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Your Effective Discovery Process (part 1 of 3)

September 22, 2015

ID-100215456The first and most important part of your diagnostic, consultative process is discovery.  In this step, you are systematically uncovering the risk issues of your prospects before you move to step 2 – strategies to manage these risks.  An essential goal is to allow the prospect to make an informed decision to work with you, in an atmosphere where you can listen first, then apply solid and professional risk management solutions.  This mindset will differentiate you from your competition and create value for your prospect or client.

Executing the discovery process starts the minute you establish rapport with your prospect.  If you rush through step 1, your client will not be responsive with answers to probing about his or her pain points.  In other words, your prospect won’t tell you his or her deepest problems and fears unless you have first established a level of trust.

Seven suggested components of your discovery process should include:

  1. Personal greeting, credibility statement and value proposition
  2. Establish rapport
  3. Manage expectations through an action plan
  4. Determine the depth of relationship with the incumbent agent or broker
  5. Determine your ability to interact with senior leaders of the firm
  6. Assess prospect’s motivation to work with you
  7. Determine how to move into developing strategies (the second step)

During the discovery process, you’ll find that if you spend 80% of the meeting listening, you will naturally develop a healthy rapport.  It demonstrates to your prospect that you are sincerely interested in them and their business.  Focus on learning about the goals, passions, and struggles your prospect is facing both personally and professionally.  Listen carefully to the answers and thoughtfully respond.  The more information you can gather, the better position you are in to garner trust and respect.

Begin the discovery process by asking open-ended rather than simple yes/no questions.  Yes/no questions begin with the words: are, is, can, would, will, or do.  Consider big picture questions such as:

“What do you see as the strengths of your business?”

“If we are sitting here three years from today looking back, what does success look like?”

“What keeps you awake at night?”

When your prospect answers these questions and you need to explore more thoroughly, ask, “Can you tell me a little more about …?”  These three questions will greatly enhance your discovery process.  They will also enable you to learn more about your prospect’s business and to establish a deeper, more meaningful relationship.

Next week we will cover the power of walking away.  Stay Tuned!

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This article was pulled exclusively from the minds of the Beyond Insurance marketing team.  We strive to help you live happier, work smarter, and make more money.  However, for us to do so, we need your help!  Let us know what your biggest frustrations are within the insurance industry by clicking here.  Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the inspiration behind our next article!

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