Ken Varga's "Sell Insurance Like Crazy!"

I’m often asked on my coaching calls, “Why do people who are visiting my various social media platforms aren’t communicating with me after that first visit?”

This is a problem many insurance agents have.

It’s just not enough to just say “Follow us on Twitter” or Like our Facebook Page”.  You have to give a compelling reason for them to do so.

Let individuals know what you have to offer them in exchange for giving you a like or a follow.

I don’t mean giving them discounts or coupons. What I mean is having some kind of value proposition.

For example, try saying something like “Follow us on Twitter for daily Marketing Tips” or  “Like us on Facebook, we promise to make you laugh at least once a day.”

Isn’t that more appealing?

This type of approach is a lot more personable than a generic request to like or follow you.

Many people think that the number of FANS you have on your page is being successful. Wrong. You might have 10,000 fans but you don’t have any real content engaging information or funnies, so why would a fan come back?

Content is king.

Here is an example I like to use who hired me as a consultant to help them create more customers…

Joe is a plumber. His page was full of plumbing jobs. The example he had was a lady who stuffed a jar of pickles down her toilet and the picture showed the pickles in the drain and on the floor. It really wasn’t engaging. It wasn’t a picture I’d share on my wall.

So here’s what I did for him…

I gave him many things to post on his wall. A picture of Lemonade Kool-Aid, with instructions to place it in the dishwasher empty and cycle it through to give the dishwasher a good cleaning.

I followed up with more pictures and tips and he religiously posted them. 

Guess what?

People were commenting and posting. 

I then had him find local Real Estate people pages. He went on their pages and said, “Hello ABR Realty! J.D.Plumbing is your newest fan. Come like my page.” 

When an area business likes your page, their post goes on your wall and vise versa so more exposure is gotten. Why did I have him do this? Because, one day the realtor is going to need a plumber when they are about to close on a house and the house has plumbing issues. The hope is that when she needs a plumber, she will remember the guy on her wall.

After you gain business pages on your page, take the time to go to their wall and “Like” a post. If you can “Share” a post of theirs on your wall, do it. Why?

Because, you are promoting them and the law of reciprocity says they will also promote you now as one of their friends.

Trust me. Liking and sharing is a participating friendship. Most importantly, it gives you exposure every time they share your stuff on their wall. It’s my hope that one of their friends will then share it to their wall, etc, etc. Your post could become viral.

Well, that’s it for this issue. Next time I’ll write about another solution to problems you might be having and how to reverse them…


If you need step-by-step instructions on how to implement this and other ideas I give on creating clients, just visit Build Your Practice Fast Academy and let me know what you think.

This program can help you transform your practice/agency and learn from my years of experience and success, in which I created over 6 million customers.

MY MODULES are also available as INDIVIDUAL E-BOOKS. (Download the e-books here)

Blogging for riches

Posted by admin on June 16, 2020
Posted in Uncategorized  | No Comments yet, please leave one

Have you ever heard of a “Fatkini?”

I never did before but I heard of a woman named Gabi Gregg. Blogging in a fatkini has made her very wealthy.

She is a plus-sized woman who specializes in blogging about the plus-size fashion industry. 

Gabi was blogging for quite a while when she had an epiphany. What would happen if she took a picture of herself in a bikini and posted it in her blog?

She did it and called her post “The Fatkini”.

Gabi’s post now became viral and it also landed her an interview on The Today Show.

After that, things just spiraled upward. In the Plus Size Fashion Industry, sales of large-sized bikinis exploded.

Gabi now was able to capitalize on her newfound fame. She launched her own line of Fatkinis. And it took the plus-sized fashion industry by storm. 

The reason I’m telling you this story is that I’ve heard from many people in my coaching program how when they went through the module on blogging, have also become insanely wealthy.  

This is why I’m posting this blog article as those of you who aren’t in my coaching program should have a blog and see the same results. So don’t put blogging down. Start your own.

Well that’s it for this issue. Next time I’ll write about another solution to problems you might be having and how to reverse them…


If you need step-by-step instructions on how to implement this and other ideas I give on creating clients, just visit Build Your Practice Fast Academy and let me know what you think.

This program can help you transform your practice/agency and learn from my years of experience and success, in which I created over 6 million customers.

MY MODULES are also available as INDIVIDUAL E-BOOKS. (Download the e-books here)

The welcome message you send to subscribers after they sign up for your mailing list will be the first email they receive from you. The question you have to ask yourself is, “Is it making the right first impression?”

As an insurance agency or Advisor, you know how important a first impression can be.  Whether it’s the first time someone walks into your office, the first time someone calls your office, or the first time someone looks up your business online, you work hard to make sure clients walk away thinking positively about your brand.

The same holds true for the emails your business sends. Each time a customer opens an email from you, they are actually having an experience that can impact the way they think of your business. That is why it always surprises me that many businesses pay little attention to their welcome email.

Welcome emails are automated and most email services provide stock content to use and many professionals never give them a second thought. That is a huge problem, especially considering the open rate for welcome emails is much higher than typical email correspondence. That’s a lot of people being served a less than optimal first impression and even worse, that is a lot of people setting low expectations for the emails they are going to respond from you in the future.

 

There are easy things you can do to ensure that your welcome letter sends the right message.

 

  1. Perfect your subject line. Just because welcome emails are automated, doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay attention to your best practices. A welcome email subject line can catch the reader’s attention, thank them for signing up, and give them a reason to respond to your email.
     
  2. Let them know what to expect. It is important that what you tell your reader in the welcome emails is consistent with what you promised at the point of sign up.  Take the time to revisit what you are offering your readers at the point of sign up. 
     
  3. Assure that their information is safe. People are protective of their information and for good reason. Letting your customers know right from the start that you plan to protect their email address is a great way to make them feel safe and secure.
     
  4. Strength in numbers. Don’t be afraid to showcase your success as an email marketer. Letting readers know just how many people are receiving your newsletter each month is a great way to reaffirm their decision to subscribe to your list. 
     
  5. Connect to your subscribers at other important touchpoints. If you have done everything up to this point, your readers will be more excited than ever about receiving updated emails. This is a perfect time to grow those relationships beyond the inbox or across all your social networks. This is a win-win for you and your customers. You have the opportunity to turn each new subscriber into a fan or following your customers are given more options for how they want to connect with your brand online.

 

Personalizing your welcome email won’t only improve the first impression you are able to make with your readers. It will also help set you apart from your competition. While most businesses are sending welcome emails with static and un-engaging messaging, you will be providing an experience that will shape the way customers and potential customers think of your business.

 

Also, please check out my new training program, the Build Your Practice Fast Academy and let me know what you think. This program can help you transform your practice/agency and learn from my years of experience and success, in which I created over 6 million customers.

MY MODULES are also available as INDIVIDUAL E-BOOKS. (Download the e-books here)

I think I’ve been a salesman most of my life. I started selling very early in my life and there aren’t too many days since that I haven’t been selling. 

There are times I think I’m very good at selling. Over the years I’ve been paid very well to train others in my sales techniques, which by the way are available at www.kenvarga.com.  

But I have a confession to make. I really detest selling. Or at least I detest everything about selling that “normal” salespeople do. I really hate prospecting. Prospecting sucks. And I hate trying to convince somebody to buy or do something they are skeptical about or resistant to. That really sucks.

So, when it comes to the way most businesspeople sell their services and the way most salespeople sell their products, I’ve chosen not to participate and suggest you do the same and read further.

I prefer “the lazy salesman’s way to riches,” letting other people do all the heavy lifting, then you just accept the order.

In essence, I’m saying, “give a testimonial for the use of testimonials.”

A testimonial is nothing more or less than somebody else doing the selling for you. Somebody else overcoming skepticism and creating a trust for you. Somebody else eliminating price resistance for you.

In spite of all the empirical evidence and overwhelming logic to it, the user testimonial is still one of the most under-used marketing tools on the earth. 

Here’s the idea. What your customers say about you is 1,000% more persuasive than what you say about you, even if you are 1,000% more articulate and eloquent.

For that reason, nothing is more effective than testimonial driven and testimonial laden advertising, marketing or selling. Nothing. Not glitz or glamour, not slogans, nothing else.

This mandates acquiring good testimonials a top priority. How many do you need? As many as you can get. It also mandates using all you can get, every which way you can use them. To me, it is impossible to over-use testimonials.

What is a “good” testimonial?

First – sincerity. The person genuinely has a story to tell, is enthusiastic about his experience with you and is somebody other people will believe and identify with.

Second – specificity. He can’t just say “you are great”. A useful testimonial has specific, meaningful detail.

Third – drama. The best testimonials are verbal equals of dramatic before and after photos.

Fourth – in quantity, diversity. A collection of testimonials that cover different ages, genders, backgrounds, and experiences. Ideally, each testimonial counters a different objection or concern.

The ideal scenario has a sales message wholly supported by testimonials as proof of each separate claim, as well as the integrity of the message in its entirety and of the messenger. 

The ideal sales message is actually a series of segues between testimonials because you should never say for yours what an enthusiastic customer is willing to say for you. 

Also, in the ideal scenario, there is such an abundant, overwhelming quantity of quality testimonials, that the prospect simply cannot sustain any doubts. He should say to himself: “I’ll be the last lone fool on the planet not to get this if I don’t’ act now.”

If you are short on testimonials, you need to ask yourself why, then set about fixing your particular “why.” There is no other single thing related to your practice you could work on offering a greater return on effort invested.

There are only two kinds of “resistance” in selling."

One, what’s in the customer’s mind, and two, what’s in the salesperson’s mind. A man who sold his way from poverty to billionaire states, W. Clement Stone, said that “The sale is contingent upon the attitude of the salesperson, not the prospect.” 

He was talking about the second, most prevalent kind of sales resistance—what is IN the salesperson’s mind.

Also, please check out my new training program, the Build Your Practice Fast Academy and let me know what you think. This program can help you transform your practice/agency and learn from my years of experience and success, in which I created over 6 million clients.

There is an old adage, “When everybody’s your customer, nobody’s your customer,” and it is absolutely true and very important. 

Only giant companies have the resources necessary to market a product or service to everybody who can buy it, and it is a terrible mistake for small companies and entrepreneurs to market “broad.”

When I ask somebody about their market and they say “Chicago”, I know they are in trouble. Even “all the high-income homeowners in Chicago” is too big. The very best favor most marketers can do for themselves is to narrow, narrow, and then narrow some more of their focus.

Here are some criteria to consider:

  • Size itself
  • Ability to reach the market affordably
  • A known responsive market
  • Affinity with the market
  • Ability to reach the market efficiently
  • A market with a reason to be responsive NOW
  • Understanding of the market (Empathy)

Let’s talk about Precision Target Marketing.

Much money is lost hitting targets that don’t matter.

Smart resource allocation can transform a practice or sales career almost overnight. You must use your dollars and hours wisely.

In marketing, DISCRIMINATE is a good word. You must discriminate. This means excluding the majority of people and delivering your marketing message to a carefully selected minority.

I call them High Probability Prospects.

Let’s take an example. Let’s assume you sell landscaping services, fishponds, and ornamental plants. You transform ordinary backyards into beautiful gardens. And you want to sell your services in the neighborhood where you live. The “sloppiest” thing you could do would be to run around and put an advertising door hanger on every doorknob. Cheap, but still wasteful.

The smart thing would be, first, to separate the homeowners form the renters. Next, break out the homeowners by value or income. Then, direct all your resources at these precisely chosen, ideal prospects.

My dear friend Gary Halbert once said, “If I offer to set you up in the fast food biz, with a hamburger joint and you can have any one special advantage you want, what will it be?

Something special — a clown, great burgers, or a big ad budget?

None of that. Gary just says “A starving crowd.”

The proof of this is the food wagons that come around to factory parking lots. They usually sell bad, overpriced food, and they are besieged with swarms of eager customers every place they go.

Why? Because they go to where the starving crowd is waiting. 

What is a “Starving Crowd”?

It can be a market in chaos, in trauma, in transition. It can be a market where everybody is in pain, like insurance salespeople who are hamstrung by over-sensitive parent company enforced restriction on advertising and sales practices, faced with declining commissions. Or it could be a group of people who are especially, hyper-passionate about their particular interest.  Golfers are this type of rabid buyers.

In one way or another, it should be a group of buyers with an aggravation that gives them sleepless nights, ulcers, and rage, that you can solve, and/or a burning desire for something you can provide.

Identifying such a market and building the right offer for it is a far, far superior means of doing business than in developing an offer, then looking around in bewilderment for who might respond to it.

So my advice is to find that “Starving Crowd.”

Also, please check out my new training program, the Build Your Practice Fast Academy and let me know what you think. This program can help you transform your practice/agency and learn from my years of experience and success, in which I created over 6 million clients.

Pain-free Selling?

Posted by admin on May 31, 2019
Posted in Uncategorized  | No Comments yet, please leave one

My insurance agent came over last week to update my portfolio of policies.  I like to make sure I am more than covered.

I consider insurance an asset, not an expense. Peace of mind and protection, not a cost.

I also consider insurance among the toughest sales in the world. No one wants it, and many insurance salespeople are somewhere between bad and pushy. It is hard to get an appointment, and even harder to make a sale once you get there.

HERE’S THE KEY:

Pre-existing relationships must be in place to make the sale palatable, nay possible. But that is just the premise for why I’m sharing these thoughts and ideas with you.

When my agent came over I asked him (who I have been friends with and loyal to for 15 years) how he engages a prospective customer. 

“Well, first I try to find their pain.” He said with that all-knowing smile.

“Why aren’t you trying to find positive things instead of negative things?  I’ve been your customer for 15 years and you never found my pain. I never had any pain. I just needed some insurance. I wasn’t hurting for Insurance.  The only pain I had was writing you a check. In fact, that is still a pain.”

We laughed for a while.

But “finding the pain” is not a bit funny in sales. In fact, it is somewhere between sad and manipulative. Somewhere between negative and dark. In short, if you want to find the pain, become a doctor.

Pain does not drive a sale. If you are in a prospective customer’s office or on any sales call here is what to look for and here is what to uncover.

Find the friendly. All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends. No pain there.

Find the engagement. How meaningful can you make your questions so that you get to the heart of the prospect’s important issues? No pain there.

Find the need. In conversation and two-way dialog precipitated by your questions, uncover the real needs. Find the symptoms and address the needs. Needs are not painful, they are challenges that you can convert to sales. No pain there.

Find the desire. By exposing desire, you at once understand, beyond need, how important your product or service is to the prospect. No pain there.

Find the opportunity. Common ground, engagement, need and desire will expose the one element necessary for you to make sales. Opportunity.  Your job is to discover how to take advantage of it. No pain there.

Find the difference. The difference between you and your competition that the client perceives. There may be some pain here, if the prospect thinks the competition is better than you.

Find the unknown. Uncover something. Discover an answer that the prospect finds valuable. No pain there.

Find the value. And prove it. Perceived value is the basis for moving forward. No pain there.

Find the trust. Trust is the oil that glides the pen across the contract. No pain there.

Find the quality. I want Lexus, not Ford. Pain is selling price.

Find the decision maker. Aha! Focus attention on the person who can say YES. Spend time finding them. Talking to non-deciders is pain.

Find the elements that will make the sale happen. Uncover past history and buying motives. No pain there.

Find the urgency to purchase. Once you find this, your sales cycle will be cut in half or more. 

Once you find all these positive elements, you will find the final prize. The money.

The only pain in sales is self-inflicted. You shoot yourself in the foot with manipulation, old sales tactics, being too pushy and being unprepared.

Chances are, if you go looking for pain, you will lose to someone looking for a positive, meaningful and value-driven relationship. One that not only leads to a sale, it leads to a relationship, testimonials, and referrals.

Those are pleasures. Find those, and you will get rid of the pain in your wallet.

Also, please check out my new training program, the Build Your Practice Fast Academy and let me know what you think. This program can help you transform your practice/agency and learn from my years of experience and success, in which I created over 6 million clients.

Sometimes people ask me if they should have a statement of purpose. My response is sure, a statement of purpose is a good thing. And, if you really want it to have some punch and meaning, you need to start with the big picture.

A sense of purpose or a feeling about your purpose is going to make your statement of purpose a lot more powerful. 

You want to make sure your words cause you to feel something profound or intuitively right.

The next thing to consider is that generally speaking, all of us have the same purpose: to help others, or to serve our fellow man/woman in the way that is best suited to who and what we are.

The bottom line is that we are here to serve each other. 

Therefore, if we are primarily here to serve each other and prospecting is a required part of our job, it occurred to me that prospecting could, therefore, be a form of service if observed from the proper perspective. 

So how is prospecting a form of service? Consider the following:

  1. When you contact people as an advisor, you are giving them the opportunity to become more effective in their decision-making process.
     
  2. In the process of interviewing people and letting them talk, you are giving them an opportunity to discover and learn more about themselves and what is important to them. You are helping them define what they want that they don’t have.
     
  3. You are helping people take the first step toward resolving issues they may be putting off. Their issues could be emotional and complex and easy to put off. The problem is “tomorrow” never comes and a lack of planning can result in missed opportunities and other unfavorable situations that could have been easily avoided.
     
  4. People don’t often really know what they want. They need to have a conversation to discover and define what they want, and they need to have this conversation with someone who knows how to facilitate the conversation.
     
  5. To get the prospect to engage in the process of dealing with their issues will have great meaning for them. Long term, it could be one of the most important things they will ever do. Again, the whole process is dependent on your willingness to make the first contact.  In other words, to perform our service to mankind.

 

In our dualistic world, it is easy to forget the gift we bring to the table by the work we do. We can forget the brilliance of the process that we take people through and the many important decisions they make just because we are sitting there asking them questions no one else is asking them.

Your purpose, your service, your job, is to help your fellow man. You begin to perform this service by dialing the phone or in some way introducing yourself to people to see if they would like to take part in a highly beneficial and empowering process.

If you are putting your clients' interests first and help them get what they really want combined with our expertise, you really are performing a great service to mankind. Remind yourself of that thought a few times each day and especially when speaking to prospects who are showing little or no interest.

One of my favorite observations is that you get paid to make the call (to serve) not by how people respond to you. If you make calls and maintain your sense of purpose despite the predictable negative reactions from some people, greater success is immediately on its way to you.

Also, please check out my new training program, the Build Your Practice Fast Academy and let me know what you think. This program can help you transform your practice/agency and learn from my years of experience and success, in which I created over 6 million customers.

I’ve often used the term “expand usage” a lot because it is important and quite often ignored by many businesses. For example, the restaurant that has a great lunch business: What is done to get those customers to come in for dinner?

Consider a very simple, mundane business like dry cleaning. We probably spend a lot of money each month at the dry cleaners, because most of my suits and shirts have to be cleaned after every day or so.

In all the years that I’ve been dealing with dry cleaners, taking in shirts, suits, slacks, jackets, etc., never once have I received a coupon for let’s say leather coat cleaning or drapery cleaning.

The insurance agent who sells us business insurance has never once attempted to find out about any other insurance needs. Other than sending out the company newsletter, my agent who has my car insurance has never once, in any way, attempted to interest me in other products. 

Lexus, who has my car loan and never attempted to sell me the Lexus branded VISA card. 

Everywhere I look, I see businesses leaving lots of easy money on the table by making no attempts to expand customer usage.

Let me state this. It is easier to sell more and more often to a happy customer than it is to get a new customer.  And, generally, profitability increases when you sell more and more often to fewer customers than when you sell less to more. 

Finally, your vulnerability to competition actually decreases when you sell more and more often to fewer clients because you will automatically be doing a better job of relationship nurturing.

These three facts mandate an emphasis on deliberately expanding usage by existent clients.
 

Also, please check out my new training program, the Build Your Practice Fast Academy and let me know what you think. This program can help you transform your practice/agency and learn from my years of experience and success, in which I created over 6 million clients.

The Power of Pauses

Posted by admin on April 16, 2019
Posted in Uncategorized  | No Comments yet, please leave one

People understand in the pauses.

There are several important aspects to this statement. One is that people can’t buy whatever you are presenting unless they understand it enough to be comfortable going forward and two, when you explain something to people, they need time to absorb each key point.

If you run the key points together without any pauses, there is a great likelihood that the clients don’t really get what you are saying and won’t be able to make a buying decision.

This is a big difference between understanding the words someone just used to explain something and actually understanding the concept being explained.

If you ask your clients if they “understand” what you just said, they will usually say “yes”, which often means they understood the words you used. If you ask them again if they really got the concept you are sharing, they would probably ask you to go over it one more time.

The great test of understanding is to say to people after each key point in any presentation, “Before we go on with our discussion, tell me what you have heard so far,” or “Tell me what you are hearing.” 

You will often be surprised at how little they are really understanding about what you are presenting. Don’t hesitate to have people tell you what they heard numerous times in an explanation or presentation.

A quirk of human nature and especially a characteristic of salespeople is that we are quick to forget we may have taken months to learn what we want someone else to get in ten minutes.

I’m not saying it isn’t possible for our clients to understand in ten minutes, just that most of us tend to talk too much without any pauses and think our clients understand our every word. 

We tend to think that, because we understand something, our clients will automatically understand after we have explained the concept. Again, assuming your customer understands what you just said may be hazardous to your wallet.

Keep your explanations dirt simple and test for understanding more than you think you need to. 

People understand in the pauses.


Also, please check out my new training program, the Build Your Practice Fast Academy and let me know what you think. This program can help you transform your practice/agency and learn from my years of experience and success, in which I created over 6 million clients.

Ask yourself, “What is the question that has the greatest impact on your closing presentation?”

It is simply “Why is this important to you?” This is a question that you should have asked before you get to a closing presentation. The answer to this question is what you lead with in your closing.

Keep in mind that if you forgot to ask the question prior to your closing, then the question can still be asked during the close for the first time and it can still work.

Why is this question so powerful?

Because it gets at the dominant buying motive.  

This is the single most powerful motivation for a client to take action on whatever you are proposing. If you go into a closing interview without it, you are essentially flying blind and have increased the odds of the customers doing nothing.

What does a dominant buying motivation sound like? It is usually a feeling or the feeling that will come from having the solution to the problem in place.

Examples are: peace of mind, sense of security, an expression of love, care or concern for others, etc. By the way, the opposites of the prior feelings can be prime motivators as well: looking bad, looking irresponsible, feeling embarrassed, etc.

My advice is that you always state the dominant motivation of a client in positive terms even if you have to change their words a little. Positive is best.

The opening language of your closing should sound something like, “John and Mary, you told me that you want to have a certain lifestyle when you retire and want to look at the best options available to give you that lifestyle.

Furthermore, you said that this is important to you because you have worked hard all your life and you want to have something to show for it when you retire. You also said it is important for you to be able to spend time with your grandchildren and to be able to help them with college if they need it. 

And this is important to you because of the help you got from your parents. Do I have that right? Is there anything you want to add?” 

Try this scenario. The clients tell you, “ I need to find a way to save more and protect my money from potential loss.” Do you jump in with your vast knowledge and show them how you will help them accomplish this? Or do you see the opportunity to get at their dominant motivation? 

I feel you should teach people what their options are but be careful not to forget to ask somewhere in that interview, “John and Mary, you said you want to save more and protect your money from potential loss. Tell me more about why this is important to you?”

Doing this will dramatically increase your closing sales rates.

 

Also, please check out my new training program, the Build Your Practice Fast Academy and let me know what you think. This program can help you transform your practice/agency and learn from my years of experience and success, in which I created over 6 million customers.