to solve the problems with WVB.

By solving problems for the employer, you start to establish yourself as a trusted adviser, not just another salesperson. Unlike your competitors, you are not pushing product and focusing on closing the sale. Instead, your prospects tend to close themselves because they want your solution to their problem. Selling becomes vastly easier and more fun.

One of the beautiful benefits of advisory selling is that it can eliminate price as the sole criterion in the employer's choice of broker and gives you a powerful competitive edge in getting the business.

By solving problems for the prospect other than just the high medical cost, you radically differentiate yourself from competitors. And by solving problems, you make it easy to close the sale and get the BOR letter.


What's in your toolbox?

If your job is to solve problems and remove the prospect's pain, you'd better have a wide range of tools - i.e., products and services - at your disposal to solve a wide range of problems. The more tools you carry, the greater your value to clients.

Remember I told you that advisory selling was the second most valuable idea I had for you? Here's the most valuable idea: Put workplace voluntary benefits in your toolbox.

Workplace voluntary benefits is the Swiss Army knife of benefits, the most versatile tool you can have for solving employer problems. Without WVB, you're cheating your clients out of some of the most effective and affordable solutions to HR problems that a broker can bring an employer. And you're cheating yourself out of a money-making competitive edge.

And the best part is that these WVB-based solutions usually are available without costing the employer a penny.


Tell me something I don't know

Often with advisory selling you can identify - and offer a solution for - a problem the prospect doesn't even know he has. This happens when you are looking for problems, know the problems other clients have experienced, and have the tools to solve a broad range of problems.

Sometimes you are even able to prevent a problem before it occurs. That's what happened in the following case study.

A broker was quoting the medical for a national health care company with 1,100 employees spread over 20 states. The broker learned that the prospect was excited to be moving their enrollment from paper to online self-service during the next open enrollment.

Aware of problems other companies had experienced in the first year of a new online self-serve enrollment, the broker alerted the prospect to the confusion and frustration many employees have with a new online process.

The broker asked if they were prepared for the hundreds of calls to HR with enrollment questions and the chaos and additional workload that their small HR department would experience. He also pointed out the potential of negative feedback to upper management from disgruntled employees unhappy with the new enrollment system.

Once he had the prospect uneasy about the pain around rolling out a new online enrollment, the broker offered a solution to remove the pain: highly trained benefit counselors in a call center could assist employees with their online enrollment using co-browsing technology. Employees who enrolled without calling in for assistance would receive a call from a benefit counselor to confirm and ensure accurate elections.

While this enrollment service was expensive, offering voluntary benefits would pay for it with no impact on the employer's budget.

The prospect eagerly accepted this solution. By helping the prospect avoid a major pitfall that she wasn't even expecting, the broker separated himself from the others quoting the case and earned the BOR letter.

Using advisory selling techniques, the broker landed the account by creating a demand for the enrollment solution that was paid for by the WVB commissions.

Using voluntary benefits, you can provide the prospect with valuable and meaningful solutions to eliminate their pain and close the sale.

Incidentally, in addition to closing the case by solving a problem for the prospect with WVB, the broker in each case study also earned a substantial commission on the voluntary, an example of what I call "doing well by doing good."

Next month, I'll show you how you can use WVB to maximize your clients' value ... increasing both your retention and share of wallet.

Griswold, a former senior executive with a national enrollment firm, is the industry's leading authority on consultative selling and cross-selling voluntary. He consults with agencies and carriers to explode their sales revenues. Reach him at (615) 656-5974, or

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