By: Kelly Donahue-Piro
President of Agency Performance Partners
Co-Founder: Agency Appeal
Foreward From Chris: Many agencies know that we have partnered with Agency Performance Partners and Agency Appeal for almost 5 years now. While our relationship with Kelly Donahue-Piro started almost a decade ago we have built a long standing relationship with all of her companies and team. Over the coming weeks Kelly has offered to share what they do for and with our agency in bite sized chunks so other agents can either take advantage of working with her companies or become inspired to do some of these activities on their own. I’m always happy to answer any questions about Agency Performance Partners or Agency Appeal and my experience. Paradiso Insurance has worked with several consultants over our tenue however, these two companies are the only ones we have chosen, due to results, to continue a relationship with. In this blog Kelly reviews her sales show down technique. She uses this in her own firms and can bring it to your agency.
Sales showdown may sound like the wild west, with a shoot out and spurs BUT it’s actually more fun and less dangerous. A sales showdown is where we take members of the team off site for 4 hours and ask them to put us through their sales process. We provide a detailed scenario (that is customized for each agency) for the agent. We always start with the source of new business since your sales process should change based on where the opportunity was developed from. From there the agent has someone to roleplay with, in front of an audience. While this may already be having people throw up from nervousness, what better place to get better than in front of your peers?
We often get into a sales routine. The problem with routines is we get comfortable and then ultimately a bit sloppy. It’s very hard to be critical of yourself. Instead when you can listen to 4-5 outside voices you can hear the common themes in their recommendations. Trust me, I go into the hot seat during our companies’ sales showdowns and no doubt it can make your headspin. But after the discomfort goes away, I always leave with 4-5 things I execute on and lo and behold our conversions improve.
The sales showdown should have members from your team but also a few outside people. In doing what we do at Agency Performance Partners, we have a special skill of delivering feedback in a more coaching way. After the sales showdown we provide three areas each agent needs to work on with specific talking points and custom items they need to become aware of. Trust me you leave that room relieved and we often recommend everyone have a cocktail or two after as a team just to bring everyone back together.
The sales showdown was started because of our AppX Sales Training Program. This is a 6 month program that is designed to help build and strengthen insurance sales skills for all levels of employees. We found that at the end we wanted an option for everyone to go in the ring after they have had about 5 months of practice. This helps push that next level of development so people don’t get too routined.
During the sales showdown we generally break the scenarios into 4 parts:
- The connection – How did the lead come in and what’s the approach
- The process – What is the process of getting the information to quote
- The delivery – How was the quote delivered, explained and pitched
- The objections – Throwing objections at the agent so we can see how they respond and overcome them
We also review during this time any proposals, marketing emails and documents that a prospect would see for feedback.
When we create the scenarios we create them with the agency in mind so it may be getting through the gatekeeper, or multiple business partners or even the dreaded “I have to talk to my wife”! During the experience there are some difficult conversations and some great laughs too.
If you are interested in our Sales Showdown for your agency you can book a meeting with us to learn more or review our AppX Sales Program if you think your team needs a little training before they head into the ring.