As we discussed in last week’s blog, the beginning of the year is the perfect time to examine your results and processes, and look for areas of improvement. One area you should consider is producer development. Even the most veteran salespeople can benefit from learning, sharing information and practicing skills. In this blog, we’re going to discuss a specific insurance sales strategy to help producers improve: mock demos.
What are mock demos and why do we need them?
Mock demonstrations, or demos, are simply exercises to help your insurance brokers practice specific sales skills. You might simulate a particular part of the sales cycle or focus on a specific objection the producer must overcome, for instance. There are many benefits of conducting mock demos, including:
- Newer and greener producers can practice and hone sales skills
- You can uncover problem areas and address them (producers not using the right pitch, or struggling with an objection, or example)
- Selling strategies evolve over time, particularly with this ever-changing market, so mocks are a great place to implement new strategies or practice pitching new services
Who should be involved?
You may think mock demos are best suited toward your less experienced producers, but all salespeople can benefit from mock demos. While greener producers have the opportunity to learn, your veterans can use mocks to polish skills or break bad habits. Additionally, everyone can learn by watching your best producers. Mocks are best performed with all producers watching, so everyone gets as much benefit as possible.
Sales managers should oversee the mocks, both to ensure they are done properly and to use as a teaching moment. When someone struggles or is uncertain, it’s a great time to discuss among the larger group or ensure your team is consistent with their approach.
How to execute
Each agency will conduct mock demonstrations a bit differently, based on their services, producer experience and other factors. However, here are some general suggestions to execute effectively:
- As mentioned above, get all producers and sales managers involved. Observing another’s mock can be just as (or even more) valuable than participating in one.
- Customize your mocks around your agency needs, or areas of weakness. If prospects tend to stall at a particular stage, practice that part of the sales cycle. If you are introducing a new service or offering, practice incorporating that into your larger story and pitch. You get the idea.
- After each mock, the sales manager(s) should offer constructive criticism, and then open feedback and discussion to the larger group. This can facilitate a great opportunity to share knowledge and learn from each other.
Of course, mock demonstrations are only one way to improve your agency and individual producer sales. To get more ideas on how to improve sales effectiveness, check out this free ebook.